[INTERVIEW] Sigala Dives Into Sigalaland Miami, His New Single "Feels This Good", & More
From the brilliant mind of Bruce Fielder, Sigala is a household name in the world electronic music. Known for his uplifting basslines, tropical vibes, and infectious piano melodies, Sigala has spent the last decade releasing hit after hit and touring across the biggest stages. Throughout his career, Sigala has collaborated with a variety of renowned artists, such as French Montana, Sean Paul, The Vamps, Meghan Trainor, and more. As he continues to push sonic boundaries with his signature style and experimentation, this innovative DJ-producer hybrid sat with iEDM to discuss the past, present, and future of his project.
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Sigala below.
iEDM: What made Sigalaland at SLS a great way to start off Miami Music Week for its attendees? Why was the atmosphere of the venue a solid fit for your signature style?
Sigala: I think the party was at an excellent time because it was on a Tuesday, before all the main parties for the week. It was a nice warm-up for everyone to get them in the spirit of Miami Music Week. The attendees were just really happy to be there and see each other; from the fans to the industry people there, and all the DJs that performed at Sigalaland. It was kind of a mixture between a gig and a house party because there were just as many people behind the stage as in front, making it super intimate. Everyone was just having a good time. There were people jumping on stage with each other. The whole event was just really chill and a perfect way to start Miami Music Week. Also, the atmosphere was amazing because it was at SLS at the back of the hotel where there’s a swimming pool. You can just about see the beach, there’s beautiful sunshine all day, and uh yeah, a very fitting place to have my Sigalaland show.
iEDM: What were your favorite moments from Sigalaland Miami? Which tracks do you think garnered the best crowd reactions?
Sigala: My favorite moments were a couple of things… Regard jumped up on stage with me during my set, which was really nice because Regard is someone I’ve known since we both started our careers. He supported me on my UK tour years and years ago when his track “Ride It” had just come out. Regard’s just a really sweet guy and we have become good friends. Obviously, because of the pandemic, people still haven’t seen each other. A lot of DJs have been touring again but there haven’t been those big mixers. It was so enjoyable to be able to meet up with my peers and other DJs to just hang out and catch up with them.
Miami Music Week is all about kind of showing things that you’re working on and things that you’re excited about. There’s so much unreleased music being played everywhere. So I thought it was a good opportunity to play some of my songs from my upcoming album, Every Cloud, which is dropping later this year. I played a couple of tunes from that and received such an awesome reaction. People really listened and gave the music a chance. This sounds a bit weird, but generally, people mostly enjoy hearing stuff they’ve already heard because they can sing along or recognize it quickly. When you get a reaction from playing a brand-new tune that no one’s heard before, it's really amazing and encouraging to know you’re on the right track.
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iEDM: Your United States 2023 tour is closing with a ton of shows over a short period of time. How do you mentally and physically prepare yourself for consecutive nights of performances?
Sigala: Get lots of sleep. Traveling, especially in the U.S., is very exhausting because everywhere is so far apart. You have to cover so much ground when you’re doing a tour. Therefore, it's really important to eat, eat well, and eat literally whenever you have the opportunity to. I am eating whatever’s available because I don’t know when the next time is that I'll be able to get a decent meal. Also, I don’t really drink too much anymore because it's not sustainable when you’re doing a show every single night, you know? It makes the tour more exhausting if you’re drinking and partying as well. I always hang about and I love to meet people at the shows, but I try to be as sensible as I can now. It is crucial to be there to put on the best show for the people who’ve come to see me perform. This typically means being super well-rested and in the right frame of mind.
In addition to these forms of preparation, there is obviously a lot of prep on what songs I’m going to play. I’ll do my research on the venue and who else has played there. What kind of vibe is it? Is it more commercial, underground, or clubby? I’ll try to gauge that and adjust my set accordingly. Another part of the process is trying to make new edits for shows, especially if I have a long travel day. If I have a long flight, I’ll usually make something. Whether it's a little bootleg or mashup or an original remix. I frequently use an acapella that people will recognize and do a quick remix to it. It's surprising to listen to some of the ones I’ve managed to do in a 2-3 hour flight. There are certain ones I still play everywhere because sometimes the best ideas come really quickly. Some of them are awful of course but there have been a few gems.
iEDM: What sparked the collaboration for your latest single, “Feels This Good”, featuring Mae Muller, Caity Baser, and Stefflon Don?
