Behind The Decks With: Sam Allan

Sam Allan


Since winning the NewWorldPunx contest DJ Contest MIX competition in the 2014, things have only been on the rise for Sam Allan. Supporting A-list DJ’s such as Andrew Bayer, The Bingo Players, Paul van Dyk, Markus Schulz, Michael Calfan, Oliver Heldens, Paul Oakenfold and Roger Sanchez to name a few, Sam has gained himself a reputation as one of America’s most exciting emerging talents.

The talented DJ is also a wizard in the studio, producing Beatport chart hits like ‘Vesper’ and ‘Outer Limits’, and gaining support from some of the scene’s heavyweights such as PaulVanDyk, LiquidTodd, JudgeJules, CedricGervais, RichieHawtin and MaxVangeli. With an impressive record collection and an arsenal of upcoming releases, Sam is on a fast track to the top of the Dance music ladder.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Sam about his DJ’ing career.


Hi Sam, thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your DJing career.

How did you fall in love with DJing?

Twilo was a club in New York City that made me fall in Love with dance music and DJing. The first DJs I ever saw were Sasha and Digweed. I was floored by the vibe and the music! Funny thing was I was a very into hip-hop back then but stopped listening to it after being introduced to Sasha and Digweed! (Laughing)


When did you start in the DJing business?

A good friend of mine Matt Schultz helped kick start my career back in 2010. I made him a mix CD that he wanted for the gym and he ended up loving it so much he brought it to a house party. My friend said the whole party went crazy and it made the party great. Matt was also hosting big day parties in NYC back then and he said that after he saw the reaction of everyone at the house party he decided to book me at one of his parties. It all started from there.


Who were the first DJs that really caught your attention?

Sasha, Digweed and Paul Van Dyk. The one DJ that caught my attention out of those three was Paul Van Dyk. Reason being was that he would be so different than some of the other DJs that Twilo brought in. Paul wouldn’t come on like a normal DJ for his intro. His first song had an exciting build up that grabbed my attention and he let the crowd know he was in the building! Those moments were some of the best times of my life. I’m happy I was able to be a part of that Twilo Era. It was a good school for DJing! (Smiling)


What kind of sounds do you relate to the most when behind the decks?

As far as what kind of sounds I relate too, I’m not really good at putting words to it. Listen to it, and you will understand. It’s really hard for me to talk about my sounds like that, there are many.


How would you describe your sets?

Progressive house/trance/tech. High energy and good times! (Chuckle)


What are the fundamental roles of a DJ in your opinion?

I think the core roles nowadays are producing music to establish your sound. Gigging at the right venues to get the proper exposure and staying on top of your social media!


Do you see any changes between the old-school and modern DJing business?

Yes I do think there are changes. The old school DJs were able to make a mix for the promoter and if they loved it, you were golden. Nowadays, until you build your name it’s all about tickets sales and meeting the right people. So if you ever go to a club and the opening is really bad, he probably sold a lot of tickets! I hope this format changes in the near future, so we can hear proper opening sets. Some famous DJs won’t allow some venues to do this. I always choose my opener for that reason!


What kind of thinking process do you go through when coming up with a set for a particular gig?

It all depends on if I’m headlining or playing with a famous artist. I always have a certain playlist for the night and have an idea of a set I would like to play but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. It’s very important to read the crowd. Always!


What makes a great set in your opinion?

A great set in my opinion, is one that takes the crowd on to a ride. It all starts from the opening DJ setting the tone for the main DJ, this is very important. Then taking the crowd to the next level with seamless mixing, various styles that keep the crowd questioning what’s coming next! The perfect set is a DUO effort and the opening DJ has to help make your set a great one.


What’s your DJing setup like at the moment?

I use Traktor with the X1 Kontroller and I’m incorporating the F1 Kontroller into my setup to bring extra excitement to my sets in the near future. I grew up using Technics and vinyl but everyone should embrace technology.


Is there anything you plan to add to your setup in the near future?

At the moment I’m very happy with what Traktor has to offer but I’m always exploring for more things so you never know.


Can you tell us about one of your most memorable moments as a DJ?

Hmmm my most memorable night as a DJ thus far. I can honestly say my most recent gig this past June, when I got to play with Paul Van Dyk at Pacha. That was something I will never forget, when you get to play with the DJ that inspired me into becoming a DJ myself.


Where can we catch up with you behind the decks this year?

You can catch me around NYC playing at Space Ibiza NY, Webster Hall, Cielo to name a few, as well as some festivals that I’m working on. One confirmed Festival is the Minus Zero Festival in Vermont with Deamau5 and Kaskade in April. I’m excited to being playing at an outdoor winter Festival, something totally different.


How do you think the role of the DJ will evolve in the years to come?

I don’t know, maybe they will have DJs playing as hologram or DJs in 3D so they don’t have to be present at the shows! (Laughing)


What tips can you give to up-and-coming DJs out there who want to make it in this industry?

It’s important to establish your own sound, be original, make the right connections and stay focused. If you are really passionate about something, you will make it happen. Always listen to your self, don’t let the haters get to you and surround yourself with supportive people!



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