The last three years in Ibiza have seen Darius take on a busy weekly residency for Do Not Sleep hosting the full season at Vista Club in 2015, Space Ibiza in 2016 and back at his Spiritual Ibiza home Sankeys Ibiza in 2017 all of this alongside recording an Essential Mix for Radio 1 and all the while continuing a busy international touring schedule.
A true workaholic, Darius Syrossian has been living, breathing, playing and producing house music for all of his adult life. Having worked 14 years in a record shop, he has a grass-roots knowledge and understanding that has helped him rise to the very top of the global pile. Having played gigs at every major club and festival in every continent, he has also produced & released music on a host of the biggest record labels out there, with his most recent work in 2017 appearing on taste-making labels such as Snatch, Wow, Circus and Cuartero´s Sanity. He´s also released the huge track ´Made in Manchester’ on Alan Fitzpatrick´s We Are The Brave and let´s not forget his highly anticipated production on the Do Not Sleep label with Steve Lawler.
Firstly congratulations of the announcement of your new imprint Moxy muzik. How will you be launching this project?
The label will be launching in the summer, it will be both vinyl and digital formats, and the purpose of this label is to show that music can be quality and have some depth yet be made for the dance floor. There is so much awful Tech House out there right now but music for the dancefloor doesn’t have to be generic like this. The first few releases feature artists like Doc Martin, Christian Burkhardt, Phil Weeks, Man Power, East End Dubs, Tommy Vicari Jnr, Shaf Huse and of course lots of my own music. I’ve made some of my best stuff ever and excited to put it out there.
You are coming fresh off the back of a huge E.P on Hot creations. So we should ask what is your studio practice like?
Its in my Manchester home, and I use quite a bit of hardware, Roland and Korg stuff mainly. To be honest its not one of those state of the art soundproofed studios, I know how to use the kit and have done for years. When I need a track mastering I hire a studio where I can go use the kit you just cant have in your home to master. Everyone always asks me how i get my tracks to have such a killer kick drum – I think this is the reason, coming from hardware and the way I master tracks.
What is more important when working on tracks, melodies or the beat?
Well house and techno is something that taps into the human instinct of dancing to the beat of the drum! That repetitive beat is something that humans connect with going back to being in the mothers womb and the heart beat… so for me I try to have strong focus on the beat and the rhythm, and then the bassline is the soul of the track. I don’t think melody is the main focus on my sound because I’m not making pop songs, if that makes sense.
Do not sleep is a permanent fixture in your schedule, do you think that working your own parties gives you an edge as a DJ/producer?
Do Not Sleep is a team effort between Neil Evans, Lisa Barraclough and myself. Those guys have massive history in the industry working with some of the biggest DJs and clubs for the last 20 years or so. We just wanted to start a party that was no frills and focus solely on the music, right now when so much is about confetti cannons and props. We just want to have that old skool vibe of a dark room, ace sound system and good music. In ibiza we have been a kind of nomadic party, moving venue every summer to show we can take our vibe anywhere, we did Privilege 2015 which was insane, then the last year of Space Ibiza we did 19 shows! Again incredible and last summer was Sankeys Ibiza, we have been asked to work with another club this summer which is one of the biggest iconic clubs of the island, and again we will bring our vibe to the venue.
What other projects are you working on right now?
I have just started a monthly show on RINSE FM and as I mentioned I’m launching my own label. I’m producing of course for other labels and have a vinyl and digital release coming on Moon Harbour, a track which was made solely on hardware alone, its called Hammer.
I’ll be touring with Do Not Sleep, including a 5 hour set in San Francisco with DNS coming up. I’m doing remixes too and planning the shows for the summer, so pretty flat out, infact I’m doing this interview on a flight to Italy for a show tonight.
You have your roots in record shops and DJ culture, how has it been making the steps from selling and playing music to making music for people to sell and people to play?
Well I was always djing when i was running the record shop but not internationally like I am now. I think it definitely helped me become a better DJ spending every day 9 to 5 selling music to other DJs, and seeing how others see music and what makes others FEEL music.
So now when I have a crowd in front of me I read the crowd so much better, which is one of the main skills I think of being a good DJ.
What would you say defines the success of a DJ/producer?
Making music or playing music that you can see connects with the crowd it was made for, simple as that. Its not about top100 charts or best DJ awards or any crap like that. Music is art and if you have a SOUND of your own that is made from the heart and you see that sound connect with people? Then that’s success!
I don’t believe in playing big tracks to get a crowd reaction is being true to your art. If you are doing that you are just a party DJ and there’s thousands of DJs like that in all the commercial wine bars every weekend. If you look at all the Djs and artists who have been around for years and are respected? They have their OWN sound, Sasha, Derrick Carter, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Sneak, Digweed, Louie Vega.
Its easy to be hype DJ for a few years, there are so many acts who pop up and the press hype them as they need new people to praise!
But the secret is to ride this wave and if you are still relevant and have fans who come truly for your MUSIC and not because the press hyped you up then you know thats success and you have connected and there are people who like YOUR sound.
What advise would you give to any young producers coming through the ranks right now?
I would say stay true to what music you like, don’t make music to fit in with any fad, fads come and go! I broke through making house music inspired by the Chicago sound, at the time, it wasn’t really cool at all, it was all about minimal and then that god awful slow nu disco fad era, haaha! I didn’t care, house and techno is always relevant I thought as thats where all other sub genres and fads come from. And what would be great to hear was that at gigs I started hearing lots of people say, we know a Darius production when we hear one. Which made it all worth while for me, so try not to be another act making the same music as everything else thats out there to fit in with the latest fad.
What is next for you?
The gig in Italy tonight, then Monday in to record my next RINSE fm show, Tuesday meetings with the DNS crew about plans for all the shows in the coming summer. We have a big announcement about to drop so stay tuned.