Sultan & Shepard: “Stick to the things that make you happy”

Canadian electronic outfit Sultan & Shepard made waves in the progressive house community through their encaptivating albums and collaboration work with big names such as Tegan & Sara and Tiësto. The duo — consisting of Sultan (born Ossama Al Sarraf) and Ned Shepard — met as DJs in Montreal before releasing their first singles in 2007. The two dropped by the Moooi pop-up studio at Nexus Lounge Amsterdam to talk with host Ron S about new music, the Take 5 quiz, and weed.

Sultan & Shepard

The duo talked about their latest album “It’s called Echoes of Life. There’s a day side and a night side. Basically, the dayside is a lot of the music we’ve been releasing like the house- stuff, future house commercial, like vocal pop stuff. And then the second disc is more of the deep, progressive house stuff that we’ve been doing in the last few months. So if you like anything that we’ve ever done, you will like something on this album.”

Ron also probed into the inspiration behind the duo’s cover of Heavy D and the Boyz’ 1991 classic “Now That We Found Love.”

“Honestly, it started in 2015. We had gone back to Vegas and just got in the studio one day and [the song] was on ‘90s on 9 on Sirius XM. That’s one of my favorite channels. I loved that song and then loaded it into the computer and started messing around and came up with a cool idea behind it. We sat on it for four years. We did a version with Showtek we didn’t put out, then we did eight other versions, and then we went back to it. The original version was pretty close. We put that up and now there are some awesome remixes too.”

The two moved on to a quick light-hearted question from Ron about handling jet lag before heading back into more serious topics.

“Taking naps as soon as we land.”

Lastly, the duo wrapped up the interview by telling Ron the advice they’d give to their younger selves.

“Stick to your guns. Stick to the things that make you happy. Make decisions with your heart, not your head. I think that’s the most important thing. Don’t get caught up in following trends and feeling like you need to go somewhere when you could stick to what you’re doing and eventually the trend will come back around to you. If your heart’s not in it, just sit that one out. It cycles fast and then you find things you’re interested in.”

To learn more about Sultan & Shepard’s weed usage and penguins wearing sombreros, listen to the complete interview below.

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