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Paul Rees

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Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?

Hey, I'm Paul Rees. I'm a DJ and Music Producer from England. Hopefully this interview will give you more insight into my career so far, with a lot of topics and details I have never expressed before.

My career started out as solely a DJ. From playing in venues around my local town of Brighton at the weekends, and DJ'ing as favours for mates birthdays, weddings and charity events I soon realised DJ'ing is what I want to do full time, I had, and still have a passion to create an atmosphere with the greatest tool we have – MUSIC. So I dropped everything!.. a secure job, the 9-5 life, comforts of home and took off to other countries to take on full time DJ residency.

These contracts rolled on one after another over the space of 6 years (so far). My first stop was Ibiza, trying to get a name for myself in a overly saturated world of DJ's. Landed a few gigs to my name along the sunset strip, and even got to play at the world renowned SuperClub Es Paradis. Then onto the next… I headed to the Middle east, taking on 4 different residencies in Bahrain including big clubs and big events supporting famous commercial artists such as Jay Sean, Edward Maya, DJ Antoine, Coolio and many more. Here I learnt the art of open format and the true work of a Resident DJ supporting a varied range of nights. Shaping and carving my sets from my own edits, mash ups, remixes. It was pretty intense to keep crowds jumping 6 nights a week with new material but it was most definitely worth while.

Then came the Maldives. Back to the deeper sounds I personally love. Sunset sessions everyday, beach parties & pool parties in paradise – Yes I returned there.. Twice! :P. These deeper sounds then ventured into Dubai, playing at rooftop Lounges and swanky bars. Another residency in Abu Dhabi and now Im back in the UK & currently confirming my next residency.

Iv pushed to moved forwards all the time. Improving myself and my career. Now I am producing more of my own music with tracks signed record labels such as Koda Recording and Happy Tree Records. And a load more coming soon…

How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years?

My influences come from all over. I started out enjoying radio listening to shows from Seb Fontaine, Pete tong, Judge Jules and even Tim Westwood as well as live sets from big Trance and House names. I enjoyed these shows because they pushed new music, new sounding material and created new trends. This fuelled my record collection which included anything from Hip Hop to House and Techno.

Now, since my recent residencies in Dubai and resorts in the Maldives I'm appreciating the deeper side. House, Deep house & Nu Disco styles along with RNB and commercial remixes. I still like to bring commercial elements into my sets and production, giving a crowd something to relate to can be a powerful tool for creating that buzz. There is some incredible music production out there these days. Ben Macklin, Maya Jane Coles, Darius, Tobtok, Kilter.. to name a few. These guys are not entirely famous but the sound they push across is simply awesome and something that really pushes me to continually improve my sound.

What´s new right now?

This year is looking like its going to be my biggest year yet! Iv got a load of new tracks that are already set for release throughout all the months leading up to summer. The tracks are already carrying loads of great feedback so I'm really looking forward to sharing them with everyone.

As for my DJ life, Im currently in the middle of confirming my next residency in Dubai, along with another record deal. Loads of great stuff to come. The best place to keep up to date with all this is on my Facebook, Instagram & Soundcloud. Check the links below.

Feel free to reach out and message me on my socials. Check out my new sounds and enjoy. Cheers guys!

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Are you a superfan of anyone? How did you become a superfan? Do you remember how you become a fan and what turned you into super fan? Have you ever thought about why you´re such a fan?

Yes, quite a few. The person that springs to mind is Michael Jackson. Sure, he's a favourite of most people, but what inspires me most about his music is the way he used his voice as an instrument and really groves it into the song. Its a shame his fame all got to him a bit much.

And also from a DJ point of view Pete Tong has always pioneered the DJ world for me. Not really for his performances or production (sorry Pete) but for his impact on dance music all over the world. Half of a DJ's job is to share music and create new sounds and trends. Pete Tong is at the top of his game with this. The biggest artists in the world come to Pete to showcase their sounds. He really keeps that old form, or element of being a DJ alive. I guess thats why he's one of few DJ's to receive an MBE for his work.


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What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?

My biggest tip to a new producer would be to just create a track. Try not to faff around too much trying to perfect that loop. Stretch it out and get an idea for how the track will flow. Elements might come easier then. But everyone is different with their work flow. And thats another thing, don't be too strict on your own process. Play around with new sounds and do what you like the sound off. A track will start to form at some point.

Also, listening to a lot of music you love is a great way of finding new ideas. You will find that once you start producing you start recognising and understanding elements of tracks and how you can create something similar. From there it snowballs…


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How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?


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Do you have good promotion tips for other musicians?

The saying goes "you are who google says you are", right? So you got a good track out, loads of new mixes up and so on. As soon as you apply for a gig or residency you will be googled buy the venue manager or promoter. This is where content is key. And try and keep the quality as good and professional as possible from day one.


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Do you have insights on how to grow your audience on soundcloud that you want to share with our audience?


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What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

Tricky question. Personally, getting into music production was a challenge for me. Throughout 6 years of travelling to different DJ Residencies, fellow DJ's always said to me "produce your own music, its worth it". I really preferred the DJ side of things. Mixing hours of music, creating journeys and finding new material to keep pushing my sets to the next level. If I ever heard a new track I thought about where I could play it and at what point during a set – it was all about the DJ sets.

Now its very different. Keeping that passion for my DJ sets I have suddenly become obsessed with music production. I love working on a new track, sparking ideas and inspiration to be artistic, and then seeing it grow into a full finished piece.

I think I overcame this challenge by really learning my craft, the craft of production. Its almost completely non-related to DJ'ing! Once I learnt and got my head around the software, plug-ins and everything else it became more enjoyable and now, like I said, I'm addicted to it!


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How do you personally discover new music?

I go through a lot of music! and theres no end. Firstly, what I do is find some initial tracks that fit my style.. I find these from listening to radio shows, looking at charts, and looking up artists, labels, and music channels I like. From these tracks I then go on a bit of a journey…. with Soundcloud you can look up all the other artist's work, the remix artists on their tracks and then their own music etc. Also, this way you can discover more record labels you like. You can follow these artists onto things like Spotify and Mixcloud to see their personal charts and the track they play out… and it goes on and repeats. It can go quite deep but I find some right gems!


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Once you discovered new music, do you tell others about the new music/artist you discovered? If yes, how exactly?

“Yes! music is for sharing. I used to run my own podcast where I showcased all my favourite tracks I got my hands on that week. Now, I either share their work on my social media pages, or record a new mix showcasing the new sounds in all their glory!

I think keeping everyone else up to date is important, theres no point in a DJ always being 6 months ahead of everyone else. But at the same time thats kinda nice sometimes! Introducing new sounds in my DJ sets is also key, especially at those venues where you can interact with the crowd. The first time someone hears a track they love is important, whether is be drinking a cocktail at a perfect sunset or the Euphoric moment at an EDM event, if you set the scene well it then becomes a memorable moment for them.


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What is your number one tip to improve your music production or songwriting skills?


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What is your best tip for those who struggle with finishing their tracks?


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We meet again in one year. What has changed?


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