Now and Then: Dave Seaman & duo partner Steve Parry
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Welcome to our exclusive interview with two legendary DJs in the music industry, Dave Seaman and Steve Parry. In this interview, we’ll be discussing their careers and how the music industry has evolved over the years.
The interview, titled “Now and Then,” delves into their experiences, insights, and perspectives on how the music industry has evolved from its early beginnings to the present day.
Both Dave Seaman and Steve Parry have made significant contributions to the music industry over the years. Dave Seaman is a highly respected DJ, producer, and music industry veteran with over 30 years of experience. He has played in some of the world’s most prestigious clubs and festivals, released several critically acclaimed albums and singles, and collaborated with many of the industry’s top names.
Steve Perry, is an accomplished DJ and producer with a career spanning over 20 years. He is the founder of Selador Recordings, a highly respected record label known for releasing innovative and cutting-edge electronic music. He has played at some of the world’s most renowned clubs and festivals and has released several successful tracks and remixes.
Join us as we dive deep into the world of electronic music and learn from two of its most celebrated and accomplished artists. The insights and stories shared in this interview are not to be missed, so sit back, relax, and enjoy “Now and Then” with Dave Seaman and Steve Parry.
How has the DJ industry changed since you first started your career, and how have you adapted to these changes?
Dave: Like lots of aspects of our lives, things are very different from what they were 30 years ago. This last few decades has seen the digital revolution turn the way we live upside down and of course, the DJ industry has very much been affected by that too. And like everything else, there’s been pros and cons. Back when we first started DJing, in some respects it was far simpler, in that there were fewer factors to worry about. It was mainly about sourcing music through many hours in record shops hunting for music and many more hours spent honing your technical skills.
Steve: Of course these days there’s more music than we can cope with at our finger tips and the basics of mixing can be done for you by machines. But on the flip side of that, back in the day, we never had to worry about social media and worldwide marketing of a brand which is what essentially DJs have become. We are now artists in the same way that rock bands and pop stars have been and now have to promote ourselves in the same way. And that’s a whole different ball game.
Can you reflect on some of the most significant moments or trends in the history of DJing and how they have influenced your own approach to the craft?
Dave: I suppose the first important moment would have been in New York in the 1970s when DJs started to try to blend and segue from one record to the next using 2 turntables. That’s where DJing as an art form really began which then blossomed into more dramatic performance at weekly communal gatherings at places like the Paradise Garage with Larry Levan and The Warehouse in Chicago with Frankie Knuckles. It was just an extension of the age old human ritual of gathering together to celebrate life through rhythm and transcendental practices but with the DJ now playing the role of shaman. But the DJ revolution that exploded at the end of the 1980s with the technological advances brought about by samplers really took things to another level. It enabled DJs to become artists in their own right. To come out of the shadows and take centre stage. Being able to make your own music without having to hire expensive studios was a game changer.
Steve: And then of course, the digital era brought more sweeping changes. The creativity unleashed by the new technology really opened up a wealth of new possibilities and made DJing accessible to everyone.
How has technology impacted the DJ industry over the years and how has it affected the way you perform and create music?
Steve: It’s had a massive bearing. The original set up of 2 turntables and a mixer was limiting to what could be achieved compared to the power of Pioneer’s CDJs or other laptop controlled software. Now you can easily extend or edit tracks on the fly which allows the DJ to manipulate music for their own particular needs. You can really put your own stamp on things now in a way that was inconceivable back in the analogue era.
Dave: And of course, another major advance was the ability to access music at the drop of a hat wherever you are in the World. To have new tracks that literally just have been finished in a studio on the other side of the World sent to you to test out minutes later. Back in our early days of touring, the box of vinyl you took with you on the plane was all the music you had to play with for the whole tour unless you had time to pick up something new at a record shop in whatever city you were visiting. There was no downloading 50 new tracks in your hotel room just before the gig!
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing DJs today compared to when you first started your career, and how have you approached these challenges?
Steve: I suppose the main difference is how much more competitive it is. There’s probably a hundred times more artists fighting for the same space than there was 30 years ago. So much of being a successful DJ these days is about your online social and marketing skills. You also could be a DJ back then without having to be a producer which is something you rarely see anymore. I think you just have to keep moving with the times and be open to learn news skills. Even after more than 30 years in the business, everyday is still a school day.
How do you stay connected to your roots and pay homage to the pioneers of the DJ industry while also keeping up with the latest developments and trends?
Dave: I think staying connected to your roots and having respect for the artists that paved the way is all about attitude really. I don’t really see moving forward and embracing the future as something that should be detrimental to your past. The two are not mutually exclusive. Or at least they shouldn’t be with the right attitude.