Introduction 155

"The first track of my set is my new track 'Reputation Matters', after which I included a selection of tunes from friends and artists I respect. Towards the end of I aim to show the direction I want to take my sound in the near future."


Hey Steven, welcome to the DKJ Introduction! You're one of those artists who's hard to get around in Berlin with many noteworthy collabs, regular gigs in the best clubs and activities beyond being an artist like running your own agency. To start our interview, do you have any advice for upcoming artists on how they can establish themselves in the local scene?

"Hey Lovers, cheers, well, it's mostly all about hard work, social behavior, credibility, knowledge and at least luck. If you keep going with your passion and try to find the balance of being a dope underground artist while working on your own success, the future could be yours.

When you start DJing with underground music, it takes time to get booked—sometimes even years. Don't stress yourself or bombard everybody with self-promo content on social media. Instead, use the time to educate yourself, practice every day, dig into music, connect with other people in the scene, and work on your profile. If you do it right, promoters will book you."

What inspires you?

"I've been part of the underground scene since my first rave when I was 15 years old. I came from the early Psytrance, Drum & Bass, and Dutch Hardcore (Gabber) scene around 2006. Schranz was a major thing, and it was also featured on TV. I witnessed all the changes from Schranz to Minimal Techno, to Deep House, to Melodic Techno, to Peak Time Techno, and now back to Schranz and Hardtechno. One of my biggest loves is Drum & Bass and UK-based music. My inspirations come from Drum & Bass and Psytrance - mostly, I try to rebuild sounds, sample sounds, or use Drum & Bass samples.
For me, music is always something without boundaries. Nothing sucks more than copying another copy from a copy."

How do you get into a creative flow?

"I usually record sounds or look for new samples to create a small idea. I work with three more producers who help me with my productions. For my Steven Shade Project, Flanko is my co-producer, and sometimes Heerhorst also joins in. My good old friend Ackermann is my Master engineer."

How do you stay focussed in a world of constant distraction?

"I don't watch TV or read newspapers like Bild. Instead, I prefer to focus on myself and what feels good. On the other hand, I am fortunate to have the best friends and a supportive family in my life, who are always there for me and provide a safe space."

What is sacred to you?

"My health and my mental power. I've been straight edge for 6 years, and I've never felt happier. I believe in the good of a person and love connecting with strangers. Meeting everybody, learning from each other, and having a super nice connection with respect is truly meaningful to me."

Who will considerably give direction to the scene soon?

"Nothing is more powerful than the youth. They decide what's coming up and what the new hype is. As you can see now, during the corona pandemic, there was a generation switch, and now the clubs, promoters, and bookers have to learn and understand the new generation."

What is your opinion on success?

"If you can work in this industry with people who have specialist knowledge of their work, are reliable, punctual, and ultimately stand by their words, then you have the best chance of achieving your own success. Collaboration with skilled and dependable individuals creates a strong foundation for growth and accomplishment."

What can we expect from you in the near future?

"I will release a new track at the end of August on my own label, "Do Love Resist Hate." Additionally, I'm thinking about going back to my roots with techno and producing more groovy and funky stuff."


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