We caught up with renowned Chicago based DJ and producer Saladin to find out about his career to date and future plans!
Hi Saladin, thanks for taking time out to have a chat with us. What have you been up to in the past year?
S: I spent the past year perfecting my production sound and have released over 25 releases in 2017 so far on various labels. I have been in the studio non-stop and also playing DJ sets at various venues. I been working really hard promoting myself and my music.
Tell us a bit about yourself
S: I’m just a guy from Chicago that loves music. I am heavily influenced by 80’s new wave and synth-pop as well as rock. Aside from being a producer/remixer, I am also a DJ and I own and operate Phunk Junk Records.
What made you take a decision to get into the Dance music scene?
S: I started out with a love for House music and Italo-Disco. It’s what my mom would play in the car while we were driving, I was immediately sucked in to the electronic sound of the music. When I was in my late teens, I started writing lyrics and performed as a vocalist. I was always at the local nightclubs listening to what the DJs were playing in their sets.
Who were your influences which have inspired you to go down a certain genre route?
S: My biggest influence is Prince. He broke all the rules and knocked down all the walls standing in his way. Everything he did was provocative and fresh. Around the time of Purple Rain, he brought much of an electronic sound and mixed it with a rock vibe. Giorgio Moroder was also inspired me with his electronic sound, writing synth movie-scores. Lately, I have been staying inspired by many of the bigger producers, too many to name. Its given me the drive to write some melodic deep music as well as some grimy electro styled music.
How would you describe your sound?
S: I would describe it as music, no genre, but if we want to get technical, I would use the generic term “EDM.” Lately most of my music is Future House and Deep House, as well as Electro and Progressive. I like to take 80’s elements and use them in my production as well as current sounds and I always try to add some type of futuristic sound into the track.
In 2012, you released your first single “I Want to Jack” on your label Phunk Junk Records, what was it like to release your first material
S: It was an amazing feeling to have a track I produced and did the vocals on. I was also very nervous because this was my first release and I was very nervous that people would not understand it and just simply not like it.
What has been your top career highlight so far?
S: I would have to say, collaborating with Christina Novelli on our track “Let It Go.” The track will be released within the next few months. I’ve been a fan of hers since she released “Concrete Angel.” So it was an amazing feeling that I got to work on a project with her. Also I am very happy that my label, Phunk Junk Records is getting more attention and I am working with Play Records, Peak Hour Music and more.
What’s next for you over the summer and the rest of the year?
S: Right now, I am working on marketing and branding myself more. I also have a handful of DJ gigs lined up for the rest of the year. Asides from that, I will be in the studio working on originals and remixes. The key is to stay busy.
Are there any up and coming artists that have caught your eye and that you would recommend giving a listen to?
S: I have a close friend and protégée, Alex Corral (aka Nexus). I have had him over in the studio a few times for a handful of projects. He’s young and has an amazing drive. I can see good things happening for him in the future
Finally, any shout outs or anything else you would like to add?
S: Yes, to everyone who has believed in me and supported me. Also, some personal shout outs to a few that have mentored me and given me a chance: Steve “Silk” Hurley, DJ Skip, Marc “M.doc” Williams, Melleefresh, Daniel Campioni and the late, Mario Alayon.