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Simon Doty
Photo Credit: Lee Hon Bong

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DMNW Interview: Anjunadeep’s Simon Doty starts the year with a hot hand

Simon Doty, a Canadian bred producer and DJ, continues his steady climb. He is a rising star in the deep and progressive house scene, with an arsenal of releases under his belt for Anjunadeep, Knee Deep in Sound, and Realm Records. He embraces a variety of musical genres, making him a unique standout: melodic, housey, groovy, clubby, progressive, techno.

Last week, Doty released his newest 4 track EP, Hometown, on Anjunadeep. Quiet and laid-back in demeanor, Doty simply lets his music do the talking. We were able to chat with him to discuss his plans for the coming year. You can also see him in Seattle at Ora Nightclub on February 19th; tickets can be found here.

DMNW: To introduce yourself to new fans in the Pacific Northwest, can you briefly give us a history of your career thus far?

Simon Doty: I’ve been DJ-ing for 10 years now. I started out with my first releases with a tech house style on UK’s Toolroom. Around 2015, I started searching for something else and decided to redesign my sound. It took a couple years, but I landed on the melodic style of music I do now and then 2018 I signed a lot of music with Anjunadeep. I’d describe myself as a hybrid, you can still hear the housey sides to me. I come from an old school perspective of playing a big range of music. With these DJs, you’ll experience different things throughout a night. With this old school mentality, I make a play a big range and make a big range of music.

DMNW: Let’s talk about your transition from college swing guard to one of the scenes artists & producers to watch out for?

Simon Doty: I played basketball pretty much my whole life and was always something that was an important part in my life all the way up until playing at university on scholarship. At the same time, I do come from a musically talented family, so music was also an equally important part of my life. I started DJ-ing when I was at university for weekend parties after our basketball games and shortly after graduation, I just dove right in and made the choice to become a DJ. The music production portion followed suit shortly after.

DMNW: How did you develop the Simon Doty sound?

Simon Doty: I think when you start out making music, you’re not necessarily directly looking for that. Rather, you find yourself pulling influences from your favorites. And as you continue to this process experimenting, you start to develop these sounds. For example, I have always loved techno and played towards that side in clubs when I first started out. It’s something you still hear today; my tracks always have a little bit of an edge to them. I’ve taken this and mixed it together with progressive, musical influences from the likes of Guy J along with a housey, groovy side. As a result, I have found myself in a unique musical space where not a lot of others use the same ingredients as me.

Simon Doty

Photo Credit: Lee Bon Hong

DMNW: You had a breakout year in 2021 with multiple releases. Moving into current projects, what can your fans expect in 2022?

Simon Doty: I’m going to continue on the path right now with Anjunadeep and Knee Deep in Sound. My 4 track EP Hometown just released on Anjunadeep  on Feb 4th. I have another EP with Anjunadeep come spring time, with some tracks that will be found on the big yearly compilation, Anjunadeep 13. I’m also equally excited to have releases on Nora En Pure’s label, Purified. I’ll be playing with her in LA this coming March and I look forward to working with her some more. I’ll be doing stuff with Knee Deep in Sound and on Gorgon City’s label, Realm. There’s going to be a lot of music this year.

DMNW: Hometown is the title track from the EP that just dropped, and it’s definitely been a fan favorite – can you tell us a bit more about the next focus track, Lay Me Down?

Simon Doty: It came together pretty fast actually. Lay Me Down was done recently in December and Anjunadeep decided to add it on the Hometown EP. Going back with theme of having a diverse range, Hometown is housey and Lay Me Down is more melodic. Artche did the vocals on it, and I would say is one of the hottest vocalists in this realm right now, doing work with Cristoph on Pryda. We reached out and were able to really quickly come up with something very special. The lyrics are accessible and his voice is unique and powerful. I enjoyed working with him so we will be doing more work together this year.

DMNW: You’ve done a lot of great remixes and you’ve become pretty coveted in that aspect, can you elaborate on the process of doing about this? For instance, Marsh’s Beech Street Remix is probably one of your most popular ones.

Simon Doty: Somestimes a label or artist reaches out to you and directly ask you to do a remix, and other times it just comes from talking with artists. Marsh and I have been close the last couple years,  so Beech Street  was sent to me awhile ago. It became a personal favorite, I had it on my phone, was listening to it all the time. When it was time to do a remix for Marsh, Beech Street was definitely the one. With remixes, it’s an intersection of your and the other artist’s style. So Beech Street was a perfect example of it, a definite Marsh track crossed with my groovier, clubbier sound.

DMNW:  Is there anything artistically you are eager to achieve this year?

Simon Doty: I’m working on an album, I’ve been talking about doing that for awhile. I’m looking forward to finishing an album with that playable, dance floor vibe mixed with musicalness. I want to go push the boundaries a lot further by trying different things such as breakbeat, some hip-hop R&B vocalists. This is something that’s really exciting for me. As an artist, I think it’s important to always challenge yourself and to experiment with new aspects.

Catch more of our other artist interviews here.

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