Dreamstate Artist Spotlight : Roger Shah
Alias: Roger Shah
Real Name: Roger Shah
Hometown: Koengen/Stuttgart, Germany
Profession: music composer/producer/artist
Hobbies: tennis and bicycle
Affiliations: Magic Island, Blackhole, APA
Precise and meticulous are two words that could easily be used to describe trance legend
Roger Shah has been producing tracks since the 90’s, and stayed true to his Balearic and uplifting sound. A true visionary, Roger has stayed the course continuing to move forward but never forgetting the power of love along the way. I was honored to be able to speak with this living legend, at Dreamstate SoCal 2017, to get a better understanding of the complexity that is Roger Shah.
Welcome to your Dreamstate debut! How does it feel to play back in Southern California?
It feels really good. Especially to finally play a big event. It’s my first time in the US to play this type of venue so I am very excited. I have done Circus [Disco], Avalon, Exchange, and a few of the big clubs in LA; but this kind of festival, this is the first time I am doing this type of show.
You have had some new singles this year, one being Castles in the Sky which had me in tears at Luminosity. Why remake this classic? Is it important that you stay true to your Balearic sound that you are known for?
Actually, it has always been one of my favorite tracks back in the days. The original producer/composer is a friend of mine. I said, “Hey, maybe I should do it.” [For my album] it is a full on Balearic version, which is like 125 [bpm] dreamy guitar. I took this track and a totally different direction; and then we did an uplifting version, of course to play in festivals. It has always been one of my favorite tracks, and I don’t really do covers of other people, but this has been the one sticking in my head, that I wanted to do it one day.
I really love the male vocals
The male vocals make it different. We had the chance to use the original vocals to the remix, but then I would rather not do it, because the original is just too great. I thought I could give it a total different vibe. I recorded the huge kids’ choir singing along to it; and I think it’s the kids’ choir what brought you to tears. This is what makes it different. Having the male vocals is great, but having the kids singing along, because with the kids it just hits you right away. It’s just amazing. It drove me nuts recording all those kids in my studio. But it turned out really great
Your latest album is under your alias High Noon At Salinas. Beach Groove Vol 1 was inspired by the 2nd hour of your weekly radio show. Why release it under that alias? Do you feel having multiple alias allows you be more daring and challenging when you create?
Exactly. I do so many different things, I always try to keep it for aliases, and for Beach Grooves for example, I got inspiration from Ibiza summer vacation and there in these cool beaches that always play this cool beach groove. Very groovy, tribal, Balearic vibe, but very underground. And I just got into the groove and I thought I should do just a full album like that. It’s not Roger Shah stuff, beats wise it could be Sun Lounger direction; but Sun Lounger will still be more catchy and vocals. And this is more instrumental. So I just use my High Noon at Salinas tribal alias, which I use sometimes to do one or two tracks for my mix albums.That is why it just fit perfectly to do this as a High Noon at Salinas’ album and it just turned out great. This way I can just go without any expectation of fans. I know if I dropped it under a Sun Lounger album, people would be like why did you change this, or why is it different, or would compare it. This way I can just go from stretch and just do the album the way I visioned and just do it.
You are known for conceptualizing your music and albums 1-2 years in advance. Has this preconceived goal ever changed while making an album or are you dead set on your original end goal? What does 2018 look like and what can fans expect?
Yes! Actually, it is still the way I work; I still have a vision for an album. How I want to do it, what I want to do, and go for that theme. Almost like doing a score kind of thing. So yeah, I still [work] like that. My fourth coming artist album name is called, No Boundaries. There for example the concept is there is no concept. HA! So I am just keeping it wide open and show all my skills. It’s the fusion of Roger Shah and Sun Lounger, incorporates a lot of my orchestral work. It gives me a great pride of showing all my different skills. So technically it is also a concept but it is hard to explain it.
Will this be released in 2018?
Yes, it will be around May.
Any other big events fans should be looking out for?
I don’t have so many events coming up for the fact that I am very locked down in the studio and also my orchestral work for this year. Then I just signed with APA for the US, and we are working on stuff for next year, so I hope I will be also be taking on some of the other bigger shows here. I think it’s the way fans push for my name, and I really appreciate the support. It’s just been amazing here [Dreamstate Meet and Greet], to see how many people came over and a lot of people have said they are really excited to see me play, it’s the first time they are seeing me play. So that is really amazing for me to get that feedback also.
If you could live by one motto, what would it be?
Love heals you. I think it means, first that is why we also recorded the track together with my amazing singer LeiLani from Hawaii. Second, when I go out in festivals I miss a lot. As cheesy as it sounds, because I have been around for so long, it was different back in the days, when you go now you don’t see this love like this passion, this emotion. Love of the music and love of the people. So it’s really missing and I feel when you look around in the world right now that is what we are lacking it’s like the world is all fucked up, so more love for everyone can help.
So that is why I feel that Love Heals You.