Ahead of the arrival of some really awesome djs and lives acts to our shores along with the sudden explosion of local dance music shows available on radio, we decided to give dance music aficionado Shaun Holiday a shout to hear some of his views on beaches in clubs, herbal ecstacy and coming down… on a Monday
MCBN: I remember the days when Come Down Monday was actually on a Monday- its now beemed across the globe on Saturdays, hows about a name change?
Shaun Holiday: Depends on which show u referring to. ComeDownMonday is the 120 min Trance and progressive podcast that goes out on a Sunday night/Mon morning on DanceRadioGlobal, a rapidly growing international internet radio station and locally on DanceWebRadio in South Africa. Ofcourse the show is there to download as well. We send out the link to all members of the ComeDownMonday Facebook group on a Monday but u can log onto www.halolive.co.za any day of the week head to the “radio” page and click the CDM logo to listen to the show or download as you wish. The 3hr Saturday show from 9pm to 12pm on 104.5FM here in Cape Town is HaloLive! It represents the sounds and spirit of the clubnight ‘Halo’ that we started in 2009 to bring the sound that we passionate about to a (relatively) regular night here in Cape Town instead of every 2 years when some big ass cigarette company decides said Trance and Progressive DJ is flavour of the month whilst ignoring the genre in favour of house or R&B on every other weekend.
MCBN: You’ve never been scared to out a dodgy promoter who failed to deliver on promises of full size beaches inside of clubs/ international djs who are actually local etc. Is there a particular story that stands out as being utterly ridiculous?
Shaun Holiday: Ah too many! Glazby (how many times-lol) But it is essentially only a single club that resorted to such ridiculous tactics and everybody knows who they are and they have paid for it now as they really on their last legs seemingly. But the most brazen bullshittery I have ever seen occurred just last month when Fergie was “booked” to play on the same night as a gig he had penned in Mexico. In the information age with Twitter and the likes that nonsense is outted five minutes after the release. Recently I have noted some other promoters try use the Godskitchen and Gatecrasher brands to try pull crowds to events given that is the banner that PvD and Armin play under on occasion..its a pity that they then put world famous DJ I. (Cant) Mix as the headliner. They think Capetonians are stupid..check the national averages boys..we smarter than the rest!
MCBN: You have been involved in dance music and electronic music culture since it was cool to wear white vests, make shapes with glowsticks at people and sniff poppers. How has the “dance” scene changed since back then?
Shaun Holiday: Eish there are guys around longer than me but I suppose I should be proud to be asked that. Global dance music got too big for Cape Town relatively speaking. True international quality started costing lotsa pounds, dollars or Euros as America, Australia etc became more important destinations to get to and too many promoters were only in it for the money with no real passion for the music and no real business brain (or if they had one the pills melted it) and from geographically the furthest and hence most expensive place to do promoting that’s a dangerous game to play. Honestly I think the clubs and promoters let themselves down by trying to do cheap events. Too many false promises, too many lies, too few new talents coming through and branded. Like any inferior product people eventually saw through that and wanted to try something new and did. But its gone full circle now and club culture is on the rise again. But it seems “cleaner.” Bright lights, smart clubs, no holes in the wall or warehouses, there are still glowsticks (long live glowsticks!) but now more empty tequila shot glasses than popper bottles (but im getting older and the eye sight may be fading)
MCBN: What style of music do you play?
Shaun Holiday: Its always been trance and progressive but the term is such a broad one now. Over the last 5 years house has merged with trance, bpms have gotten slower. But I have always generally opted for music with decent chord progression and melody whether that be at 128 bpm or 138bpm and think I always will. Also the radio shows will not be a reflection of what a DJ set would cover either. I generally close out the Halo nights so that quick stuff with a fair bit of epicness..but I would never put an hour of that together for the radio show as its not condusive for that purpose.
MCBN: You’re a Liverpool supporter, Im happy to say that you’ve had slightly more business success than your team over the past few years. Could you tell us a little bit more about Halo what its about?
Shaun Holiday: Urrrggghhhhh…what a disaster of a season. You know I feel PERSONALLY responsible for it all. I went to Anfield in August. Kissed the “This is Anfield” sign and since then we could barely win a game. Painful stuff!
‘Halo’ is our little passion. It’s a dedicated Trance and Progressive concept which has never existed in Cape Town before yet is the biggest dance music genre in the world. Scott Small and myself met a little over a year ago (that’s a euphemism for we got wasted on two bottles of Jack) and decided to give this promoting thing a go. Creating a ‘brand’ of sorts by bringing Trance and Progressive artists to Cape Town. We have cultivated quite a loyal fan base in a short period of time which has been really fantastic and the idea is now to bring some young Capetonian DJ talent through alongside these big artists. There has not been a breakthrough DJ in Cape Town within our genre for years, Richard Carter maybe the last but again that was more harddance than trance mostly. I’m a qualified chartered accountant and Scott Small owns a business so promoting is not the bread and butter it’s an awesome hobby which means we generally just want to break even..that gives us much more of scope to take risks
MCBN: You’ve already brought over the likes of First State, Daniel Wanrooy and Richard Durand under the Halo banner. Not to let the cat out of the bag, anyone big planned for the rest of the year?
