Published on January 27th, 2012 | by EDMinsider0
Behind the Scenes of EDM: Exclusive Interview with Roger Semaan
Ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes of your favorite EDM DJs and producers? Creator of self-entitled production company Roger Semaan Productions International currently works with some of the newest sought-after electronic music producers such as DJ Eco, Wezz Devall Andrew Rayel, and Alexander Popov. Roger Semaan chats exclusively with EDMinsider on what it takes to break into the business side of our favorite music, influencers in his career, and more!
Roger Semaan: I was introduced to the electronic dance music around 2005. Basically it’s a very weird way how things have started and turned out. The very first tune that got me into the scene was actually a tune that a friend of my sister had as a ring tone on her cell phone, and it was Armin Van Buuren – Serenity. Was such an interesting tune, very catch, melodic, energetic and asked about the song, and started browsing about DJs and trance. I simply loved the songs that where being produced from artists such as Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, and many others.
So more and more in the scene, back in school, one of my best friends (Joey Akl) was the trance head in my class, so we got friends actually because of the scene, and he acknowledged me more in the scene, music, artists, etc. He’s a DJ as well so used to go the his gigs. At the age of 17, Ferry Corsten was in town, and he’s one of my favorite producers and I wanted to meet him so bad. So I contacted one of the events admins (Johnny Rizk) asking if it’s cool if I can meet Ferry and such. He was so generous in replying and saying a yes. We met up before a Ferry event and started talking about the scene. If you would like to say, he saw a passion in me and decided to give me a chance not just in meeting Ferry, but by actually joining the promoters staff and working in the organizing. Our job was to take care of everything going on backstage, the artists needs and such. Basically after seeing such an amazing event & production, I was thrilled how everything works on behind the scene, meeting the artists, and managers. It’s always been a dream of mine to be that person who tours around the world, discover new countries, meet new people, go to new clubs, venues and seeing thousands of people just partying with an amazing vibe.
Johnny was one of the people who gave me the biggest push and supported me. Which leads me to meet another person who I respect a lot, and think is amazing and that is: Carlo Vincenti. He is the promoter that I work with (because of Johnny), and I saw Carlo’s leadership, organizing, & innovation to what he is doing. How 1 man is organizing a party for 1 country, making history, and selling out venues/clubs, gave me an extra wow! This is where at that moment I decided to open my own
production company and had an aim of achieving a dream and that is managing quality & demanded artists, working with amazing promoters and meeting amazing people such as Carlo & Johnny, seeing clubs/venues full of energy and of course living the passion.
Roger Semaan: Artist wise, people who influenced me are names like: Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate. Management wise I am inspired by David Lewis, Dimitri De Wit, Rabea Kusza, Maykel Piron. I have met all except David & Maykel and all are such amazing people with amazing personalities. Hopefully I can achieve what they’ve achieved in this scene with my artists. As for help, as I mentioned Joey, Carlo, Johnny, and Ramy Barghoud are influences in my life.
EDMinsider 3. Some of the artists on your roster include DJ Eco, Wezz Devall, Andrew Rayel, and Alexander Popov. How do you go about acquiring new EDM artists to represent under Roger Semaan Productions International?
Roger Semaan: Mmm, Good question! Basically I pick whom I see is an up & coming artists, with a good fan background, and most importantly, good production quality that fans are reacting to.
EDMinsider 4. How is the electronic dance music scene progressing in Beirut, Lebanon where your production company is based and how would you compare the seen there to other growing EDM capitals of the world?
Roger Semaan: Electronic Dance Music in Lebanon is, has always, and will always be tough in Lebanon. It’s a shame that in order to organize an event you would have to book a top class act or else the crowd won’t attend and miss out of so many talented artists out there who deserve a chance and can rock the crowd. As for my company, I hope that I will be able to succeed and be one of the best out there, and most importantly , if succeeding hoping the middle east would have a better EDM background as it’s needed!
Roger Semaan: Haha, Armin. Why? Don’t think that needs an explanation! Hehe.
EDMinsider 6. What is your ultimate dream?
Roger Semaan: Haha well, managing a world’s number 1 DJ and of course having my artists in the DJ Mag Top100, Top20-10, and touring around the world with my artists, seeing clubs & venues full of music lovers, getting to witness huge festivals, Ibiza residencies and simply my artists delivering the amount of trance needed.
Roger Semaan: What can they expect! Mmm! Hoping 2012 will be a good year of releases & support for my artists, loads of amazing material coming to your way! Hoping to branch out not just as a management & bookings company, but as well as my company producing big shows for my artists.(example: ALDA Events or Unlimited Productions) Surprises? Let’s hope so!
EDMinsider 8. Any last comments?
Roger Semaan: Would like to thank all the promoters, friends, supporters and of course EDM Insider for all the support to me & my artists, and hoping to see you guys somewhere around the world!