Siavash is the Canadian artist behind the chart topping record label You Plus One. This eccentric artist is a 25+ year master DJ and an accredited innovator of the Northwest underground music scene. Born in Iran to deaf parents during the Islamic revolution, he emerged from a challenging past to build an impressive presence in the electronic music industry.
His unmistakable sound resembles his charming personality that draws so many to him: powerful, dirty, magnetic, and emotional. His original studio work has been signed to iconic labels such as Get Physical and Mobilee. Siavash’s critically acclaimed music has placed high on multiple Beatport Top 100 charts. In 2022 he also launched an ongoing collaborative project with techno pioneers Pig&Dan.
His latest collab with Pig&Dan Call The Hitland lands this month on Poker Flat.
WWD: Welcome to When We Dip! Thanks for talking to us – how’s 2023 treating you so far?
Musically, 2023 has been an incredible year for me. I’m thrilled to share that every original record I’ve released this year saw major support, consistently reaching the top 3 on the Beatport charts, and even securing the number 1 spot. I’m especially excited about my upcoming collaboration with Pig&Dan, titled ‘Call The Hitman,’ which will be released on Poker Flat, one of the most influential labels in the industry. Additionally, I have a scheduled release on 8Bit records, as well as a few more projects in the pipeline before the year concludes. This year has undoubtedly been the most prolific in terms of the amount of music I’ve released throughout my career.
WWD: You were born in Iran to deaf parents during the Islamic revolution… none of which would perhaps be seen as conducive to a music career… What set you on this path?
I had a unique journey into the world of music being that my parents were deaf since birth and were unable to provide any musical background or influence. They have never heard a sound in their entire lives so naturally, they never played any records at home or encouraged me to pursue a music career. Instead, they wanted me to focus on my other talents such as visual arts, like painting, illustration, and architecture, in which I excelled. However, my passion for music was something I couldn’t ignore.
Initially, my parents were hesitant about my decision to pursue music. They couldn’t fully understand or relate to it. But as they witnessed my unwavering dedication and saw the results of my hard work, they gradually became my biggest supporters. I am grateful that they made sacrifices, leaving behind a comfortable life in Iran, so that my brother and I could have the freedom to explore our passions.
For me, following a path that goes against the restrictions imposed by the Islamic rule in Iran is a way to prove to my parents that their sacrifices were not in vain. It’s a way to defy oppression and embrace the freedom to express myself through music. Performing to diverse crowds, playing captivating and energetic music, and enjoying the liberties of a rock ‘n roll lifestyle is a direct contrast to what is forbidden in Iran. It’s a powerful statement of rebellion and a celebration of freedom.
So, in essence, my journey in music is not just about personal discovery, but also about breaking barriers and defying societal norms. It’s about embracing the freedom to create and express myself, and it serves as a testament to the sacrifices my parents made for me.
WWD: In an ever-evolving electronic music landscape, how do you maintain a distinct artistic identity while also staying relevant to changing trends and audience expectations?
I’ve always embraced my individuality and authenticity as an artist. Growing up as the “weird fat boy with no friends,” I realized that my quirks and unconventional nature were actually my greatest strengths. I’ve never felt the need to conform to societal norms or follow trends in my music. In fact, I have a peculiar aversion to trends and strive to constantly explore uncharted realms in my sound.
I firmly believe that staying true to my weird, artistic self is what sets me apart from others in the industry. While many artists may chase after relevance and try to replicate popular sounds, I find that by staying true to my own unique style, I am able to create music that resonates with a wider audience. It’s about being fearless and not caring about what others think or what’s currently popular. This mindset has allowed me to maintain my relevancy beyond the standards of today and carve out my own niche in the electronic underground dance music scene.
WWD: You have a history with Pig&Dan – what makes them artists you want to collaborate with?
I have a deep and long-standing history with Pig&Dan. In the early 2000s, I was a huge fan of their music and would eagerly buy every record they released, especially during their time with Cocoon. What drew me to them was their ability to take the classic techno sound and infuse it with elements of deep melody and moody soul. They were ahead of their time and I admired their unique approach to music.
