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Shai T: “My romance with electronic music has become bigger and stronger over the years”

From the hotbed of talent that has risen out of the Middle East, Shai T’s star burns brightly in the dance music firmament. At the cutting edge of the underground scene with a unique sonic palette and an ability to harness the full gamut of genres, from deep, tech, and progressive house, to forays into techno and electronica, Shai’s music paints a vivid picture of refined natural talent.

Operating out of his Tel Aviv home, Shai began his musical voyage at a young age, as A multi-instrumentalist and accomplished performer, music had always been an overriding passion for the Israeli star and a guiding force on his career trajectory, almost “like the universe pushed me there…”. Consequently, Shai quickly found himself performing across the local scene as a headline DJ for the city’s leading nightclubs.

As his talent became widely recognized, DJ performances have extended far beyond Israeli borders as Shai became a renowned international artist performing at a host of world-famous venues. Thus, global performances across the continents have seen Shai T’s talents behind the decks sparkle in a career that continues to gather pace on a steep upwards trajectory, supported by an ever-growing legion of fans.

The ‘Miracles’ EP on the ever-reliable TRYBESof continued Shai’s supremacy at the end of November with another number 1 Organic House hit for the title track. Companion track, ‘Storyteller’, completed a clean sweep for the EP as it sat alongside at number 2.

Continuing to lead from the front in an unprecedented and challenging time for the music industry, Shai T’s undoubted talent finds him establishing a host of new and exciting projects over the coming months. Passion, talent and technique place him as a continued and growing force in the world of underground dance music as he weaves a magical sonic tapestry of powerful storytelling and aural splendor.

We caught with Shai T to talk about his latest musical projects.

Electronic Groove: Hi, Shai! How are you doing? We’re excited to have you here with us today. Where are you based right now? What is the situation looking like over there?

Shai T: Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m based in Israel. I used to live in the city of Tel-Aviv for many years, but lately, I moved back to the original place where I grew up, which is like a small town. Quite and full of nature around.

The situation in Israel at the moment looks better than other countries, as 5.5M people already got the vaccine, and numbers going down, even the economy has been totally open, So hopefully, we are on our way to normal life again soon.

Electronic Groove: So, you’ve been quite busy these past few years with a meteoric rise. How has the pandemic affected your schedule? Has it changed your vision, or has the whole situation have any effect on your sound and how you perceive and consume music?

Shai T: Well, indeed the last few years have been important and successful for me with my music, I can feel it in many aspects around me, and it makes me very happy. Honestly. 2020 felt like the year I am going to take another few steps up. I felt the movement and my schedule was already nice with gigs, but the pandemic freezes the situation around.

Yes, this situation with the pandemic brought some thoughts into my head, like “Why now?” but, as a musician that produces music for more than 10 years, and kept on doing it, even when I was not successful, means that music for me it’s not just a business, but a way of life which I can’t quit from – So, my vision on music has not been changed cause of the pandemic crises.

Electronic Groove: Speaking about your music…You’ve been in hot demand lately with releases on labels like ADID, Lost Miracle, Anjunadeep, or Trybesof. Was this something you had as a part of your ‘blueprint’? Does this become a sort of ‘burden’ and create expectations that you have to constantly meet?

Shai T: I’m very happy to be a part of the labels you have just mentioned, as they all well known and respected, no doubts about it. I don’t think that it was a part of my ‘blueprint’, as I never produce music ‘targeting’ which label should I send this track while producing. I’m focusing on producing the best music I can, in my own style, feel, and vision. Once I finished and the track is ready, then I think where this track should be sent to.

As for the 2nd question – the answer is a total yes. I think that once you become a more known or respected artist, the expectations from you. And from each and every track that you are releasing – are getting higher and higher.

On one hand, you can see that as a ‘burden’, but on the other hand, you can look at it as something that gives you ‘a push’ to always get better and improve your production and creativity.

Electronic Groove: But it does seem that all that hard work does come back in some way or another…You’ve recently landed the #1 spot in Beatport’s Top100 Organic House Charts 3 times in the past 6 months, which is a massive accomplishment. Did you ever believe you’d achieve something like that when you first started taking your career seriously? What does that mean for a producer in terms of opportunities?

