Shazam: Bright Future

Perth dance prodigy Cameron Parkin has been enthralling electronic fans under his Shazam moniker with original releases on Bang Gang 12 Inches and smashed-out remixes for the likes of Munk, Bag Raiders, Empire Of The Sun and more. Starting off the year with a prime slot on this year’s Future Music Festival lineup, Parkin’s in preparations for a super-sized 2011 and he chatted to inthemix to give us all the details.

You started producing music at a really young age and as much as your youth has been a benefit for you, has it ever detracted from your output?

“Yeah, it was always interesting. Like when I was 16 and doing remixes for people I didn’t really tell anyone how old I was, not even my agent, I just kept that to myself. I was kind of embarrassed that I was so young and in that scene and I didn’t let anyone know, really. When I eventually came out with Shazam I decided to talk about my age and you definitely do get a reaction from people. I mean, I’d like to think that I don’t rely on my age as some sort of ‘selling-point’ for my music.”

For a little while there you were really active releasing remixes and your own stuff but it’s sort of quieted down and we haven’t heard a great deal of Shazam stuff recently. Where’ve you been hiding?

“That’s true, I’ve just been hitting the studio really hard. I’m getting a new EP out in the next month or so and then there’s the work for the album after that, so I’ve really just been focussing on putting a lot of detail into things. I want my debut album to be really good so I’m working as hard as I can on making that happen.”

What’s that like for you? I imagine that it’d be quite a serious undertaking working on a whole album instead of singles and especially remixes where you at least have a skeleton of sorts in front of you.

“To be honest I actually think writing original music can be easier than remixing other stuff. With remixing you’ve already got something there that you have to make work. You have to write all the hooks to fit those parts, whereas when you’re writing original music you do whatever, you can change whatever you like and you don’t have to worry about keeping one constant thing to please someone. I think you can be a bit more creative when you’re doing your own music.”

So what’s on the cards for your artist album? Is it important to do things differently and try new things for the full LP?

“It’s not about me stepping up to a totally new genre of music or anything; it’s still definitely got my sound. I think certain production techniques are a bit different now and I think that while the songs are still dance they’re not all that clubby. They’re more pop-structured songs, I think. There are very strong melody lines and very strong harmonies but also some nice funky stuff…it’s rhythmic. It kind of challenges that whole post ‘80s disco, boogie music that’s just been done to death now. I think it’s kind of a fresh take on it.”

Interesting. By describing it as more ‘pop’ does that mean there are guest vocalists on it?

“Yes, I do have some vocalists but I can’t disclose just who they are right now. I’m still trialling a few and deciding who will go on which track at this stage. The EP that’s coming out before the album doesn’t have any vocals though, that’s probably aimed more at the dancefloor.”

Suss out the first pics from Future Music Festival with Shazam on the Dim Mak stage

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