Stephen Shade

My Favourite Freaks booking agent Steven Shade talks to us about the music scene in Hamburg and reveals what it takes to get gigs.

Hi Stephen, how’s it going? 

Hey Man, thanks for having me! A long time ago, it was a dream to play in hamburg and thankfully my partner in crime Davide saw my skills and supported me. Unfortunately I didn’t start like a lot of great DJs in the world. I started 10 yrs ago with promoting drum & bass events – high five to Mathias Busse for open the doors back in those days!

I really love to create something new and supporting everybody who is nice and work hard. The scene in Hamburg is much more lovely like a lot of big cities. We got a lot of talented known and unknown artists. Of course Solomun, Oliver Huntemann, Adana Twins, Boris Dlugosch or Moonbotica are pretty famous. But also there are great minds like Metatext, Patlac, Andre Winter, Carbon, Lampe, Neal White or my best friends Innacircle, Discoschorle, Dirrtydishes, Rich Vom Dorf or Claas Herrmann. There are a lot of great producers and DJs but unfortunately a lot of them don’t get what they deserve.

Now its much more important to have a big fan base who come to the party. Almost you don‘t need to be a good producer or a good DJ. Mostly a lot of promoters look how many people you could invite to the Facebook event and how many people will come and that’s pretty sad. Of course I understand why promoters think so but I don’t feel good for all those talented artists.

Tell us about your DJ setup when you’re performing

Well I play with USB stick and Recordbox. Nothing special I love my Aiaiai tma2 headphones and almost every day I listen to new promos, demos or work on my own tracks. I got 8 playlists per gig. Like intro, dream, rough, for the girls (much more melody and vocal) outro, own tracks and hits

We heard you used to be a promoter and DJ booker 

After 10 years of promoting dance events, I decided to stop this kind of business. It was too stressful and my life was not happy as I wished it to be. Over the time, quality was not important anymore. Only young kids who burn for fame and bring a lot of friends. I worked for a few clubs as a booker. Now I‘m more a booking agent. I run Cosy with my partner in crime Davide and also I work as an assistant for My Favourite Freaks. I love to help people and to support them.

Whats been the biggest achievement,or your best party so far?

At first Flensburg. They supported me as much as they could. I really love the Flensburg crowd. Oh and playing at Fusion Festival was pretty fascinating. I enjoyed the backstage food and the backstage WiFi. For my career, playing at Sisyphos was pretty important too.

You recently founded your own label and we premiered your latest release. Tell us the inspiration behind it.

Yeah, its called Do Love, Resist Hate. It‘s pretty sad to see all the hate in my life and I think if everybody would give some more love and respect to each other, we could live in a better world. I created the label to distribute my own music and to explain the world about some mistakes like every single release got an own meaning.

What are you goals for the future and do you have any other things planned that you want to share?

Try to be happy and healthy. I’m pretty stoked to see my next EP on Tears Recordings. Also there are three remixes from Dave Sinner, Jeremy Stott and of course from Vale of Tears. I try to play worldwide and keep getting better and better, plus educate myself and find my own peace. A good friend told me: its nice to be important but its more important to be nice.

Oh yeah also there is a forthcoming release on my own label which is called Borderline. It includes three remixes by Carbon, Lampe and Martin Gruen

Finally what’s the one thing you love about this industry that keeps you hooked?

To see all those fascinating people.

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  • Mark Betteridge

    Mark Betteridge is C-U's owner and founder. C-U was formed to support up and coming artists in the underground and promote genres that were being ignored by the dance music media.