Sigala: This song conceptually is all about friendship and acknowledging memories that you’ve had with great friends. At the same time, it’s centered around living in the moment and being present with the people you love. I really wanted to try and extend that concept into the features that we have on the song. This went absolutely perfect with having Mae Muller and Caity Baser collab on “Feels This Good”. They’re really good friends and have a history together. I thought that was really important because it fits the concept of the track. Stefflon Don was a great addition to that as well. She's somebody I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. When I was making this tune, I could just hear her voice on it. She was amazing and what she added to the track was incredible. You can see in the music video that everyone had a fun time creating this song.
iEDM: What setting or scene do you envision when listening to “Feels This Good”? Which specific soundscapes help bring out its uplifting vibe?
Sigala: There's definitely a summer vibe in this track, which is something that I've done a lot and comes very naturally to me. Despite living in London, where it rains most of the time. That summer feel-good sound is something that I've always resonated with. I just feel like it's such a positive and powerful thing to share with people that need a bit of a pick me up or aren't having a great day. You can imagine you're at the beach, drinking a piña colada.
There is a bunch of disco influence from this tune. Disco, funk, late 90s to early 2000s dance music, and even some sort of Daft Punk sonic stuff going on in there. That was kind of what I was thinking for this. I love disco. I've always loved disco. I'm obsessed with Nile Rodgers, Chic, and all the old disco music from that era. So that continues to inspire me. And that's something that I love to add little flavors of in my songs.
iEDM: What are the advantages that come with working with different vocalists on a track? How do the different voices present in “Feels This Good” take listeners through phases of various energy levels?
Sigala: It's really nice having a rap verse on a tune to break up the melodic vocals. Steph obviously did that amazingly, and it adds another dimension to the record. Caity and Mae also have their own unique approach in their voices, which allows for that contrast as well.
iEDM: In “Feels This Good”, what techniques did you use to craft a bassline that is vibrant and matches up well with the lyrics?
Sigala: Going back to the disco thing, I feel there's something about live bass that I really gravitate towards. You just can't replicate that and acoustic sonic with any kind of synth bass. I've used live bass before in songs like “Just Got Paid”. I really like mixing those live elements and acoustic elements with dance music, synths, and programmed drums. They go so well together. For example, I had a synth bass line in there for a while and as soon as I began adding live bass, the whole song started to come to life.
iEDM: How has your sound evolved from the start of your career to now?
Sigala: My sound has for sure been evolving since I started. Probably every producer says this, but I definitely listen to my earliest stuff and cringe a little bit as to the roughness of it. But then, you know, no one really cares about that. It's about capturing some magic. And as long as I'm able to do that, that's the main thing. Having a perfect sonic mix isn't necessarily as essential as having a great song and finding those magic flavors that come together to make something special.
I'm always trying to evolve my sound. I'm always trying to look for new inspiration. Furthermore, I love getting inspiration from completely different genres and turning it into something that still sounds like me. That's something I've really loved doing with songs like “Wish You Well”, which was based off of a trance tune. “Just Got Paid”: that's funk disco. The song with Sean Paul and Fuse ODG “Feels Like Home” is Afro mixed with reggaeton and other genres. It encompassed sounds I borrowed from the artists that I was working with at the time, somewhat of a creative license to do something a bit different. That's why I love collaborating with all types of artists from varying genres and places in the world.
I'm already thinking about what my next steps are as a producer and where I want my sound to go. I try not to fall too much into the trends of what's going on now because that stuff is very fleeting. It’s much more fun and interesting to carve my own lane. However, I'm always going to be influenced by the music that's excites me and the music that's new and fresh.
iEDM: What is the latest important piece of knowledge as a producer that you have learned?
