We catch up with the immensely talented Roger Shah to find out more about the third edition of his 'Magic Island - Music For Balearic People' compilation...
On stage, clad in his trademark white, he is impossible to miss or mistake. Wireless keyboard in one hand, an ever-ready clutch of his own productions in the other, his live crowd-interactive performances have brought a new apex experience for club and festival goers worldwide. In 2009 this unequalled approach was reflected in DJ Magazine's Top 100 chart, where he moved up from his '08 debut position of no.58 to no.21. As a music producer he's scaled the heights of national charts and with 5 artist albums & compilations released in the last 2 years alone, he is very possibly the most prolific trance musician working today. His name is Roger Shah.
i:Vibes: Roger thanks for taking time again to talk to i:Vibes. How is your summer going? What has been your personal biggest musical highlight in 2010 so far?
Roger: Hey, your welcome, my summer is great so far, after touring nonstop since march, i have a short break now, which gives me the studio time I need to finish my long awaited new Sunlounger album. i had a lot of amazing shows like ASOT 450 in NYC, eurofest in Mexico, a huge 4 weeks tour in the USA but also a great south America tour and some nice festivals, especially for the gatecrasher brand, so it's very hard to choose just one musical highlight.
i:Vibes: How has the island of Ibiza inspired you musically the most? What makes this island so unique and so very different than other islands in the world?
Roger: The island is very spiritual, beautiful, and simply just magic. You meet people from all over the world and you can listen to so many great DJ's from all kind of music genres. i think it's still the party island number 1, but a lot of things changed, i play all over the world at so many other beautiful places, so there are now so many other magic islands for me. it's also the first year since 1996 where I won't be on Ibiza, due to my busy schedule and work.
i:Vibes: You've released Magic Island Music for Balearic People Volume 3. How difficult is it putting together a compilation like this?
Roger: It's not so difficult, it just takes some time to search for the right tracks, the good thing is that I receive so many tracks every week and I'm free to sign whatever I want. I'm always on search for tracks with this special magic island atmosphere. I already have great artists on my label who deliver great tracks, but I always search for new talents and also did some productions and collaborations for myself.
i:Vibes: What was your musical goal with Music For Balearic people Volume 3?
Roger: I have no special goals, I just want to deliver high quality music with this special balearic magic island atmosphere with my kind of trademark sound.
i:Vibes: When are you going to move to Ibiza? Torsten Stenzil moved to Ibiza back in 1999 and now is in the Caribbean. It only seems logical with your love for the Balearic sound that you will do it soon?
Roger: I thought about it, but i also think that when I will move, the island will probably loose the spirit, so I think it's better to live somewhere else and spend some special time there. I'm also able to compose and produce my balearic music from everywhere, so there's no need to live there.
i:Vibes: You have 160 minutes of unreleased music on this compilation. How did you go about making the track selection?
Roger: The track selection is very simple, i just have to love and feel the tracks. On the last stage I go through each track and play along with them to see which tracks are fitting together the best.
i:Vibes: It is no secret that the guitar sound is very prevalent in your own tracks, but also in the other tracks on this compilation. Do you ever dream of that perfect new guitar sound when you're sleeping?
Roger: Haha, no, I think I never dreamed about a guitar, it's just an instrument and sound i really love, because it sounds so warm and atmospheric. I also have to say that I never think or dream about the perfect new guitar sound, for me the whole atmosphere and music melody is much more important then the sound. Also when I sign new track, the music and melodies are more important then the production skills, sometimes I try to give some suggestions to my artists to improve their sound, but the music idea comes first.
i:Vibes: What was your goal with the musical journey on CD 1? You have fewer Shah tracks, but many tracks from unknown artists.
Roger: As I said, for me it's all about the music, so I don't care about names, when I receive a new demo i listen to it no matter if it's a well known producer or a newbie. When I like a song and think it fits to my album and label I sign it.
i:Vibes: Inside from Nuera is a very innovative track. How important for you is it featuring a compilation that not only is strong music, but also presenting new sounds?
