San Francisco continues to make a name for itself as a home for incredibly talented musicians and producers at the forefront of the music world, especially within the house realm. Enter Eric Sharp. After joining forces with DJ Fame to create their own record label, Eric has been progressing through the production world, creating tunes that progress through different bounds of genres but maintain an introspective and emotional touch.
With a lively and energetic take on electro and house that explores the spectrum of dreamy to dark, melodic to explosive, Eric Sharp has a definite grip on how to make people dance. The mix provided is an insightful venture into the depths of Sharp’s style, containing many artists with fresh inputs and productions, as well as a considerable amount of Sharp’s own stuff. To top this all off, he’s very well-spoken and provided us with a fantastic and informative interview. He’s playing at the Honey Lounge this Friday at Control, so if you like to dance, and you’re a fan of good music, we suggest you be there.
Hi Eric! How are you? What are you up to this week?
I’m doing well thanks! This week has been busy, fun, and productive. I wrapped up production on a track called “Roll Call” with Hot Tub, which is a badass band from Oakland, and also started a new track with their producer Jaysonik. Tuesday I met with a start-up mobile app to consult them on how to best let party-people in SF know about what they are doing. Last night I dj’ed at Obey The Kitty. Oh, I also watched “Hannibal.” I’m way into movies, hoping to make it out to see the new Tim Burton this weekend.
Tell us a little bit about your record label, Rock It Science Laboratories.
Rock It Science Labs just turned 2 years old. It started out as an outlet for my production work and that of my friends, and has grown bigger with time. I run the label with DJ Fame from NYC, who is one of the most talented and underrated producers in the game IMO (For anyone unfamiliar, Fame was the first US producer signed to Dubsided, Switch’s label). Anyhow, the label is of course a labor of love but we do hope to grow it to the point where we can tour behind it. We’ve gotten a very positive response to our tunes from artists who we respect, and had some major luck with our first release being licensed to CSI: Miami. We do our best to continue improving and we are really happy with the quality of music we have coming in the near future from original artists like Wongo and Svidden and remixers such as Willy Joy and Udachi. We recently also released Reilly Steel’s debut EP, that kid is on a serious tear and coming up very fast! Of course Fame and I will put more tunes out on the label in the future as well.
How do you think living in San Francisco has helped or hindered you as an artist?
Tough question! I think that my locale has done a bit of both. Living here I’ve been exposed to a lot of artists and sounds that I may not have heard otherwise and there is a great party scene with a very DIY ethic. In terms of finding my footing and my creative voice, SF has been very inspiring – ANYTHING goes here. There is also a huge dance music community here which majorly supported me from the gates.
I do however feel that the city can be a bit insular and local-obsessed and I’m not sure if there are as many eyeballs on what is happening here as there are on LA or NY for instance. Also I feel like sometimes there is a war to see who can be the most abstract musician / dj / promoter etc. I sit that one out.
What DJ or production tool do you wish existed?
A “Siri” type of synth that I could describe the sound I wanted and it would make the patch! Haha I work hard on sound design but it’s been one of my biggest challenges as a producer.
You’ve put quite a bit of emphasis on being vegan. What is its importance to you?
I mostly emphasize that because I want to connect with other vegans. I’ve eaten this way since 1999 and I feel very healthy. I don’t push my lifestyle on anyone and I am not vegan for animal rights or political reasons. Overall I am very interested in health and I have found that eating a healthy, balanced vegan diet gives me a ton of energy! Also anyone who saw Scott Pilgrim knows that vegans have super powers.
Your productions range in styles and energy, is each influenced by a mood or a feeling? How would you explain where you are at musically now?
I like writing music as a form of self-expression and so I try not to constrict my sound. Hopefully that’s not too confusing for people. My tunes are very much influenced by my feelings and moods, and also what I am listening to at a given time. There are several that I associate with a particular experience or memory. There are a lot of technical skills required to make electronic music and for a long time I would get frustrated because I was unable to make the music I was hearing in my head. Everything fell short. I am starting to be able to freely express myself musically, and am really proud of my recent work. Most recently I wrote several dark, forward housey tunes built around 808 drum kits. I’m really stoked on how these sound, and the recording I did for you guys is the first time they’ve appeared anywhere.
Who are your favorite musicians at the moment? Electronic or not….
When I’m not listening to electronic music, I like a lot of old stuff like Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan – tunes that have lyrics which inspire me. My girlfriend got me way into Leonard Cohen and Beach House. On the electronic side I thought the SBTRKT album was great. The last couple of tunes Diplo has produced have been on heavy rotation at home. Oh, I dug the Drake album too. I just look for music that I can relate to. Like everyone I find it hard to stay on top of everything that is coming out, the pace is ridiculous.
What’s up next for Eric Sharp?
Sharing my music with as many people as possible through DJing and releasing music! I got into all of this to begin with because music and dancing is such a positive force for me and I want to pass that on more than anything else in this life. I’m in the most prolific period of my career as a producer thus far and it’s really exciting. I’ve been working with some really talented artists whom I’m very excited about. The song with Hot Tub is a lot of fun, it’s a party rap track that I can see people driving around wilding out to in their cars or bugging out on a dance floor to. Overall I strive to continue growing as an artist, and I love DJing more than anything in the world so like I said hopefully there is more of that to come on the horizon.
1. Nic Sarno – Skills
2. Eric Sharp – Help Me
3. Louisahhh!!! – Narcotic
4. Tom Flynn – I’m Insane
5. Nic Sarno – Crafting
6. Sinden – Keep It 1000
7. Broken Youth – Dreamer (Dub Mix) w/Bella Saona – Off With Their Heads (MK Remix Intro-apella)
8. B-Ju – Celebro
9. Mickey Moonlight – Come On Humans (Sam Tiba Remix)
10. Wafa – Abandon Me (Crookers Remix)
11. Jack Beats feat. Donae’o – You Should Know (Botnek Remix)
12. Sick Boy & Eric Sharp – Sharp As A Knife
13. The Contours – Do You Love Me (Sick Boy & Eric Sharp Bootleg Remix)
14. Eric Sharp & Bass Cadet – Avusadora
15. Ting Tings – Work Me Down Sonny (Eats Everything Remix)
16. Eric Sharp & Ground Control – Haunted
17. Worthy – So Sunkin
18. Kush Arora & Mega Banton – Shake Sitten (Kush Arora’s China White Remix)