Shay De Castro – 10 Questions 2 – Techno interview

10 Questions 2 – Shay De Castro

01. Hi, Shay thanks for taking the time out to chat with us via email. Can you tell us about your music history, do you have formal training, maybe something many people don’t know about you?

I’ve never received formal training though I grew up around musicians and taught myself the guitar as a kid. I was always naturally musical and production came relatively simple I suppose, all things considered. I watched a lot of online tutorials and many producer friends really helped with the learning curve.

02. How did you get into the techno scene and what are your first memories of techno music?

I discovered techno by listening to those random Sirius music channels on the TV which isn’t some cool story but it’s the truth, haha! I was maybe 12 years old at the time and around 15 was when I started to become interested in DJing. I remember it quickly became an obsession and was literally all I thought about. All the kids in school always told me I listened to “weird” music but I kind of liked that.

03. Where do you see the techno scene in 10 years? And how do you see yourself in 10 years within the scene?

I see it similar to how it is today. The mainstream/commercial will continue growing and may even take EDM’s current spot in the future. The underground will continue to exist and thrive as it always has, and I think there will be many artists who weave between the two. As for me, in 10 years I’ll still be in techno but positioned in a much more influential spot. I have my own goals that I’m 100% certain I’ll reach, but those are for only me to know!

04. Where do you most enjoying playing? Crowdy festival places or more intimate clubs?

That’s a tough one because they are so different. You’ll play a bit different, the energy is different. Festivals are amazing because you get to affect such a large amount of people at once, which is unreal.. Energy is contagious and when it’s a crowd that large you can either create an experience they’ll never forget or one that they want to walk away from.

Intimate clubs that are packed to the brims are just as amazing, though. You have a more direct connection with the crowd. You can hear what they scream, see them smiling, be right there with them. I love those moments because only you and the crowd lived that night and it creates a special bond.

05. Do you prefer to play live/Dj or is it all about music production?

I love both equally. They’re so different but are inherently connected. When I produce music I do think about how it would work on a dancefloor, but it requires more patience and detail. You have to really love music to continue learning constantly and pushing yourself to produce on days you are feeling unmotivated. DJing admittedly has a much lower bar for entry and many people get in it because of the attention or just because they like to party. But there’s also an art to it. DJing is a blast and I get excited every time it’s coming close to going on.

06. Tell us the most proud moment in your career to date?

I’d say maybe when the Gary Beck remix of my and Nihil Young’s track “Dichotomy” made #61 on Beatport techno charts or when Amelie Lens played it. She’s just a few years older than me but I admire her energy and how well she treats her fans.

07. What music/genres do you listen to when you’re at home?

Pretty much everything. Techno and trance would be what I listen to the most, but Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Caifanes, Lana Del Rey, DIIV, Heart, Cypress Hill and more make frequent appearances. I love big band, reggaeton, mariachi, grunge rock, indie rock, oldies from the 60s and 70s…it just depends on my mood.

08. Normally at this point in the interview, we would ask “What parties and festivals should we not miss this year?”
But, unfortunately with the Corona Virus pandemic that’s happening all over the globe right now, we want to ask you how you are doing personally and professionally, how are your family and friends doing in these difficult times and how badly has it affected your gigs for the upcoming weeks/months?

I’m doing okay, which I’m thankful for. It’s definitely been stressful but it’s manageable. My personal life is split between 2 countries and it’s hard to “choose” one or the other as right now they’re closing borders left and right. But I have faith this will work out and we’ll come out more aware and stronger. It’s definitely hit some of my friends pretty hard. A couple of bars/restaurants I worked at a few years ago have now closed, countless friends and family members have lost their jobs.

As I’m from the US I feel it’s a personal responsibility of mine to mention how terrible the healthcare system is in my country and how many people go into debt trying to get help for relatively simple problems. I feel that finances or inadequate resources should be the last thing anyone has to worry about in situations like this and hopefully, this draws attention to where the weaknesses are in these systems all around the world and how we can improve. I don’t want to say “luckily” for me, but I’d decided to take a break until May from gigs to solely focus on production and my mental health and it just happened to coincide with this epidemic. So I didn’t have to worry about canceling anything but I do have gigs in May planned so hoping those workout.

09. Do you have any does or don’ts regarding tips to upcoming talents?

If you’re a producer I recommend really figuring out your sound and the labels you’d like to sign on. It’s better, in my opinion, to work on your skills to get them to the level they need to be to sign on the labels you want than sign to a billion others just to have released. As far as everything else goes it really does pay off to be professional and make sure you treat people well. If you’re doing your own bookings you’re setting your fee so make sure you’re not charging too much but also that you’re not undervaluing yourself. Talent buyers all talk and if you’re charging one a super low fee you can plan on charging everyone that price. Also, if someone is trying to lowball you they’re just going to be a hassle to work with 9/10 times so you’d be better off just not accepting.

If you can get on a reputable booking agency then this is ideal. I recommend working with each other for a test period before you sign any contracts so you know they’re true to their word and so they know that promoters really want to bring you to their parties. However, “reputable” is the key here. There are countless agencies that are very shady and scammy, so be wary.

Shay De Castro

10. Can you tell us more about your plans for the coming 12 Months? Do you have any new productions/collaborations projects?

I am working on an alias which is very different from my Shay De Castro project. However, it won’t be ready to make its way into public until close to the end of the year I think. I currently have some exciting releases in the pipeline on some of my favorite labels so I’m really looking forward to you guys hearing them! Or even better, I hope to play them for you life! More importantly, I am sending my best wishes to everyone and if I can help in any way don’t hesitate to shoot me a message.

Thanks for having me!
Shay de Castro



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