SPIN Sets x Splash House Presents: Shiba San

The summer fun continues this weekend with the Splash House gates officially opening, and boy are we ready to bask in the desert heat and escape to this house and disco filled oasis. If you’ve been paying attention to this festival’s lineup, then you certainly have an inkling to how huge it is going to be for both weekends [August 13-15, 20-22]. With names like Bob Moses, TOKiMONSTA, Whethan, Shiba San, Lane 8, SG Lewis [and the list goes on…] spinning and bestowing the best grooves, rest assured that anyone lucky enough to get a ticket to this desert island party will be having a good time. Catch the full lineup here.

We not only intend to bring the inside scoop on one of the biggest cachet summer events in the country, but we’re also here to bring you a taste of the electrifying sets that are to take place at the Splash House stages this weekend. We’re kicking off weekend one with an exclusive SPIN Set by the house guru known as, Shiba San.

A beloved veteran of the electronic universe, Shiba San has damn near perfected the house formula. It’s easy to respect his craft, as his collection of work prove merit of the versatility he embodies. There’s a distinct musical flavor he brings that is comprised of the French and Chicago style hip-hop, rap and jazz influences that when paired with house, form into a perfect blend. This blend creates a soulful undertone, that is enveloped in a groove drenched overtone, and embellished with melodically explosive layers of chill-paced constants. Shiba San knows what he’s doing, how he wants it done, and when to deliver. He’s got the listening, timing, and intention setting of music production down and with those three keys of musical wisdom, there’s no stopping anytime soon.

Read on as Shiba San recollects fond memories of his origins and talks about running Basement Leak, future releases, Splash House previews, and more.

 

Hello Shiba San, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at SPIN.

To begin, we know you spent nearly 15 years producing music in the French hip-hop scene before making the switch to house music. Can you tell us a little about the pathway you took to get to where you are today?

Yes I started my career producing music as a hip hop DJ and producer in France for a long time. I was always listening to and producing different styles of music, from hip hop to house to jazz. I was also producing house music at the time with famous djs so it felt like a natural transition for me. In 2013, I started releasing house music as Shiba San and blended sounds from Chicago house, soul, rap and hip hop music into my songs. I released a few EPs before “Okay” and the rest is history.

 

Who are some of the artists whose sounds really inspired you and drew you into house music?

I fell in love with Chicago House when I became a DJ and it’s always something I enjoyed even while producing hip hop music. Masters At Work, Justin Martin, Harry Romero were one of the first producers who inspired me to make house music. 

 

Tell us a bit about your most recent EP Let’s Go Dancing. What was your creative process like in putting this one together and is there a general approach you take to creation or does it vary from track to track?

Let’s Go Dancing was my first release of 2021 and third release on Repopulate Mars. I started making the EP in the beginning of the quarantine and wasn’t sure if I would release it before clubs were open again but it’s amazing to be back. My process changes a bit from track to track but for « Let’s Go Dancing » I started by recording my own vocals for it. Fun fact: I also recorded my own vocals on « I Like Your Booty », « Clean or Dirty » and « Hard Day ». 

 

You have your own label Basement Leak, home to some of the hottest tracks in the scene right now. How do you juggle running a label while still focusing on your own artist project? What are some of your favorite things about running the label?

I started my label Basement Leak in 2015 to release my own track « Burn Like Fire » but people started sending me demos and I thought why not? One of my favorite things is discovering unknown artists. I still release my own music through it sometimes and it’s a great way for me to collaborate and support underground house artists. 

 

You’ve worked with artists such as Tim Baresko, Green Velvet, Kevin Knapp, and more. What are some of the greatest takeaways you can point to from these collaborations and/or some of the different approaches you take to collaborative versus solo releases?

It is always fun to collaborate with other artists and friends. Everyone has a different approach to producing music so you can bounce ideas with each other and bring a fresh perspective to the music.

 

Things are looking positive with live music’s return, but what kept you motivated to keep producing during its absence over the past year?

Before the pandemic, I would spend most of my time working on music in my studio any time I wasn’t playing shows. Quarantine gave me more time in the studio and also time to go back to playing the piano and flugelhorn after quitting 15 years ago. I knew shows would come back eventually and I was glad to keep things going by playing live streams over the past year.

 

Having played Splash House before, you’re already familiar with the environment and vibe of the event. What excites you most about returning this year? 

Splash House was one of my favorite shows to play in 2019 because the crowd was so high energy and massive. I’m excited to close the Saguaro stage and test out some new music since the last time I was here.

 

In terms of preparation for your set and the music you play, what differentiates playing in an open-air desert party like Splash House vs a nightclub or other traditional concert venue or festival? 

Different venues and festivals bring different types of crowds of course but the music I play in my sets mostly depends on the crowd, their energy and the set duration. The difference is more about the set duration, when it’s long (more than 2-3 hours), I can play different energies and styles. When it’s 1 hour, it’s 100% energy.

 

Do you have any new upcoming releases or projects on the way that you can share with us?

I’m releasing my next EP ‘Get High / All The People’ on Insomniac’s Factory 93 label on August 20th. You can hear a preview of it at the festival this weekend! I also have more music coming out this year on Basement Leak from myself and other producers like Nautik and Millad.

 

Is there anything else you would like your fans to know?

I have the best fans and want to thank them for always supporting me. Stay tuned for more music and shows. I love you.

Get your shuffle on with Shiba San’s SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere. Also, don’t forget to stay tuned in on all things Splash House as we continue to cover more artist features through to the next weekend!

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