THE 'NEW GEN' SERIES - SHAI T
Updated: May 26, 2022
From the hotbed of talent that has risen out of the Middle East, Shai T’s star burns brightly in the dance music firmament. At the cutting edge of the underground scene and with a unique sonic palette that harnesses the full gamut of genres, from deep, tech and progressive house, to forays into techno and electronica, Shai’s music paints a vivid picture of refined natural capability.
Operating out of his Tel Aviv home, Shai began his musical voyage at a young age with music always being the overriding passion for the Israeli star and a guiding force on his career trajectory. As his talent became more widely recognized, DJ performances have extended far beyond Israeli borders and he is now being renowned as an international artist in his own right performing at a host of world-famous venues.
Shai's production career has also witnessed a growing evolution over the past few years that has seen him become a first choice for booking agents and leading record labels alike. With a decades worth of music under his belt, 2018 became a catalyst in his rise to greater prominence with an appearance on the number 1 bestselling 'Summer Sol' series via the aptly titled 'Believe'.
Since then appearances on All Day I Dream, Anjunadeep, Lost Miracle and TRYBESof have all catapulted Shai to the attention of the underground music fraternity with an immaculate blend of intricate rhythms, flowing melodic lines and organic sounds. Top 10 Beatport hits have followed with the deep house vibes of 'Our Time' on All Day I Dream and the 2020 melodic house gem 'Where the Heart is' for Lost Miracle.
Sitting proudly in the top 5 Beatport Organic House artist rankings in the latter half of 2020 and deep into 2021 – Shai's foray into the newly emerging genre has seen him create a tidal wave of success ranging from 'Illusions' for the blue-chip imprint Do Not Sit On The Furniture and 'Miracles' on TRYBES through to his remix of 'Hoffnung' and his 2nd EP for Sebastien Leger's 'Lost Miracle' called 'The Last Dance'.
Continuing to lead with his undoubted talent, passion and technique Shai continues to soar as a growing force in the world of underground dance music as he weaves a magical sonic tapestry of powerful storytelling and aural splendour.
So without further to do I am super excited to introduce you all to Shai T!!
Hi Shai! We finally get to have a chat…
How are you and where are you right now?
Hello! Hello! It's my pleasure. I'm good thank you. I'm back home in between tours, trying to make the best out of it and create new music, as well as resting a bit.
So Iet's start at the beginning. What was the first album or piece of music you bought for yourself and what kind of music did you grown up listening to? Did you parents listen to anything ‘cool’?
The first 2 albums I bought were The Beatles + Prodigy. I think I was around 12 years old and I already played the guitar well. I grew up listening to different kinds of music, from rock, fuck, disco, soul and electronic. My parents had an important impact on my roots, as they used to listen to a lot of 70s groove, such as EW&F, The Bee Gees, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles and many others which all nurtured my musical environment.
How and when did you start DJing and what is it about dance music that drew you to it? Who was your favourite DJ growing up… someone you aspired to be?
I started DJ when in was 22 years old. It was exactly after I got back to Israel from a year long trip I did in Australia where I discovered the house music scene and fell in love with. I guess the fact that house music grew out of Disco and Funk made it easy (and natural) for me to feel connected to it.
I can't really name one DJ as a favourite or an inspiration as there were many from different sub genres.
How has growing up in Israel (SUCH A COOL PLACE! I love it there!) shaped your sound and career? It’s obviously known for its HUGE psy trance scene! What’s the organic house scene over there like? Can you tell our readers where to go to find the best clubs in Israel that are pushing this kind of sound?
Israel has a very nice and massive nightlife scene, especially an electronic one. It was amazing growing up in here and being surrounded by so many talented individuals although (to be honest) the organic house style is not so popular in Israel. The Israeli crowd are more into 'aggressive' and pump electronic music, such as melodic techno & indie dance, so unfortunately, there is not that much organic house music here (for now!).
When did you decide you wanted to produce your own music? Were you self-taught or did you have mentors around you to guide you?
It was around the same time that I got back to Israel from Australia that I decided I wanted to produce my own music right away! I first started teaching myself and then later on I had a private teacher for music production and sound engineering for around 2 years.
How would you describe your sound in your own words? How has your ‘sound’ evolved over the years and where do you see yourself as an artist in say a decade from now?
