Monday, September 28, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Jaren by Kostas W.Voulgaris (DJ DragoN)

Exclusive Interview with Jaren by Kostas W.Voulgaris                                           (DJ DragoN)

Jaren. A name that has become synonymous with vocal dance music and whose voice is instantly recognized from the first verses sung in a track.

It wasn’t always like this for her as Jaren’s musical roots started elsewhere in a place quite unlikely to find such a diverse dance music singer/songwriter.

She grew up in a small town in Wyoming U.S.A. A place of indefinite beauty and breathtaking landscapes which could inspire and stir anyone who happens to have a  musical soul within them.

In Jaren’s case her passion and interest for country and folk music guided her down the musical road as she started her career at only 18 years of age. She even went off to Europe a few years later and on her tour through Sweden she was fortunate to write and work with the producers of artists such as Ace Of Base, Roxette and Jill Johnson. This was a great way of widening her musical horizons and picking out her distinct sound of a singer/songwriter.

In 2005 there was a meeting that was certain to shift her musical career down a different path. This is when she met Matt Cerf and alongside him discovered the wondrous world and diverse sounds of electronic dance music.

A short time after she two of them joined also by Shawn Mitiska formed the artist trio of Cerf,Mitiska & Jaren and created the well known emotive track “Light The Skies” in which Jaren’s distinct emotive voice shined through making thus a landmark for them in dance music and hurled them down a road of success and more productions and releases. It was so well received that the Retrobyte remix of the track gained a position on Armin Van Buuren’s A State Of Trance 2007 mix album as well as being named one of his top 10 favorite tracks of 2007.

A string of mass releases followed like You Never Said in 2008 by the mentioned trio and gained a lot of attention.
2008 also saw her teaming up with Armin himself and creating the magical haunting tune Unforgivable for his artist album Imagine. As one can indeed imagine Jaren was in such high demand she worked with numerous well known artists in the scene and the proposals kept on coming.

Some great tracks followed like Beggin You (with Shawn Mitiska and Matt Cerf), Surreal (with John O’Callaghan) Man On The Run (with Dash Berlin),
Carry On (with Markus Schulz), 7even (with Andy Duguid), End Of The Road (with Aly and Fila), Try (with Cosmic Gate) and For All Time (with Aly and Fila once more).

Having made her own landmark in dance music she never forgot her roots and sat down determined on creating her pop/folk solo artist album 7 Year Itch which won’t take long to be released.

An artist of this magnitude could not limit herself to just one style and till current day she indulges herself in writing and singing in country, folk and dance music with the same passion and fire, creating heartfelt tracks that move the mind, soul and feet.


Was music a divine force driving you towards it from an early age?

Yes indeed. Wanna see? I'm fairly sure I came out of the womb singing. My daughter was exactly the same way. Still is.


You happen to be a songwriter as well as a singer.What would you say do you most enjoy doing? Telling a story as you mark down lyrics to paper or voicing it out in song for the whole world to hear at an astounding performance?

This is a good question. I like both for very different reasons. There's a certain sense of freedom I get from being able to sing. I'm not sure I can explain it. It somehow makes me feel like I'm not trapped in my body. I think it must be similar to what dancers feel when they fly through the air and nail their choreography.

I love storytelling, also. It's in my bones. I'm an emotional being, not in the melodramatic sense so much, but I like to FEEL. Storytelling is how I get deep and
work out subconscious desires.


Were you drawn into dance music from an early stage or was that something that unfolded during your career?  

I had ZERO idea what dance music was until I met Matt Cerf when I was 21. He was hot and showed interest in me and so I took an interest in what he was doing. It wasn't another three months after I first hear a dance track that it 'clicked' for me. Now I appreciate it. Some styles more than others, of course, but it wasn't such a natural
process for me.


You have blessed us by writing many amazing and heartfelt tracks.
Which do you hold most dear to you and for what reason?

