With the new year fast approaching (given the world doesn't end Friday), VIBE slows things down by chatting with Montreal-based dance duo Sultan and Ned Shepard. The result was an inside look into the minds behind their latest remix of "Closer," as well as an exclusive look at their work for next year and some bad habits they hope to give up in 2013.
VIBE: How do you decide what to remix?
Usually the label will approach us with a song that they think we can do something interesting with. But in some cases, we will go after a song because we love it so much. With Tegan and Sara for instance, we've been working with them over the last year (we have several collaborations in the pipeline and co-wrote a song for their album) and when we heard "Closer" we fell in love with it and decided that we had to remix it because it's such an awesome song.
What's the importance of releasing remixes as well as originals in this era of the music game?
It's good to keep a balance. Originals are definitely the most important thing, because a song, no matter what version it's in, always belongs to the original artist. But having said that, there are always those songs, where someone does such an amazing remix that it becomes an even better record and makes the original shine even more. I think Jacques Lu Contes' remix of The Killers "Mr. Brightside" was a good example of that. We love that idea of taking something that is already great and just trying to make it even better.
In a sentence or two, describe the Sultan + Ned Shepard sound to a complete dance music novice.
Our sound is very diverse, because we have lots of different influences. But for the most part our vibe is very uplifting and hopeful, and at the same time edgy.
What else do you have in store for the new year?
We have a new single coming out January 4th called "Ordinary People" feat. Max C, that is a soulful big room club record. It's been getting huge reactions when we play it out - people are singing along even though they're hearing it for the first time! We also have a fun collaboration with Nervo called "Army" featuring the vocals of Omarion. There's been a lot of good hype on this record and we're excited for it's release in January. Finally, we did a remix of Bruno Mars's hit single, "Locked Out of Heaven" which was a really fun track to remix and will come out early next year!
Any NYE resolutions?
Sultan: Quit Smoking.
Ned: Cut down on aimless internet surfing!