Shadi Megallaa Interview

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This time we wanted an interview from a really special artist that struggles to give the scene his unique music and attitude. Shadi Megallaa lets us know about his upcoming album, about Igloo-Pop, LoMidHigh Unlmtd., netlabelism, living in Switzerland, James Brown and the new live-act he’s working on. Follow us in this journey that highlights an underrated musical genius known as Shadi Megallaa .

1: Hello Shadi, how are you?

Hello, helloooo.. we’re at a place called Vertigoooo! Sorry about that. A lil U2 just popped into my head. I’m fine thanks! Been better but I’m healthy and still have all my limbs intact. Thank God.

2: You live now in Switzerland, can you tell us more about the scene there in general? Is there a place or an artist I should’ve heard of until now or one that you want to attract my attention to?

Well, I’m currently in the Middle East to sort some things out, but I’ve been living in Switzerland now for over a year and a half and sometimes it feels like noone knows I’m there. I live with my girlfriend and her lil boy in Wetzikon, which is about 25 mins by train to Zurich. The thing with Zurich is you constantly need to be out and about and mingling with people, and when I don’t have gigs I’d rather be in the studio making music. The downfall there, is that I don’t get much gigs. Without the gigs I don’t have the money to get there. So it’s a chicken egg situation. Just find it hard being accepted in the Zurich scene and even more difficult to get gigs. The scene itself tho seems to be doing well. The audiences in Switzerland are supppper receptive and know how to party. There’s plenty of parties but my fav ones have always been the open-air after-hours that take place on Sundays. As far as artists are concerned I’d say Michal Ho, Kalabrese, Pompelmoessap, Bang Goes & Canson are the first to come to mind. You should also check out Inna Crisis & (Dub Spencer & Trance Hill) they make fantastic Dub/Reggae!

3: You’ve been quiet lately, so I guess you had some busy days in that crafty studio of yours, will we be able to see / hear some of the materials that came from that work in the near future?

I hope so, thats the whole point actually. Unfortunatley it’s this aspect of the whole industry that I seem to be terrible at. That and promoting myself. I just reached a point where I realized that I was enjoying listening to a very broad range of music and it seemed to me like “mnml” techno started to get really stale. I would go out but it was all sound the same to me the whole night. I thought if I heard another track with “tikitkiktiki” I could cry! So I thought it might be a good time to work on my debut album which I recently finished. Its basically after after after hours music. It will be coming out on Igloo-Pop, a new sublabel by Igloo and an EP with remixes will be coming out on Lomidhigh Unlmtd. I’ve also been doing a lot of collaborations with ma main homie Michal Ho as well as jamming with funkateers such as STB, Sarna & once again Michal Ho. We’ve got a little project on the side. We only met once but managed to put together 4 tunes in that one evening! We’re bringin back the funk babyyy!

4: I understood that you’re also working on improving your live act. Heard something about a guitar included in the setup. So, what’s with the guitar, Joe? 🙂

I’m sorry Joe’s not here at the moment, but I’ll be glad to answer that question for you on his behalf. The reason I haven’t played live so much is because I have yet to find a formula where I can really have full control of my sound at every given second. I don’t wanna be a phony live act who just plays their tracks in Ableton. That’s not the idea of a liveset. I am getting closer and closer to setting up my liveset the way I want but the problem I keep running into, is that I have a lot of little details in my music, some things that just happen once in the track. The guitar idea initially came about because its hands on and thats a big part of a liveset. Also gives something more to the audience as opposed to a skinny guy, a laptop and a controller 🙂 I’ve also picked up a few things while making the album. I don’t want to force it tho, so when the time comes and it fits in the liveset as well as the overhead cabin in a plane then I’ll do it 🙂

5: You seem to travel a lot, have you not found the right place for you, one you can call home, musically speaking ?

Well not as of yet, and that is what I find tiring. Then again, I guess that could be a neverending quest. I’m not so concerned so much with travelling from city to city for a period of 2-3 months. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Zurich, just hope to be more involved in the scene there. I would prefer to be resident at a club and play there week in and week out. I think in a situation like that you can have a party that feels like a family. People would know what to expect from you and you from them. I think that would be the ideal situation. As for me I’m finding that hard because they aren’t ready for the music I play and make in the Middle East, and with my Egyptian passport it is very difficult for me to travel around. I’ve gotten some great offers, like to play in Russia for example but haven’t been able to aqcuire a visa in time. You could say I’m too East for the West and too West for the East. Who knows that the future holds so I guess time will tell.

