Published on October 8th, 2012 | by Prometheus0
[Feat]. – Tall Sasha. Height isn’t the only thing that we’re looking up at this DJ.
Sasha or better known as Tall Sasha is performs regularly at the US finest venues such as Rube Skye in San Francisco sharing the stage with many big names such as Avicii, Guetta, Nicky Romero, Roger Sanchez, Axwell, Kaskade and many more.
In just short period of time, both his original releases Stargate and Revolution have soared high on the Beatport Top 100 Progressive House charts even overtaking tracks by big names such as Swedish House Mafia and Tiesto. To top that all off, both his releases are the first release by his self owned recording label DJ4Life Recordings. Now that’s amazing!
This week, local DJ/Producer the Choobs virtually flies to San Francisco via the awesome invention called the internet to sit down for an exclusive talk with the tall man himself.
And here’s one of his latest tunes to listen while you read!
The Choobs: Tall Sasha, you’re super tall. At 195cm, you’re almost 7 feet! Have you ever been drafted into a basketball team?
Tall Sasha: Yes that is correct, I am very tall but not close to 7ft, since I am 6’4 and that is why my nickname comes out at Tall Sasha. I played basketball in Europe as a teenager at one of the best basketball teams ‘KK Bosnia” in my home town of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and that earned me scholarship to play at University level in United States. I was one of the best players with hopes of professional level but unfortunately after a serious knee injury the career has ended and I’ve found a new passion in music !
The Choobs: Wait a sec, I’m jumping too fast. Let’s back track. Let’s start at where it all begun. What got you into DJing? Tell us about your first gig.
Tall Sasha: Ever since I was a child I had two passions, sports and music. I remember taking piano lessons for sometime but after I got into playing basketball , music took a second place in my life, but came back to me after I discovered house music in early 2000’s, and became fascinated by local DJ’s in San Francisco scene. I bought my own used turntables and started to practice day and night, which eventually led to gigs at underground parties and huge local following.
The Choobs: All that that talk about height is getting me excited to jump to the next question. First it was STARGATE that soared to the #31 on the Beatport top 100 progressive house charts, but now REVOLUTION has gone even higher at #22! That’s pretty insane. Must be quite a feeling right?
Tall Sasha: It really is amazing to achieve that chart success in such an early part of my career as producer. There is literally thousands of progressive tracks released daily on beatport and thousands of talented producers and to have that level of success with just 3 original productions on a brand new label is truly amazing. I am very proud of both songs, they reflect my taste and style, which is emotional melodies and driving beat and superb basslines. I tend to call this style “badass house music”. There is a new track ready to be released which is a remake of legendary U2 song – With Or Without You. I am hoping for a similar chart success!
The Choobs: Tell us about songs? STARGATE for example. How you came up with the title? Are you a sci-fi fan?
Tall Sasha: I am a big scifi fan, I love all sci fi movies, even going back in time when Star Wars came out, and also one of my favorite sci fi movies, War of the Worlds. But going back to your question, when I produce music, I come up with a few elements that will become backbones of the track and tend to daydream while listening to it. In this case I was imagining going back through the time, where time travel is possible and Stargate would be an actual gate to another dimension. At least for me personally this metaphore is what music does; it can literally transform us to a different feeling or state of mind whether is feeling happy, emotional, or just energetic that will make you stand up and hit the dance floor and get lost in the music. All of my song names have a significant meanings and Startgate is no exception.
The Choobs: Let’s say it’s the perfect time to drop REVOLUTION on your set. What’s the one track you will play before and after it?
Tall Sasha: REVOLUTION is a highly energetic track so something from Hardwell like “Spaceman” or Nicky Romero’s “Toulouse” would fit perfectly.
The Choobs: Is there anyone in particular who you’d certainly wish to have to remix your tracks?
Tall Sasha: Nicky Romero or Hardwell would be great choices.
The Choobs: We’ve only seen your shows on video and seriously, it’s spectacular. Describe to us what we can expect from you if we are there to watch you perform live.
Tall Sasha: Well I tend to smile a lot when I am spinning and also often make eye contact with a crowd. When I see some people who are dancing in the front row, sometime I would point to them and clap, basically encouraging them to have even more fun as I appreciate their enthusiasm. The feeling of happiness is contagious so when I am happy and having a good time behind the decks, this translates to crowd and usually we all end up having a blast ! That’s the Tall Sasha experience that sets me apart!
