The Saunderson Brothers Exclusive Interview

A name synonymous with American techno – Kevin Sanderson, along with purveyors such as Derrick May and Juan Atkins, are considered living pioneers of the electronic music craft. Saunderson with Atkins and May, often referred to as the “Belleville Three” are considered to be some of the originators of techno, specifically Detroit techno.

2013 has given rise to a new generation of the legendary Saunderson bloodline – Introducing Damarii and Dantiez. Meet two brothers, following in their legendary father’s footsteps, chasing there own solo artist and DJ careers.

We are elated to present a Traxsource 2-part exclusive interview with the Saunderson boys and Kevin – the man himself. Today, we talk to the boys about their musical influences, their original production works and carrying on the “techno torch”.



Dantiez Saunderson

As one of three children, Dantiez Saunderson, was born and bred in Michigan and is the middle son of Recording Artist (and techno pioneer) Kevin Saunderson and Singer/Songwriter Ann Saunderson. So you would imagine that it was a ‘given’ that Dantiez was automatically going to establish a career for himself in the music industry. However, you would be sadly mistaken.

It wasn’t to be until 2012, at the age of 20 that Dantiez decided to take a plunder into the music industry. He realised that music was the way to go for him, when he saw the change in electronic music and how his generation (as a whole) were starting to interact with the music, so much more.

Not only has he immersed himself into producing music, but he has stepped into the world of djing. Although his inspiration to dj was by watching the likes of the three ‘Originators of Techno’ (namely Derrick May, Juan Atkins and of course his own Dad, Kevin Saunderson), he has also been influenced by DJs such as Marco Carolo (from Italy) and Seth Troxler, (Seth is one of the new generation of DJs, currently riding high and co-incidentally, he’s also from Michigan).

Interview

1. Dantiez, thanks for sitting down with us. Can you describe your overall production style?

I would have to say my sound is pretty diverse, with a few different faces, ranging from techno to tech house vibes, with different attributes depending on the mood/time of day. I think you can hear the hip hop side of me leak into a lot of my productions, along with warm driving bass-lines and Detroit percussion. Overall, most of the tracks I produce have tons of energy, probably because I’m a pretty energetic individual.

2. Obviously your father (Kevin Saunderson) is a living legend, but how was it you were introduced to techno growing up?

Well because my Pops is the legend that he is, that is how I was introduced to techno and the “scene” as a whole. I definitely got a dose of techno music, every week (from a very young age), as my Pops was either in the studio producing or taking me to gigs with him. I have to say my favorite memory of ‘back in the day’ would have to be the very first official Movement Festival in Detroit.

3. Any classic techno tracks you can pinpoint that gave you “the bug”?

“Spastik”, by Plastikman (aka Richie Hawtin), is a great one. The way the track was set up with no distinct melody or lead whatsoever was amazing to me because the track is still the ‘bomb’ to this day. I love it.

4. You recently stepped into the field of music production – Did your father encourage you to pursue this path or was it a natural progression?

Although I was somewhat influenced, to start producing, by both my father and my mother, my Pops didn’t necessarily encourage me. I kind of found my own way, my own style and my own path in production, over time.

5. Tell something interesting we may not know about you..

I am half British actually, thanks to my wonderful inspiring mother, “Ann Saunderson” whom is a singer/songwriter in her own right and is one of the vocalists for the group “Inner City”. I am also very excited to announce that the first ‘Saunderson’ family collab production is underway featuring my pops, my mother on vocals and myself. I’m very excited for this project and cant wait to share it with you all soon!

Dantiez Saunderson Latest Release / Follow Pages

‘Undergo’ is out now on First Steps Recordings

Follow Dantiez Saunderson on Traxsource




Damarii Saunderson

At the age of 18 Damarii Saunderson was drafted out of Northville High School to play for the minor leagues Philadelphia Phillies. He was around 11 when he was scouted. He was retired from Baseball at around aged 20 when a ‘slap’ tear to his throwing shoulder and as unfortunate as it was, at the same time it taught him a valuable life lesson and it took him straight into the path of music. Does this story have a ring to it… It should, as Damarii Saunderson is the eldest son of Kevin Saunderson and Ann Saunderson. Like Damarii, Kevin also retired from sport early to pursue his love of music.

Fast forward to the end of 2012 – co-incidentally the same year that Dantiez (Damarii’s younger brother) also decided to pursue a career in music – and it would seem that both brothers were harbouring talents that their parents didn’t realise were hidden deep inside them.

Interview

1. Damaraii – Can you describe your production style – overall sound?

Right now I would describe the music I make as very underground Techno – My dad compared it to a mix of him and Carl Craig but that can change as I develop my production skills.

2. Obviously your father (Kevin Saunderson) is a living legend, but how was it you were introduced to techno growing up?

Growing up I listened to a lot of rap and hip-hop to be honest- I knew nothing about electronic music until I was about 18.

3. Any classic techno tracks you can pinpoint that gave you “the bug”?

I don’t really have any songs that have influenced the tracks I’m making right now but the sound of Detroit techno rather is what has inspired my music.

4. You recently stepped into the field of music production (late 2012) – Did your father encourage you to pursue this path or was it a natural progression?

Obviously my mom and dad have both inspired me to start making music and my future goals are to simply take what they have done to the next level (easier said than done) but I believe in my self to make that happen. Hopefully I can do the same in music, its not an easy task but I’m up for the challenge. ;)

Damarii Saunderson Latest Release / Follow Pages

‘Madness’ is out now on Sounds of Juan

Follow Damarii Saunderson on Traxsource

Damarii Saunderson’s Shadow Chart