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With a 10 year career that includes over fifty releases, remixes and assorted productions, German producer Sharam Jey is both experienced and established though it’s only now that he’s decided to release his debut artist album, 4 Da Lovers.
Coming out on Darren Emerson’s Underwater Records shortly, the record is preceded by a single of the same name, a gloriously catchy Ibiza style house tune that’s already brought him massive success.
“I started with an 80s sample and made the track in one day, then after that released it on my own label King Kong Records and had an immediately good reaction to it,” says Sharam.
“I got lots of support from big DJs and it became one of my label’s biggest sellers, so I thought maybe it could do something bigger than just being a club hit.” Helping him achieve his goal is French producer Play Paul, who unusually for a remix has added his own vocal lines to the track.
“I came up with ten new versions then towards the end of the process just sent Paul the tune and said’ would you like to do something with it ?’ He said ‘Wow’. He loved the original dub, and I said ‘We are still looking for some vocals, would you like to do some vocals ?’ He said: Ok let me try. Then he came with his vocal parts. That’s how it came about.”
Interview by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff) : How did you approach making the album, as opposed to doing single tracks ?
Sharam Jey : For me, it was just a question of time to do my album, because I’ve been making club music for over ten years. I started working on the album two or three years ago and my idea was that I should be taking the whole club atmosphere and feeling and putting it into good songs. That was the concept, and I’m happy about it.
Skrufff : Dance music is still very fast moving, did you find yourself reworking the older tracks as you came close to finishing ?
Sharam Jey : Yeah, I did, in fact some of the ideas come from five years ago. I just finally finished not long ago and Underwater told me I could do two or three albums from the music because there are so many different styles on there, whether up tempo, down tempo, some just beats. it’s actually all my musical influences from the last four or five years.
Skrufff : How do you keep you own ideas separate from remix work and choosing ideas for yourself, is that ever a problem ?
Sharam Jey : Actually no, because every time I do a remix, I do a totally new track. Sometimes, I might think ‘Oh damn, this track is too good to use it as a remix’. That’s why every time I start to do something, a new track, or a remix, I just start from the beginning.
Skrufff : Do you have a procedure ?
Sharam Jey : It’s always different actually. When I do a remix, I listen to the original a few times, not too much, just two or three times, and I know what I really like from these parts. If they ask me Sharam, just do what you like’, I’ll listen to the original, take the best parts and start from there. Otherwise, if someone says’ the vocals are very important for us’ If I feel the vocals, I start with them.
Skrufff : Play Paul’s added vocals to his remix of your new single 4 Da Lovers, did you give him a brief ?
Sharam Jey : No, I just asked him. I’ve been playing around with that track for over two years, I started with an 80s sample and made a track in one day, then after that released it on my own label King Kong Records and had an immediately good reaction to it. I got lots of support from big DJs and it became one of my label’s biggest sellers, so I thought maybe it could do something bigger than just being a club hit. I came up with ten new versions then towards the end of the process just sent Paul the tune and said ‘would you like to do something with it?’ He said: Wow. He loved the original dub, and I said : We are still looking for some vocals, would you like to do some vocals? He said: Ok let me try. Then he came with his vocal parts. That’s how it came about.
Skrufff : The album’s coming out on Darren Emerson’s label Underwater Records in the UK; how much do you view the UK and Germany as separate distinct markets ?
Sharam Jey : I’ve been working with a lot of UK companies for more than eight years now and the UK market is certainly a little different, but I do know the market there. Germany in contrast has a big high right now because there are a lot of good productions coming out of here. A few years ago it was different, a lot of good stuff came from the UK.
Skrufff : You’re speaking to me from Cologne. Have you been tempted to move to Berlin ?
Sharam Jey : Sometimes. Everyone is now moving to Berlin, but I have a nice place here in Cologne, and I am actually from this area originally. My parents live around sixty kilometres from here. Everyone is moving to Berlin – it’s a very nice place sure, but there are too many things happening over there. If you feel like you need to be at the right place where everyone else is, then it’s cool, otherwise.
Skrufff : Is it true you first met Darren Emerson in Ibiza ?
Sharam Jey : Yes, it was four years ago. I was there playing at El Divinos and I met Darren because I knew he was often playing my records. Someone introduced us, and he said ‘Yeah, I love all your stuff’. A few months later, I sentsome music to him then he came back and said ‘We would love to have you at Underwater’. I’d been looking for a label over there in the UK to build the whole thing for a few years because I had so many remixes but hadn’t find the right label.
Skrufff : I looked you up on Google and found lots of links for ring tones, are you trying to build a multi-media Sharam Jey empire ?
Sharam Jey : I didn’t know there are so many ring tones. The sad thing is that if you want to make money at the moment, you can make more money from ring tones than from the original vinyl or CD. I’m not really into the ring tone thing as such, but if something happened like that, if people are interested to get some ring tones, then why not ?
Skrufff : Do you see yourself more as a DJ or producer ?
Sharam Jey : I actually love to do both. But I’ve been in the studio for so long recently, working on so many productions, that right now I’m really enjoying my DJing time. I’ve actually been playing every weekend for the last ten years, but at the moment I enjoy playing more than being in the studio, because there are so many styles out there. I also like to be in a club playing and seeing the reaction, especially to the album and the new singles and all the remixes.
Skrufff : As a DJ are you still using vinyl or CDs ?
Sharam Jey : I actually do 50:50.
Skrufff : Do you feel you are going to be abandoning vinyl at some point, or …
Sharam Jey : No, not really, because still you can get so much good stuff on vinyl than CDs. It’s always good to be in a record shop sometimes. I’m not going every week; I might go every two or three weeks. There is very good stuff at the moment.
Skrufff : In terms of touring the album, are you ideally hoping to perform these songs live, as an artist ?
Sharam Jey : Yeah, maybe. It’s just an idea at the moment, I haven’t really thought about it. When I did the album, I just tried to play a lot of real instruments, like bass, guitar and I actually I come from bands originally. I started out in a band from fourteen to twenty/twenty one, so I know the feeling of how it is to be in a band, so yeah, after so many years if there is a possibility to do that again, I would do it. A lot of very good friends of mine are still in bands; they are very good musicians, so… yeah. I would think about this. If the album is out and the people really like it – if I know there is a chance to perform all this stuff live, then yeah, I’ll do it.
Skrufff : What kind of band were you in ?
Sharam Jey : I was a singer in a rock band.
Skrufff : Rock as in heavy metal ?
Sharam Jey : No, it was more at the beginning of the cool rock stuff. All this kind of grunge, Rage Against The Machine, Alice In
Chains type stuff, all that stuff.
Skrufff : So were you looking the part in those days ?
Sharam Jey : Oh yes.
Skrufff : Do you still listen to a lot of that music ?
Sharam Jey : Yes a lot, actually.
End of the interview
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