Sharam isn’t the fist-pumping EDM DJ you may be used to hearing. You won’t be harassed by a hype man at his shows, or hear him play the most of-the-moment big room track, or notice him caring about if his music fits into whatever is trending.
Sharam goes a bit deeper than that. In a way his music reflects his personality in that it’s very thought out, complex, and hovers between a place of debilitating introspection and complete burst of colorful freedom.
Between bites and swallows of food from one of his favorite Mexican spots during a layover from Montreal to San Diego at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, I spoke with Sharam about the reunion of Deep Dish and his new solo album. Sharam performs tonight at Maya Day and Nightclub in Scottsdale.
“I would probably be a lot richer and a lot more successful in terms of records hitting the charts and all of that, if I kept to one formula,” explains Sharam Tayebi, better known by his stage name Sharam. “If I have success with a particular record, I rarely go back and repeat the same formula. I always like to keep things different. I’m actually really conscious of that.”
This is probably why Sharam is currently sitting on 30 to 40 masters that are all in various states. Some are waiting on vocals, others collaborations and some were made years ago, but the timing just wasn’t right, according to Sharam.
Sharam’s last studio album, Get Wild, came out in 2009 and contains the single “She Came Along,” featuring Kid Cudi. It was a concept album inspired by Giuliano Gemma spaghetti westerns, which Sharam describes as an “ambitious project.”
“On paper it looks crazy, people are like: “are you out of your mind? But that’s where I like to hover, or hang out (laughs).”
His upcoming album, will be another concept album that revolves around the theme of visual arts. It’s in its initial concept stage, he has a few names in-mind but he hasn’t decided on one. It will be “something that people can dance to or put on their iPod for an hour and be taken to a different place.”
A sort of obsessive perfectionism is what I think makes Sharam so good.
While Sharam’s sound is distinct — complex, dark and grooving — he is anti-formula and will actually scratch an entire track if it sounds too similar to something he’s previously made.
“Not sounding generic is key for me,” says Sharam. “I always like to push myself and create new things.”
While he doesn’t have a formula he has two check boxes to fill in deciding if a track is good or not:
It has to be a song people will remember and can relate to emotionally, and of course, something people can dance to, “even if it’s a slow dance,” Sharam laughs.
His sound, on the other hand, is something that just kind of happens for him.
“Every time I try to make a new record I consciously try to make something different, it ends up going the same path, where it’s happy but it’s sad.”
He promises that there is one “head turner” he’s working on that will be at the level of the hip-hop/country/dance music hit “She Came Along,” but he’s still pretty hush-hush about everything.
“Things like that excite me a lot more than just making a track.”
One of the biggest somewhat-recent comebacks was the reunion of Deep Dish, a dance music duo that’s half Sharam, half Dubfire.
Their reunion was one of the biggest dance music stories of 2014, and they’re currently playing in select cities and working on music, when their schedules permit it.
Sharam explains that the initial split was kind of a case of the grass being greener. He explains that when you’re in a duo or group for a while, you sort of daydream about what it would be like to be a solo artist. That they has accomplished a lot together and “wanted to put a focus on individual stuff. It’s not a matter of not vibing, after a while you just want to try different things.”
While the split came as a surprise to some fans, he says that the release of the two Deep Dish albums, then individual albums of Sharam and Dubfire in 2010 was a hint to people that they two would be moving on as solo acts.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
But Deep Dish is back to functioning as usual. Sharam says the two have picked-up where they left off and it’s just “another day at the office.”
Sharam says the Deep Dish shows are packed with excitement, that it’s fun to have someone on stage to ping-pong with, and that having the duo back is nice in its own ways.
“You’re not solely responsible for the floor, you can take a bathroom break easily, it’s definitely easier” — it’s about the little things.
Sharam says you can expect to hear new Deep Dish music next year, they are currently working on a series of singles and a full studio album.