Years later, through the power of manifestation, I had the incredible opportunity to not only DJ with Pig&Dan, but also collaborate with them on various projects. We even released their music on our label, which was a dream come true for me. But our connection goes beyond just work and music. I can genuinely say that Pig&Dan have become true friends to me.
Igor, also known as Piggy, has become like a big brother to me. We have formed a strong bond and consider each other family. Our friendship extends beyond the music industry, and I am grateful to have them in my life.
WWD: How did you approach the new collab for Poker Flat?
My approach to the “Call the Hitman” EP for Poker Flat was quite unique. The title track actually originated as a simple beat that I quickly put together during a studio session to showcase my unconventional workflow to a fellow DJ in Vancouver. It was a spontaneous creation that I didn’t think much of and eventually forgot about, leaving it buried in my hard drive.
However, my friend and legendary producer Igor, was in town and we had just finished collaborating on several projects, so I decided to share some of my unfinished songs with him. To my surprise, he instantly fell in love with “Call the Hitman” and saw the potential to revitalize it with his production skills. With the addition of Dan’s expertise in the final touches, the song came back to life like a resurrected vampire under a full moon.
I never expected a track like this to catch the attention of someone like Steve Bug at Poker Flat, but life works in mysterious ways. It’s truly an honor to be signed to such an iconic and prestigious dance music label.
WWD: In an era where electronic music genres continue to evolve and merge, how do you think artists can maintain their originality while challenging conventional norms?
I have been immersed in dance culture for the past three decades, witnessing the birth and evolution of new genres that were once unimaginable. Throughout my journey, I have passionately explored and played music from every electronic genre and subgenre, noticing how the lines between them have become increasingly blurred. These are undoubtedly the most eclectic and exciting times in dance history, with our music being more relevant and sought-after than ever before.
As an artist, I have always refused to be confined by genres and labels. Instead, I focus on telling a unique story in my own way. This philosophy extends to my record label, You Plus One, where we are dedicated storytellers without limitations on how we express ourselves artistically. Our goal is to paint a vivid picture that resonates with listeners on a deep level.
In essence, it all boils down to introspection and sharing a piece of your soul with the world. When you look within yourself and express your true essence, everything else falls into place naturally. So, let your inner voice guide you and fearlessly share your story with others.
WWD: As an artist, you likely receive both praise and criticism for your work. How do you handle feedback, both positive and negative, and how do you believe it contributes to your growth and development as an artist?
As a leader within my community, I often find myself surrounded by individuals who constantly offer praise and compliments. While I understand their intentions to maintain a positive relationship with me, I value constructive criticism more than anything else. It is through the feedback and honest opinions of my closest friends within my small circle that I am able to identify areas for improvement and personal growth. I believe that receiving deserved and sincere criticism in areas where I can enhance my skills and abilities is crucial for my development as a leader. If someone claims to be an artist but cannot handle serious criticism, it would be beneficial for them to focus on honing their skills before considering themselves true artists.
WWD: How do you approach crafting a memorable and engaging live performance, and how important is the audience’s energy in shaping the atmosphere?
Having grown up with deaf parents, I have developed a strong understanding of body language, which allows me to connect with audiences in a unique way. I believe that simply standing still and looking down at my mixing board while performing would be unfair to the crowd who have paid to see me. I believe that a great sounding show should be complemented by an engaging stage presence. Fortunately, I don’t have to pretend to rock out on stage because I genuinely can’t control most of my actions while performing. I enjoy the non-verbal communication aspect of performing and I believe that my presence on stage adds to the overall experience for the audience.
WWD: What else do you have coming up this year we should be looking out for?
We are thrilled to announce that Season 7 of our highly anticipated HAUSPARTY will be relaunching at the end of August, featuring the incredible duo Andhim.
Additionally, mark your calendars for September 1st, as we will be releasing our long-awaited “Call The Hitman” EP on the esteemed PokerFlat label.
But that’s not all – we have an unforgettable finale planned for our outdoor daytime minifestival, REWIRE, on September 9th, featuring the talented Monkey Safari and myself. Furthermore, stay tuned for the release of five more original records of mine by the end of this year. These will be available on our very own You Plus One label, as well as other major labels.
And finally, I can hardly contain my excitement for the grand reveal of my MASSIVE secret project in LA, which will be announced at the end of this year. Trust me, it’s going to be a game-changer!