Sigala: The most important thing I’ve learned as a producer is that it doesn't matter how successful you are or top 10s you've had; there's always room to improve. I've been playing piano since I was eight years old, yet I still watch YouTube videos on chord progressions from different genres. I'm always identifying what makes these chords so special in this song and trying to build my knowledge. Recently, I have been very humbled to the fact that there's literally no limit to what I can learn as a producer. I read production magazines, blogs, and listen to podcasts, where they interview producers. Additionally, I always need to know what the newest plugins and sounds are. It's very easy when you're out on tours, it is more difficult to make music. Making an effort to just sit down and be like, “okay, for the next two hours, I'm just going to make something fresh”, is another crucial thing I’ve learned. Lastly, experiment.
iEDM: What is your perspective on the direction that electronic music is heading in? Which things stick out in your mind that has changed?
Sigala: I've been doing this now for about eight years. It's interesting to see how things go full circle and how things change. Where the worlds of commercial music and dance music meet, that space is constantly shifting. Also, dance music continuously becomes more and less relevant in cycles. When I first started making dance music, I was riding the wave of tropical house. In the UK, there was a big resurgence of deep house and pop house, such as Clean Bandit, Philip George, and other similar artists. That was a really exciting time to be making dance music and it helped my trajectory. It's been amazing to be able to still have success over those lulls where dance music hasn't been as massive.
More recently, I feel like dance music is the biggest it's been in a long, long time. Within the last two years around the pandemic and after it. Although, it's so saturated at the moment and has been for a while that I think it's affecting the success of dance music. Because there is so much EDM and people can consume it so easily, songs don't stick around for as long as they used to. It's a bit sad for the songs that really are special. Oppositely, it’s good because dance music has become so commercial that people are now trying to find the next new exciting thing. Which means tracks that are more underground and less commercial are almost more appealing to people because they are fresh and different. It's enabled more underground dance music to come through into the charts and the mainstream. This is incredible because Fisher’s “Losing It” and in the UK “The Baddest Of Them All”, “Tune LF System”, and “Afraid To Feel” never would have made it on the radio a few years ago. It reminds me of the early 2000s when there were instrumental dance tunes in the charts.
iEDM: Based on the previous question, what new opportunities do you think this will create for the identity behind Sigala?
Sigala: Like I said about the good and the bad, it definitely brings more opportunities for new genres and subgenres of dance music to come through. Also, less commercial dance music being in the mainstream is really exciting as a DJ and music producer because it breaks the boundaries of what is expected, especially of myself who very much lives in that mainstream pop dance space. Although I love that space and wouldn't change it for the world, there is definitely a part of me that wants to experiment more, and have a platform to be able to pull out some of my club edits. I can make music that's not necessarily super commercial, but still have a chance of it being really successful. With the global domination of tech house at the moment, blending that with pop music is something that's really thrilling.
This year is definitely a really exciting one for me, because I have so many ideas of things that I want to do. I feel so inspired at the moment, having been to things like Miami Music Week, and having come out of the pandemic and toured for a year. I'm at a place now where I really want to push the boundaries a bit on my own music and try something really different that doesn't sit in the space currently occupied by whatever genre is most successful. This involves looking back to my very early stuff and what originally inspired me to start making music. From that, I can build something new. I'm heading off in a couple of weeks to a studio in Thailand just to experiment. I want to see what crazy ideas I can come up with.
iEDM: Are there any future projects you can hint at for your fan base to get excited about? What are the main things you would love to accomplish or experience in 2023?
Sigala: I have my album dropping in September, which is something that I've been working on for a long time and I'm really excited for that to come out. It's commercial, dance music, and great songs. It's fun and feel-good vibes. That's what comes to me very naturally. There are loads of amazing collaborations on there that I've been wanting to get out into the world for a while. Also, I'm definitely going to be visiting the U.S. a few times this year because it's somewhere that I've started to see growth. The shows and fans in the states are always incredible. Obviously, I'm going to be touring all over the rest of the world as well. Overall, I am super pumped to dive into the next chapter of Sigala.
Photos Courtesy of Sigala
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Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.
Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.