Chicago bred DJ and producer Darin Epsilon has been spinning sets since he was in college. The foremost figure in prog and tech house, has over the past decade been pivotal in not just his own personal growth as a DJ, but is also responsible for pillaring the success of the genre as well. Born in the birth place of house music, Epsilon through his radio show “Perspective,” label Perspectives Digital, and collaborative and solo releases, and remixes has earned himself quiet in name in nightclubs around the world. His tunes have appeared on compilations by artists like Nick Warren (“Rennaisance”) and Armin Van Buuren (“A State Of Trance”). Epsilon is also one of the most viral musicians in the world who’s web-friendly releases have made him one of the most searched and played artists on Soundcloud. In India, on his maiden visit, Epsilon will be bringing his prog house to clubs across Pune on August 29, Goa on August 31 and Bengaluru on September 1.
PopSplat spoke to Epsilon just before he boarded his flight to India to talk about the India tour, Beatport’s mis-categorization of prog house, the future of his label, his best and worst stages, and his upcoming releases.
Q-1. Take us through the genesis of your DJing and production career. I believe it all started for you in college?
I can actually remember DJing at summer camp parties as early as age seven. I was armed with nothing other than two CD players, so I had to find really creative ways to smoothly transition between tracks. Growing up in Chicago, the birthplace of House music, I was exposed to a lot of dance music from a very young age. When I was 16, my favorite mix show at the time came from college radio, and I remember staying up very late at night recording all the music on cassettes. Around the same time, I got a part-time job working in a CD store, and that’s how I deepened my knowledge on the subject. When I was old enough to attend university, I took a position at a local radio station, where I eventually ran my own show programming four hours of electronic dance music every weekend for two years. It’s funny how cyclical and ironic life can be sometimes.
Q-2. How would you define your kind of music? A lot of your stuff is atmospheric and is based around a melody. Is that something you constantly look for while remixing and producing your original content?
I am a classically trained musician so my ears are naturally attracted towards really strong melodies. If you do a search for my music on Beatport, you’ll find most of it is classified as either Progressive or Tech House. However, I prefer not to be pigeonholed. I guess in my own words, I would describe it as electronic music with soul and emotion.
Q-3. As an artist, what would be your personal landmarks in terms of the music that you’ve put out that makes you look back and go, that was awesome?
That’s a tough one. Each project is really different for me and I usually never like to repeat myself. Off the top of my head, I can say that my biggest achievements have been signing to record labels such as Renaissance, Hope Recordings, Sudbeat, and Perfecto Records. I think even my first original track Bluephobia was a really big success. It premiered on Hernan Cattaneo’s now legendary “Metrodance” radio show and went on to become a viral hit on YouTube with over 100,000 views.
Q-4. Over all the different countries and venues you’ve played at, which have been your worst and best moments on stage?
My best moments have been in Mexico, Argentina, Russia, and Keny1a. I will also never forget the time I was invited to play in front of 10,000 people at White Wonderland NYE in Anaheim, California. As for worst moments, I have been kicked off stage twice, believe it or not. It’s not that I was performing badly, but somehow I got booked at these clubs that were completely the wrong music format. At the show I did in El Paso, Texas, the opener was playing David Guetta and bootlegs of Madonna and Michael Jackson. Then when I got on, I remember seeing the totally confused reaction of the audience, haha!
Watch a live video from Epsilon’s recent gig at the Electrocity Festival in Poland from earlier this month:
Q-5. What are your expectations from the Indian audience? What prompted your interest to tour here?
This will actually be my first ever visit to India, so as you can imagine, I’m extremely excited and anxious for this tour. It’s sponsored by Tint Music and I’ll be traveling to Pune, Goa and Bengaluru. We had actually planned to do one in Mumbai, but the show fell through at the last minute. Hopefully I’ll be back again soon and will get to see more of this beautiful country. I am absolutely in love with Indian food, history, and culture.
Q-6. Would you consider that prog/tech house is now becoming somewhat commercial? Where do you see the genre going in the coming few years?
I would not say that at all, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The problem is, Beatport has been mis-categorizing the genre for the past several years. Why they are continuing to do so is beyond me. The younger generation is growing up believing that Progressive House is defined by artists such as Tiesto, David Guetta, Deadmau5 or Avicii. Now I see it as my responsibility to educate the public on what “real” Progressive House is. A proper Progressive House mix takes you on a journey and is actually quite a spiritual and thought-provoking experience.
Q-7. Nick Warren picked you for his “Renaissance” compilation last year, which pretty much is a Bible for being the sound of a generation. Were you excited about it?
Yes absolutely! I was thrilled to hear that one of my tracks made it onto such an iconic compilation series by such an important DJ. It was a long-term goal of mine to be good enough to make it onto a Renaissance or Global Underground CD.
Q-8. Tell us about your journey with your label Perspectives Digital. When and how did you start it, some of the more notable releases and some upcoming releases that you can talk about?
I started Perspectives Digital in 2010 as an extension to my radio show called “Perspectives,” which has been on the air since 2007. The label allows me to have a little more creative control over my own release schedule, so that I’m not so dependent on other people to promote my music. I also use it as a way of giving back to the scene I love so much. Having my own imprint has been challenging, but it’s proven to be a blessing, for the most part. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many dozens of talented producers. A few of our most notable releases include my own tracks Detour On 44 and Cosmic Discovery, as well as EP’s by Kastis Torrau & Arnas D, Antix/Fiord, DAVI, and Ian O’Donovan.
As for what’s coming up, we some surprises in store, including the return of two of our most popular artists Jamie Stevens and Dousk. You can follow the label on Facebook to stay updated on everything that we’re doing.
Q-9. In terms of your social media reach, you are one of the most viral artists in the world. You’re the raja of Soundcloud . Do you think social media has helped you? How did you decide to tap into the wider audience through the medium?
Haha, that’s quite awesome of you to say, thank you! These days, it goes without saying that every artist needs a strong social media presence. To get one is rather complicated and has become a a science in itself. However, if you can get your social media channels to really work for you, the payoff can be enormous. Take a look at Lady Gaga for example. She only had one album out before she became the most followed person on Twitter. I don’t ever expect to reach that level of fame and success, but I can tell you from my experiences as a label owner that I’ve seen a lot of really talented people fly under the radar, simply because they lacked a strong online presence.
Q-10. Are there some new things that you’re working on currently that you would like to share with us?
I’ll be working really hard in the studio after I finish touring India. My next release is titled “Valencia” and will be out on Perspectives this November. I also just signed another track to Hernan Cattaneo’s label Sudbeat Music, so be on the lookout for that one in the fall.
- Tint Presents Darin Epsilon Perspective Digital India Tour will travel to Pune on August 29 at 1 Lounge, Goa on August 31 at Titos and Bengaluru on September 1 at Eclipse, The Leela Palace. For more deets on entry, RSVP here.