This changes for me depending on the day. But I could give you a top 4, I suppose:
1) You Never Said - This song means something different to me now than it did 8 years ago when I wrote it.


3) Let 'Em Talk sung by Andee on Universal (I can't find a link!) - This song is one of the dearest to me - I don't know why

4) Blame You – off my second fold album because it's sad and emotional and I love a good ballad


You have written and sung a vast amount of tracks over the years.
Are any of them based on personal experiences or do they happen to be
mere figments of a lively imagination?

Most of them are figments of my lively imagination. Only recently have I started writing about personal experience - as part of my second folk album called 7 Year Itch.  


You have had the pleasure of sharing the studio with esteemed artists from the scene
such as Armin Van Buuren and the power duo of Aly and Fila.
What happens to be your favorite collaboration and who have you enjoyed working with the most?

That's a tough one. Everyone comes to the table with something different. I have shared a long career with Matt Cerf, of course. Had it not been for him this wouldn't have happened. He also understands what I like and need in order to get into writing mode.  Another producer who I've connected with on that level in the dance industry is Andy Duguid. When you click creatively, you click.  Also Pulser. It's been years, but I don't think I ever turned away an instrumental from either of those guys.


Who would you list as your biggest influence as a musician and who would your dream
collaboration be with, if you could choose anyone?

Biggest influence - there are a few.  Tori Amos, Patsy Cline, and an Israeli band called Haye Hudim. Three profoundly different voices and styles, and all of them feel like home to me.


What has been your favorite performance or defining experience since you embarked
on your journey as a musician?

Hands down a show in LA with Dash Berlin that never happened. There was a problem with the promoters not paying their security, or something, so the minute I stepped onto the stage to sing 'Man On The Run' they turned off the lights and sound and told everyone the show was over until they got paid. So I sat at the edge of the stage and sang an acapella version of 'You Never Said' and we had a small choir going by the end of it. So special!!


Within the years you certainly have become a force to be reckoned with and gained
tons of loyal fans and enthusiasts alike within the scene of dance music. How does that make you feel to have come so far and what lies ahead for the songstress within?

I don't let myself think about it, really. I take each day as it comes and my motto is 'I wonder what will happen today.' I used to have big plans, and now the older I get the more content I am with just opening my arms to the universe and saying 'Here - I'll practice, I’ll work hard – you guide me.’


What were the past year's highlights for you and what happen to be your plans or
surprises in your agenda for the current year?  

Last year I had something like five releases in four weeks or something crazy like that.  I also had a song chart on the Billboard Club charts - that was amazing. I got to write with a few outstanding artists and life was pretty pleasant that way.  

The surprise this year is that I've undergone a life change. I've gone through a separation and discovered that while music has been a driving factor in my life for many years, I also enjoy other fields, like design and branding. I don't know what will happen for me in terms of music. I'm living day to day at the moment.


What do you do to unwind from the always hectic life of a musician and attain a bit of tranquility?

I watch netflix.  I lose myself in a good series like Orange Is The New Black, or Homeland, or House Of Cards, or Downton Abbey.  I don't have so much drama in my life and so I need to get lost in other's sometimes to get my inspiration back. ;)


What other interests or activities do you enjoy doing when not engaging in your passion for music?

Film and writing and design.


Do you happen to enjoy traveling and exploring new lands and if so which has been
your most special travel destination?

I certainly do when I have the change to get over jet lag! Vietnam changed me. Egypt changed me - on pretty deep levels. I think if more people traveled and saw the world there would be a greater amount of peace.


Have you ever considered putting together a solo artist album and if so what direction
would you take it in music-wise?  

I have done it twice now - both folk albums because folk is my first love and I feel it most accurately conveys my messages as a songwriter.
The first is called Fixin' It Upright and the second will be called 7 Year Itch.


Could you please share with us,if you so wish,a funny or far out experience you have witnessed over your career?

