Shiba San's On A Roll

Nov 13, 2017
Shiba San's On A Roll
Shiba San has been on a roll in 2017 with standout productions and releases on Dirtybird, Repopulate Mars, and Relief as well as massive appearances at festivals such as Movement and mega clubs like Exchange LA and Echostage. Ahead of his set at the Dirtybird Players event in Washington, D.C. we caught up with Shiba San to discuss his work with Green Velvet on their Fearless EP and his close relationship with the entire Dirtybird camp.
Do you remember when you first met Curtis?
We met on stage actually when I opened a few times for Get Real. He had played my track “Okay” a bunch and loved some of my other stuff so we got to talking and became friends quickly. You know he’s very friendly and he told me that we had to make a track together. That was maybe one and a half years ago, but each time I saw him after, he kept saying the same thing.
And how did those initial conversations evolve into a four track collaborative EP?!
So I was with him in Montreal where we played the same festival. We met for breakfast in the hotel and that’s when things became really official. He had an ID he wanted me to work on, and at the same time I also sent him an ID I was working on. He responded right away and said he felt that was awesome and asked how I would feel about doing a collaborative EP. I of course thought it was amazing! Those two tracks were “Fearless” and “Chance.”
From there Curtis suggested we do another track on the EP, maybe something a bit weirder or a little different so that’s when we worked on “Rise.” And then I was feeling really inspired so I sent him another idea I had which became “Think.” So there we go, we had four tracks we were working on together for a full collaborative EP when it was supposed to just be one collab on a solo EP from me… amazing!
What’s special about working with an iconic vocal like his?
His vocal puts the track on the next level. For me, I’m French and I don’t speak English too well so sometimes I have a harder time working with a big vocal. For Curtis to deliver such a strong vocal with a message, honestly it’s not possible for me to do that by myself. So, I’m very thankful for our work together because of that.
“Chance” looks like it goes off live, so what’s the reception been like through your eyes?
“Chance” definitely works. I think maybe because it’s a little bit catchier because the vocal is four bars. “Fearless,” the beat works a lot as well. The others are a bit more underground.
“Think” has to be my favorite track from the EP, what’s yours?
“Rise” is more why I started to listen to house music – 80s, 90s, Chicago house. “Rise,” for me and I think for Curtis the same, is special because it’s a return to our roots.
Switching our focus to tonight, what makes playing Dirtybird events special to you?
Dirtybird events are always different from other shows in a very amazing way. For instance, when you do a festival, there can be several stages with many DJs across a range of styles. When people come to your set they may not really know you and for them it’s just a dance. But when you come to a Dirtybird event, all of the people coming are a fan of Dirtybird and for six hours it’s the Dirtybird sound. It’s very special. And to play alongside all these DJs and producers is incredible.
From those artists, is there one that has been particularly inspiring to you?
I listened to Justin Martin a lot when I started the Shiba San project. He was my big inspiration from the beginning.
What are two or three must play tracks or artists in your sets currently?
I play a lot of Walker & Royce, but really, I’m playing my new tracks out a lot! Yesterday during the b2b with Claude VonStroke I played a new track of mine, and on the break Claude came and checked out the CDJ to see who was on the track. He saw my name and was like, “Yeah, I want it!”
I play a lot of upcoming releases from the label Basement Leak as well. Often it just depends on which artists are releasing, like when Justin released his latest album I was playing a ton of his stuff. I guess if I had to pick one that I play most often it would be Will Clarke. Every time he finishes a track he sends it to me and it’s always a banger. I really love his stuff.
What’s on the horizon for you as we head towards 2018?
Honestly, I always try to do my best and make music I’m proud of. It’s very hard to have an expectation on music. I always work like that – I try to make the best music I can and make music that I can play. At the moment, it’s working well and I’m happy, so I just want to continue with that.
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