If you haven’t already heard of DJ Saladin, you soon will. The Chicago-based producer and DJ is the force behind Phunk Junk Records and is also a guest DJ on Chicago’s Dance Factory FM. Having released music on electronic labels like Deephour Music and Play Records, Saladin recently released Noize on Peak Hour Music on December 5, and next up, his Feel My Bass EP drops January 8. His knack is in combining influences like Giorgio Moroder with Prince, 1980s new wave with dark techno and future house. Since making the Billboard and Beatport charts, he has been supported by Cedric Gervais and Don Diablo and has worked with vocalists like British singer Christina Novelli. Just as his beats are simple, crisp and to the point, and he’s the same way in an interview. On a day before New Year’s Eve, Saladin took some time out to answer a few questions for us.
LSD: How have you seen the music scene in Chicago change since you started out?
DJ Saladin: The scene has change very much since I was younger in the late 1990s. One thing obviously, is the music has changed. Chicago is the birthplace of house music, but with Detroit being so close, the Detroit techno sound started leaking into the city here. The night club scene here has emerged into more of a top 40 commercial sound that gives open-format DJ’s a big chance to shine, but there still is and always will be a handful of clubs they stay true the traditional underground sound.
What parallels do you see between the electronic music scenes in Chicago and Berlin?
DJ Saladin: One word…. techno. Techno has made such a huge and amazing come back here in Chicago. While most of the city focuses on house music, in the past few years, techno has taken part of the steering wheel on this ride.
You’ve said before that Prince had a huge influence on you, how so?
DJ Saladin: I admire Prince because of his amazing talent. Not only could he sing and perform, he played every instrument on his records. He broke the barriers with his music being very sexual and riskee. There were many record labels that wanted to releases his first album, but at only 17 years old he waited to find a label that would let him produce himself. The man was also a good and loving human.
What’s the concept behind the “Noise” single you recently released?
DJ Saladin: Noize is an in-your-face electro house banger. I produced the track so that DJs could throw that in their set and blast it onto the dance floor.
What is the biggest accomplishment you’ve achieved as a musician?
DJ Saladin: I’ve had some really cool accomplishments and one of the top ones is appearing on the Billboard charts. But my biggest achievement is having fans and friends approach me and telling me how much they love the music I make and that they look up to me. That is the best feeling.
What’s the “Feel My Bass” EP all about?
DJ Saladin: I started experiment with bass house one day in the studio, next thing I knew I had a whole EP ready to go. Feel My Bass is just wanting people to hear some very big bass-heavy music. Stuff that will rock the dance floor. I really think people are gonna feel the low end frequencies when the DJs play this stuff.
What do you have upcoming next?
DJ Saladin: Well right now I am happy to say I am happy to be working with a true veteran and amazing talent, MC Flipside out of Toronto. We are currently working on a future bass track together that I produced and he wrote the lyrics and did the vocal work. I’m really looking forward to this one since I’ve always admired his music. The project is almost wrapped up. I have quite a few releases scheduled for the first few months of 2018 and there will be tons more. I just plan on working on new music in the studio and continue running my record label, Phunk Junk Records.