Diana Boss returns to UFO Recordz with their new melodic House heater – ‘Lines’.
From day parties to after parties, Diana Boss continues to hit dance floors with sex, sophistication, and infectious marathon sets of Big House and Big Disco. They’ve recently supported the likes of Gene Farris, Sonny Fodera, Karsten Sollors and have had a string of festival appearances at Rifflandia, Juno Fest, and Center of Gravity.
2020 brings Diana Boss’ residency at Vancouver’s vibrant 1181 Lounge, their first international appearance at Yelapa Festival, and major releases on UFO Recordz, Westwood Recordings, and Play Records.
Listen to ‘Lines’ on Spotify
Diana Boss is a collaboration between Sam Steele and Josh McRae from Vancouver, BC. Since 2015 they’ve been crafting a soulful, polished sound that skirts the line between the underground and commercial dance music.
Why Diana Boss?
In 1970, Diana Ross & The Supremes appeared on The Ed Sullivan show for their final TV appearance. Diana was asked by Ed, “What is Soul?” and without hesitation she replied, “Well Soul is kinda hard to describe, but I think it’s everybody doing their own thing.”
60 MIN GUEST MIX FOR UFO SESSIONZ EPISODE 007
- Tell us about that first track that put you on the map in the electronic scene and the journey since. How did you get started?
The first track that we ever signed to a label was back in 2016. We signed a track to Jungle Funk Recordings called Serve and it was a collaboration with Karsten Sollors. At the time we were all local Producer/DJs just dipping our feet into the label game for the first time.
Karsten had been DJing for many years at that point, and we had been producing for many years ourselves, but we weren’t able to see the quality of our own work, and Karsten was so driven – and still is today; he’s gone on to release on labels like Toolroom and Nervous – that he was the first person to really push us to start pitching our demos.
What happened was we all met at a Groundwerk event, which is a networking community here in Vancouver for local producers to connect, and he won a four hour studio session in a raffle draw. We agreed that if any of us won we would take the others into the studio and do a collab. So we did the session and four hours later had a track that we pitched to Jungle Funk and to our surprise – Karsten was not surprised – it got signed a few days later. It happened so fast and so effortlessly that it really made us realize that we could take music production seriously.
- What single night out has been the most memorable for you as a DJ and producer?
The most memorable set we’ve had is probably our NYE 2020 set at Open Studios in Vancouver. Open Studios hosts some really amazing nights with top shelf DJs, you really have to have something going to be asked to play there, so it was a huge honor for us to be invited into the space and to play the slot leading right up the countdown.
As a DJ, each time you play a stage that’s your biggest one yet it can be quite overwhelming. I think it’s natural to want to lean into your comfort zone and play what you know, but we took it as an opportunity to really be fearless in doing what we know is authentic to us. It opens the door for magic to happen and that night really felt like magic. The whole room was with us, many people were seeing and hearing us for the first time, some really established DJs were in and around the booth rocking with us, and in a club scene where Tech House is generally the flavor of the moment it felt so good to spread a real thick House vibe that was true to us.
- Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
It has to be David Penn – One Song (David Herrero Remix). It’s a deep Vocal House and it’s huge. You want a track that’s gonna take people places? That’s the one.
- How do you get a track started? Tell us a bit about your production process. How long does it take you to complete a track on average, do you ever get writer’s block and who has been your favourite co-lab?
Our production process these days is heavily sample based. We normally start with a vocal stem and build around it with some kind of chord element, then a drum groove, then a bass line, then we sketch out a rough arrangement – always mixing into a mastering chain as we go. A few years ago we started shifting away from programming and synthesis as the basis of our tracks, and it’s helped us achieve a more organic feel.
Normally it takes about two or three weeks from start to finish to finish a track. In that time we’ll do about 5-8 versions of the track, subtly tweaking each version until we lock in the final master. We’ve always done our own mixing and mastering, though something we’ve been talking about exploring in the near future is developing a relationship with a mastering engineer to get that warm sound you can only get with outboard compressors and SSLs.
Writer’s block is a real thing for sure, but we’ve found that getting in the habit of just doing sketches of 16 bar loops until we land on something worth developing into a full track is an easy way to get past it. The trick is to just let go of the idea that you need to come out of every session with a finished product. Some days are just for doodling.
Favorite collab so far has to be anytime we get the chance to work with I M U R. They’re an electronic soul crew based here in Vancouver, and we’ve been fans of theirs forever. They are on a serious come up, so they’re hard to pin down, but whenever we get the chance we pounce on it. We’ve eagerly done remixes for them, we’ve been in the studio recording originals with them, and most recently we’ve had the chance to work with their vocal stems to craft new original productions which turned into our Hurt 2 Satisfaction EP that was recently released on Westwood Recordings. Those tracks are probably what we’re most proud of out of everything that we’ve done.
- Latest track / EP? What are you working on currently? Tell us more!
Currently we have a stack of releases lined up for 2020 with Westwood Recordings, NYLO Music, Play Records, and theBasementDiscos. Throw in some indie releases and some bigger bookings we have a pretty good year ahead.
New territory for us this year is producing dirty dance pop for some really exciting up and coming Canadian Drag artists. We’re excited to be stepping into a scene that is really at the forefront of pop culture right now and working with some insanely talented artists that are giving our work a completely different dimension. We can’t say too much about it, but we’re hoping that these projects will open up some new possibilities for us at the end of the year.
- The relationship between the audience and the DJ is crucial, and yet it seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
Thankfully for us House music is a universal vibe, it feels good, and it moves everyone, so we don’t struggle too often with balancing between giving the crowd what they want and doing our own thing. If we were Techno DJs, or DnB DJs, treating them to something new might be a gamble, but us doing our thing is what they want, whether they know it or not. Sometimes we’ll give them a sample from a Pop tune so they have something to hold on to, but more often than not they’re hungry for whatever we’re serving.
Connect with Diana Boss on Social Media
Diana Boss – ‘Lines’ is OUT NOW! via UFO Recordz. Get it HERE!