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INTERVIEW: Sultan + Shepard

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Good! Thanks for having us on here!

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

We had just come back from a string of gigs in Vegas, and we inspired by fun, mashup records and that was where we got the idea to use this vocal. It was originally a bootleg and we played it for Showtek and they loved the idea. But the inspiration was really to make something fun and kind of throwback, and they just jumped on board and we all took it to another level.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We don’t have any plans but we’ve had a lot of different conversations about what it would look like if we did, so you never know:)

How was the recording and writing process?

It was honestly one of the most fun sessions we’ve ever done. We got inspired by so many different types of records that we loved and we poured all of those influences into this one to create a big mishmash of styles. The Showtek guys are super open and have lots of influences so it was easy to throw in lots of different references.

What was it like to work with Showtek and how did that relationship develop?

They’re great! We’ve become quite good friends since we started working with them. Sometimes when you do a song with someone, it’s kind of more like business, but with Showtek we’ve spent a lot of time hanging out, eating, and chilling together- so we’ve gotten to know them as people and they’re top guys. We originally connected because we co-wrote “Bad” (their single with David Guetta). We didn’t meet during those sessions, it was just over email, but we finally met backstage at Mysteryland and it felt like a big reunion because we had already made a big song together! After that, it was really natural for us to work more.

How much did they get to influence the song?

An enormous amount. Obviously they are extremely talented artists and producers and so working with them was a blast because they bring so much to the table both on a technical level and also a creative idea level. We were just spitting out ideas and trying so many different things together. We would be apart for a few weeks or months and do some work separately and then come back together and see what we all liked.

Having so much creative minds – how did you get to balance and work on the share of ideas?

It’s definitely different with four cooks in the kitchen! Two cooks is already tough but to be honest it wasn’t hard once we were all together in the room. Showtek are really great guys and we get along super well with them so it was never stressful. We all knew going into this collab that we couldn’t be too precious with our ideas, so it was really open minded and very free flowing. Ultimately if any one of us wasn’t into an idea, then we didn’t use it. We had so much fun in our session together that we didn’t want the details of finishing the track to be too stressful. So we found a way to come together and find our common ground pretty easily.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than on your own?

Yes definitely. The funny thing is that because there are two of us, working on music is always collaborative, so we’re very used to having ideas and sharing them and being open. That having been said, we’ve worked together for so long that we sort of share a brain, so when we collab with other people it does feel like we’re letting someone else into our world. But the good thing about working with other people is that they have completely different perspectives and will think of things that we never would. On each of our collabs, we’ve learned something because we worked with someone who worked differently than us and that’s been great.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Oh yes. We have a lot of new music coming. We actually have another song with Showtek  (we love those dudes) coming in May and then our album will be out shortly after that.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

May!

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes definitely. We’re continuing our residency in Atlantic City at Haven and then have some more shows around North America as well. Check sultanshepard.com for tour dates!

What else is happening next in Sultan + Shepard’s world?

As we mentioned, we have our debut album coming out on Armada which is really exciting. It’s got a bunch of singles that we’ve released in the last year plus a lot of new unreleased stuff. We’ve also got a movie project that we’ve been working on in collaboration with the album. We can’t say much more than that, but stay tuned cause it’s been a lot of fun!

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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