"I think I’m just lucky, in my heart I enjoy music that makes you want to dance" - Darius Syrossian talks to Guestlist

House | Friday 3rd March 2017 | Arren

Darius Syrossian is one of the great success stories of UK house music.

His brand, DO NOT SLEEP has caused carnage across the globe and his records are repped by the biggest and best players in the scene. It's no wonder that Darius is one of the most in demand DJs around.

From Ibiza to Miami and everywhere in between, Darius pushes serious parties vibes no matter where he plays. He's bringing his infamous DO NOT SLEEP party to Elephant & Castle's premier club Ministry later this March. It'll no doubt be a live party. Ahead of his show we touched based with him to see what's going down.

Hey, how are you?
Very well thanks for asking.

What was your first thought this morning?
I hope the collab I was working on with Steve Lawler in the studio yesterday sounds as good today as it did then, and I need to get up and crank up the speakers and have a listen!

What's got you motivated right now?
I’m always motivated, I’m a workaholic and thank God I am like this because I would hate to ever do this for the money. But touch wood, I still have butterflies and am super excited in the few hours before a gig and just want to get on those decks and play. The hunger will never leave me I know it.

How would you describe your current state of mind?
Well I can describe it in three ways;

My Music: Super excited about all my upcoming shows and releases & happy about all the feedback I get from fans for my new releases lately and sets I have been playing.

The World: Frustration when I watch the news and see bigots like Trump actively seeking to divide people and create fear and division.

Personal Life: Feeling lucky that I’m with a wonderful girl who not only supports what I do but loves the music as much as me which makes doing what I do even more fun and when it comes to our party DO NOT SLEEP, I’m again lucky that I’m working with a team who are also like me, doing the party because it is a passion and not for the money.

Tell us a little about your heritage? When did your first really get into electronic music?
I must have answered this a thousand times hahah, basically I came to the UK in the late 80s, didn’t really fit in, but went to an illegal acid house rave at 16 with my older brothers friends, fell in love with the music and knew instantly this is what I want to do! By 20 I had blagged a job in a local record shop selling vinyls to DJs and soon became the manager of the record shop! I did that for 15 years and fast-forward on to about 10 years ago when I started producing properly which propelled me into the international circuit.

When I was a kid, I was always into electronic music like Eurythmics, New Order, but also the dance indie cross over like Happy Mondays and so on. But then as I said after going to a rave, I fell in love with acid house, breakbeat, and then the US house & techno sound, people like Derrick Carter, Stacey Pullen, Danny Tenaglia, Carl Craig, Derrick May, the US stuff was more about the drums and had more soul than the European stuff in the early 90s which was more anthem based song based stuff, like the Italo house piano anthems stuff, which wasn’t really me. But the biggest influence was Armand Van Helden, I remember hearing his tracks and thinking WHAT THE FACK IS THIS? The drums, how he would programme them in, just blew my head off, and I think I bought and have every single production he made, every remix! Even the obscure ones, you can still hear his influence in my music now.

You mentioned working in a record shop, tell us about that.
Global Beat Records & then Crash Records in Leeds, every day for nearly 15 years. Playing music to people coming in, asking for music to buy, kind of gives you a good ear for how people enjoy underground house and techno! This has helped my production I think massively, but I always make music from the heart. I think I’m just lucky that in my heart, I enjoy music that makes you want to dance - hence why I have so much energy in all my tracks.

You're one of the prominent figures behind the DO NOT SLEEP brand, it took Ibiza by storm - packs out clubs everywhere - what do you do that's different?
Well DO NOT SLEEP I have always said is a nomadic party, we can be at any venue and we will take that vibe with us. So far we have done shows at Vista, Space, Amnesia, beach parties and have had several offers for next summer. For me, it’s not where we are, it’s who comes to the party. It’s not about the frills, not about the production, it’s about the lights out, the sound system loud, and getting hedonistic and losing yourself to the music. It’s more of an attitude, give me a dark room with a low ceiling and a fucking good sound system and that makes me happy! That’s all we need because the MUSIC is number one, not dancers or confetti cannons or all that other stuff getting in the way, that’s all confusion!

What are your feelings about the future of Ibiza with regards to the end of Space as we know it and the recent selling of Pacha?
I think there are enough true underground venues to keep the real spirit of the place alive, such as DC10. Sankeys is a fantastic underground venue, honestly the sound system in that room & the low ceiling just make it perfect to lose yourself in the music. There are also venues like Amnesia, Cova Santa, and Underground, I’m sure these places will continue to fly the flag for real underground music on the island.

Clubs like Space built up too much of a culture for real underground that is not just going to disappear because there has been an influx of god awful EDM music from the states, they can have their parties but it is a whole world apart from what we do.

You've got in your bio "I'm into the scene because I LOVE THE MUSIC, not like a lot of people who are into the music because they LOVE THE SCENE. It's only about the music for me, and that's all that matters!?" - would you argue that there are some in the scene who are in it for the lifestyle and not the music? How does this make difference in your opinion?
It’s a huge difference, because those who are into the scene over the music are only in it while they are wanting to go out and go out only, it’s not a passion and when they stop going out it doesn’t mean anything to them.

For me, it’s way more than that, it’s what has brought all my friends together, it is what has enabled me to travel the world and meet new people and still be doing this after all these years. That’s all because the MUSIC is a passion for me, it can only change your life if it’s truly a passion to you.

You're back in London this March - taking over Ministry of Sound for a DO NOT SLEEP party, looking forward to that?
We have done DO NOT SLEEP in London before but not at Ministry yet, although I have played Ministry before many times. I have to say its a legendary place and has been making a big come back for underground parties of late which is great, and the sound system is absolutely fantastic!

Get tickets for Darius Syrossian at Ministry - March 11th

You've got a big line up with you.
Well the music being right is the main thing, it’s easy to copy everyone else’s line ups, the obvious line ups that you see everywhere else but then you are just cutting and pasting something somebody else is doing. If you look at Luca Donzelli and his sound, it’s totally what we are about, again Mihalis Safras, he’s a vinyl only DJ and has stayed true to his thing for years and we all know the calibre of Nick Curly, but there are also more upcoming talents too who I know can deliver the right vibes.

If you could fill a swimming pool with anything, what would that be?
Haha, easy answer! I’ve been doing this every week at our DO NOT SLEEP after party at my villa in Ibiza, and the answer is fill the pool with as many of my friends as possible, crank the music up and just enjoy life! Music is about bringing people together to enjoy LIFE, and at times like this when you watch the news and it seems so many people are focusing so much on hate and division, it’s more important than ever to me to make sure I try to use music to bring people together and see them unite and enjoy life, even if it’s in a small capacity or even one that mainly affects people around me and people who follow my music, then that’s good enough for me.

Who would be in your ultimate band?
Darren Emmerson who used to be part of Underworld, probably Shaun Ryder and the vocalist from Little Dragon, she can sure sing and I’d love to have her on some vocals of a track I make.

Darius Syrossian
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