From DJing in elite bars across Europe to Greek hotspots and Indian festivals – Perth grown DJ Shann isnt set to slow down anytime soon. We chatted to the jetsetting music-creative on his everyday life, past mistakes and his advice for those starting out in the DJ world.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being able to put a smile on someone’s face. There is something very special about being able to make people happy. Originally I used to love the partying and drinking but now its more about the happiness I can bring to a room and also the response I get from someone who has enjoyed my set.
Whats one thing that always makes you happy?
These days its a bit of excise or yoga. In the past I lived a fairly unhealthy lifestyle, but as I have grown into my mid 20s I have gain a greater appreciation for my well being and the mindset of a healthy lifestyle.
Whats your rule of thumb when it comes to inspiring others?
I think the most important thing about inspiration is mindset. If you walk into a gig/work with a negative mindset, it will reflect in every interactive that you have while youre there. If you dont have a positive mindset, take some time to reflect on why youre there in the first place and also reflect onwhat has lead you to your current mindset. You may be there because you love music, but your mindset might be off because youre hungover. Focus on the positive and just think Im here for the right reasons, why dont I just let go and enjoy myself?
Best advice you can give someone who wants to get into your area of work?
Say yes to everything and then figure out how to do it. I once took up a gig playing before the B52s and Simple Minds. I had to google which songs Simple Minds sang, and still I only knew one at the time. But I spent the next 3 nights researching and creating a playlist that would suit the crowd that would be there for those two artists. The best thing about this, wasnt the gig itself (although it was good fun), it was the knowledge that I gained from the experience and I now had a little pocket of music that was suitable for that crowd, which I used again for a large range of gigs in the future.
What do you think is the most common mistake that people make when starting out?
People always link DJing and drinking so closely in their mind. I feel like being a DJ is the only job where you walk into work and youre given a bar card to buy alcohol with. Why are these two so closely related? I made this mistake when I was younger, I used to drink a lot when I played. It wasnt until I played a running festival sober that I realised the problem. When I was sober, I was still hit with all of the euphoric vibes that I thought were brought on by the alcohol, yet I was sober. It was then that I realised that I love what I do because of what I do, not based on how many drinks Ive had.
Whats one thing you wish youd done sooner?
Im still yet to really dive into this area of life, but I wish I learnt how to play piano, or any instrument for that matter. I feel as if I got into DJing because I love music, yet I dont know how to actually play music on anything other than decks. Slowly DJing has turned from a hobby into a career, and dont get me wrong, I still love doing it, but I want to get back to the roots of my interest and dive into the creation of music.
Another business / start- up I like is .
I dont have a particular business in mind here but I like ideas that sprout from the desire to travel and explore. I feel like the normal life of school, university, work, wife, kids, family is all good and fun if thats all you know, but I feel as though there is so much to experience in the world and I would be frustrated with that way of life. If the work aspect of your life included you ability to travel & explore however, then Im all for it.
Do you have a mantra? What is it?
Oh wait, its Om hey?
Whats your pet hate?
I have a bit of OCD so I hate it when music isnt organised, which is a constant struggle with a busy lifestyle and a lot of new music in the library each week. I also hate it when people who are addicted to their phones (which I am). To combat this, I try to put my phone away when Im DJing and in another room when I sleep.
Who inspires you?
Yacht Club DJs. I saw them at Sets on the Beach back when it was at Scarborough Beach. They were so fun and they brought so many different genres together for an awesome set 🙂
Last awesome book read?
I have never finished a book (woops) but the last one that I have got into is – Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I find that sleep is the most amazing thing in life, it enables you to change you attitude/perspective about things and see things clearly. I never set a morning alarm (which is possible because I always DJ/work at night) and I find it is so important to wake up when your body tells you to, not when outside schedules tell you to.
And some quick questions to finish –
If its not a f**k yes, its a f**k no
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Im more of a dog person 🙂
Coffee or tea?
Depends on the situation, I like the taste of Coffee more but I feel like tea is better for my mind as the caffeine in coffee hits me hard.
Savoury or Sweet?
Whats your favourite holiday hotspot?
Ios Island in Greece is the best place in the world. The food, the nightlife, the people, get yo ass there.
Whats your #1 time management tip?
I have an extension on my laptop that removes my Facebook timeline and replaces it with an inspirational quote. I find that this is the best thing I have done in a long time. There are so many distractions in modern life, and by blocking out a few, you can really get some work done 🙂 I think thats why I love flying so much, because I dont have internet, I can just get shit done.
Best guilty pleasure?
Cheese, sweet chilli philly, red rock deli dips and jatz. with a drank.
Best way to spend a Saturday night?
Imma change that to a Tuesday night (because my Saturdays are always spent behind the decks) and say the best way to spend it is with friends, cooking dinner and playing some games, or just sitting around and chatting/laughing. I also like to do things a bit different, camp overnight somewhere or setup a rug in the bush and play some backgammon.
Instagram – @djshann
Facebook – fb.me/DJShann
Website – DJShann.com