After a transcendental experience at the Panorama Bar in early 2016, Ede decided to move…
Having started his love affair with music from a young age onwards, Sam Shure’s native talent and his ever-evolving skillset dot him one of the stand-out artists making their mark on the global scene since 2016. Pairing adventurous electronic sound design with highly harmonic, melody-driven songwriting, Sam’s output is continuously developing as he adds new textures and layers to his signature, pushing his own creative boundaries. While his tracks tend to create ‘that one moment’ on the floor when played by the likes of Dixon, Damian Lazarus, Âme, or Patrice Bäumel, seeing Sam himself behind the decks really encapsulates the essence of his artistic endeavor. When it comes to his DJ style, the charismatic Berliner channels his creative diversity into versatile sets, playing the likes of Burning Man, WooMoon in Ibiza and Tulum, ADE for Gardens of Babylon, Epizode Festival in Vietnam, or hometown gigs at Watergate, KaterBlau and Sisyphos. From LA to Moscow, London to Bangalore, or Cairo to Cape Town, Sam has put a spell on the crowd with his very own definition of contemporary club music.
Now, Sam Shure is back on Oliver Koletzki’s Stil vor Talent with the release of his ‘Malfunction’ EP, a new tour de force in his quest for time and space-transcending material. We caught up with him to learn more about the release, his ties with the German label, upbringing his sound, views on the current state of the electronic music scene, and more.
EG: Hi Sam! Welcome to EG. How have you been doing during the first months of 2022?
Sam Shure: Hey guys, thanks for having me! The first weeks of 2022 were pretty good so far. I started the year in Mexico and had some really nice shows over there. Since my return, I’ve been in the studio a lot and made plenty of new tracks. At the moment I feel super productive and inspired.
EG: Tell us a bit about your musical background. What are your first musical memories?
Sam Shure: Well, I grew up in a very musical family and know my mum used to play classical music all the time when I was a toddler, but I guess my very own memories are probably hearing my father play his instrument Oud every day. He’s Egyptian and his band called Cairo Steps is playing oriental jazz with a lot of influences from flamenco to Nubian folk. When I grew up, I started piano lessons around four years old and sung in the same church choir as my mum for some years. In general, music was omnipresent my whole childhood in one or the other way.
EG: You have been linked with Stil vor Talent since 2018. How you did meet Oliver Koletzki and how has this relationship has evolved through the years?
Sam Shure: I first got to know the label and Oliver in 2017 when they requested to license a track of mine which is called ‘Leila’ for their ‘Schneeweiß Compilation’. Back then I already really liked the label but never had sent any demo to them. I was super excited about the compilation and got introduced to him by Marcus Schroeder (Bordel des Arts) during a party at Sisyphos in Berlin. He told me he really loved the track (‘Leila’) and if I had some more demos to send him. I had some tracks ready and was stoked when Oliver replied he wants to sign two solo EP’s, which he very rarely does. Over the years we became good friends and the relationship grew through plenty of showcases and also sharing the studio at Holzmarkt since 2020.
EG: Speaking about the label, you recently released ‘Malfunction’. What’s the story with this one, inspiration-wise?
Sam Shure: The inspiration behind it came probably from many encounters and moments during last summer and from my slight change of sound lately. One specific story about ‘Sopra Il Mundo’ is actually quite cool. I was out and about in Kreuzberg last summer with a good friend and we ended up at Paul Lincke Ufer at some point. After a while, we heard that there was a singer playing her guitar near the Boul place. When we came closer, I was directly very impressed by her very special voice and we stood there for an hour and listened spellbound. When she finished I went to her, thanked her for this very nice summer evening and talked a bit with her. She just came from Italy and said that it was her first appearance in Berlin. After a while, I asked her if she would theoretically like to come to my studio. She was incredibly friendly and was very happy about the invitation. One / two weeks later she came over and we recorded the vocals for ‘Sopra Il Mundo’. I am sure that we will work together a few more times.
“I think confidence in trying out something new and the courage to step out of the comfort zone were the biggest obstacles so far”
EG: What was the process in the studio for this EP? Was it created with a particular intention in mind?
Sam Shure: My intention for sure was to make music for the club that I mostly create for a certain moment in my sets. Sometimes I am missing a certain sound on Beatport / in the promos which would work great in a specific moment of the night.
EG: Do you feel like you’ve found your sound? What makes it unique for you?
Sam Shure: After some style changes in my sound esthetic I am more and more confident with my sound. I would say it’s a mix of deep harmonies combined with rather driving drum programming, edgy effects, and dancefloor-friendly grooves. My background probably shapes my melodies in a profound way and I love to add some Anatolian scales here and there. I definitely have a lot to discover still as I am getting more and more into Modular Synthesis which is an ocean of endless possibilities to modify sound.
EG: We know you’re used to traveling and playing a lot. How does that impact your music and the way you project going forward?
Sam Shure: Traveling always was one of the biggest wells for inspiration for sure. Seeing new places, getting in touch with different cultures, and experiencing new things are amazing influences to be creative. Of course, a part of me would love to be home in Berlin more and have more time in the studio, but as much as I love some time off, I love to travel the world and play my music for as many different crowds as possible.
EG: What have been the hardest obstacles to overcome during your musical career?
Sam Shure: That’s a very good question. I think confidence in trying out something new and the courage to step out of the comfort zone were the biggest obstacles so far. Right before the beginning of the pandemic, I was at a point where I just didn’t enjoy producing ‘organic house’ anymore because I felt I was stuck somehow, and the artists I looked up to were making something completely different, a more mature sound. After a long time of evaluating if I should quit making music or starting a new project I luckily made the decision to keep on going and just sat down and learned how to produce the sound I was aiming for. It was super frustrating in the beginning since my earlier productions were mostly melodies I came up with and then recorded them organically myself or with other musicians. I had to learn from scratch how to design my sound independently to have something special. I was really inspired by a lot of artists who came up at that time like Invōker, Ditian, or Aera, who had his amazing ‘Prana’ EP on Innervisions. It took some time, but nowadays I am really happy that I had the stamina and the dedication to make a change and feel that the fun of making music is back (probably more than ever).
“I think one point where especially the male crowds need to work on is the sexualization of female DJs. I hear and read a lot that some idiots online are insulting especially women in the scene about their body size or sexually harassing them when they show more skin”
EG: The pandemic gave us this chance to pause things and reassess. And we’ve seen a lot of much-needed discussions, such as the need to make the scene a safe place again, equal pay, and so. What do you make of it all? What do you think we need to create actual change?
Sam Shure: I am actually pretty happy to see some changes already at the moment in our scene. One important step is to have more balanced female/male lineups and I am seeing more and more promoters really take care of that and a rising awareness. I also think it’s important to include diversity in other senses, such as more inclusion of trans and queer DJs. I think one point where especially the male crowds need to work on is the sexualization of female DJs. I hear and read a lot that some idiots online are insulting especially women in the scene about their body size or sexually harassing them when they show more skin. That behavior must stop and has no platform in our scene, which should be about peaceful coexistence and freedom of expressing yourself.
EG: What else can we expect from Sam Shure in the future? What new milestones are you looking forward to in the coming months?
Sam Shure: You can definitely expect a LOT of new music which I am very very happy with on some super exciting labels I make my first appearance on. Unfortunately, I can’t announce what or which in detail at the moment, but I will share it on my socials as soon as I may.
EG: Thank you for your time Sam! We wish you all the best for the future!
Sam Shure: Thanks a lot for the interview and the great questions!
Sam Shure’s ‘Malfunction’ EP is out now via Oliver Koletzki’s Stil vor Talent. Purchase your copy here.