A Sit Down With DJ Manufactured Superstars

09:58 Dec/18/2017


The high-energy DJ duo Manufactured Superstars make sure their priorities are always in place. Priority number one, a staple of their career and the reason for their success, is to have as much fun as humanly possible.

Bradley Roulier and Shawn Sabo comprise the Manufactured Superstars, and they’ve been electrifying stages for over a decade as they’ve brought their eccentric show to countries all over the globe. An emphasis on theatrics and mash-ups have created a captivating live show where just about anything can happen.

 

"To live this lifestyle and get along you have to be appreciative of everything that is going on around you."


 

When you’re in the studio, what do you primarily use to produce and what are your favorite studio gadgets or plugins?

For plugins, we love the new Waves bundle. We use Sylinth and all of the Native Instruments Komplete. We produce in Ableton Live. We try to sit down with ideas and bang stuff out and production is always important. We both have studios in our homes and we use a professional studio for mixing and mastering and vocals.

You played EDC recently – how was that for you?

Wow, there are so many amazing projects going on right now! To start, our firstsingle with Magik Muzik, “Take Me Over” featuring Scarlett Quinn is climbing charts all over theglobe. Being added to radio, including the influential radio station, “Power 106 FM” inL.A., Sirius XM, BPM-TV. Our second single, “Serious” featuring Selina Albright, just hit and will be on Beatport next week, then iTunes and all music retailers. That’s got a massive remix package with Calvin Harris, Sunnery James & Ryan Maricano, Ed Rush & Optical, and more. Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Texas were both epic! It’s so much fun to be able to play the music we make and love to so many house music-lovers. Insomniac Events did an amazing job with the production. We have to say, it’s probably the best event in the world — it’s completely mind blowing.

What do you think about mashup culture?

Our style is a little bit mashup, but we’re really more house DJs. Every DJ edits, especially on the international circuit, who just plays regular songs unedited. Manipulating music is part of DJ culture and the skill set will continue to evolve. That’s what we like to focus on with Manufactured Superstars, to try to keep people on their toes and put two, three, four songs together, or two or three different remixes of a song to make things a little bit different.

Not everyone is aware that you guys are also the founders of Beatport.com. Are you guys still involved or focused purely on Manufactured Superstars?

Brad was a co-founder of Beatport and he is currently a founding member. I was an original employee of Beatport in charge of marketing, and I am a current member. We are not as involved in the day-to-day at Beatport since we’ve formed Manufactured Superstars and are devoting all of our time to touring, DJing live, producing our own music and releasing new singles, doing remixes for other labels, shooting music videos, traveling, etc. But we do attend the monthly meetings at Beatport so we are involved to some extent. There is an excellent team running Beatport day-to-day. Brad is also co-owner of Beta Nightclub in Denver, one of the best clubs in America which was also voted #1 by fans.

Do you guys have unlimited free downloads from Beatport for life?

No! We — just like all other DJs — buy our music on Beatport. We love and support dance music, and are happy to pay for legal downloads. We have both been in the scene for 15+ years as DJ’s, producers, promoters and club owners. We will always support the other artists. We know how much work goes into making music, and all artists deserve to get paid for their time and efforts. Plus, it’s only $1.49 per track! [laughs] Thanks so much. We love the name of your site, Dancing Astronaut, and we really are humbled by the support! See you and your crew on a dancefloor soon!

You have some really hot singles out, but the latest one happens to be a bootleg you did, Manufactured Superstars vs ANNIE LENNOX, “Little Bird.” Great tune. What’s the story behind that track?

It was an acapella that we had that Brad loved. We wrote a beat to and we were gonna try to clear it, but the [original] label wouldn’t clear it. So we let a few friends have it and soon ERICK MORILLO and SHARAM and other DJs started playing it for a while, so we figured, let DJs have fun with it. Our next two singles are official releases on Black Hole Recordings and they are Manufactured Superstars featuring Arianne Celeste, “Top Of The World,” and “Calling All The Lovers” with Luciana.

What is the greatest threat to the EDM industry nowadays?
From my perspective, I’m a bit concerned that the mainstream songs are getting played out way too fast. I think that’s what happened to hip-hop, where you go to a club and you can only stand hearing Jay-Z’s Empire State Of Mind so many times. Nowadays, you can go to a club and only stand hearing a big EDM song so many times. Some DJs are overusing popular EDM tracks. However, there are so many diverse sounds being spun by DJs around the world that I don’t think it’s really that big of a threat or problem. As long as artists keep pushing the boundaries and making quality music, EDM will continue to stay as the mainstream throughout the world and in North America for many years to come.

The music video for “Take Me Over” is right up our alley. How much creative control did you assert over its production?

We have total control over all of our tracks. The song itself started in the home production studio, where we wrote the beat, loops, chords and melody. Then, we sent the demo to a songwriting team in the UK we’ve been working with. They wrote a demo vocal and we went back and forth until it was right. Then, we had the very talented Scarlett Quinn lay down the actual track. We re-edited the vocal to add in a few loops, like, “Work my freak on you,” and, “Take, take, take, take / take me over,” mixed it, and sent it to the label. We also had some very talented EDM producers on the remix tip, including Ferry Corsten, Bingo Players, R3hab and more. The video was a group effort between the label, us, and director. But in the end, we control our brand and make all of the final decisions. It was a really fun video to shoot, with thanks again to all the girls in spacesuits and to our amazing director. 
What would you recommend for aspiring artists trying to make it big in today`s age?


It takes a little bit of wealth and some big media cannons. A lot of people who’ve broken out fast like Avicii and Alesso got up that way. Some of the guys who have been around for awhile like the Bingo Players broke out by having a unique sound. You got to make good quality productions, try to do remixes, and again, just keep doing the hustle. The biggest thing is to do something that’ll make yourself stand out. Whether you’re a sexy girl and that’s your look, or you’re a serious guy or a kooky guy, you’ve got to come up with your own unique image. Everyone that’s breaking out has their own look and sound. I would say that’s the most important thing. After that, it’s a 24 hour hustle for everyone, including world touring DJs like Tiesto. I recommend taking every interview, every gig, every e-mail, as well as replying to every post on Facebook and just really give it your 100%.

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