Ten Questions with Terry Gotham: Sydney Blu

1. For all of the NYC-based hopefuls that dream of the day they make it down to Avalon, can you tell us what it sounds like these days? How is it different than what you did at Mansion?
I’m not a resident at Avalon but whenever I’m in town I play there. I definitely feel that Avalon is a staple, it’s been around for so long. They have a built in crowd, so it doesn’t really matter who’s playing, they always have a packed audience. And on top of that, they have all of these artists and their fans come out, to add to the crowd. So there was ALWAYS a packed crowd.

Mansion is packed too, but Avalon is just this legendary afterhours. The only place in Los Angeles that’s open until 6/7 o’clock in the morning. The sound is probably more underground. Because, in Miami the after hours underground places are more like Space and Mansion is probably more commercial. So I guess if you were to compare the two clubs to each other that’s what I’d say the big difference is. You can get really down & dirty at Avalon, especially in the late hours.

2. What did it feel like to be the first female producer to hit the top 10 on Beatport? Did you expect Give It Up For Me to get as big as it did?
I think we thought it was going to be really big because it was coming out on Mau5trap and at that time, Mau5trap was such a big label and everything that was affiliated with DeadMau5 was pretty much gold. So I definitely did know that it was a sure-fire something, I just didn’t know how big it was going to get. I didn’t realize at the time that there weren’t any other female producers around that were writing music. I guess when I realized that after, I was like, oh wow, hopefully I’ve started something here, and it’ll stick. Girls weren’t writing music back then, they were just DJ’ing, and it’s good now, because you can see so many around now doing so.

3. Do you have any advice for female producers & DJs out there trying to make a name for themselves?
For sure. Definitely spend as much time as you can in the studio. That’s the most important thing. I definitely think that is going to make you shine more than anything else in your career is your music. Second thing ot your music, try to get as many PR & networking skills on your own as you can. Develop your brand, it’s not just about one thing, it’s a big package. If you can all of the parts of the package top of the line then you can probably become really successful.

4. What was it like to be on Mau5trap? Can you talk about how it’s different than Black Hole Recordings?
Mau5trap was a brand-new label that was really big. It was really cool and I got a lot of attention from them because it was the hot new thing. I was in a crew of people with the other artists that were on the label, who were all getting a lot of attention.

Black Hole is awesome because it’s legendary & well-known for its affiliation with Tiesto for so many years. It’s a big label, it’s been around for so long and it releases on everything. Spotify, iTunes, Beatport, they focus even more on iTunes than Beatport. They are the mega-label of Europe.

5. As a Canadian in the USA, and a producer/DJ since 2000, what do you make of the recent explosion in American interest in electronica & club/dance culture?
Yea, honestly, “EDM” as the way that dance music has gone, it’s too much commercial for me. I was trying to go in that direction with everybody…Because I do play big room music, I’ve always played big room music, but that big stabby synth sound, just was a bit over-the-top. In the last six months, I’ve really started to say “This isn’t where I want to go musically.” I’m not a fan of listening to the top 100 on the progressive house charts on Beatport. I’d much rather hear the Tech House chart, or the House chart or the Deep House chart. I still play everything, but if I play a progressive house record it’s going to be something that’s a little bit more intellectual and authentic than a lot of the stuff in that chart.

I love Eric Prydz for example. I think he’s amazing. The stuff he makes is very unique, it’s very authentic, it’s definitely stuff that I’ll play. I’m picky and choosy with what I play in that EDM sound, because I don’t want to sound like everybody else.

6. Are there any aspects of the scene or style of music you’re into right now that you actively dislike? I guess pretty much going back to what I said. I really do feel it’s gone a bit too commercial and there’s this whole young, DJ-thing that’s going on. These guys that are very young, they’re bedroom producers and all of a sudden they’re making this ridiculous amount of money and they’re all playing the same songs. There’s no originality to it. That’s really the only thing. I think that if you’re going to be in the electronic music world and you’re going to play that kind of sound, unless you’re going on stage and you’re playing just all of your own music, when you’re choosing the other types of music to play, I think you should be a little bit more choosy, you know?. And try to educate people as opposed to just playing what you know they’re going to like. And then there’s nothing different about you than the person before you and the person after you.

7. Since you’ve spun in so many places, do you have a favorite?
I love playing Footwork in Toronto, this intimate, smaller venue that I’ve played for the last 7-8 years, it was just voted like, #4 night club in North America. I love playing Avalon in the US, one of my favorites. Space, in Miami is another.

8. Do you have a place you haven’t, that if you could wave a magic wand and be the headliner for where would it be? If I could play somewhere? I’d probably play Ministry of Sound in England, because I haven’t yet. That’s the one club that I really want to play.

9. How are you using Social Media these days? Where should people go to get more info on you besides your website, and which sites do you prefer? I am very active on all the social networks, Facebook probably the most. My fan page is the best way to see what’s going on with me because I’m on Facebook all the time. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, very actively as well. The only thing I haven’t gotten on yet is Vine. But, I’m actually thinking of going upstairs and getting on it tonight then shooting some videos tonight. I post all of my radio shows on iTunes and iHeartRadio, but I also post it on Soundcloud every two weeks. Because blogs pick it up and all of that.

10.  Does New York City get a chance to be on Being Sydney Blu?
New York City is absolutely going to be an episode, one hundred percent, not even a question. We would’ve made tonight’s show an episode but we can only film one episode a month, and we’re already filming in Toronto in 2 weeks. This was also kind of a last minute booking, so there wasn’t enough time to plan, but my next show will 100% be an episode. Cause, like, it’s New York, one of my favorite scenes in the country.

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