Relentless Beats

RB Exclusive Interview: Sultan + Shepard On Arizona Shows, Grammy Nominations & New EP

Sultan + Shepard are definitely no strangers to the Arizona dance scene. Last year they destroyed the stage at Wet Electric, playing a phenomenal set to help us forget about the rain making it an extra-wet Wet Electric. When it comes to whom Beatport’s proclaimed “Kings of the Progressive Dance Scene” look up to in progressive music, Sultan + Shepard give acknowledgment towards people like Eric Prydz and Mark Knight. They say they’d “like to see more timeless club records,” and that it is all about quality over quantity when it comes to producing. Someone who must have similar beliefs, whom they call their favorite artist to collaborate with is Fedde Le Grand because “it’s never really a battle in the studio” with him.

Crssbeat is back with the latest edition of their brand new monthly podcast series, with Sultan + Shepard providing the mix presents, for an hour long show of nothing but the very best tunes currently doing rounds at shows and in the clubs. Along with putting together this mix, Canadian duo Sultan + Shepard are about to “have a lot of new music coming out on Armada starting” this month, so stay tuned for that!

You played just recently in Arizona in Scottsdale, and last year at our big waterpark music festival Wet Electric. What do you notice that stands out about the dance music scene in Arizona?

The vibe in Arizona is always really fun. It feels like everyone is always up for a party, so we love coming. There just seem to be a lot of young people in the Southwest who have a real passion for the music. Also the weather is really hot so it makes for really fun night-time pool parties and waterpark festivals like Wet Electric. There aren’t too many places where you can do that.

What are you currently working on?

An EP! We have a lot of new music coming out on Armada starting in July. We’ve got several singles finished that will be out in the summer/fall, so we’re just working on finalizing the rest. We’re also reworking one of our classic songs and giving it a new twist…won’t say which one yet but we think everyone will be excited! In addition, we’re also working on a side project that we haven’t announced but we will soon!

What would you describe as being the better feeling / greater accomplishment & why:

A) When you received your 1st ever Grammy nomination for your remix of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven”

B) When you finish a track you’re super proud of, and when you play it live for the 1st time the audience is totally feeling it just as much as you are, if not more?

Tough choice! To be honest, they are different feelings. Being nominated for a Grammy is a really nice feeling because it means that your peers and people in the industry are recognizing you for work that you’ve done and that makes you feel legit, especially when you’re rubbing shoulders with Alicia Keys and Madonna on the red carpet. But when you finish a song and play it in a club and people are feeling it, it feels way more personal because it’s the fans that are giving you love and that feeling is hard to beat. Ultimately we make music for our fans and for people who love this music, so when they’re happy and excited it’s the most gratifying feeling.

Beatport had crowned you guys the “Kings of the progressive dance scene.” What does it feel like to receive such a title over an entire genre of music, knowing people look up to you like that?

It’s always nice to have an institution that we respect and has contributed to the scene so much say good things about us, but honestly we’re just trying to make good music and we don’t really pay too much attention to titles. We don’t even necessarily categorize ourselves as progressive- a lot of the music that we’ve made in the past is tech house and electro, and a lot of our current music is closer to deep and tropical house. But it’s definitely cool- shout out to Beatport!

Who do you guys look up to in the progressive dance scene?

People like Eric Prydz deserves a lot of respect because he’s been doing it for so long and has his own unique style that is really high quality. When he puts out something new, we’re always curious to see what he’s up to. Also Mark Knight is another person who has been releasing great quality music for a long time that always feels fresh.

When it comes to producing music, quantity OR quality – and why?

Quality. There seems to be a culture of more is better in electronic music these days, but when you look back at so much of the music that is released, most of it is throwaway. There’s nothing wrong with making a record that you know is only going to work in a club for a couple months, but too much of that makes this scene saturated with throwaway tunes. We’d like to see more timeless club records. There are definitely people out there doing it, but we hope that young producers who are getting into making music will take that view. It will benefit the whole scene in the long run.

Favorite artist to collaborate with and why?

We always enjoy working with Fedde Le Grand simply because we have really similar taste so it’s never really a battle in the studio. He’ll be like, i’ve been sort of into these tunes recently, and we’re like “same here!”

What is your favorite festival you have ever played at?

There are so many great festivals- Electro Beach in France is really amazing. Tomorroworld obviously is also really special just because of the detail that goes into the production and the crowd that shows up. We’re also big fans of Mysteryland, especially the one in Chile. The crowd there is so bananas it’s always amazing.

crssbeat Radio Episode 002: Sultan + Shepard Tracklist:

1. Project 46 & BYNON- Castles
2. Avesie- Love Like This
3. MK & BECKY HILL- Piece Of Me
4. SANTEY feat. Kelli-Leigh- What Would You Do
5. Jess Glynne – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
6. Groovefore & Neevald- All You Gotta Do
7. Jocelyn Alice- Jackpot (The Him Remix)
8. Alistair Albrecht, Phil Bennetts ft Bonnie Rabson – Radar (Dennis Christopher Remix)
9. Zenbi & Jerome Robins- HIgher
10. Decoy!- Stellar
11. Antony & Cleopatra – Love Is A Lonely Game – Wolf Krew Remix
12. Bingo Players- Lone Wolf
13. Sultan + Shepard/Hook N Sling vs. Odesza/Cedric Gervais- Don’t Let Me Say My Name
14. Tiesto & Chainsmokers vs. Kanye West- Love Locked Split (FLG Mashup)

Grab crssbeat EP002 with Sultan + Shepard as a free download here:

Connect with Sultan + Shepard: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Show Comments