When it comes to dance music most people tend to automatically switch off and think of repetitive, unenlightened, brain-poaching drivel. However there are still a few DJs/producers out there who continue to burn the light bright and keep striving to push sound forward, onward and upward and find a way to take it and relate it to the masses’ and taking it to the masses is one thing Sharam Jey does best.
He started in the early 90s putting out two studio albums, various mix-compilations and more than 100 releases on some of the most established labels like his very own King Kong Records plus Nervous Records, Off Records and many more. Plus he is always busy working on remixes for other great names like Moby, Gossip, Faith No More, Faithless, Diplo & Don Diablo, Mason & Roisin Murphy to name just a few. His latest record label ‘Bunny Tiger’ which made it to the Beatport label top 10 within a year in 2013, instantly spread five no.1s and twenty top ten tracks on the Beatport Nudisco chart. Sharam Jeys philosophy is to supply 100% dj tools, from djs for djs, with the help from some of his best buddies like Kolombo, Phonique, Tapesh, LouLou Players, Teenage Mutants and more to come.
Your career must be pushing across 3 generations now surely? When did you exactly start DJing and where was your first show?
Is it close to your house and home town? Where exactly did you grow up?
I grew up in a small histrorical city called Aachen which is directly near Belgium and the Netherlands. And it’s only about an hour from my current hometown Cologne. And this all started when I was singing in a rock band and I started DJ-ing to earn me some money for instruments and equipment for the band. This was mostly 80s music like Depeche Mode, Human League etc. So electronic inspired music. By the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s the house/techno scene were established. My first show then was at B9 in Aachen, my Wednesday residency. First people were skeptical saying Aachen is not a Techno city but I was a success and that’s how it started.
Where abouts was your first studio as surely back then all the equipment, synthesisers and computers wouldn’t simply fit in someones spare bedroom?
I mean computer screens back then almost needed their own postcode, what computer did you start of with producing music? Any pictures of your early studio days we can share with our audience?
Indeed it was a different time then. I did summer jobs like three years in a row to earn money for my first synthesizer. And with my studio partner we pooled money so that we could start producing music. And I guess our first program was the Atari Creator. I think I have pics from that time somewhere in the basement but I don’t know exactly. So no pics.
How about the first record you purchased on vinyl? How does that reflect your sound you produce nowaday and what your playing in your epic DJ sets?
I believe I got over 40.000 vinyls. Not all have been bought though. Most of them were promos from labels like Harthouse, the oldschool Frankfurt label by Sven Väth. And as I said I lived near Belgium and the Netherlands so that was where I mostly bought my records. But I absolutely not know the first one unfortunately.
The whole G-house thing is well and truly a global dominating sound now and some of your releases are now educating a whole new wave or raving teenagers.
What have been some of your proudest moments on the DJ circuit as far as reworking a famous 80s or 90s hit and rinsing it to a full club who wouldnt even be aware of the original release?
Actually these were planned as DJ tools for me. I used some of my favorite tracks from that era to play in my sets. And if this gets young people to listen to those old beats, that’s a great thing. But as I said this was mostly planned as DJ tools.
How about your favourite re-work to date beside the ones above? Which has been your favourite so far and why?
We love the Paid In Full edit thats on your soundcloud!
Oh, there are so many. I used just my favorite original tracks. But indeed the Paid In Full is one of my favorites as well. Cause Eric B & Rakim are one of my most beloved classic Hip Hop acts.
Going back to your career even further the whole electro house movement was another sound you were at the forefront of when it come and took after the clubs! What were some of the favourite releases for you of the top of your head? And how about the labels you were working with? Do any of them still exist now?
As you said I’ve been doing this for almost 3 generations now so most of those labels don’t exist anymore. That’s why I started my own label King Kong Records in 2000. So I got to release my own music and my first two albums in that label. And 5 years ago I started my label Bunny Tiger. And I am happy that those label are still sought-after.
On the subject of record labels your label Bunny Tiger has kicked some serious goals.
How long has it been going for? How many releases has their been so far? How about the name and the design how did you come up with it?
As I said we are celebrating our 5th anniversary this year. The label has over 100 release so far. And my upcoming third album „Invisible“ will be out on it as well. So I am really proud of that label, we got 5 No. 1s Nudsico and even got 2nd best label on Beatport in 2015.
The idea for the name and the logo was something I got when I was touring Asia. At first it was for a party series but quickly we decided it needed to be a label where I could put out all the tracks I produced that did not of the sound of King Kong Records.
Does Bunny Tiger have any offshoot labels alongside its good self? How does that label differ from its big brother? Any plans for another label in the future?
Yes, we have a subsidiary label called Bunny Tiger Dubs. It has been established 3 years ago and featured a more deep tech house sound. Not so much peak time tracks but even more DJ-tool-like-music. And actually yes, we have two more labels in the pipe-line. Hopefully they will start soon.
Here’s your chance to plug a great upcoming act you have discovered recently? Who is it and why? What makes them pop out from so many fresh faces right now?
As you know my goal always was to help and push young talents who I like musically and personally. Most recently I am working a lot with a guy called Jean Bacarreza. For me he is one of the most talented young DJs / Producers. We released tracks together on labels such as Toolroom, 8Bit and Katermucke.
What other advice have you got for the next generation to make it to the top and touring the globe like yourself on a weekly occasion?
The most important thing os to always believe in yourself and what you do. And to love what you do. Then you will probably get what you are aiming for.
Sharam Jey’s current top 3 tunes are?
1. Sharam Jey & Jean Bacarreza – Chasing – 8bit Records
2. Sharam Jey – Don’t lie (Nick Curly Rmx) – King Kong records
3. Sharam Jey & Sean Bacarreza – Push It – Bunny Tiger
If you were’nt DJing and producing looking back at school right now where would you think life wanted to take you?
Mhm, if I could go back I would probably love being a professional football-player or a star chef.
This is not your first time in Bali performing what have you heard about Bali’s booming scene since you were last here?
No, this is not my first time. But everytime I come here, I am really exciting to the how the scene is here.
What else you intending on doing in Bali when you are here? Any go to restaurants or tourist must visit spots?
Not really sure yet. But probably go to a nice restaurant, yes. I will actually not have that much time as I am promoting my new album at the moment so mostly Skype interviews and stuff like that.