Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Dax On Sax: The joys of Dax

Dax On Sax @bluesandsoul.com
Dax On Sax @bluesandsoul.com Dax On Sax @bluesandsoul.com

Hailing from the north of the UK, Saxophonist Dax On Sax has been consistently wowing crowds in Ibiza and beyond with his charismatic performances. Now extending his talents in the studio, he has just finished/produced his debut album, "My Vision", on Discopolis. We recently caught up with the man himself to find out more about his exciting vision…

How did you first get into playing the Saxophone and what made you enter the world of dance music without the desire to become a DJ?

I started learning the sax from a young age at school. I have always been fascinated by all different types of music, but I found a real passion for house music growing up through my teenage years and seamlessly found a way of integrating the two!

Tell us about your debut album, "My Vision".

Producing an album of this calibre would only have ever been a pipe dream but when my management team and I began to discuss the idea, we set straight to work on the project. The entire project has been inspired from tracks that I grew up listening to and from this, produced 12 tracks that were my own take on music I have enjoyed over the years, hence the name "My Vision".

Musically, the album has some big bass lines in there, together with some disco influences which is a combination of sounds I just love. Combine these sounds with the incredible collaborations we were fortunate enough to work with, the album houses a collection of 12 unique tracks with their own identity - ranging from chilled records, through to straight up hands in the air anthems.

Who/what inspired and influenced the album?

I have touched on this, but let me expand... Yes, the album very much has influences from both deep and disco house - in short, much of the inspiration came from a range of much that I have enjoyed over the years. Productions from the likes of Masters at Work, Satin Jackets, Just Kiddin' and the Lovebirds to the more deep bass lines inspired by Sonny Fodera and Franky Rizardo - there really is a wide range of influences apparent in the album.

So you write and produce everything yourself - what's been your favourite part of the musical journey and did you achieve what you set out to?

Yes, I produced and wrote all the different parts alongside my manager and friend Carl Hanaghan, who helped engineer the album. One of the standout parts of the process was hearing the artist submissions for the first time, once we had opened discussions with the artists we wanted to collaborate with.

With this in mind, one of the main objectives of the album was to create a collection of records that weren’t just about playing obvious sax riffs, but were more focused around creating records where the sax parts could complement the work of other artists and the other musical elements within each track. It’s taken a lot of hard work but I think we managed to achieve this...all in all, I'm really happy with the album!

The album features many collaborations with vocalists...can you elaborate on who is involved?

The collaborations on the album were a big part of me creating something unique - I knew each artist that we chose to feature would bring something special to each track. Vocalists wise we were extremely fortunate to work alongside; Lisa Shaw, Sweet Female Attitude, Mike City, Powerdress, Scarlett Quinn, Jade Leigh, Olivia Erica, Bobby Depasois (K-Klass) and New Black Light Machine. Each of the artists we featured on the album really did bring something totally unique to each track...we were really able to compliment my sound and sax parts incredibly.

How did you hook up with Lisa Shaw, have you always been a big fan?
I have always been a huge huge fan of Lisa. When we set off with the vision for the album I was quite clear that I didn’t want this to be a cliche ‘sax riff’ album so collaborating with some amazing talent would be key to make the album unique but also give each track its own identity.

Do you have a particular favourite song from the album you'd like to tell us about?

That's a really difficult question because I love them all. But if I was to choose one, it would have to be "2 Hearts" that I collaborated on with Loéca and Powerdress. This particular record means a lot to me because I held a residency with Chloe (Loéca) every week in Ibiza over the summer...so this track reminds me of some amazing times on the island!

You've also collaborated with DJ's Loéca (Ocean Beach Ibiza) and Discopolis label mate Carl Hanaghan (Hed Kandi), what did they bring to the table?

What can I say about these two? Not only are they both friends but are two people I have huge respect for professionally. I have performed alongside both Chloe (Loéca) and Carl for a number of years so doing a collaboration with them on the album was an absolute must! Over the years I have got to know their style through the music they have played at gigs and we just had to give listeners the opportunity to listen to their influence on the album too.

With current dance trends largely obsessed with minimal and moody electronically generated music, how important are songs and live instruments for our modern dancefloors and should producers and club owners be embracing this more?

I think the current market, like you said, is flooded with minimal and dark tones - don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love them but for me, adding some great vocals and instrumentation adds real depth to a record - which can transport you to a totally different place emotionally.

Live instrumentation in tracks really shouldn’t be overlooked, as there is certainly something special about getting an artist's interpretation of a track and what they feel works. In terms of live performance, I have always been a fan because of the added energy I know a live artist brings to a packed dancefloor - which really adds to the vibe.

You've been playing a lot of Sax sessions in Ibiza this summer, how's the material from the album been going down?

Yes, I have been in Ibiza every week over the summer so we have had plenty of opportunities to test-run the tracks - the response has been incredible!

How do you prepare for a gig...do you have any special pre-show rituals?

I actually don’t...really boring right? Even now, I always get nervous whether I am performing a small intimate gig or a festival stage. With this in mind, I know I always have to psych myself up before all my performances so I can go in and give it my all.

Aside of playing in Ibiza, where else can we see you and have you any plans to take the album on tour?

Ibiza has now finished, so I’m now firmly back in the UK getting stuck back into some amazing gigs in Manchester and Liverpool, together with some fantastic international events in Italy and Qatar in the immediate future. With the album just launched, we have just showcased an album launch party in Manchester at Neighbourhood. Also the possibility of a Dax On Sax tour is looking possible, so watch this space!

'My Vision' Album is out now on Discopolis.

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