In Paradise With: Dylan-S

Today we want to introduce Dylan-S (one of the founding members of Ewaso Records alongside Foozac) to you! Dylan was born in London and moved to Kenya at the age of four. He got into piano and drums since an early age, but it wasn’t until the wave of house and techno started reaching the African Continent with Artist like Richie Hawtin, Bonobo & more, that he got into the scene.

He has played in various locations, such as Johannesburg, and Berlin. His latest release, “Sorcerer” is available for you to listen over your favourite music platform. Read our full interview with him, below. 

Q: What is your original hometown & your current residency place?

A: I was born in London and moved to Mombasa, Kenya when I was about 4 years old. Then moved to Nairobi as a teenager and I’ve been here ever since. I love Nairobi as a city and it’s home for me.

Q: Tell us in a short way about your musical background & early influences.

A: When I was young I got into piano and drums, I played both till I was about 13. Music always appealed to me since a young age because of how it could make you feel – i wanted to be able to give people that feeling when a good song comes on, or one you can relate to, music is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I discovered GarageBand and Logic Pro early on and would spend most of my time on it. I couldn’t focus on school work too much but could spend hours on GarageBand experimenting with sounds, arrangement and sampling.

Then the wave of house and techno started reaching the continent, and labels like Soul Kandi came out of S.A in ’05/’06 and broadened the horizon of house music for me. Artists like Richie Hawtin, Bonobo, Hot Creations gang, Nicolas Jaar, Da Capo, Booka Shade, Chymamusique, Kid Fonque and many many more inspired me getting into the scene and continue to do today. 

Q: What is your favourite digital service to discover fresh new music?

A: My promo folder! I appreciate all the music and labels that send me music pre-release, it was a nice feeling years ago moving from digging through all the sites to now getting them in your inbox every day. 

Regarding platforms I love Beatport for what it is today, a few years ago it would be harder to find a more ‘underground’ sound on BP but today it’s full of it. Whether or not it means the music isn’t technically underground any more, I feel today it’s pretty diverse. Traxsource is amazing too especially for Afro house and a more soulful sound. Other platforms are Juno which has been one of a kind for discovering techno and electronica, as well as Bandcamp which has some gems in it but harder to discover.

Q: What is the very first musical product you acquired or discovered?

A: Software wise it was GarageBand, in terms of hardware It was quite difficult to find in Kenya until recently. My first MIDI keyboard was an Akai MPC49 and just got a Moog Minitaur.

Q: Which of your own projects is exciting you the most at the moment?

A: Currently just finished a remix for Lemi and Simila, 2 really cool producers from Kenya. The original struck me and I enjoyed crafting the remix, I felt I could take it in a new direction. Titled Savambole and it’s coming out at the end of May 2022. 

Also working on a short EP with Mandela (from the former Sarabi band) who is one of my favourite live artists, it’s an interesting collaboration and it’s slightly changing the way I write and approach music. 

Q: Which are your proudest musical achievement and a genuine milestone in your career?

A: A genuine milestone for me as a DJ was playing at Watergate Club in Berlin. We all know Berlin as the one of the capitals of electronic music and mainly techno, so to be invited to play a set there was amazing. I was meant to play a 2 hour b2b with Foozak which ended up being a 6 hour set well into the morning.

Playing in Johannesburg was a milestone for me too as South Africa is the home of Afro house and has been the most important country for African electronic music. The way people consume music there is just different, it’s very real and personal. 

Musically my label’s first release which was a track of mine, Foozaks and vocalist Awen with a remix from Caiiro, was played on BBC1 Essential mix and has great numbers online. 

I’ve just released a track dubbed ‘Sorcerer’ as part of Jagermeisters Save The Night campaign, with a good friend Vidza and vocalist Peter Nyabuto. Which has been shared by Black Coffee and other amazing artists. 

Q: What is your dream gig and performance location today?

A: Being from London i’ve always dreamt of playing there, it’s home to some amazing clubs like Printworks and Fabric, it would be a big milestone for me to play there and i’ll work hard everyday to make sure it happens! Would also love to visit Ibiza, Tulum and NYC and share my sound there – the scene seems to be crazy in all those places in very different ways.

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