The Choobs: Tell us about your setup when you spin. Ever had to setup the equipment differently because of your height? What are some of the equipments you work with?
Tall Sasha: I started out as true turntablist DJ, as I loved the feeling of it but when technology changed I switched to Pioneer CDJ players in 2005 and till this day still use them. I don’t think I would ever use computer as a medium to DJ, to me personally computers are for making music, not for performing music live, so I prefer feel of mixing music on CD players. In terms of specific requirement in terms of height, I can deal with any kind of set up so nothing specific there.
The Choobs: You’ve played with many big acts such as Guetta, Avicii, Ferry Corsten, Roger Sanchez, Axwell and a whole lot more. Which of these names do you still often keep in touch with?
Tall Sasha: I keep in touch with all of them via promo lists, they are very busy and on tour all the time but once a while we do tend to exchange messages via social media.
The Choobs: Any chance of a collaboration in the future?
Tall Sasha: Yes, I have been asked for some remixes and originals – so stay tuned for more info coming out soon.
The Choobs: If you were to perform as in a group like a trio like Swedish House Mafia who would the other 2 person be?
Tall Sasha: I think collaborating as a group is a good idea since it brings out the knowledge and different backgrounds and ideas together. I know many talented producers around the world and we have been thinking of making an act and combing the years of production experience to create something unheard of, but at this point in my career it might be too early as I am still in the process of building a Tall Sasha sound and worldwide recognition.
The Choobs: We’ve heard some of your awesome remixes of tracks by rock acts such as Queen, REM and Nine Inch Nails. Is there a track you always wanted to remix but never really had the chance to?
Tall Sasha: Those are all unofficial remixes (bootlegs), which are becoming a trend for any successful producers and luckily these days it is almost possible to create bootleg remix of any song out there. I had lot ‘s of fun to crafting legendary rock song into dance music, and this has generated a huge buzz and respect from the music community but at this point my creativity is focused on originals, although I do have few new bootlegs in mind. It feels great though to convert rock to dance !
The Choobs: We heard so much D4Life? First an academy. Now a record label? Nice. Tell us about it.
Tall Sasha: I’ve always enjoyed to teach, even going back to my days as a basketball player teaching young kids to play basketball after school, so later in my late 20s, when I become more experienced as a DJ I thought would be cool to take pure beginners and train them 1on1 and then as part of lessons give them a chance to perform live. The concept started by placing an online ad and after some many inquires within 24 hrs, I’ve decided to start the dj academy, DJ4life, which basically follows the concept of when you become a DJ, you will always be a dj, since it’s a passion that people can enjoy for many years. The concept was so successful as people liked to train and spin live in the matter of weeks, it was almost like a dream come true. The biggest newspaper USA TODAY followed by a front page story , and Heineken Music awarded the academy with a grant. We were able to use the publicity and bring the concept to 10 different cities across the USA.
The Record label was a natural step forward as much as we like to help newcomers become DJ’s , the record label part now wants to help talented producers from around the world, and we are very excited to see our label grow. Our first two original have both made it to top 100 downloads so it is a huge success.
The Choobs: We at Huruhara.com have do have some inside information *ahems* that you’ll be visiting Asia again pretty soon. Mind to share some spoilers?
Tall Sasha: I love coming to play in Asia and been doing it for the past 4 years which included headlining Asia’s best clubs in countries like Philippines, China, Vietnam, Korea and more. My style of music is very appealing to the audience is Asia, a lot of times is mixture of popular songs that are custom edited so there is a sense of familiarity but with my own Tall Sasha’s twist. There is couple of dates confirmed in Singapore that I am looking forward to and would love to visit Malaysia as well. I think people there would really enjoy my sound and performance.
The Choobs: The next question is pretty random. Let’s say you’re gonna throw a themed party. What theme will you go for?
Tall Sasha: Here in USA we usually participate in costume party for Halloween which is always cool, there is so many creative and crazy costumes, some are funny, some are scary and it’s really fun to be at the place where everyone is dancing in some kind of a costume.
The Choobs: Say by the way, just outta random curiosity. Ever heard of THE CHOOBS?
Tall Sasha: We did ! Here at Dj4life we get many demos from all over the world from talented producers and we got a recommendation to listen a demo from The Choobs, Kuala Lumpur as he is working on unique musical style of electro house. I think there is bright future in front of him and who knows may be a future gigs. We are always looking to hear more quality productions and demos from Asian producers ,so please send us demos at firstname.lastname@example.org