At first glance Luke Shay’s name probably looks familiar, but you can’t quite put a sound to it. If you're scratching your head trying to figure out where you’ve seen it before... About four months ago, this producer released a trap remix of Calvin Harris’ “I Need Your Love" featuring Ellie Goulding that caught the attention of a lot of peoples' ears—mine included. Since that release he’s put out some incredible bangers including a remix of The XX’s, “Intro” and his most recent free download post here on Magnetic, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” that he mixed with Gabe Niles in honor of both Valentine’s Day and Whitney Houston. He’s got some more remixes in the works for us, as well as an EP that includes multiple different styles of music set to release late spring that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
I am always making music. Its an addiction.
I had the opportunity to exchange a few emails with this incredibly easy going DJ and got to know a little about the man. I think you’ll be shocked to find that you can probably relate to Luke Shay in more ways than one. With his big heart, talented skills and an unrelenting dedication to make it happen, I have no doubt Luke will soon find a place on the top of your playlists and become more than just a name that looks familiar.
How and why did you get your start? Any interesting anecdotes there? Is there anyone you owe “big time?”
I was working as a cook at a restaurant and absolutely hated it. I had wanted to be a DJ for a long time, but never actually followed through with it. So eventually I saved up and bought all beginner DJ equipment—cheap turntables and a mixer. I started learning just at my house and then met a local DJ named ''Dexx" who pretty much taught me how to mix and other various DJing skills. I started practicing everyday and got my first gig in a small local bar. I did that for a few months and my name started getting out. From there it was just bar after bar until I got contacted by clubs and it just skyrocketed from there. After DJing for a while I decided I wanted to make my own music. I started learning how to produce music and now that is currently what I am heavily focused on while I’m not doing shows. I would also have to say blogs... they are really, really important. Blog support can make an artist. Blogs are how most people find music now days. So very big thank you to the blogs and music supporters out there for supporting me!
How, if at all, is being from Virginia Beach influenced your sound?
Virginia Beach is home to The Neptunes, Timbaland and Missy Elliot, just to name a few. Hip-hop is big here. I would say yes it has influenced me in some ways musically, but my style is more EDM rounded.
Was there a particular song or producer that opened your eyes to EDM?
Well, where I grew up was really heavy on mainstream....so when I started hearing house music and dubstep it really interested me how some of the music doesn't even have words and people still loved it. It just inspired me to wanna make EDM.
What tracks are you currently listening to, anything particular stuck in your head?
"Wakanda" by Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. To me it's really catchy and they did a great job with it.
You travel a lot and are in the studio a bunch too, what do you like to do in your free time?
I am always making music. It's an addiction. But I like playing the piano, which always relates to making music because it will spark an idea. I also like working out and staying healthy is important! Occassionally, when I am having a creativity block I play Diablo 3 with 12th Planet and deadmau5.
What life activities are made better when listening to music? Talk about the last time you enjoyed one and the other.
Well, like I said before I like to workout. So when working out I have to be listening to music. Music can be so motivating and just gets you pumped up for your workout. Last time I was at the gym I think I was listening to a Diplo and Friends mix. It is also a good way for me to stay up on my music and do something else productive at the same time.
How do you choose what tracks you remix?
Well first I have to like the original or at least like something about it… or I wouldn't be interested it trying to remix it. Normally when thinking of remixes I'll be thinking of a song and wonder what it's lacking or what could make it better. Sometimes there are just really great songs that you wanna be creative and turn into a different style or genre. So if I find a track that’s really good, but maybe not club oriented, I might think of remixing it to something more better suited for the club.
Do you discuss or exchange ideas with other producers?
Of course! I am still learning and will always be learning. No one knows everything, but there are plenty of people out there with a lot of knowledge that can teach you something. So it is nice when someone helps you out and teaches you something new, or gives you good ideas. So...I always try to help others out! Also doing collabs with other producers and sharing ideas can be great, sometimes two minds are better than one.
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels?
It depends. If it is a huge venue with tons of people, I like a big stage with bright lights . If it is a smaller venue and more intimate with a smaller crowd, I prefer smoky low lit. I prefer them like that just because of the vibe it creates with the audience.
What would be your dream festivals to play?
Tomorrowland, it looks absolutely amazing! Or Ultra.
Is it because of the large audience? the atmosphere? What would it mean to you if you played at either of those?
I have never been to Tomorrowland, but I have seen videos and it looks amazing. They put a lot of work into it, the vibes just look incredible, and thousands of people are there just for the music. The DJ can be playing a set of just house music and everyone will be vibin' and just going crazy to the music. The large audience would be a lot of fun too! There are only a few venues that you would have a chance to play for crowds that big.