(aka Dj Shah, Sunlounger) is a German electronic music composer and producer.Early HistoryBorn in Esslingen in southern Germany to a German mother and a Pakistani father. His brother is Pedro del Mar, also a Trance DJ, hosts a bi-weekly vocal trance show called Mellomania. Roger first began to hit his production stride in his native country in 1999 putting out the tracks ‘Claps’, ‘The Mission’ & ‘Tides of Time’. In 2003 his ‘High’ release was signed by Virgin Records imprint Nebula. This marked his first non-domestic release and over the course of the next 5 years he inked productions to a range of trance labels - ones that came to include Anjunabeats, VANDIT & Black Hole.
The Armin Connection
In 2007 Armin van Buuren
named Shah’s ‘Who Will Find Me’ release as his favourite track of 2007. Having heard the demo of its follow-up, Van Buuren saw crossover potential in the track and made contact in early 2008 to ask if Shah would like to collaborate on it. The result was the Chris Jones song ‘Going Wrong’… A national top 5 smash in The Netherlands, the track went on to become one of the biggest selling trance singles of the year. From there Magic Island Records – Shah’s primary label moved from his own stable to that of one of Armin’s industry-leading Armada Music.
Magic Island Records
An imprint for both Roger’s own material and that of likeminded producers, Magic Island releases have quickly become fixtures in the CDJs of the world’s biggest spinners. Notable up and coming names like Ralph Fritsch, DJ Cosmo, Kim Svard and Walsh & McAuley have all had releases on the label.
The M.I. deal’s quickest produce of the Magic Island/Armada deal was Roger’s first artist album, ‘Songbook’. Strongly received by both press and fans alike, it was praised for its innovative dual club mix and acoustic version approach. Singles taken from it like ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ and the aforementioned ‘Going Wrong’ & ‘Who Will Find Me’ (a Top 20 ASOT Tune of the Year in ‘08) proved to be particularly popular.
Live & DJ Performances
In late 2008 Shah took the decision to change his artist name. Dropping the ‘DJ’ prefix, he revised it to Roger Shah – a move that signalled a move away from straightforward DJ sets. His successive live-on-stage more concert themed ones have brought a percevible change to how trance music was presented to an audience. During live performance, Roger Shah frequently uses a wireless keyboard interface such as the M-Audio Oxygen 25 (25 key USB midi controller). Roger Shah has mentioned numerous times that will perform with his laptop instead of CD.
Pseudonyms & Side Projects
In addition to his own-name tracks, Roger has also produced under a matrix of other sun-tipped aliases. Notable among them are his ‘pka’ DJ Shah, High Noon at Salinas, Magic Island & Savannah. Shah is also one half of the Anjunabeats released act Purple Moods, Black Hole project Global Experience and ASOT’s Black Pearl, whose ’06 – ’09 spanning singles ‘Coral Sea’, ‘Java’, ‘Bounty Island’ and ‘Rise’ generated much additional interest in Shah’s solo productions.
Sunlounger is without doubt Roger’s best known nom de plume. It was under this handle that he released the ‘Another Day On The Terrace' long-player in 2008. It reached No.1 on Dutch iTunes’ ‘all-music-genres’ chart and spawned four singles: ‘In & Out’, ‘Aguas Blancas’, ‘Crawling’ & ‘White Sand’. The project become so celebrated that Roger expanded Sunlounger into a live act - a performance of which was featured on Armada’s ArminOnly DVD. It was this experience that he credited with his latter wholesale move into live Roger Shah performances. In 2009 Roger released the Sunlounger follow-up LP ‘Sunny Tales'. It's progeny singles included ‘Catwalk’, ‘Mediterranean Flower’, ‘Change Your Mind’ and the much-revered ‘Lost’ - voted as Tune of the Year for the 2008 A State of Trance radio show hosted by Armin van Buuren.
‘Magic Island: Music For Balearic People’ – The Compilations
Shah’s compilation series has so far seen three outings (2007, 2008 & 2010). Encapsulating everything Roger stands for musically, their intrinsically White Island trance sound has sound-tracked an uncountable number of clubbers holidays. Roger typically uses the compilations as first-listen holders for future singles & collaborations with Vol.2 including ones with Signum, Judge Jules & Amanda O’Riordan and Tenishia.
‘Magic Island: Music For Balearic People’ – The Radio Show
Broadcasting weekly, Magic Island – Music For Balearic People is a 2 hour radio show carried by the DI.FM station and is currently being syndicated to many other countries, most recently including Mexico and Jordan. Presented by Roger every Friday between 21.00 GMT (22:00 CET), it showcases him playing melodic trance through the first hour with the 2nd focusing on Balearic, chillout and Dream trance.
Shah has reworked tracks for legendary vocalists like Sarah McLachlan and Nadia Ali. He’s also remixed tunes for a litany of trance-masters including Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren, Mark Norman, York, Cosmic Gate, Josh Gabriel, Johan Gielen, System F, The Thrillseekers, Solarstone, Three Drives, Matt Darey & Oceanlab. Most recently Roger has rewired Andain’s ‘Beautiful Things ‘10’ and Richard Durand’s ‘Always The Sun’.