On stage, clad in his trademark white, he is impossible to miss or mistake. Wireless keyboard in one hand, an ever-ready clutch of his own productions in the other, his live crowd-interactive performances have brought a new apex experience for club and festival goers worldwide. In 2009 this unequalled approach was reflected in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 chart, where he moved up from his ‘08 debut position of no.58 to no.21. As a music producer he’s scaled the heights of national charts and with 5 artist albums & compilations released in the last 2 years alone, he is very possibly the most prolific trance musician working today. His name is Roger Shah…
Born in Esslingen in southern Germany, Roger first began to hit his production stride in his native country in 1999 putting out the tracks ‘Claps’, ‘The Mission’ & ‘Tides of Time’. In 2003 his ‘High’ release was signed by Virgin Records imprint Nebula. This marked his first non-domestic release and over the course of the next 5 years he inked productions to a range of heavy-hitting trance labels - ones that came to include Anjunabeats, VANDIT & Black Hole.
In 2007 Armin named Shah’s ‘Who Will Find Me’ release as his favourite track of 2007. Having heard the demo of its follow up, Van Buuren saw massive crossover potential in the track and made contact in early 2008 to ask if Shah would like to collaborate on it. The result was the Chris Jones song ‘Going Wrong’… A national top 5 smash in The Netherlands, the track went on to become one of the biggest selling trance singles of the year. From there Magic Island Records – Shah’s primary label moved from his own stable to that of one of Armin’s industry-leading Armada Music.
An imprint for both Roger’s own material and that of likeminded producers, Magic Island releases have quickly become fixtures in the CDJs of the world’s biggest spinners.
The M.I. deal’s quickest produce of the Magic Island/Armada deal was Roger’s first artist album, ‘Songbook’. Hugely received by both press and fans alike, it was much praised for its innovative dual club mix and acoustic version approach. Singles taken from it like ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ and the aforementioned ‘Going Wrong’ & ‘Who Will Find Me’ (a Top 20 ASOT Tune of the Year in ‘08) proved to be particularly popular.
In late 2008 Shah took the decision to change his artist name. Dropping the ‘DJ’ prefix, he revised it to Roger Shah – a move that signalled a move away from straightforward DJ sets. His successive live-on-stage more concert themed ones have brought a sea change to how trance music is presented to an audience. Many countries around the world have already born witness to this, among them Mexico, Australia, Ibiza, Argentina, Ukraine, Poland, & India, with Roger performing at tent-pole events including the ASOT400, I Love Kiev, Gatecrasher’s NYE & Judgement Sundays.
In addition to his own-name tracks, Roger has also produced under a matrix of other sun-tipped aliases. Notable among them are his ‘aka’ DJ Shah, High Noon at Salinas, Magic Island & Savannah. Shah is also one half of the Anjunabeats released act Purple Moods, Black Hole project Global Experience and ASOT’s Black Pearl, whose ’06 – ’09 spanning singles ‘Coral Sea’, ‘Java’, ‘Bounty Island’ and ‘Rise’ generated much additional interest in Shah’s solo productions.
Sunlounger is without a doubt Roger’s best known nom de plume. It was under this handle that he released the ‘Another Day on The Terrace’ long-player in 2008. It reached No.1 on Dutch iTunes’ ‘all-music-genres’ chart and spawned four singles: ‘In & Out’, ‘Aguas Blancas’, ‘Crawling’ & ‘White Sand’. The project become so celebrated that Roger expanded Sunlounger into a live act - a performance of which was featured on Armada’s ArminOnly DVD. It was this experience that he credited with his latter wholesale move into live Roger Shah performances. In 2009 Roger released the Sunlounger follow-up ‘Sunny Tales’. Its progeny singles included ‘Catwalk’, ‘Mediterranean Flower’, ‘Change Your Mind’ and the much-revered ‘Lost’ - a track that took the illustrious Single of the 2008 title on the A State of Trance radio show..
Roger’s compilation series has so far seen two outings (2007 & 2008) with a third outing slated for Q2 2010. Encapsulating everything Roger stands for musically, their intrinsically White Island trance sound has sound-tracked an uncountable number of clubbers holidays. Roger typically uses the compilations as first-listen holders for future singles & collaborations with Vol.2 including hook-ups with Signum, Judge Jules & Amanda O’Riordan and Tenishia.
Broadcasting weekly, Magic Island – Music For Balearic People is a 2 hour radio show carried by the famous DI-fm station and is currently being syndicated to many other countries, most recently including Mexico and Jordan. Presented by Roger every Friday between 21.00 GMT (22:00 CET), it showcases him playing melodic trance through the first hour with the 2nd focusing on Balearic, chillout and Dream trance.
Shah has reworked tracks for legendary vocalists like Sarah McLachlan and Nadia Ali. He’s also remixed tunes for a litany of trance-masters including Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren, Mark Norman, York, Cosmic Gate, Josh Gabriel, System F, The Thrillseekers, Solarstone, Three Drives, Johan Gielen, Matt Darey & Oceanlab. Most recently Roger has rewired Andain’s ‘Beautiful Things ‘10’ and Richard Durand’s ‘Always The Sun’.