Roger Shah presents Sunlounger’s Sunsets and Bonfires interview
Roger Shah is no stranger to the trance community…
…lead by a career of spanning decades covering a vast spectrum of trance music. After a delay due to Covid-19, he is ready to deliver an amazing gem of an album. Roger Shah presents Sunlounger’s Sunsets And Bonfires will be released August 20th on Future Sound of Egypt. The album promises to channel all the beauty of the Balearic sound and transform you back to the magic isle. I was lucky to snag an interview with the talented producer Roger Shah to get some insight on the new album, so grab a glass of Sangria, a lounge chair and enjoy an inside look into the new album.
Hello Roger, it has been way to long. Before we get started how are you doing?
Hi Danielle, yes way too long. Thank you I’m doing really well. I actually kinda enjoyed the forced slowdown of touring, more time for family but especially more time for my creative mind to get all my new ideas out of my brain and have plenty of time in the studio. I guess that’s why I have such a crazy busy release schedule.
I love your Sunlounger alias, because the vibes always bring me back to Ibiza. For those who may not be familiar with this sound, in your own words, how does Sunlounger differ from a Roger Shah track?
I think for my Roger Shah tracks, I never put myself into any category, it can be either an uplifting trance track, an orchestral track, synth wave or music for meditation while Sunlounger is my pure Balearic project and always coming with a chill out and deep cool Ibiza vibe-ish dance version.
Your newest album will be released on Future Sound of Egypt, on August 20th. You and the FSOE team decided to delay the release for this album, why is that? Do you have any regrets for doing that? Why or why not?
The main reason has been that due to Covid and lockdowns, it’s been hard to predict how everything’s moving forward. I had some special Sunlounger ‘live’ plans and when I signed with FSOE for this album last year, we realized that there’s no way to do any live shows in 2020, so we moved the release date to 2021. Even though I’m still not on the road again, we didn’t want to delay it again, so finally we are releasing it now.
The album features 13 beautiful tracks. With releases such as “Sail Away” and “On the Other Side,” already out. Of these 13 tracks, which track holds a special place in your heart and why? If you could only recommend one track on the album what would it be and why?
Damn, so you are asking again a dad about his favorite kid huh? Ha-ha
I worked hard on every track but if i really have to point out one track then it’s the track “OK“. The lyrics have a very positive message, and Susie and Inger are singing this duet with so much heartfelt and feeling and it’s super catchy, trademark Balearic guitars meet some cool grooves. This could be even a crossover radio hit in my opinion or one of those tracks played at the end of a TV series. I really love both versions, the chill and club mix, just started to work on an uplifting mix as well, to be able to play it in my peak time sets, too.
The title of the album is Sunsets and Bonfires which is also the opening track. Tell us more about this track and why was it chosen for the title of the album?
When working on a Sunlounger album, I always come up with a theme and album title first, this is giving me the inspiration and direction for the creative process of the whole album, especially since I always mix the album as a kinda nonstop mix experience, it’s like I’m working track after track until the whole story is told. So after I got the idea of Sunsets And Bonfires (actually credits go to my dear friend Kristina Sky who told me to rather use the word Bonfires instead of Campfires) I started to record different fire crackles, crickets etc., then composed that orchestra for the intro and played around with my trademark Sunlounger guitars. I wanted to create a kinda “Another Day on the Terrace” feel.
You have some beautiful vocal tracks on this album from Susie Ledge and Inger Hansen. In fact all nine vocal tracks are from these two talented individuals. Why these two artists for this album?
Before I decided to finally start working on a new Sunlounger album, I thought a lot about where I wanna go with that alias, to keep it as a production alias or develop it further in the future. In terms of music streams, Sunlounger is almost a kinda mainstream act with way higher numbers than my trance releases, so I got that idea to take the brand to next level and start creating a live band.
Since I work closely with Susie and Inger for a while, both are amazing live singers and guitarists with a lot of stage/live experience, great persons and easy to work and deal with. I decided that both could build the perfect setting together with me for a live band scenario. For that reason I decided to work just with those two artists. We really can’t wait for the Covid restrictions to end and finally to get together and practice some live setup and then take Sunlounger live for the first time ever on a big world tour, hopefully in 2022, fingers crossed.
There are also some remixes coming out for some of the tracks like your collaboration with Paul Thomas, “On the Other Side”. What were some of your initial reactions to the remixes? Have you ever heard a remix and wish you released that instead?
Since Sunlounger has a very unique sound, I know that it doesn’t fit well into other DJ sets, for that reason it’s great to have remixes. Sometimes I do a remix myself, or in case of Sail Away or On The Other Side, I teamed up with my close friend Yelow, who’s also helping me with a lot of logistics for my Magic Island label, I’m really happy with how both remixes turned out. Also the Paul Thomas remix has such a great atmosphere, could almost be a Sunlounger track by itself
Finally, can fans expect an album tour? Why or why not?
As I already explained earlier, this album has been made with having an album live tour in mind, so I hope that the world wide Covid situation is getting better and better, so that we would be able to start our first ever Sunlounger live band tour, but in the meanwhile I hope that at least I can start playing a few Roger Shah sets where I can also play some of the Sunlounger tunes as well. I guess first chance for me is Dreamstate SoCal in November