Whether touring the dance music globe while serving up their their own dance floor fires, collaborating with high profile music guest stars (David Guetta, Benny Blanco, Tegan and Sara) or snatching Grammy nods (that remix of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Outta Heaven,” though..) the dynamic pairing of Canadian DJs Sultan + Shepard has certainly shown no signs of slowing down since they joined forces a decade ago.
And judging from the way they pretty much destroyed Montreal with their non-stop live beat shop that was on fine, fiery display on New Year’s Eve, they’re more than ready to turn it all the way up in 2017.
Lucky for us, they took a little time out of their insane schedule to spill some dance music tea with Philly Mixtape, in which they broke mugs about the industry, those upcoming grooves, and like, life and stuff.
Let’s get right to the bat and spill about the ever changing dance music scene. What is maybe one positive and one negative of the ever changing industry that you guys see? S:On the positive side, there’s so much more emphasis on the songs and the producers who make the songs. Electronic music has finally been accepted in the US as a real genre and so it’s great to see the power shift from a few DJ’s and clubs to artists and fans. On the negative side, there are so many people making music that as soon as a song or sound becomes popular, everyone tries to copy it. And because the community is no longer a small, tight-knit group, there’s no sense of trying to be unique and a lot of people are just doing whatever they can for likes or plays or whatever. Hopefully, there will be more emphasis on quality in the near future.
Since those blessed live music moments can’t always be perfect, what is one moment that you guys felt didn’t go so right but that you ended up learning from in the end? N:To be honest, there’s a lot of stuff that happens on the backend side of the business that can be really shady. People often tell you things that they will do and then they don’t end up delivering. For us, the most important thing is to focus on the positive side, the creative side. If people want to be shady with their business, then we usually don’t work with them again. We try to be really transparent and up front with people about what we’re expecting from doing a deal or a song and it’s important for us to openly communicate on that level. We’ve learned that the more that you’re up front in the beginning, the more things stay cool over the long run.
Each of you shout out that one album you can’t live without…
N:Underworld/Born slippy S:Greece 2000/Three Drives (on vinyl)
Any favorite places you’ve guys have toured through? N:India, Peru, Colombia.
Anything you can spill about what’s coming on the 2017 horizon? More singles! And then an EP next year on Armada which we’re really stoked about. It’s our first EP so we’re excited to finally do one. Plus some killer remixes and some more surprises coming along..
One last spill, what words of advice would each of you give to any dude or diva who just picked up a pair of headphones for the very first time? S:Be unique! Do your own thing. It’s important to be inspired by other artists, but don’t try to imitate anyone (at least who’s currently around!). Take inspiration but try to add something original to the conversation.