Behind the Beat: Manufactured Superstars
Only The Beat sat down with Manufactured Superstars before their show at Soundcheck in Washington, DC. The duo, Bradley Roulier and Shawn Sabo hail from from Denver, Colorado. Both Roulier and Sabo are both veterans in the dance music industry. Roulier is a founding member of the leading digital music retailer, Beatport and Sabo was one of the original employees. The guys also own popular Denver nightclub, Beta, in addition to producing/DJing as Manufactured Superstars. Here’s what they had to say about dance music, the industry and more.
Only The Beat: Tonight you are at Soundcheck as part of your album release of “Party All the Time” released this past December on Black Hole Recordings. Can you walk us through the process of creating this album?
Manufactured Superstars: It was a long process that took two years to complete. We were interrupted with touring, but it was great because we had the freedom to get it exactly how we wanted it before launching the album, even if it meant a missed deadline. The final album is something that we are both happy with that include good beats, remixes, and is a blend of vocal pop and the underground. The new album features 9 new tracks.
OTB: What are your favorite tracks on the album?
Brad: ”Party All The Time” because it has a really nice summertime vibe that you play by the pool.
Manufactured Superstars – Party All the Time
Shawn: ”Carry You Home” which we have some remixes releasing on Spotify on February 15th.
OTB: I read in a previous interview you were called ‘criminals’ for wearing your trademark spacesuits here in Washington, D.C. before. Whose idea was it to wear the spacesuits and why?
Manufactured Superstars: We started wearing the spacesuits after we had a series of shows where we wore them. It started with a show we did for Paul Oakenfold in Las Vegas where he had his residency, then we had a Halloween Party and a party at Skylab. After three consecutive shows it became our uniform. Now, we have different color suits – white, orange, and blue – and even customize them with patches such as the Colorado flag or our South Park characters.
OTB: Is it true that you played at the Kennedy Center here in D.C. in 2011?
Shawn: Yes, it was a cool experience and something to add to our resume. I remember it being very formal and an atmosphere for a symphony. I think we actually got some requests that night, and I don’t think we played any of the requests.
OTB: It’s well known that both of you have experience in every facet of the music industry from your contributions to Beatport to owning a nightclub and producing tracks and performing at events worldwide. Where do you see the industry going in the next year? How are EDM fans going to listen to music or buy music in the future?
Manufactured Superstars: I think that music is going to return to how it used to be where people would go to clubs to hear music that they never heard before. DJs will have to produce new music and curate a variety of different sounds. DJs will have to do something different rather than playing the same tracks over and over again and use new tools and experiment with edits, different beats, and even throwbacks and samples from pop to the underground.
OTB: I have to admit that I started listening to EDM by accident in 2013 when YouTube video autoplayed the Manufactured Superstars EDC Chicago mix. I have since listened to it about 50 more times. What were your first experiences with electronic music?
Shawn: I started on the scene in New York DJing at places like Sound Factory and Tunnel.
Brad: After college, I lived in Miami for a while and New York and eventually moved to Denver. I used to be a promoter and brought the rave style of Miami music to Denver.
OTB: Who would you say are your musical mentors or people that have influenced your style of electronic music?
Manufactured Superstars: There are too many DJs and producers that have influenced our style to name. Our style is fun, includes a lot of mashups, and often bridges genres like anything from house music to hip-hop.
Brad: If I had to name one person who is really influencing music right now, it would be Diplo.
OTB: On your record label Manufactured Music you have a lot of young artists that have produced some great music. Who should we look out for as up and coming stars?
Manufactured Superstars: Manufactured Music only signs tracks and supports many artists. We want to provide many artists with the tools to get their music out there and we don’t sit on tracks. Occasionally, we will also commission remixes of master tracks. Right now Digital Junkiez and DJ Noodles are working on some really great projects.
OTB: Any projects or collaborations that we should be on the lookout for this year?
Manufactured Superstars: We are really going to focus on touring to promote the album. We will also continue to do our radio show on Sirius XM on Fridays at 11pm and our iTunes Manufactured Radio Podcast.
OTB: February 7th Broncos in the Super Bowl. Are you doing anything special for game day and how do you plan on celebrating a Broncos win?
Manufactured Superstars: The day before the game we will be doing two shows 1) with Tiesto at Bird Nest in Phoenix and 2) Park City Live in Utah. We will also be having a Super Bowl Party at Beta in Denver.
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