INTERVIEW: Shaun Frank @ Bestival Toronto

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I had the pleasure of sitting down with one the biggest local producers in Future House, Shaun Frank, who was extremely humble and showed a great sense of passion for contributing to the Toronto scene. Shaun has worked with credible artists like Borgeous, Vanrrip, and Oliver Heldens, and has been featured on huge record labels Dim Mak, Universal, Armada, and many more. Being active in the EDM scene since 2012, his collaborations are extremely plausible in such a relatively short amount of time, and yet it was refreshing how down to earth he presented himself. Check out the interview below!

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EDMTOR: Who is your Favourite Toronto producer at the moment?

SHAUN: I have two. Hunter Siegel is one of my best friends and he’s taught me a lot about Djing. Such a great producer and he has great tracks coming out. There’s a new guy named Action coming out, I actually played one of his tracks today. He’s been hiding his music from everybody but when he comes out I think everybody is going to be pretty impressed. It’s awesome.

EDMTOR: Anyone on the Bestival lineup you’re really looking forward to?

SHAUN: Flume. I’ve never seen Flume so I can’t wait for that. I’m also pumped to see Florence & the Machine whom I’ve never seen. One of my favourite vocalists, especially on the dance records she’s done.

EDMTOR: How did your new single All About come to be?

SHAUN: All About came from a hangout session with these guys Vanrip. They are actually from Toronto as well. We had these chords and the one guy started singing really high and I was like, ‘dude your voice is incredible, can we record this right now?’ We grabbed the mic and had him sing it. We cut the track all around that vocal. It’s actually him, there’s nothing done to his voice. That’s just how he sounds.

EDMTOR: Delaney Jane is a gem of a vocalist and I know you’re quite close with her. Do you guys have any more tracks planned for the near future and do you think your friendship strengthens the music you create?

SHAUN: Yeah! We spend a lot of time together, we write a lot of music. It started off where she wanted to get into dance music and sing on tracks. So I started writing some stuff with her. Then last summer we wrote This Could be Love and it became a pretty big track, but it also became a big part of my sound. So we’re doing a lot together. There are more tracks coming out. There’s actually two more that we’ve already got done that will be released later this year. And Delaney is getting so good with her vocals. It’s awesome so watch her grow because she moved to Toronto to pursue this and it’s definitely happening for her.

EDMTOR: What’s your favourite Toronto venue?

SHAUN: The Hoxton. I’ve had so many good nights there. The after party tonight there is going to be pretty crazy. A lot of surprises I’m sure.

EDMTOR: Who would you like to collaborate with that you have not already?

SHAUN: There are three artists that I’ve really wanted to collaborate with. There’s Oliver, I think one of them is from Vancouver and one is from Los Angeles. I think they have one of the best sounds out there and the mix of our styles would be just crazy. Porter Robinson and Mat Zo would be huge. I’d love to get into a musical situation with those guys for sure.

EDMTOR: Where do you get your inspiration from for the retro vibes that you make?

SHAUN: I don’t know! It’s weird too because a lot of people compare my music to soul. I didn’t really listen to soul music but there’s something about those kind of chords that just… strikes a chord with me, no pun intended. But I usually just start with chords on the piano, and I guess that’s really what’s been coming out lately. I think it really fits with the house here, like the UK vibe I’m trying to bring to it. I didn’t want to do just straight underground stuff, I wanted to make music that’s a bit more melodic. That was the most fitting kind of style for me.

EDMTOR: I think you play the more true side of EDM that’s focused on quality beats over making profits that target a larger demographic. Would you say this side of the deep house spectrum is like a movement where people take refuge in?

SHAUN: Yes! For me, quality is the most important thing. To be honest I’ve put out one track that I’m not proud of. I’m not going to say which one that is but that experience was so disheartening for myself. I know I can do better and it puts a lot of pressure on me. I really want to make sure that everything I put out is just amazing. I want to make sure I love every single thing I put out because if I love it then there should be other people out there that love it too.

There’s also this more obscure deeper house that’s coming out right now… there’s a lot more wiggle room and there’s a lot more places you can go with it. That’s really exciting for me because I’ve never wanted to only make one style. If you check out my Soundcloud you’ll see I do kind of veer and sway through the genre. It keeps it interesting for me. And that’s why I love collaborating because I get to bring someone else’s musical flavour to the table and put my musical spin on it.

EDMTOR: Is there a specific goal you have set for yourself where you’ll know you’ve made it as a Producer? Like playing at Bestival for example?

SHAUN: It’s funny because every time I hit a goal, it’s not enough for me, at least. I always want to do more. I think the first time I land on the main stage at some big festival like Ultra or TomorrowLand and have the crowd singing one of my songs back to me, that would be a big milestone I’d love to hit.

EDMTOR: Can you see yourself putting together an album, which is almost unheard of in this subgenre of EDM?

SHAUN: 100%. I’d love to make an album. I’m going to spend the next year and a half just putting out as many singles as I can of stuff I can back. I want to build up more awareness for what I do. I think once when I have the fans to do it, I’d love to show them what I’m capable of beyond the club music and make an array of stuff that exempts a piece of art. I’ve made albums in the past actually. I used to be in a band and I kind of miss that. But I also love this fast paced ‘make a track and put it out’ thing. So I’m enjoying that for now and when it’s time I definitely think an album is something I would do.

EDMTOR: Do you have anything to say to your Toronto fans?

SHAUN: Toronto, you are literally the best music city in the world. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and nothing is like home. So thank you and keep supporting the scene.

Shaun wasn’t kidding when he said he had a couple of tracks ready to be released already. Shades of Grey released soon after Bestival, and it’s perfect for the summer. It has been sitting at #1 on the Beatport charts for the past 2 weeks. His streak of success continues and I love that this guy is all about the local scene. It’s something we greatly share in common. Keep your eyes peeled for this amazing artist, whether it be him popping up at The Hoxton or his tracks on the radio, he’s everywhere and his music will find a way to get stuck in your head.

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Serafina Thoma – EDM TOR

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About Author

It has been since late elementary school when Serafina Thoma came across artists like Benny Benassi, Ratatat, and Daft Punk and instantly bonded her soul to electronic music forever. Throughout high school, her taste in EDM expanded when introduced to artists Pendulum, Skrillex, Glitch Mob and Justice through various groups of friends over the years. She is an OSHEAGA 2012 veteran, a Veld 2013 warrior, and is an Electric Forest 2014 enthusiast. She uses her vast skills in writing, multimedia, and social media to be as vocal as possible about her opinions of new tracks, shows and albums. She'll make sure to speak her mind openly and honestly. Her knowledge in the scene continues to grow throughout many encounters and experiences in the Greater Toronto Area. Serafina and can be seen jammin' often at the back of The Hoxton to deep or electro house.

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