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DJ Eric Sharp
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Dec 16, 2008
A founding father of the famous Rock It Science Laboratories, DJ Eric Sharp is a name spoken often in the Bay Area DJ scene. Spending years perfecting the art of dance music and contributing so much to the San Francisco dance music community, it’s no wonder he has such a loyal following. Whether it is fueling the fire in our dance shoes or putting on the latest underground party, the hustle and bustle of his daily life shines through when one experiences his latest event or music.
SF Station (SFS): What inspired you to start Rock It Science Laboratories?
DJ Eric Sharp (ES): In late 2004/early 2005 while going out dancing extensively in the house music scene in SF I felt it was lacking in heart. The parties were well populated but it seemed like there was very little focus on the music and dancing, but more on socializing and drugs. I was also bored of seeing crews book nearly identical lineups party after party and not bring in any out of town headliners that I was interested in seeing.
Dancing had always been an enormous passion of mine and the release I found therein had gotten me through some difficult times; I felt that I had something to contribute to the scene and that it was time for me to give something back so we started throwing the Rock It Science parties. I didn't expect things to take off anywhere near as fast as they have and I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am presently in as a reputable and credible DJ/promoter in SF with a strong following of people who are excited about music and dancing. The next phase of this project is launching the Rock It Science Laboratories music label, in collaboration with my good friends Lachlan Scotland and Bass Cadet. This is another tier of contribution to the greater dance music community which will be global in scope that we are very excited about.
SFS: You are known for a lot of underground parties, how do they differ from club parties?
ES: Underground parties differ from club parties in that they are much more stressful and involve exponentially more labor. One of the advantages to underground is that you bring everything to the table; there is no built in crowd, so the vibe of the event is a direct manifestation of your intention. In terms of sound I think that people generally like their music dirtier at undergrounds, and you don't need to pander to the audience as much with commercial tracks since they tend to be up for most anything. Announcing the location the day of the event serves two purposes: one, building suspense for your audience and two, providing barriers so that only the people you want to know about your event can attend.
SFS: You also play an eclectic range of music from techno to deep house. Which is your favorite?
ES: I don't have a favorite genre. I think that pigeon-holing into one sound is extremely limiting as an artist. When people ask what I play my answer is usually just Electronic Dance Music. Genres come, go, and change so fast nowadays - not to mention that a lot of music fits into many or no genres. Usually I'm asked to elaborate and when I tell folks that my favorite music right now is Nu-Rave, French and Italian Electro, Wobbly Fidget House, Baltimore Club and Baile Funk they tend to have no idea what I'm talking about. I like tracks that feel good when I hear them and that make dancers freak out on the dance floor. Is that a genre?
SFS: It is now. How did you get in the DJ scene?
ES: I hustled very, very hard. Plain and simple.
SFS: What changes have seen you in SF with dance music, and what would you like to see?
ES: I have seen Breaks explode and then implode. I have watched the establishment of a Minimal Techno movement here. I've seen hipsters migrate from Indy Rock shows to Electro parties. Dubstep has recently taken the city by storm as well. I am just starting to see what I would like to see, which are promoters booking imaginative lineups that cross-pollinate many sub-sections of the dance music strata. I want the crowds from the SF scene to get hip to and support eclecticism in their parties, and I want them to check out fresh up and coming acts rather than going to hear the same DJs they can hear five nights per week. I have been to too many incredible cutting edge shows in San Francisco with some of the best music in the world that were under-attended. So basically I would like the dance music community to be more open minded and better educate themselves about new music.
SFS: I heard you were starting to produce your own music. What fueled you to do so?
ES: People have told me for a long time that the only way for me to achieve my goal of becoming an internationally successful DJ was to produce music. I scoffed at this because I thought I was different, because I felt that this was the wrong motive to create sounds, and because I don't like sitting still in front of a computer. Then I started to see a ceiling coming in my career and realized that even if it was possible to succeed without making music it would be a much more difficult road. I decided to give working in the studio a try and found that it is way more fun than I had anticipated. I've been able to make music that I am excited to play and to get into the hands of other DJs, and it is an amazing feeling to see a dance floor go off to a track that you have made. I now spend a lot of time in the studio working on remixes and original projects which are slated for release in 2009.
SFS: Any musical inspirations behind that?
ES: I have way too many inspirations to name as far as production goes. A few off the top of my head who are presently inspiring me are Herve, Diplo, Sinden, Switch, Jesse Rose, Scottie B, Tittsworth, Ayres, DJ Fame, AC Slater and Drop The Lime. If you haven't heard of these artists please, look them up. They are really pushing the barriers of electronic music and are worth your time in checking out.
SFS: What words do you live by, or anything advice to young upcoming DJs?
ES: Don't ever stop. Hone your skills, work hard, promote and market yourself persistently and tastefully. View the people who hate on you as a sign of encouragement: it means you are being successful and making people jealous.
SFS: How long have you used SFstation for?
ES: I have used SF Station for 3 years, both as a promotional tool and to find out what events are taking place that I may want to attend.
Check his fresh at http://www.rockitsciencesf.com and count down the New Year with him at 1015 Folsom this NYE, also featuring DJs Diplo and Jesse Rose!
by Christina Li on Dec 16, 2008