Guest of Honor: Shir Khan, from skateboarder to leader of Berlin's Exploited clan

Guest of Honor: Shir Khan, from skateboarder to leader of Berlin’s Exploited clan

Oct 10, 2012 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Ridz, advertises, produces indie/electronic music, performs throughout the Netherlands but ultimately always ends up at an Amsterdam based ensemble... then he blogs about all these things.

Exploited label founder, internationally renowned DJ, remixer, promoter, radiohost, world-traveller and new talent spotter, Berlin resident Shir Khan is truly a jack-of-all-trades and might be one of the city’s hottest names. Having grown the label since 2007, Exploited has played host to some of the most innovative, cutting-edge electronic talent and has been on a quest for high quality, diverse, forward-thinking releases. Next week his whole crew and himself will be in town for a special ADE showcase. We asked him some questions in advance.

According to you, who is Shir Khan and what does he sound like?
“Shir Khan is the alter-ego of a grown-up ex-skateboarder from the concrete jungle of Berlin who was into punkrock and hip-hop back in the day and whose later job as a DJ became his main profession. From being a radio-jock at Berlin’s Radio Fritz, to spinning in clubs all over the world, to running the label Exploited, to managing most of his artists full-time, to organizing events… Basically the whole repertoire. What does Shir Khan sound like? Always fresh, but always a little different than everyone else. ‘Nuff said.”

Next to being a DJ, you also run a label called Exploited. You’ve been releasing some well-charted EPs and tracks over the past year, how did this happen and what is the key to this success lately?
“I think we managed to find our own label sound. I’ve been working really hard to find young new talent – an international family I can work with. I have invested in the careers of Homework, Adana Twins, Claptone, Doctor Dru, Cocolores, Joyce Muniz and I think the focus on these few people has helped everyone, both the label and the artists, in growing together. I’m pretty happy everyone is profiting from it now.”

You’ve been to Amsterdam to play a bunch of times in the past, but next week you’ll be debuting at ADE with your own label night together with Next Monday’s Hangover. Looking forward to it?
“I am pretty excited. I think we have the best venue within ADE’s programme which is super special and stands out from the rest of the normal club-life. You can feel the personal atmosphere already in the planning of this event. The people from Next Mondays’s Hangover are really passionate and totally believe in what they do. That’s what I really like about it. Besides that we will have the best audience, we will also have the best party, the best sound system, the best performance, best light show, best after-hour and so on.”

Any particular connection with Amsterdam? Does it mean anything to you?
“I always liked the city. I enjoy the fact everyone uses a bicycle, and seriously: I have never been to a coffeeshop in Amsterdam to buy weed. That doesn’t interest me.”

Being both a label owner and DJ must be a pretty busy job, do you prefer to DJ or run a label?
“You can get used to everything. It’s all about time managment. I prefer to DJ myself but I don’t think running a label is the worst job in the world right?”

What was your latest genius discovery (artist or track)?
“I totally love Bicep. I also love Disclosure, Jimmy Edgar, George Fitzgerald, Midland and Kyodai. No specific track.. I’m always interested in fresh new sound.”

If you could choose any artist in the world to release on your label (that hasn’t yet), dead or alive, who would that be?
“Curtis Mayfield.”

What are your plans for the end of the year and 2013? Where are you taking Exploited and Sir Khan next?
“We’ve got more killer-singles coming for this year and a nice compilation in 2013 that rounds up the year of 2012 perfectly. “Dancing&Romancing”, a double-CD selected by Shir Khan that has been actually pushed back to early 2013 now, and many more surprises!”

Want to catch his show? Don’t miss him at the Exploited Labelnight – Hosted by Next Monday’s Hangover & Zeezout @ Het Sieraad together with Tensnake, Catz N Dogs, Till von Sein, Adana Twins, Homework, Claptone, Doctor Dru, Cocolores and many more!

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