RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SWITZERLAND ARTIST STEVEN JAMAL
Introduce yourself and your musical history.
My name is Steven, I’m Portuguese and live in Geneva, Switzerland. I DJ and produce a house, vocal house, deep, and tech house music.
I started DJing in 2005 and I was fortunate enough to get residencies at a few local clubs. I worked my way up to becoming a resident for Deep Club in Geneva. This led to bigger opportunities and I aligned myself with Tasty Events where I played with some of the biggest names in the house scene including Simon Dunmore, Andrea Olivia, Sam Divine, Sandy Rivera, Purple Disco Machine, Franky Rizardo, Noir and plenty more. I also had the chance to play abroad and traveled to Miami to play Winter Music Conference in 2009 and 2011, as well as Tomorrowland 2016 (Brussels Airline Stand) and Defected in The House in Switzerland.
After I started producing, I signed my first track to DJ Spen’s label Unquantize Recordings and then my next two pieces were picked up by Groove People Records. This included my track Hold It which gained me a lot of exposure due to its success on Beatport. It was then that I was contacted by 331 Records who I have teamed up to release my next track This Moment.
I’ve also produced a handful of unofficial remixes which have gained plenty of momentum on Soundcloud including my remix of Disclosure & Khalid’s track Know Your Worth which has got over 390k streams.
What made you decide to pursue music?
As a teenager, it quickly became apparent to me that I wasn’t a good dancer. For that reason I decided that being behind the decks was the best place for me. I gave it a try and I immediately saw how I was able to make people get up and dance – I decided then that music was the path for me.
Name your 3 favorite Albums of all time.
Coldplay – Live 2012
Stromae – Multitude
Branko – Nosso
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Bob Sinclar – The Beat Goes On. This was my first-ever vinyl.
The music industry is such a hard industry to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?
I’ve stopped thinking about it, to be honest. If you only focus on the numbers, you lose your authenticity. I hope that by being myself and staying humble I can progress more effectively than presenting a fake persona and letting numbers dictate my choices.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Consistency is the key when it comes to social networking. I’ve realised this and am now trying to be more present on social media. I’ve just launched a new Twitch channel and will be utilising this going forward.
Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself.
I went to Roger Federer’s house for brunch.
I had after-work drinks with Steve Angelo (Swedish House Mafia).
I once slept in front of a hotel in Miami during Winter Music Conference 2009 while the hotel was burning.
What are your thoughts on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I recently saw that more than 3% of Spotify numbers are fake. It looks to me like a lot of these small artists are pulling big streaming numbers without any following or public performance to back it up. I don’t understand how there are artists out there with millions of streams that are not performing anywhere.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
I’m convinced that unicorns do really exist.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Yes. I bought myself an F1 simulator. Not a basic one either, I bought the best available.
What has been your worst experience on stage?
I was playing at Pacha Marrakech and the DJ who was on before me told me I was alright to take his USB out. I did as he said and suddenly the music stopped bringing the thousand people who were dancing to a halt.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people
I speak six languages: French, English, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish & Gujrati (an Indian language).
What makes you stand out as an artist?
Probably the way I play my DJ sets. I really do enjoy being behind the decks and seeing people enjoying themselves with big smiles on their faces. I feed off that energy it helps me create an enjoyable experience for everyone.
I hear you have some new music. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, I’m so hyped for this new track. A few months ago, I received an email from the guys in Delta Juliette 331 telling me how much they loved my work music and that they wanted to work together. They showed me so much love and support, so I sent them a track I had been working on. They loved it and wrote to me asking me to release it on their label – I didn’t hesitate for a second.
Talk us through the thought process of the new tune
It was a difficult track to write, especially after Hold It was so well received. In the beginning, I kept trying to replicate that track, and everything I came up with sounded so unnatural. Eventually, I opened up a blank project and let my images speak for themselves. It was then that This Moment became real.
What was the recording process like?
It was fast. I felt incredible and my creativity was flowing. Probably took less than a week to complete.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Of course, as a producer, I always want to change something after production has finished. You have to accept to leave the track as is and let it grow by itself.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?