You know what? When people send me pictures of my lyrics tattood on them that freaks me out. I get really excited and I feel really honoured, but part of me wonders if one day they will regret it. That said, I have a tattoo and I love it and have never regretted getting it. As long as they don't tattoo my lyrics somewhere on their face I'm okay with that. ;)

It was indeed my pleasure and distinct honor to take this written interview with her!
Thanks so much for everything and for giving me the privilege to tell your tale Jaren!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Exclusive Interview with DJ Suzy Solar by Kostas W.Voulgaris (DJ DragoN)

Exclusive Interview with DJ Suzy Solar by Kostas W.Voulgaris 
(DJ DragoN)

 (This interview was taken on March of 2014 for Generate Project)

Suzy Solar (from Florida,Usa) is a name that is synonymous to pure direct, emotional and powerful trance music! Just by witnessing one of her events, seeing the reaction of the crowd to the intensity of her performance and positive vibe you can easily see this is what this talented DJ was destined to do!

 She is a multi talented individual that literally can do it all, as she is a writer, producer,
DJ and vocalist! Dance Music certainly is her passion and that can be seen in everything she aspires to do!

Since 2001 she attains her own radio show “Solar Power Sessions” which is one of the longest running weekly trance shows in the world and happens to be a big hit on the airwaves with listeners tuning in globally! She also runs her own music label titled “Solar Power Music” along with her partner
DJ Lil’ B.

Her DJ mix compilations “The Perfect Trance 1 and 2” on Neurodisc were a huge success and achieved high positions in the Billboard’s U.S. Electronica charts!

2004 was a height in her career as Paul Oakenfold handpicked her track “Ocean Of Love(which was co produced with Miss Shiva) for his Grammy nominated DJ mix compilation “Creamfields 2004”! 
It was also featured on the Austrian compilation “Colors by Shiva”!
Later in 2007 “Ocean Of Love” was released again on a superb package including three new remixes plus a great music video!

 She also crafted a track along with Thomas Bronzwaer (Arizona) called “Samurai” which completely elevated her in the dance scene as this was a track that had it all!
“Samurai” was infused with power, an emotional breakdown and everything else that is needed for a track to achieve the status of an anthem! It was even supported by some of the world’s top DJ’s including Armin Van Buuren and Ferry Corsten! Till today this track can do major damage on any dance floor across the globe! 

 Suzy keeps busy with a high powered schedule of live gigs all around the world and working on her new tracks in the studio!
She certainly is an inspiration to anyone that loves dance music and I for one am psyched to have the honor of doing this exclusive interview with her! 

Question 1:What was the first thing that drew you towards dance music?
As a young child, I imagined electronic music in my head before EDM was a genre. I later became obsessed with finding songs that would fit that description and would search record stores with no luck for many years. Then in 1992, I found a trance compilation called "Tranceformed From Beyond" at a record store and I felt that it was what I was searching for my whole life. That was the beginning of my beautiful relationship with trance music:)

Question 2:While growing up did you ever imagine you'd eventually head down the dj road?
I knew I would be a DJ as far back as I can remember. My parents had the radio playing nonstop and it inspired me. As soon as I could speak, I told my parents that I wanted a record collection and by the time I started kindergarten, I had my own huge collection growing.

Question 3:How did you start out your career as a DJ  and when was the turning point when you really witnessed your career lift off?
I decided to go for my childhood dream of being a DJ in 1997 after listening to a very inspiring track called The Calling by Solarstone. Things just fell into place from there. I started by releasing a couple of demo tapes, which got me bookings locally, then I branched out into the world by playing on Internet radio stations. I first started to see my career taking off when I released "The Perfect Trance 1 and 2" compilation albums on Neurodisc/Capitol Records, which did very well in the Billboard dance charts.

Question 4:If I'm not mistaken you had several tv appearances in the past.How was that like and how did it come to be?
I went to school for video production but decided to do music instead. My parents told me that I would grow out of the music phase and they talked me into going to college. I agreed to take mass communications and psychology but ultimately decided that I was going down the wrong path when I realized that I never grew out of the music phase like they said I would.