Shaun Holiday: 25 June 2010 is our biggest venture yet. Nic Chagall and Bossi as Cosmic Gate will be @ Club 91 with James G (ESP JHB), Rory Mitchell, Scott Small as well as prodigious local trance producer signed to BlackHole recordings Jason van Wyk and DJ Virgo. The reaction has been great and tickets are moving which means we just might break even and stop the trend of providing bridging finance to the trance and progressive scene in Cape Town. U can grab pre-sales now at www.webtickets.co.za
Then Octoberish we plan on doing First State’s World Tour together with Menno De Jong from Intuition recordings in Holland but this is not confirmed yet. Then in December we got another big big surprise planned..but again there is no contract signed so nothing can be revealed.
MCBN: I remember taping mixes off the radio only to have my perfect recording messed up by you and Rory Mitchell making fun of Richard Carter, listening to last week’s Saturday show I’m so glad you’ve matured since then. What makes CDM different from the other dance shows out there?
Shaun Holiday: Matured..have i? That’s an insult I will have to start spouting more rubbish on the show then ! Actually last week Scott Small arrived at the studio supremely hammered after watching his beloved Bothasig win 2-0 in the Challenge Cup so I was probably behaving cos I had to control his rantings! But what we try to do, whether we succeed or not is another question, is generate a bit more content than other shows. Every damn show u here is this is track A remixed by artist B and coming up..the new artist C..Im not a world famous DJ, never will be, don’t want to be so the show will never have redhot exclusive stuff direct from the labels..but I am a fan and a student of the music so what it can have is two guys who relate this awesome music to a normal persons everyday routine. I want to make people laugh and jam at the same time. Most rewarding time of my week is receiving e-mails from listeners who just say we crack them up. New music, presented in a somewhat comedic way.
MCBN: If I remember correctly you did GDA at UCT and now are working as a successful yet incredibly interesting accountant- proof in the pudding that herbal ecstacy is indeed safe without any long term side effects- because that’s obviously all we ever took back then.
Shaun Holiday: Let me tell u that GDA from Monday to Friday whilst mashed on a Saturday and Sunday is NOT a good idea. Smart to stupid very quickly is what it will get you J. I dodged a bullet there but think I always knew I needed a firm base to make cash to spend on what I really love without having to think too much about it so I grafted even when I woulda rather slept or practiced mixing? But people do look at me funny when I’m reaching for the blue lazers at 4am and tell them I’m a chartered accountant. But I wonder if that’s purely a South African notion that only drug taking retards like dance music? All my mates love dance music more than anything and they insurance brokers, business owners, soon to be Engineers and IT specialists. Dean Fuel has a business science degree from UCT too so being educated and a doof doof kop is not uncommon actually. What about yours?
MCBN: Where can we expect to see you play next?
Shaun Holiday: Halo Concept Floor @ Andy Whitby on 29th May 2010. Taking the Halo Concept to other parties is not something we do generally but Psycho Keaton is a good guy and it gives the Halo boys a chance to get the beats going as a warm up for Cosmic Gate.
MCBN:You are not a full time DJ meaning that you actually sleep when you are supposed to. Any truth to the adage that early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy wealthy and wise?
Shaun Holiday: I believe that but in moderation. Too much and it will surely make u married, bored and then not so wealthy (divorces cost a packet I hear).
MCBN: Rory is a cyclist… I know this isn’t a question… I’m just saying.
Shaun Holiday: Tell me about it. When was spandex fashionable facebook profile picture attire?! Just got on a bike one day and that’s been it for like the last year. This is the same guy who during varsity went out six nights a week, religiously and got chased out of more girls dorm rooms than there is dust on the new Tidy Trax cd out. He was also the only guy I ever saw drink a half bottle of Smirnoff vodka out the bottle without mixer to try get that herbal ecstasy taste outta his mouth. Cycling..ugh I am jealous but its brilliant to be healthy..It makes him healthy..that is until he gets mashed by a bus on the way back down from Chappies one morning..may have to get him a straw for that vodka then..touch wood.
MCBN: You have a keen ear for music, any plans for production or possibly a CDM cd?
Shaun Holiday: I tamper a bit. Only started recently. But I think that’s a career all on its own and i don’t have the burning passion to quite my day job and safe salary to spend 8 hours making tunes that a 1000 f@ckers are just going to download anyway. Nah im joking about the last bit. Im trying. I just suck at the moment . But one release..it must be done before I hang up the glowsticks.
MCBN: What is your favourite tune right now?
Shaun Holiday: It’s a pretty poof progressive vocal trancer. “Yuri Kane – Right Back”. Easy listening stuff. But next week it will be different, it always is.
MCBN: If you could play alongside any dj- dead or alive. Who would it be and where- points will be deducted if you say its your co-host Scott Small.
Shaun Holiday: Scott Small? Not likely. I love Scotty but we see DJ sets very differently. He would also be shitting me out about red lining levels and peaking and all sorts..rather not hey.
Markus Schulz. Cos that would mean he would probably be here in Cape Town for Halo J. He has got a unique “live” sound and does the 6 hour progression from prog to tech to uplifting.
MCBN: Now for the famous MyCityByNight would you rather question.
Shaun Holiday: I will take the world cup mascot thing..even tho its manufactured in china..maybe I should get a costume for Halo @ Club 91 on 25 June? I once saw Psycho Keaton dj in a Barney suite..so its can be done.
For all things trance and progressive check out
Website: www.halolive .co.za
Radio podcast: ComeDownMonday every Monday from halolive.co.za
FM Radio: HaloLive on 104.5FM Sat 9-12pm