Newport Beach native and live electronic music artist, SHADED, talks about his evolving sound design, the performance high versus studio high, challenging aspects of this creative lifestyle, advice he'd give his younger self, and more. With a unique sound variously described as textured, syncopated, synthy, funky and with constant driving bass, SHADED is an artist genuinely dedicated to his craft, constantly developing and one not to miss. You can check him out this Thursday, May 30th at One Loft here in Toronto. Enjoy getting to know SHADED!

Can you tell us about your evolution in terms of sound design and production over the past few years to where it is today? What’s made you evolve artistically?

I guess I initially hit the scene five or six years ago pushing a minimalistic techno approach that was very inspired by what was happening in Europe. It was very much 'me' in terms of my identity, but looking back it still wasn’t 100% what I wanted to represent. In the last 3 years I have spent so much time in the studio, yet not released that much music. The reason is I have been trying to figure out what is next for me sound wise. I hear all the current trends and I see what works, and I turn and run away. It just turns me off when I see certain sounds trending and everyone hopping on board trying to add their own twist. So, for me its just a matter of completely unwrapping the pretzel and re-wrapping it my own way. My sound has morphed slowly into where it is today, and I could not be happier. This is my process, and I am happy with where it has led me thus far.

What excites you most about performing? And being in the studio?

The performing high for me is testing my new music on juicy sound systems and seeing the crowds’ reactions. My studio high comes from writing pumping loops. Just laying down bass lines with simple synths and syncopated percussion rhythms… I could do it all day.

What are the most challenging aspects of this lifestyle?

The mental side of it. People talk about mental health a lot, and for good reason. The pressure is high to deliver, especially on the production side. Everyone wants hits, big tunes, summer anthems. I am a live show, so I am constantly writing music for myself to play, so that pressure of constantly creating can be intense. Luckily I enjoy it so much, and can write music relatively quickly, so it helps. But still, it can turn into a never-ending loop if you don’t ground yourself and really enjoy the process.

Is there any advice you’d give to yourself looking back from where you are today to when you started?

Really take care of yourself throughout the process of this career. The last year of my life I finally became aware of my aging body haha. I guess it is a natural process getting to where I am now, and no one can really advise you on your own lifestyle, but it is a very empowering thing when you grasp the magnitude and importance of exercise and recovery. Exercise and health are essential to longevity, no matter how young you are. You can lose sight of that with all the travel and such, but it is so important to remember that without your health you are nothing.

Are there any producers you're really digging lately, especially ones many of us might not have heard about?

I am waiting to see the next kid that blows my mind. That stuff gets me so inspired. But I have yet to hear some thing, at least for my taste recently, that triggers that feeling in me. There are a couple well known producers that hit the button, but I can not wait to hear a kid come along and give me that WTF moment.

What’s next for you?

Trying to wrap up another new three hour live show. Trying to finish all the music by the end of 2019. I will be expanding my current live set up gear-wise, and hopefully adding a visual show to the mix as well. I am most excited about this!

Thank you so much to SHADED for the time and insight!

Check him out this Thursday, May 30th at One Loft Toronto! Click on the flyer below for details and ticket info.

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