Seamus Haji Interview 2014

As a DJ/producer/label owner/A&R guy, Seamus Haji has worn many hats in the dance music world. He is also one of those rare producers that can make credible underground/progressive releases (like the buzz record “Inception” with Sheldon) and remix big commercial pop songs by artists like Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Girls Aloud, and The Saturdays. It was quite a fun interview especially since I got to ask so many questions I’ve wondered about for many years.

DJ Ron Slomowicz: I’ve always wondered – with a name like Seamus, are you Irish?
Seamus Haji: My mom is Irish and my father is Indian. I was born in the mix!

RS: Someone just told me that you used to do A&R for Strictly Rhythm.
Seamus Haji: Yes, it was back in 2010. I went to work for them for a year after they split from Defected. They asked me to come aboard and sign really good club records which is what I did, but after a year they wanted to move towards a commercial direction, so we were at two different head spaces. I was about signing good underground club music and getting into events and they really just wanted to concentrate on having commercial hits so we decided to part ways. During the time that I was working for them I put Big Love on hold and have now re-launched the label. I also have a label deal with a big company in the UK called New State. They do a lot of Cream and Pacha compilations and so I am really excited about a lot of new music that we have coming up.
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INTERVIEW: Duane Harden Interview 2014 #NB4U

Nearly 15 years since the release of his first single, the classic “U Don’t Know Me” with Armand Van Helden, Duane Harden finally releases his debut solo album #NB4U (Naked Before You). In the time elapsed, he has grown into many roles – singer, songwriter, producer, label mogul, author – all of which has contributed to his current release.  The album features collaborations with everyone from Ferry Corsten, Sidney Samson, and Louie Vega to Bimbo Jones, Jessica Sutta, and Chris Willis.  There is truly something for everyone on the album.  This kind of diversity of talent is not a surprise, if you take a moment and search for Duane on discogs.com, it might blow you away to see how many incredible records he has been involved with over the years.

DJ Ron Slomowicz: Let’s start with something I’ve been wondering about.  How did the Chicane “One More Time” collaboration come about?
Duane Harden: Chicane sent me a message and it was the usual process from there. I think he may have gotten the idea from Ferry Corsten because they work together a lot and I did the Ferry Corsten track “Love Will.” It was my first dive into that genre of music, so maybe he thought it would be a cool idea to do a track with an underground, soulful dance artist.
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SONG OF THE DAY: HIIO ft Max C – “I’ll Be There”

South American duo HIIO has been making the rounds enlisting some of clubland’s finest vocalists (Abigail Bailey, Terri B, Giuseppe Viola, Lauren Rose) to sing on the tracks they’ve released this year.  For their fifth single “I’ll Be There,” they’ve brought in gospel house singer Max C (recently heard on the phenomenal “Ordinary People” with Sultan + Ned Shepard). Actually, “Ordinary People” and “I’ll Be There” share similar DNA – uplifting gospel with soulful house vocals over electro/stadium production.  There’s a classic vibe to Max C’s voice and it feels like it could have been taken from one of Strictly Rhythm’s hallmark ’90s vocal records.  The remixes are strong across the board with Muzzaik and Hoxton Whores both contributing swing-influenced house-vibed takes and John Jacobsen going in a slightly harder tribal direction.  

Image Courtesy of Strictly Rhythm.