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Interview with Shane 54: Touching Souls with Music

December 9, 2016 - by Molly Sinclair

Six months after trance duo Myon & Shane 54 announced their split, Shane 54 has been making big moves on his own. Though the Hungarian born artist has been releasing solo mixes since 2000, and even sang in a pop band years before, his first release after MS54 drops today - and you're the first to hear it.

Read the candid interview we had with Shane54 on creating shameless mashups, achieving goals he never thought would happen, and writing songs that touch souls.

When you announced your split as half of Myon & Shane54, you mentioned wanting to explore your own paths. What propelled the split?

It was an incredible 9 years with MS54. But things change, people move on. It was something we had to do, and going on our own ways probably did wonders to the both of us. It certainly did to me.

What are some of your most memorable moments as MS54?

Being number one on Billboard's Dance Chart with Cole Plante & Koko Laroo was a moment that is hard to match. It's one of those things you have on your bucket list, but you know it'll never happen. In terms of gigs, playing EDC Las Vegas was pretty much the best time I ever had on a big stage.

What goals are you looking forward to pursuing as a solo artist?

Songwriting is my most important goal. Coming up with songs that touches hearts and souls is so rewarding. I'm lucky. I have some great collaborators to bounce ideas off of, and we've come up with some really amazing songs so far. My goal is to listen to these songs in 10 years' time and still honestly say they sound great. I'm very proud of the material I'm making now. The journey so far has been surprisingly introspective.

We're really digging your first single, "Paradise ft. Jenny Jordan", released December 9th! Can we expect any upcoming albums and/or track collaborations?

This song has been in the making for more than 2 years. First I was supposed to sing it (I was a singer in a very successful pop band in Hungary when I was a kid), but then Jenny's performance of course made me think otherwise. It had so many shapes and forms that finding the right direction for it was difficult. But if the idea is right, the direction sooner or later becomes obvious.

I have more than an album's worth of material ready if needed. Surely the production needs to be finished, but the songs are written, vocals recorded, so I'm in a pretty comfortable position for selecting a next single, or plan out the release schedule way in advance. I've never been able to do that before.

You've kept the same moniker, Shane 54. Did you think about changing your alias at all? What was the thought process behind keeping it?

The first international Shane 54 remix was released in 2000. It wasn't even a question of keeping it.

If you had three choices right now: between ruling the underground scene, pioneering a non-dance music genre, or collaborating with any mainstream pop act, which would you choose and why?

I think all 3 scenarios sound great, it all depends on what kind of music you're pursuing or find happiness in. I think I'd love the 3rd one the best, but that's just my pop sensibility...

What is a unique interest or passion that you have outside of music?

I love to cook for my friends and family.

You're continuing the popular podcast, International Departures! What is the criteria behind the tracks you play?

International Departures is my baby. Anything is fair game. I personally listen to every promo that comes in, and whatever catches my ear gets into that week's promo folder. Once I figure out the opening track, the rest will pretty much maps itself out based on musical keys and moods. I'm shameless in terms of mashing up anything with anything regardless of styles or genre restrictions.

I'm about to unveil in episode #350, a new Megamix. I crammed 183 songs into an hour, at its most busiest, you hear 6 songs sounding at the same time, while it still makes sense. That was a big task, and honestly I went for the less obvious combinations musically, to explore less travelled paths in terms of what you can do with mashups. It was really an incredible journey. Especially the mastering which took almost 5 days to complete after the mix itself was done. And there's still a lot of space left for track count improvement next year...

How has the "trance" community changed since you started performing?

I've seen what Ultra was like in 2002, and 2007. Back then or even when I first started touring the US back in 2009, dance music was nothing like it is today. It was already reaching its tentacles into the mainstream, but it still wasn't embraced as widely as now. It was incredible to watch this rise to overwhelming everything from corporate ads to hundreds of thousands of people visiting one festival. When the first dance music boom was over, I thought it can't be any bigger than in 1998. But it became so much more than that. Cultural phenomenon is such an overused word, but it fits perfectly here.

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