I would describe it as 'groovy and emotional music'. My sound has evolved like artists, we are always looking for the next thing, the new excitement, in between my style. In the future I just hope to keep on making good tunes and making people happy and passionate about my music.
So you have been in hot demand lately with releases on labels like ADID, Lost Miracle, Anjunadeep, or Trybesof. How does this affect your future projects? Does this calibre of labels create expectations that you feel you need to constantly meet?
Yes, sure. The more well known you become as an artist, the more expectations people tend to have from you and from the music you produce. There is a known saying, that its easier to reach the #1 spot then to keep staying there. So yeah, it's always about working hard and trying to make every track at that same production level or better.
Going along the same lines here I guess but you play alongside some of the world’s best DJs such as Guy Manztur and Guy J etc… How does it feel to know these guys support your work and is there anyone you haven’t yet worked with that you are wanting to?
It feels amazing, especially now that most of them have become good friends, so that in itself is a really special feeling. I'm not sure who I haven’t worked with yet but I'm always happy to collaborate with friends and big producers and DJs.
You have landed the 1# spot in Beatport’s Top100 Organic House Charts numerous times. Is this something you ever thought you would achieve starting out and what does this kind of recognition mean for a producer in terms of future opportunities?
That’s right. Well, I can't say that I had a plan to reach the situation I am fortunate to be in right now but for sure as a producer you always do the best you can with each track to get the best results possible. I'm obviously very happy that all this has happened, and yes, this recognition has definitely exposed me to bigger crowds and also created a lot more opportunities for me to get booked for shows.
Are there any other genres of dance music that interest you and that would be consider producing?
I'm always open minded. Even now, I think that I'm combining a few genres in my productions... from progressive house, to deep house, sometimes afro groove, sometimes funky or latin influences.
I honestly don’t feel like I belong to only the one genre but I'm always free to go where my vibe leads me during the production process.
What projects are you working on right now?
I'm trying to make more original tracks at the moment and some tools that I can use as bootlegs. I'm always working at trying to produce new sounds and new surprises 😊
Tell us some of the proudest moments of your career to date?
There have been so many! I can't name specific one! Perhaps some of them were in the beginning when the big name DJs started playing my music. Then reaching #1 on the charts and signing tracks on my favourite labels. Also getting my career moving forward with all the DJ bookings that followed.
Who do you show your music first before introducing it to a wider audience or sending it out to labels?
I have 2-3 close friends from the industry who I send my music to and get their feedback before I move forward with those tracks. The names of these friends are TOP SECRET secret though Bean.... but good try! 😊
Besides music, do you have other passions or talents? Can you think of doing anything else other than music?
No, I can't think of doing anything else except for music now. Although when I'm not focusing on my music I like to do sports, especially basketball and also watching Netflix Haha.
Which labels or producers do you think have pushed the musical boundaries to create unique records? Could you name some?
Ohhhh wow! There are so many! I'd say Dennis Ferrer, Frankie Knuckles and Black Coffee for sure but there are many others also. On the labels side, I'd have to say that 'All Day I Dream' have created an unique scene.
There are a lot of factors which affect the perception of an artist other than his music these days, social media for one, how much emphasis do you put on stuff like this? And what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?
We used to talk a lot about this issue a lot between us, the artists I mean etc. I can say that between my close friends (at least) we doesn’t really like the social media thing and the way it's affects our industry. It's totally creating a lot of 'fake DJs' and 'artists' BUT you can't really fight it anymore. You have to learn how to do it in your own style or otherwise you will be left behind.
I have seen you have been touring all over the last few months. Tell us about your last tour and how was it?
Yes, I've had few tours lately. I'm very happy with that and trying to make the best out of each and every tour. I want to create the best shows I can for the people that are attending. I have enjoyed almost every place I've preformed at, but I can say I have a special place in my heart for Argentina, Brazil and the city of Montreal – they are all real music lovers.
So in closing up today Shai, can you tell us what plans you have for 2022? Any upcoming collaborations/releases/events we should know about? What are you most excited about?
I just finished a remix for Guy's Lost & Found which will be out very soon and another EP which will be released in the summer with a very special (and huge!!) artist on remix duties. I'm very excited about this one!
Also, I have some really great shows on my schedule, in amazing locations and venues, so I really looking forward them also.
That's awesome Shai! Thank you so much for your time and good luck with all your future endeavours.
Thank you Bean!
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