Australian producers and DJs, Vance Musgrove and Mikah Freeman, make up the electro house duo, The Aston Shuffle. The guys took a busy start to the year with the release of their single with Fabich, “Stay.” Now they are keeping that energy going with the release of their latest single, “Now or Never.” We had the chance to talk with the duo about the single, how they got their start, and their personal shuffling skills.
Festival Squad: Hey guys! First off I wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. And congratulations on your new single, ‘Now Or Never’! Definitely a song that makes you wanna get up and dance. What has the response to it been like?
The Aston Shuffle: The response has been really positive so far, it’s gotten into some awesome reactions from fans, and it’s been played in DJ sets by the likes of Sister Bliss, Oliver Heldens, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, which has been great to see – it’s more of a club-focussed track and so it’s been great to see it being played by those DJs in their more club-focused mixes. We’re pretty stoked so far!
FS: Can you guys walk me through a little bit of how you guys approached this track and how it transitioned into what it is now?
TAS: We initially started this song in Melbourne, Australia. Like a lot of tracks of ours it started life as an instrumental, the chords and the drum groove came first and we knew it felt like it could be a great track basically immediately, so we kind of left it for a while, which we often do so that we aren’t overworking a track so much that we lose what makes it special (which we’ve definitely done a few times). A few months later, Vance was in London and played it to Ryan Ashley, who we’ve worked with a number of times now, he’s an amazing writer and has worked with H.E.R, MNEK, and The Magician, among others. He pretty much instantly connected with the track and the vocal came together very quickly, so we fleshed out the track over the next few months and eventually played it to The Magician, who had some suggestions on how to finish it. A few revisions later and we had the final version.
FS: So you guys started off as remixers, right? I see you guys have remixed songs like ‘The Whistler’ by Claude Von Stroke and ‘DNA’ by Empire of the Sun (which are killer remixes might I say). Those are both some incredible artists, so needless to say, you guys have good taste! I would love to know, who are some of your biggest inspirations when it comes to making music?
TAS: Yes, the very first tracks we ever did were remixes, and in fact the very first remix we ever did was done when The Aston Shuffle had just been set up as a label, and the idea was to do remixes under that name purely as a way to promote the label, but then as our tracks started connecting, the label kind of faded away and The Aston Shuffle became an artist project.
Our musical inspirations are constantly changing as music evolves and as we evolve. When we were first getting into producing music we really looked to artists like Armand Van Helden, Paul Johnson, and Todd Terry, all of whom are still huge inspirations to us today. New names we’re into right now include Illyus & Barrientos, Walker & Royce, Dom Dolla, Rebuke and Weiss. We feel like house music is having a huge moment right now and we couldn’t be happier about it.
FS: Any chance we might see a collab with any of those artists in the future?
TAS: We would LOVE to collab with any of those artists. Collabs are always fun to do because they can take you out of your usual ways of doing things, and our collab with Fabich, “Stay”, which came out earlier this year has been getting some great reactions, and the next track we have coming out this year is also a collab, so I’d say we’re very keen to do more in the future.
FS: I know I’ve seen quite a few people make shuffle videos to some of your songs and post them online. Can either of you shuffle? If so, will we ever get to see these moves?
TAS: We love it when fans do these videos, but you won’t catch either of us willingly shuffling in front of the camera anytime soon – mostly because neither of us can actually do it. We don’t mind a little shuffle behind the decks but that’s an entirely different thing, and thankfully the booth is in the way most of the time so you can’t really see how clunky our moves are.
FS: All of us here at Festival Squad love to ask only the important questions. With that being said, I saw on Instagram that you guys celebrated the release of this single by making some pancakes. What’s your favourite kind of pancakes? Chocolate chip kinda guys? Maybe banana pancakes? Or does the plain jane do the trick?
Mikah: I’m straight Canadian when it comes to my pancakes. Give me some bacon and some maple syrup and I’m a happy man
Vance: I have to give a shout out to the pancakes in the Qantas First lounge in Sydney airport, I don’t know what they’re doing exactly, but they’re the absolute best pancakes I’ve ever had.
FS: Alright, so I see you guys don’t have any upcoming events announced currently. Can you give us any sort of hints on if and where we might be able to catch The Aston Shuffle this year?
TAS: 2018 was all about writing new music, so 2019 is about releasing a whole lot of the music we’ve been working on. The plan is to have some more releases come out first, but we’re excited to play some shows and connect with the fans in a big way.
FS: Last but not least, you guys started the year off strong with the release of two amazing singles, ‘Stay,’ and of course, ‘Now or Never’. We’re starting to get spoiled now, but what else can fans expect from you two throughout the rest of 2019?
TAS: We’ve got some more releases coming out later in the year for sure, we don’t want to give too much away at this stage but the next one we have coming out is a collaboration we’re super excited about, and beyond that one there’s going to be more Aston Shuffle music later in 2019 for sure!