Last week Shane 54 enjoyed what was arguably his biggest week of the year! On Tuesday he celebrated the milestone 400th episode of his radio show, International Departures, with a fantastic four hour special. On Friday, he dropped his third solo release, an outstanding collaboration with Jonathan Mendelsohn titled “Return To Love.” In a week deserving of more attention, we were excited to get Shane’s insights on the landmark happenings.
Jonathan Mendelsohn is no stranger to the trance scene, and we’re honestly surprised you guys hadn’t worked together before! Do you remember the first time you heard Jon’s vocal in a track and what stood out to you? Jonathan has one of those iconic voices that sounds unlike anyone else. I've always been a fan. Honestly, I have no idea how we never crossed paths, but when we did, we didn't waste too much time. He was sincerely one of my dream vocalists to work with.
What was the initial inspiration and sketch like for “Return To Love” and what made you feel like Jonathan was the right one for the track? When we met, we had a long chat about music, and our tastes are pretty similar. I sent him a demo and of course he nailed it straight away. Can you talk us through the production once Jon was on board? We were able to work out the final arrangement pretty quickly once the vocals were complete. For the final touches, I have a couple of guys that I work with closely who I trust immensely for their engineering and mixing skills: Miklos Malek and Rafael Frost. I’m so happy to have this awesome team that understands my vision and can bring these songs across the finish line. Have you had a chance to play the track live yet? If so, what was the reception like? I played it at Avalon in Los Angeles as an ID and the crowd reaction was amazing! I have a NYE show coming up and can’t wait to play it again now that fans know what to listen for. What does it mean to you to have your first solo release on Armind? It is definitely a big stamp of approval. Over the past year, with so much change in my personal and professional life, I went through an immense amount of soul searching and reflection. I feel like I’ve found my voice again and “Return to Love” is a reflection of that. To have Armin hand-pick this for release on the Armind label means a lot to me. Last week you also hit an incredible milestone with the 400th episode of International Departures – congrats! One hallmark of the show are the incredible mashups you construct, so can you talk to us about putting those together each week? Are there any favorite mashups you’ve included in the milestone episode? To commemorate getting a radio show to its 400th episode, which doesn't happen every day, I made an epic four hour mix. Of course some of my favorite mashups made a comeback, and I threw in quite a few new ones as well. Mashing up tracks is easy for me and most of it comes together on the fly. I like to keep the listener off guard. Drops get replaced, breakdowns are made longer (or shorter) and everything supports the flow of the mix.
Can you tell us a little bit about your approach putting together a mix of that size? After knowing what I want from the mix, the most important element is then the opening track. From there it’s like building anything else, laying down individual parts to complete the whole. With this mix, I wanted to cover a lot of ground – from deep dark depths to mad trance drops, and cool it down with an hour of spacey, atmospheric moods. What has you excited for 2018 and what are two goals you hope to accomplish next year? I have another single lined up for release on Zero Three in early 2018, and I already have the follow up to “Return To Love” in the bag. I've made so much music in the past few months, that all I have to do just pick the right ones for release. I can't wait.
You can buy or stream Shane 54 & Jonathan Mendelsohn - “Return To Love” on your platform of choice today!