There’s much more to Shiba San than what meets the first listen. Leaving behind a 15-year long career of production experience in the French hip-hop scene, the Parisian producer became fascinated with the sounds of Chicago house and was inspired to create his own productions, infusing his hip-hop influence with the soul of house music. Then came ‘Okay’, the track that “changed the way we listened to music” (Dancing Astronaut) and became the anthem of 2014. It claimed the No. 1 position on Beatport’s House chart for 82 days, remained in the House Chart’s Top 10 for over 180 days, was put on rotation by radio tastemakers like Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Danny Howard and received support from the likes of Claude VonStroke, Eats Everything, Green Velvet and nearly every major DJ under the sun. Upon its release, Rolling Stone deemed ‘Okay’ a “global club sensation in waiting,” a prophetic description that couldn’t have rung more true as it remains a commanding moment in DJ sets even to this day.
First up it’s been another busy year, you’ve just come back from Dirtybird Campout West, and dropped a new single with Tim Baresko, can you tell us a bit about All I Need first – it’s your second collab with Tim, obviously you guys have a good working relationship?
Yes it’s been a very busy year with releases and touring but it’s been amazing. I love working with Tim – he is not only one of my best friends, but a great producer and DJ I believe in. We have fun making music together and All I Need really shows that.
And how was the Dirtybird Campout – they always look like so much fun, the vibe, the crowds, and of course the Dirtybird crew?
Dirtybird Campout is one of the best weekends of the year. I had the honor of closing out The Birdhouse on Saturday night. The crowd, the vibe, and the crew were insane!
Often some genres feel quite soul-less, but house/tech-house etc. has such a rich history and solid crews like Dirtybird behind it, how important do you feel like having a community in dance music is?
It is so important to have a community no matter what you do. You need the community of people to bounce your ideas off of, collaborate with each other and support each other.
You’ve been in this career/industry for 15+ years now, what gets you most excited – playing shows, working on music, discovering new acts?
I love to make new music. If I am not touring, I am in my studio. The best part is really seeing how the fans react to my music and at my shows. I would not be where I am today without them. They are the best fans in the world.
With so much music available and constantly being released over the years, what’s the key to remaining relevant, even just for yourself?
I do not really think about being relevant. But just release good music I like and hope the fans will support it. I am constantly making music and putting out the tracks I really love.
Your tour schedule is pretty damn hectic, with the mental health side of DJing and touring becoming a bigger conversation, what are some tips you’ve learned over the years to keep yourself sane and look after yourself mentally/physically?
Keep a healthy body and healthy mind. And sleep! Keeping exercise and enough sleep are the best ways to keep going. Always have a gym and good bed at your hotel!
Once the trip down here is done, what’s your plans for 2019 and beyond – any chance of slowing down at all?
No plans to slow down anytime soon. More releases and more shows all across the world – Asia, South America, Europe, Africa.
And any word on what’s coming up for you release-wise?
My next releases will be on SOLA and also an EP with Kevin Knapp on Repopulate Mars coming out soon. Will Clarke, Tim Baresko and Dateless will all be releasing on my label, Basement Leak, this year as well.