Exclusive Interview: Shugz

We speak to a DJ & producer who has been making some serious waves in the trance scene!

Shugz has been really making a name for himself over the past few years and has gone from strength to strength in terms of both releases and live performance. After making a huge impression on the crowd at Luminosity in Amsterdam, a pilgrimage for many trance fans, we caught up with Shugz to find out more about what he’s been up to!

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Right this second, I’ve got Jordan Suckley’s Damaged radio blasting in the studio. In terms of artists in general? There are so many I just can’t get enough of at the moment… I’d be here all day naming them for you. To select a few, Tempo Giusto, Sean Tyas & John Askew are right up my street right now.

How did you get involved in trance music?

My big brother owned a set of decks when I was a kid and it all started from there. He used to let me in to sit with him and his mates when they were mixing. I was absolutely hooked in no time. I used to wreck everything back then so I was never allowed to use them. But everyday I’d sneak into his room and play the decks when he was out. It was the only way I could get my fix!

Do you have any advice for DJ’s and producers who are currently trying to break into the scene?

If you don’t produce music, start now and if you don’t mix music, start now. A lot of people say that you need to be able to make your own music to make it in the scene these days (which is probably true), but I think it’s equally important to be able to mix and play a set properly. There are so many young guys out there at the moment that can either do one or the other. Ying & Yang, nail them both!

There was a massive reaction online to your set at Luminosity, how did it feel to get a response like this and what did it mean to you to play at such an iconic festival?

What an amazing weekend. It still doesn’t feel real when I think about it. My mates and I went last year for my birthday weekend and since then I’d always said I’d never miss another one. I never could have imagined that the following year I’d be on the line-up, closing the Friday night. It was such a surreal experience and I hope to be asked back.

You’re also playing at the SWG3 warehouse in Glasgow this October alongside the likes of John O’Callaghan, Standerwick, Kearney and Will Atkinson. What should people expect from your set?

I cannot wait for this gig! I’ve heard so many good things about SWG3. It doesn’t get much better than a warehouse rave with you mad Scots does it? I’m counting the minutes. I’m not sure of my set time yet, so you’ll just have to wait & see. I couldn’t care less if it’s opening or closing though because I love playing both!

Are you going to come to the studio and say hello while you’re here?

Of course I’ll come and see you guys. Mr Kirkwood and I have already wrapped this up recently… I’ll come bearing gifts!

Do you have a favourite venue to play live?

That’s the easiest question yet… Lush! Portrush. The DJ booth is absolutely incredible! I’ve been going to Lush! since I was 16 years old and to be playing there a few times a year now is truly a milestone and a dream come true. What a club!

Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on in the studio just now?

I’ve just finished a remix this week for one of my favourite artists in the scene. It’s techy, unpredictable and driving. I’ve also been cooking another remix for a huge artist and label. This one’s a Picotto influenced, stripped back, BXR banger that I’m having an absolute ball making. I’ve a few originals getting put through their paces as well. Hopefully the end of the year will be strong for me if I can get them all wrapped up.

Do you have any gigs coming up that you’re particularly excited about?

As I mentioned above, I can’t wait for the Colours gig at SWG3. Along with that one, I’m closing Lush! on Halloween with Kearnage & I’m also playing at Trance Sanctuary in November with Kearnage. All 3 should be top notch.

What can we expect from you over the rest of 2016?

You can expect a lot more music, hopefully a lot more gigs and more catching up with you guys! Much love to SKapade!


You can keep up to date with all of Shugz’s latest releases and upcoming tour dates on his Facebook Page

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