Shai T: Well, I always believed and still do believe that hard work pays off. Especially these days, when the music industry is full of people that looking for ‘shortcuts’ to get to the top – I just don’t believe in that.

During my career, I had many people and promoters that told me – ‘Get around with this club owner or with this promoter to get gigs ‘ and etc. – I just felt I can’t do that, as long as it does not come in an organic natural way.
And so, my way to reach my goals was, and still today, via the music I produce and believe in.

As for the #1 3 times – well, I always believe and wanted to reach these goals. Honestly, I didn’t believe it will happen 3 times in less than 6 months, but hey, maybe I’m doing something right? 😊

No doubt it’s a great feeling to achieve this goal and for sure more than once. At the same time. It is making the expectations from you bigger and bigger as mentioned above.

As for the opportunities – I guess that if it wasn’t a pandemic year, I could answer this question properly but as long as it was a pandemic one, I didn’t allow myself to think about taking gigs overseas (the few that did happen).

” I will only produce what I believe in and feel like myself, as the musician I am with all my personal influences”

Electronic Groove: What were your first contacts with electronic music like? Is it a bit of an unexpected culture shock to see all this reception in ‘the west’ to your music due to your background?

Shai T: Well, Israel is a totally western country. So, my background didn’t have any influence on how I met electronic music.

In general, I’m a musician, as I play few instruments such as guitar, piano. drums, percussion, and others, since I was 9 years old.

I fell in love with electronic music while I was in Australia after my army service. For my ‘big trip’ in the world (2004-2005). It was ‘Australia day’ and there were crazy parties around. I was in an open-air party with Judge Jules and Pete Tong, and many names such as, and this party just did something special to my heart.

Since then, my romance with electronic music become bigger and stronger over the years. I do think and feel that being a musician + some of my family roots (Oriental & Spanish) – can be felt and heard in some of my tracks and the instruments I am choosing to use.

Electronic Groove: Do you remember the moment when you decided to leave it all behind and devote yourself 100% to music? Was it a big leap of faith for you?

Shai T: I don’t think there was a ‘major moment’ that changes everything. I do think it was a long process in which I did understand that music is my main goal in life.

I can say that as for the style and way of production, I had a ‘changing moment’ in 2018, while playing in Panama’s Playa Venao, as I realized that till then, I didn’t produce exactly what I love and feel, and I decided then from there on. I will only produce what I believe in and feel like myself, as the musician I am with all my personal influences.
Believe it or not, since then I feel much better with the music I release and also with the results it is bringing over.

Electronic Groove: Now, back to the present…How do you envision the future of clubbing? What changes would you like to see from the industry moving forwards?

Shai T: I think that in the near future after we will be able to reopen nightlife and events, the hype will be on ‘open air’ events, day & night.

People will feel safer and more comfortable to get around and dance this way. The same way it took s time for people to get used to masks & social distance, it will take to understand that we can be back to normal again – it will be some kind of process.

At the same time, I think people are eager to dance again, have a good time again, which means, in my opinion, that once reopening, it will be great times for the industry, with great events and people smiling.

Personally, I do hope that this pandemic crisis will ‘move aside’ many people in the industry who did not act from the reason of ‘music love’, but from other reasons, and that the real artists and producers, will get the intention, exposure, and respect they deserve.

Electronic Groove: What can we expect from Shai T moving forwards?

Shai T: That’s a big question 😊 – Hopefully, lots of good music to be released + gigs and events to come, and just to keep the momentum that I created during the last years.

It was not an easy task to keep it up during the pandemic, but hopefully it looks like we are on our way out of it.
I can say here that my whole release schedule for 2021 is already done. And some really great music is on the way on some great labels – so there is what to expect.

Also, trying to always get better and better, and improve my productions that’s always my goal, every year from the beginning.

Electronic Groove: Thank you for your time Shai! We wish you all the best! Have a great year!

Shai T: Thank you very much for having me 😊 It was a pleasure, and I wish us all to be well & safe, and back to normal life ASAP!

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