Question 5:I know this is a question you get asked a lot but I still got to ask.Which do you most enjoy doing? Djing or producing?
I enjoy both! I get a rush from DJing to a loving audience but producing satisfies the need to create.

Question 6:What moment stands out in your memory as your most special gig?
There's so many special memories! Recently, I opened for Armin van Buuren in Tampa, Florida. Some of my favorite parties are the massive arena events that I've done in Calgary, Canada. The people there are like an extended family to me. I also loved playing in Hawaii; it's so beautiful and relaxing there:) Also I can't forget the crazy times playing in Colombia and Ecuador. I also had lots of memorable times playing in Germany and Holland.

Question 7:Of all your tracks you've created is there any that holds a special meaning to you? And if so would you please share why?
"Samurai" holds a special meaning for me. I'm descended from samurai on my mom's side, so I wanted to do a track that commemorates my heritage after my mom passed away.

Question 8:You run your own label Solar Power Music.How is that like and is it a company policy to sign lots of new artists? If so,what is the criteria to be on the Solar Power team?
We're still in the works on signing new artists. We lost our distribution so we'll be looking into that a bit more down the road.

Question 9:Which artists would you like to work with if you got the chance in the future and which has been or have been your favorites to work with so far?
There's so many producers that I would love to work with, like Simon Patterson, Photographer, MilamDo/Harmonic Rush, Aly & Fila, Simon O'Shine, JOC, the list goes on. So far, my favorites that I've worked with are Thomas Bronzwaer and Daniel Wanrooy.

Question 10:As I know there is a new album brewing in the Solar Power lab! I for one am certainly eager to get my hands on it! What can we expect to hear and will it contain any special surprises or guest collabs? Right now I'm working on a collab with Philip Mayer and it's an awesome uplifting trancer:) The other collabs and solo tracks will be sold as singles instead of an album.

Question 11:If you had to choose a favorite track in dance music from the last decade which would it be and why?
Darren Porter & Gareth Weston - First Contact (Extended Mix) [Aria Recordings] because it's the most emotional track I've ever heard. It perfectly conveys the intense conflict of pandemonium, doom, beauty and hope that comes with ushering in a new era of such an encounter of first contact with an alien race. This is my favorite track to drop at the peak to a massive audience. I love to see their reaction; they totally lose it!

Question 12:It has come to our attention that you recently had an appearance in a new movie cast as a DJ! How did that come to be and can you share a few details about the experience?
Last year, one of my friends had recommended me to a film production company and they cast me for their action film short titled "Peace, Love, Unity and Revenge" for The Action Film Challenge. They also used two of my tracks in the film. It was fun and I might continue doing more film projects if time permits:)

Question 13:Do you happen to have any plans on doing a new dj mix compilation in the near future? I know I for one would be happy to hear a follow up to the superb "The Perfect Trance" 1 and 2!
I was going to release a new compilation on my label and had already licensed the tracks, but the distribution fell through. I was also talking to another label about it. I'll keep everyone posted!

Question 14:The new year is well upon it's way! Do you happen to have any plans for 2014 or any personal goals you've set for the year?
My plans this year include producing, singing and playing more shows. For more info about my upcoming releases and tour dates, please like my music page at

Question 15:Do you happen to have a secret or something not many people may know about you that you'd like to share with us?
I have a funny secret to tell you. I had to kick out a top 100 DJ from my house party a couple of years ago! I'm not going to say who it is, but he got blackout drunk and did a bunch of stuff like throw food all over my kitchen, humped a guy's leg, tackled my bf for no reason and scuffed up my walls, then he followed me in the bathroom and locked the door behind him! Everyone wanted to kill him lol!

Thanks so much for taking the time to put together this special interview with me Suzy!
Keep on Trancing!