Interviews

Dean Fuel, prominent South African DJ and Producer, delivers his exciting debut label release – ‘All In’

Hey there,
Hope you’re keeping well. I’m writing to you from Jetblack, a creative agency working alongside independent and major labels helping build the narrative of emerging South African talent breaking into new territories across the globe, with a strong focus on electronic music. We love what you do and would like to create a dialogue between us sharing some of our releases that we believe are suitable and grow a relationship with you if possible.
For our first release, we’ve got a really exciting debut single by prominent South African DJ and Producer, Dean Fuel, on his very own label, SMAAK, that has already picked up support from Dubfire, Paco Osuna, Richy Ahmed, Gareth Emery, Richie Hawtin, Don Diablo & Chris Fortier.
Genre: Tech House & Progressive House
For fans Of: Camelphat, Leftwing : Kody
We have attached some interview questions that we asked him should you want to use them below. Let us know if this release interests you for a piece or feature in any way and have a great day further.
Cheers,
Mike
Interview:
What made you start a label?
 
To be honest, it’s been on my mind for a number of years, but the timing just never felt 100% right…
I had set up a very basic label a few years back to self-release some music I had co-written with a talented young singer, but had never really put any real effort or thought into what I was doing, so this time – I wanted to do it right!
The 2 main things that I usually would do is create, and perform … and with the world in lockdown, and my time shifting from touring and performing to being literally stuck at home, I decided to throw myself full-on into “create” mode.
This has meant working on new music, as well as committing to starting this label – which is perhaps the ultimate form of self-expression and creation.
I want it to be a home for my new music, as well as a platform for the music I love.
Getting to discover new talent, or work with artists I love will be an amazing adventure ahead!
Why is it called smaak?
 
You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a label name that hasn’t already been used or taken in some form or another, and I definitely wanted something that was 100% original.
I also wanted something that might have people questioning, guessing, or intrigued … and I also loved the fact that it gave the label a bit of local flavour (as it is an Afrikaans word) …
SMAAK is what you make of it: original, local, and (personally) I love the translation of it “to like, love, or be keen on (someone or something)” which is how I feel about great music!
What kind of music are you producing?
 
I hate genres, especially being limited by them. When I write new music, I tend to follow my mood and inspiration in the moment … meaning that it very rarely sounds all the same, although I am still looking to try to lock down “my sound” … the quest continues!
In terms of my new music, I’ve written a cross section of some straight up club “bangers”, not meant for listening sessions, but strictly for hands in the air raving. I have also written some more progressive “journey” music, complete with vocals, euphoric synth lines, the works – which I feel will work both on the dancefloor and for listeners at home!  Ive even got a few late night techno groovers as well.
What kind of music will you be releasing?
 
The first release is coming up mid-June (Friday 19th June 2020) – and it will be a single from me, with 3 versions, aimed at DJ’s and streamers alike.
Overall – the music I’m looking to release is what I feel I love to play as a DJ – bridging the worlds between House, Tech and Progressive dance music. I want it to be memorable, I want it to move people, and I want it to be well produced.
What’s the plan with dean fuel moving forward?
 
With the current global situation – who really knows?!
For now, just to keep “moving forwards” feels like all I can do. As is the DJ trend, I’ve done 1 live stream so far (part of DreamStream which raised over R500,000 for charity) and I have my 2nd coming up for Militia this weekend (Friday 15 May).
I’m focused on the label for now, as well as finishing a few more tracks …
But to be honest, all I really want to do is get to play a live show again, and watch an actual dancefloor losing themselves to my music … that would be amazing!
Progressive House Dean Fuel
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