Some DJ’s and Producers seem to appear from nowhere, exploding onto their respective scenes like white hot shooting stars. That’s cool; a shock of a new thing has always been an alluring and evocative sentiment in music and music business in general.
However, this isn’t the only method to adopt when wanting to get noticed by the record-buying public. There’s also something to be about developing your craft, biding your time, authenticity in what you do and accumulating enough knowledge needed to be a true sonic excavator.
Whether it’s by accident or design, Lars Behrenroth’s musical emergence has been by far the latter – a more scenic path. As such, both his own music productions and his DJ sets are suffused in my opinion with the very stuff of life, rich with experience, possessed of untold depth and stuffed to the gills with music’s one true elixir, soul.
Lars hails from a small town of Cuxhaven, Germany and is now firmly transplanted in Los Angeles where he records his Deeper Shades of House (DSOH) radio show and podcasts that are one of the most popular House Music podcasts on the internet.
Having been in the radio business since 1996 evolving from one radio station to another and with an idea of creating some form of longevity in the House music scene DSOH has been chiselled, reshaped and ultimately repackaged into what it is today.
What do you think is the secret of endurance and longevity in the House music scene – considering how music and DJ’s seem to lose their lustre when they enter the mainstream?
“For me I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never had to rely financially on DJ’ing”. “That allowed me to immerse myself into what I felt musically and presented that in my sets”. “In that way I was also able to craft a value proposition that resonated and ultimately created a brand (DSOH) that had some significance to the people that tagged on it. I think that created longevity”
“You should never worry about the world, find your own style”. “You have to take what you have learnt to the next level and keep educating yourself – that is the main thing”.
“The House music community here (SA) has a genuine interest, from the bottom of their hearts.” From the time that I have spent here the guys still have genuine questions to ask about the music and for me it’s like recharging my batteries”
“The cultural background adds so much into the way they produce and interpret House music or just music in its entirety” “It’s been great to me because this is the type of raw information or research that you would not be able to glean anywhere else, especially not in the US”.
What has been your perception of South Africa – musically and our music business in general?
“Firstly, all of you are SPOILT! (with an admiration look on his face). “Purely because you get to turn on the radio and hear the music that you LOVE” “Again that never happens in the US, its only college radios that still maintain, playing new music not the main radio stations”.
“Business wise South Africa in my view competes with some of the ‘best’ countries out there” “The density of the music and events been organised here still have that raw energy, hence my saying if not the one of the best SA competes with the best in the scene.”
What do you think of House music and its ever-morphing categories?
“Categories such as Afro, Deep and Durban Kwaito etc. are mainly influenced by the media”. “It is what people associate the music with and it is not possible to run away from those because their definitions usually have a history behind them” e.g. Durban Kwaito sound was first produced in Durban and that’s where it all begun.
“As for Deep House Music, for me there is no clear definition of Deep house. Deep House is the Music that moves you inside”.
”It is important to have them but they can only teach you the basics. They do not determine whether you become a good DJ or producer. Practice has always been the best way to perfect your skills”.
“There are people who have been at it for years but still have not perfected the skill. The duration of the course does not necessarily determine how good you will be when you are done”.
What’s the idea behind featuring primarily new talent in Deeper Shades of House?
”It is always safe to feature people that are already known in the industry but it is quite evident that features from new talent are often the best since they have that drive and want to impress”.
“It is also good to take a risk on new talent because in that way the excitement in the shows never dies. New DJ’s and producers have the same right to be heard so I give them a chance”.
You can catch the Deep House Radio Show with Lars Behrenroth weekly at www.deepershades.net broadcasted on 20+ FM and online station worldwide.
WORDS: Nduduzo Smalz Ngobese