Manufactured Superstars: the Dancing Astronaut interview

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The Manufactured Superstars consists of Brad Roulier and Shawn Sabo, and if you’re not familiar with their work, you should give some of our past coverage a look. They’re certainly worth knowing in this burgeoning EDM scene, and we got to sit down with the duo to talk.

Dancing Astronaut: So, what’s new with Manufactured Superstars? You played EDC recently – how was that for you?

Manufactured Superstars (Shawn Sabo): Wow, there are so many amazing projects going on right now! To start, our firstsingle with Magik Muzik, “Take Me Over” featuring Scarlett Quinn is climbing charts all over theglobe. Being added to radio, including the influential radio station, “Power 106 FM” inL.A., Sirius XM, BPM-TV (for our “Take Me Over” music video), and more!

Our second single, “Serious” featuring Selina Albright, just hit and will be on Beatport
next week, then iTunes and all music retailers. That’s got a massive remix package with Calvin
Harris, Sunnery James & Ryan Maricano, Ed Rush & Optical, and more.

Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Texas were both epic! It’s so much fun to be able to play the music we make and love to so many house music-lovers. Insomniac Events did an amazing job with the production. We have to say, it’s probably the best event in the world — it’s completely mind blowing.

(Editors Note: You can view some EDC photos here)

Manufactured Superstars – Take Me Over

DA: We at DA of course love the astronaut motif you guys are known for. How long has it been a part of your look, and what was the inspiration?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): We wanted to do something fun and different — we didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously. We take what we do seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. [laughs] We wanted to make a full-on party spectacle that’s about the crowd, the vibe and the music, and to take all of those things and make them entertaining. Our original name was “Digitally Manufactured Superstars,” but that was a big mouthful so we shortened it. What’s really nuts is that a lot of our fans are now starting to show up at gigs… wearing their own spacesuits! [laughs] They rock out in the front row and that is just so awesome. We now give out the black nerd glasses at each show and by the end of the night, everyone’s wearing them.

DA: Your residency at Playhouse Hollywood is aptly named “Space Odyssey.” What special qualities have you put into the event to make it unique?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): As you can see from our photos, we have created an out-of-this-world environment all around space. We are doing this at XS in Vegas, Playhouse in L.A., Enclave in Chicago, and we’re working on Miami, New York and a few other cities right now.

See photos here

DA: Your new single “Serious” — partly inspired by the Donna Allen track of the same name — we’ve heard it live, and it’s definitely a big-room, vocal house bomb. How did you come to hook up with Selina Albright for the production?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): We are really close with one of the world’s top pop producers DJFrankie, and he connected us. She is amazing and so talented. It’s been a fun time introducing her to the house music world, as she comes from a jazz background. We are really excited about this tune, will be big!

DA: The music video for “Take Me Over” is right up our alley. How much creative control did you assert over its production?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): We have total control over all of our tracks. The song itself started in the home production studio, where we wrote the beat, loops, chords and melody. Then, we sent the demo to a songwriting team in the UK we’ve been working with. They wrote a demo vocal and we went back and forth until it was right. Then, we had the very talented Scarlett Quinn lay down the actual track. We re-edited the vocal to add in a few loops, like, “Work my freak on you,” and, “Take, take, take, take / take me over,” mixed it, and sent it to the label.

We also had some very talented EDM producers on the remix tip, including Ferry Corsten, Bingo Players, R3hab and more. The video was a group effort between the label, us, and director. But in the end, we control our brand and make all of the final decisions. It was a really fun video to shoot, with thanks again to all the girls in spacesuits and to our amazing director. 

DA: Your forthcoming single “Drunk Text” features none other than Paris Hilton. What was it like collaborating with the hotel heiress? Should we expect the music video to be rather risqué?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): Paris Hilton is really nice and very sweet! She was very easy to work with, and she has been very supportive of Manufactured Superstars, coming out to several of our shows and being very vocal about her admiration for us as her favorite DJs. The video for “Drunk Text” was directed by the extremely talented Jonathan Lia. It will be a game-changer for sure! Just you wait! [laughs]

DA: The vocal tracks we’ve talked about here feature female leads with voices easily welcomed by the average listener. What do you think is the fate of the house diva as far as vocal house is concerned?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): We think that every sound has a place in EDM and that people will continue to create music with all types of singers. That’s our hope.

DA: We’ve always been curious — do you guys have unlimited free downloads from Beatport for life?

Manufactured Superstars (Sabo): [laughs] No! We — just like all other DJs — buy our music on Beatport. We love and support dance music, and are happy to pay for legal downloads. We have both been in the scene for 15+ years as DJ’s, producers, promoters and club owners. We will always support the other artists. We know how much work goes into making music, and all artists deserve to get paid for their time and efforts. Plus, it’s only $1.49 per track! [laughs] Thanks so much. We love the name of your site, Dancing Astronaut, and we really are humbled by the support! See you and your crew on a dancefloor soon!

If you want to keep up with the Manufactured Superstars, check out their website or Twitter.


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