DJ Speedy, AKA Richard Santana, is about to do a tour of South Africa to promote his new double CD, Two Worlds. We spoke to him about the business and the state of dance.Jean Barker for MWEB: How exactly do remixes work? We always assume we know, but what does a DJ actually work from, and with, to produce a remix of say a Armin Van Buuren track?
DJ Speedy: What happens is Armin Van Buuren wants you to remix his track then he'll approach you and say "I want your kind of style to be put onto my songs". Then you'll go into the studio and do your mix and then you get paid according to what the deal structure is.
MWEB: So he'd actually request it. And he'll give you the original vinyl or...
DJ Speedy: He gives you the original parts. All the separate parts. Like if there's a vocal in it he'll give you the vocal. The elements of the song as separate files. Then you'll take them into your own studio and go do your own mix of them.
MWEB: Your new album you try to go for listening type dance, as well as high energy must move now stuff... Why did you decide to do that?
DJ Speedy: I don't only play one style, I play a wide variety. So I thought this time round, I'll put two different styles on two different discs and not mix them up as I did with the previous album.
MWEB: You're a great live DJ. What's the secret to keeping a crowd on the dance floor?
DJ Speedy: Not being too boring in terms of your music and what you play on the night. Being spontaneous. Bringing songs in that they never thought you'd actually play.
MWEB: And what about the drugs that may or may not be going around the venue - does it matter much how good the E is that night?
DJ Speedy: Obviously you'll have dope in most clubs. But I don't think it's the priority. I don't think it's why people go to clubs. There's a lot of people who go to the clubs to listen to music and have a good time as opposed to going there and take drugs. I've come from Europe now and it's the same thing there. People are really getting into the music. Also music is starting to slow down. It's not as fast and as hard as it used to be. So there's no need for narcotics.
MWEB: Apparently you can't get good E anymore, anyway.
DJ Speedy: Ya. [Laughs]
MWEB: You're Label Manager at Sheer Music as well as a DJ. What's it like being on both sides of the business?
DJ Speedy: It helps me in a big way. You get to see both sides of the story. You get to bring in the new tracks that are doing well overseas and try and licence them and put them on CDs and stuff.
MWEB: I see you're getting into Podcasting on your site - or you seem to be. What do you think of the whole podcasting trend. Do you believe in it?
DJ Speedy: I think that's the way forward. I do it simply for promotional purposes. People download it and listen to it while they're working. And it's helped me a lot.
MWEB: And internationally? What's your favourite place to go work as a DJ
DJ Speedy: I've played in Pakistan, Dubai, Portugal, Spain, but I think the best was definitely Dubai. I mean, it's an amazing city and everything is so incredibly advanced in terms of technology - it's... it's unbelievable. I really enjoyed playing to the crowd there. I think there's a lot of South Africans there. That's what made it.
MWEB: What is your musical background? What kind of music drew you in?DJ Speedy: I started at a Nightclub in Portugal when I was 14 years old, picking up cups off the tables. I was just trying to make some extra cash. I built up on that and became a light jockey from there, and learned how to play in the meantime. And then when the DJ didn't pitch the one day, ya, I think they gave me that spot.
WIN: One of four copies of DJ Speedy's new double album, Two Worlds
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