11 Dec 2020
by bronwyn-hope | Interview
It's been a whirlwind of a last two years for Canadian-born DJ and producer, Simon Doty. Self-taught, Doty began DJing ten years ago before having a go at producing a few years after that. Music just seemed to be in his blood. In recent years, however, he's skyrocketed, signing with some of the biggest and coolest names in the industry, like Anjunadeep and Last Night on Earth. Simon has just released a new single with Anjunadeep, composed in memory of his late friend and manager, Ben. With hauntingly beautiful lyrics sung by fellow Canadian, Oliver Wickham, the track is melodic, profound, and meticulously arranged.
We recently caught up with Simon to find out a little more about him, his creative process, and his journey thus far.
Electric Soul: Hey Simon, thanks for chatting! Tell us a little about your musical journey…
Simon Doty: I come from a pretty musical family. I played piano, guitar and the trumpet in the school band growing up. I always listened to a ton of music, all different styles and then started DJing about ten years ago and then started producing about a year or two after that.
ES: How would you classify your sound? Do you have any major influences?
SD: I have a pretty diverse range of influences and I think that is reflected in the music I make and play as well. I try to make music that has a definite vibe and emotion to it while also having a lot of energy, edge and character. Sometimes I’ll do stuff that has more of a house vibe, sometimes more of a techno vibe but always with a really melodic or progressive tone to it.
ES: What is your creative process from the inception of an idea to a complete track?
SD: For me it usually just starts with messing around with synthesizers trying to get a nice groove going so there isn’t really a set process.
ES: You have signed to some great notable labels in the last two years. What has this experience been like for you?
SD: It’s always a process getting in the door with the bigger labels, so you really have to be patient but, it’s worth the wait. At the end of the day, if you really want to make a career of this you need to be releasing high quality music on the best labels. They have the most fan reach, which is what you need as an artist.
ES: Let’s talk about your newest EP “Dear Ben”, released with Anjunadeep. This is dedicated to your late friend and manager, Ben Sutin. How did the creation of this song differ from your others? Tell us a little about the making of this piece.
SD: Ya, unfortunately, Ben passed away in late June and I obviously wanted to do something special for him. I reached out to a couple of vocalists I know about doing a track with lyrics dedicated to Ben and Oliver responded a couple of days later with some amazing vocals and parts. About a week later, I had finished the track. It’s a really personal one for me but, it also seems like it has really connected with fans as well, so that makes me happy!
ES: You just played the track in a live stream from Coda Toronto. How are you finding the local electronic scene in your city? How has the pandemic affected you and your music, personally?
SD: Toronto has a fantastic electronic music scene. Obviously things are shut down now but, pre-pandemic there were a ton of great promoters, clubs, festivals, and a huge base of passionate fans. I’m sure things will pick right back up where they left off when this is all over.
It’s been nice in a sense, to just be able to hang out at home a lot and focus on music. Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult to be inspired when you are trying to make music for clubs and there aren’t any clubs open. All in all, it hasn’t really affected my productivity much.
ES: You had a few events happen in San Francisco and Miami. What’s going on down there?
SD: Yes, I did a couple of events that were seated and distanced with the appropriate measures taken to ensure everyone’s safety. It’s not quite the same as a normal event pre pandemic but, for now it’s still great to be in-front of people playing music that you love. The events were a great success!
ES: What else is coming up for Simon Doty? Anything in the works for 2021?
SD: I will start the year off in January with a remix of Marsh on Anjunadeep. I will also have an EP on Knee Deep in Sound in February, followed by a remix I did for Hot Since 82 also on Knee Deep in Sound. There will also be another Anjunadeep EP in the first quarter of 2021. It will be a busy start to the year!
Simon Doty’s ‘Dear Ben’ EP is out now on Anjunadeep, get it here: