Sonic Agenda Exclusive Interview: Sharam
One half of the legendary dance duo Deep Dish, Sharam, currently released a new solo album and it continues to tell his story through a retrospective of influences going back to the days when he first discovered his love for dance music in the underground club scene of Washington, DC. Recently Sonic Agenda had to opportunity to speak with Sharam about the ‘Retroactive’ Album, being reunited with Dubfire at UMF, Corona Revolution Festival, the Boston electronic scene, and much more.
You are currently on the North American part of your ‘Retroactive Album’ Tour. How has the tour been so far? How was the Boston show?
I’m wrapping up the tour now and honestly it’s been great to be on the road this summer. Boston in particular was a lot of fun, the crowds in New England always let loose, probably because they spend half the year freezing to death. I’d never played at Ascend so it was cool to play in a new room and try out the album on their system.
Speaking of the ‘Retroactive’ album, what was your inspiration for the album? You originally named the album ‘A Warehouse” what made you change it? What was it like working with legends such as Giorgio Moroder & Daniel Bedingfield?
The inspiration for the album came from my experiences growing up and playing in the Washington, DC scene of the 90s. It comes from my love for the music of the time period, of people like Giorgio Moroder, of the new wave, Italo-Disco and of course house and the techno from back in the day. I tried to pair those sounds and influences with what influences me today, bringing past and future together retroactively. Giorgio is of course a genius and a visionary so working with him was incredible. Daniel always impresses me with his work; his ear for melody and lyrics is just unparalleled. Working with him is very inspiring.
What is your favorite production from the ‘Retroactive’ album and why?
That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! They each have their own unique story and collectively make the album what it is; I can’t choose.
You already stated you’re not waiting another 7 years to release another project. Does this mean you’re already working on the concept for the next project/album?
I already have a lot of new music in the works. The plan is to release something in mid/late 2017.
You recently posted a video on your Facebook of your set from Corona Revolution Festival and said it was the fastest any dance floor has filled up. Can you tell us about this set/festival? Nervous wreck…really?
Playing in front of a big crowd like that is always exciting; I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t really get nervous anymore. On this particular show however when I was about to go on there was no one there. There were a lot of bands playing and I was sandwiched between two bands. Then I started and the stage filled up pretty quickly. My set was 50 mins, so by the end it was incredible to see how we went from nothing to a packed house. The people at a festival like that are just there to have fun and if you know how to read them and give them what they want all will end well.
You stated that your roots are in house and techno how does it feel to see these genres at the forefront of the electronic music scene again?
It’s nice that American popular music fans are getting turned on to four on the floor dance music again, but it’s not like it was ever out of style. So you have future house and tropical house and whatever else now that is capturing mainstream attention; house and techno were always there in the underground. So it doesn’t feel like anything new to me. Everything goes through phases but house and techno (and drum n’ bass, while we’re at it) are pillars of electronic music that will stick around for a long time.
What was it like to share the stage with your long time friend Dubfire at UMF ‘15 as Deep Dish? Any chance of some new material in 2016?
Ali and I have had a lot of amazing experiences together over the years, and reuniting at UMF was definitely one of them. There’s an energy when we play together that I can’t recreate alone. It’s not better or worse, just different. I really enjoyed that set and I’m glad so many people were excited about it.
Concerning new material, I can’t say anything for sure, but we may be mapping out a new album. It’s just a matter finding the time to finish it and releasing it.
In closing you have played numerous shows in Boston at many different venues. What has been your favorite Boston experience and why?
In the early days I used to play a club called Karma and then Avalon a lot. I have many great memories from those days. A few years back when I did the Gumball race, one of the stops was Boston and we did the after party at what is now called Icon. That was really cool. I’ve also played Bijou a few times. Boston has been good to me over the years, I can’t wait to come back!