Roger: I always search for those outstanding tracks, especially Nuera is a very outstanding and talented artist but I'm also happy with each track I have on this album.
i:Vibes: Walsh & Mcauley have two tracks featured on CD 1. They have a very nice crisp sound. What makes this duo so unique in the eyes of Shah?
Roger: They are very talented and with Antonia Lucas they also have a great singer, i think together they are a strong team, I also hope that they will do another tune together for magic island volume 4. But especially their instrumental track 'Aestas' is the bomb for me, I play it in every show and people really love it.
i:Vibes: If you could pick the perfect place on Ibiza to listen to your track 'Found' where would it be?
Roger: I think I would just listen to it while driving around the island.
i:Vibes: What was your goal on CD 2? You have filled it with many of your own productions.
Roger: Disc 2 is more trancy and uplifting, since I play at a lot of big festivals and stages I think that also my music changed a little bit, so i think that i did a lot of more melodic trance tunes then in the past. I'm also proud about my collaborations with some mates of the scene.
i:Vibes: Your brother Pedro del Mar brings 'Tears of the Dragon' on CD 2. How far has he come in the last years as a producer?
Roger: I'm very happy that he finally found his way to the studio and not just taking care of the music business of shah-music. he always has been a great DJ with a good taste for music, I think he is doing a great job as an A&R for his own label shah-music and it's very good that he is now also focusing on having some own tracks released. I really love his new single and think that there's much more to come.
i:Vibes: You produced 'Lay down' with Todd Wright and Ross Lara. One hears the Shah sound, but where did the harder edged sound come from?
Roger: I had the idea to do a track like this since a while to have something banging for the big arenas. When Ross sent me a layout of this tune I came up with an idea instantly, so we teamed up for doing this song together.
i:Vibes: You produced 'Catch a cloud' with Tenisha. It has a beautiful break. How difficult was it getting this track perfect in the studio?
Roger: To work with these guys is always very simple, they come up with some great layouts and ideas, I add some bits and pieces and go further with my singer Lorilee, after I've done my final version, the guys start on doing their own version of it.
i:Vibes: You produced 'Eden' with Leon Boiler. What was the inspiration from you guys in the studio for making this masterpiece?
Roger: I met Leon last year at the club Eden in San Antonio Ibiza where I've played for Judgement Sunday. I met Leon a couple of times before but this time we had a proper talk and we went together to some other parties, too. So we spend some time together and we came up with the idea of doing a song together. It was really great to work with him and I'm very happy with the result.
i:Vibes: Your rework of 'Over and over' is very nice. What was your main goal in getting the desirable 2010 sound?
Roger: I just wanted to have a new version which would fit into my sets I do nowadays, i always loved this song and it has never been released as a single, so I thought it's nice to do a rework of it. it will be released as a single a bit later this year with some amazing remixes of Nuera and Ferry Tayle.
i:Vibes: 'Guaba beach' is the type of track to get out the handkerchief After so many tracks that you have made, is it still a big challenge to go in the studio to produce a Guaba beach or does it come easier through time and experience?
Roger: When I travel I get so many inspirations and sometimes I compose my music at different places. I never have a challenge to compose songs, I just do what I love to do. This tune has been especially made to be a theme of my Guaba beach concert I did a couple of weeks ago in Cyprus.
i:Vibes: What kind of experience was it making 'Ancient world' with Signum. What is their secret touch in the studio that helped make this track so memorable?
Roger: It's amazing to work with Ron from Signum, he is such a great musician and when we compose a song together I think we have the same understanding and feel for the music. We just worked via internet and sent our ideas back and forth till we both were happy with the final melody theme. After this was done I started to work on my full version which you can hear on the album.
i:Vibes: What would you like fans to remember from this compilation?
Roger: I think I want them to remember the fantastic time they had this summer while listening to the album when being on a holiday, at home or even at work. Some people wrote me that it's their office soundtrack of this summer, how cool is that? :-))
The third edition of Roger's outstanding Magic Island cmpilation is out right now on Armada music!