6: A few weeks ago, I spoke with Daniel Lyons about a project that you have with him : LoMidHigh Unlmtd, can you tell us more about this? When should we expect to be the first release, what artists will there be on it and so on?

Daniel Who? I’ve never heard of that fella! Jokes.. jokes. Ahh Danny boy you know I love ya! Well initially the label was created by Daniel and I with the intention of releasing full length albums. The whole idea was to present fresh & exciting music. To have a label that doesn’t just release a certain genre of music but one that fuses lots of different genres to give you something new in the end. Along the way we have found it very hard for distributors to take on a project like that, so instead we have combined forces with our Argentinian monkeys at Igloo where all our dreams can be realized. The full length albums will be released on Igloo-Pop and we would release the singles with remixes on vinyl through Lomidhigh Unlmtd. First we will be releasing Monotax’s debut album, which is an outtergalactical band consisting of Dilo, Zooey a.k.a. Pablo Heredia & Imi. The first single on Lomidhigh Unlmtd will contain 2 of the Monotax tracks with remixes by Jay Haze and Ernesto Ferreyra. The next album will be mine, but we haven’t decided on remixers yet. Thats all we have lined up so far as we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Both labels are still toddlers and learning how to walk.

7: Can you sum up in a few words the benefits or the disadvantages that the netlabel scene is bringing today to the music scene, as I know you had some releases in that way?

I’ve done a lot of netlabel stuff simply because I want to get my music to people. I got really tired of having to wait for months till an EP came out and by that time you’re making much better music anyway. So its kind of bitter-sweet in most cases. With netlabels the music gets out to people while its still fresh. The only bad thing I can see with netlabels is that the artists don’t get paid, and in my case I know that it definately would have helped me a lot, but thats just the way it goes. I still think the disadvantages are almost invisible if you put them next to the advantages. Jay Hizzle, if you’re reading this. PLEASE BRING BACK TEXTONE!

8: Your music seems to be influenced by a various spectre of genres, so, my question is what genre do you think is most suited for your style?

I wouldn’t say that there is one genre that is more suited for my style. Just glad I’ve pinned down my own sound because today that is the only thing that sets me apart from anyone else. The only thing is that my sound isn’t “peak-time” music. I like heady music. Its a combination of all the music I listen to, but I’m a very very big fan of funk & dub music. My music isn’t dubby as such, but the influence is definately there. Lately I have been bitten bad by the Funk bug. Once I truly discovered George Clinton and his Parliament-funkadelic circus there has been no turning back. A lot of the Parliament members are ex members of James Brown’s band and James was the funkiest cat out there. Its all on the ONE!

9: Classic question time now … what can you tell me about the romanian scene? Have you had any contact with it at all? Some romanian artists whom music you like maybe?

Well, all I know is that the scene is definately getting big over in Romania with Luciano and Ricardo playing there regularly. As far as productions go I liked the EPs Rhadoo & Pedro released on Cadenza as I’m a fan of that deep organic sound. Another arist that I’m aware of is Boola who has recently released an EP on Lomidhigh Ltd. Even though I don’t know much about what’s going on, its definitely refreshing to see a local community all getting bitten by the bug. It definitely gives hope for electronic music worldwide.

10: Besides making music and partying, is there another hobby that tingles your senses?

I was once an athlete you know. Once upon a time. I played volleyball, football, and basketball in high-school, but basketball was definitely the sport for me. Although, thanks to dub music my lungs don’t hold up as much as I’d like 🙂 Mostly I’d say I love to spend my time with my girlfriend and relax, and eat her amazingly incredible food. She is a cook of the highest order.

11: As a last question… how many downloads did your release on the Igloo net-label had?

Actually I have no idea. I could ask Dilo, but everytime we talk we’re too excited to make new music and hear each others new music that we never get to things like that. I suppose if I was gettin paid from it I would have been more curious, but just as long as it reaches people that’s all I need to know. I’d also like to add, hope I didn’t come off as negative in this interview but its just a tough time right now making money from music and getting a lot of pressures to do something else which makes it hard as there’s nothing else I could see myself doing and loving as much as making music and playing it.

Thanks for the interview and remember kids, don’t fake the funk!

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Written by pessh

July 22, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Posted in interviews - en

2 Responses

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  1. Shadi is a bomber..shadi is a massive producer very creative and very profesional
    ALSO!! a very good guy very good friend



    July 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm

  2. let’s make a campaign about textone!


    July 28, 2008 at 4:48 am

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