The mastermind behind the era of booty percolating basslines and the catchy vocal one-liners that get stuck in your head for hours, Shiba San took some time to chat with EARMILK about Hard Summer, his new EP under Lee Foss’s label “Repopulate Mars,” and the state of house music today.
First arriving on the scene with his track “Okay” under Dirtybird Records in 2014, Shiba San made a swift but substantial impact on the house music scene. Even the minute and a half preview of “Okay” on the Dirtybird Soundcloud has close to 1 million plays. A f*cking preview…? Yes, a preview. Since his debut, Shiba San has destroyed dance floors around the globe, ushering in a new sound of bass filled house grooves and the iconically goofy but contagious vocals.
Shiba San had his first American festival debut 3 years ago at Hard Summer 2014, which I had the luxury of attending. Tucked behind the trees at the Whittier Narrows, flocks of people were sprinting to see the new French deep house producer that just released the tune of the year. 3 years have flown by, and here we are again, grateful to have Shiba San back on Los Angeles turf for Hard Summer 2017.
In October of 2013, Shiba San sent “Okay” to Dirtybird on their main website. Luckily for us, Dirtybird listened, and responded within a week to sign the track. This release would ultimately lead a new wave of deep house, comprised of heavy bass and quirky chord progressions, as one of the most popular genres in electronic music. As of lately, there has been a massive groundswell of tech-house and techno that has been heavily integrated into the once standing deep house scene that Shiba helped define. Being a man of many genres, Shiba San loves the integration of techno, and is amazed by the mixing of genres in today’s music. Just as “Okay” created a new era of sound, Shiba San believes “it just takes one producer to come up with something new and change the entire sound. We never know who will change it and with what sound till it happens though.”
With roots running deep in French Hip Hop, Shiba San wasn’t always the house music producer we all know today. When asked what influenced him to make the switch from Hip Hop, he indicated, “I was over French Hip Hop. I couldn’t renew my ideas and productions – so I needed to change everything. I always listened to house music, especially Chicago house, since the beginning, so it was logical for me to turn to this genre of music.” With the love of Chicago house, it was inevitable that him and the Chicago born and raised, Lee Foss, would cross paths. “I met Lee several times, playing the same stages. I like him, his style and his label(s). It was an obvious fit to propose my music for his label.” You can listen to Shiba San’s EP titled What’s On My Mind on Repopulate Mars below. What’s On My Mind still holds true to the classic rolling bassline sound that Shiba is infamous for, but adds the beautiful touch of chirpy synths, heavy high hats, and a rhythmic vocal chop to put the icing on the cake.
Although Shiba gracefully admits he loves playing everywhere he goes, Hard Summer remains dear to his heart, being that Hard Summer was the first time he played as Shiba San. “Hard Summer was the first festival I ever played in the US, and it was the first festival I played as Shiba San. It was a very special moment for me. When I played in August 2014, the tent was so packed. Gary Richards treats the DJs as family, so it’s always something special.”
Special it was... I still get the chills thinking about my time in the crowd during that first set. With so many unreleased tracks and collaborations about to be unveiled, I can only imagine the insanity of Shiba’s set just around the corner.
You can buy your Hard Summer 2017 tickets HERE