INTERVIEW: Mark Barzin | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North East DJ, musician and producer Mark Barzin clearly hasn’t been resting on his laurels during lockdown. The prolific musician has several releases up his sleeve this month, kicking off with the feelgood dance track Get To Me (released 19th June). Fusing Mark’s love of stirring house and elemental drum & bass, it’s an uplifting track that’s perfect for summer parties. Under his Shah guise, which blends elements of hip-hop and jazz with psych rock and soul, two further releases are also on the cards – R&B single Are We Dreaming, which features the sublime vocals of singer Jess (released 26th June) and the groove-ridden Go Back (released 17th July).

Here, Mark talks more about his background and the inspirations behind his prolific career.

How did you get into music?
I got into music at a very young age, because of my parents. They would always play their favourite soul/RnB/rock music on LP and sing along. It always looked fun so I wanted to join in!

Which artists inspired you growing up?
I listened to hip-hop during its golden age period, at a very young age and I was mesmerised by the underlying messages in the lyrics. To learn about the inequality and injustices the rapper had personally experienced gave me an insight into the world that I was never able to see if it wasn’t for the music.

You’re releasing two singles in the space of a week. How do you find the time?
I’m a bit of a musical transient and like to write in quite a few genres. One single, under my name Mark Barzin, is my more dance house music side that should appeal more to a commercial crowd.

My other music, released under the name Shah is more of a hip hop/soul/RnB side.

Tell us about the two tracks. What are the differences/similarities in style?
Get To Me (released under my own name) is a summery, light and bright drum & bass track, with a lot of soulful lyrics. I wanted to introduce some interesting piano progressions that fit in with the sound. The aim was to create a festival type track that gets you in a good mood.

Are We Dreaming, released under the Shah moniker, is a very dreamy, soulful track with a bit of hip-hop flavour. The vocals come courtesy of New York-native Jess. The groove is something which takes me away a bit, and I snuck in some jazz elements as well.

Briefly describe your songwriting and recording process. 
My songwriting process involves letting my ears lead me as I generally don’t know what genre of music I’ll write next. The only thing I want is for my music to transfer a feeling.

What have you got planned for the future?
My plan for the future is I have an arsenal of music! I’m releasing a couple of new tracks every month and hopefully help people smile and get on the dancefloor.


Mark Barzin · Get To Me

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