Dennis Sheperd has just given us his third artist long-player, ‘Find The Sunrise’.
Drawing on the personal circumstances he found himself in during its production, it’s pretty much as personal an album as it’s possible to imagine. We caught up with the German producer to get the inside track on it.
T.H.E – You entered 2019 – ‘Find The Sunrise’s first production year – from what you term ‘a very dark place’, Dennis. Can you elaborate on that? What were your circumstances?
Dennis Shepherd – Circumstances in my life changed. It was a period of finding myself and what I really want in life. You know, life always has its ups and downs and this was generally speaking just one of those downs in my life. But at the same time, this was a very inspiring and creative time in my life as well. Funnily enough, I seem to draw a lot of creativity from those ‘downs’. More than from ‘ups’.
T.H.E – And how do you feel now, comparatively?
Dennis Shepherd – I am very much enjoying life, the same as in 2019. But I am a little bit more centred and definitely on an ‘up’ right now, especially with the release of my new album. I am just very happy and satisfied with the feedback I have gotten so far.
T.H.E – Do you think the writing and production of the album assisted in that change?
Dennis Shepherd – Yes, for sure. I think music production will always help me digest certain developments in life and will help with the ‘downs’ that will inevitably come again. There cannot be a life with only ‘ups’. Then those ups wouldn’t be ups anymore.
T.H.E – Looking back, do you think tough experiences and dark times can be harnessed as an artistic force?
Dennis Shepherd – I kind of answered that one already in one of the other answers. For sure it is, it definitely helps me dealing with experiences of all kinds. Even my second record ever produced under Dennis Sheperd (‘A Tribute To Life’) in 2007 has been produced while I was sad. I was in love with a girl that didn’t feel the same about me.
T.H.E – Through ‘Fight Your Fears’ (Dennis’s last album) you began to tackle mental health issues. Do you see ‘Find The Sunrise’ as a continuation in some way?
Dennis Shepherd – I like to positively inspire people. That’s why I love to give these kinds of motivational messages with my album titles. In short, ‘Fight Your Fears’ is about always working on yourself and pushing yourself. ‘Find The Sunrise’ is about being positive but at the same time knowing that life will always have its ups and downs. With every sunrise, there will also be a sunset if you will.
T.H.E – What’s been the fan response to the album so far?
Dennis Shepherd – Absolutely amazing! I believe this is my strongest album so far and many of my fans agree with that. I am also happy that people appreciate the diversity of the album tracks.
T.H.E – Are any tracks crystalizing as favourites do you think, or is it still too early to tell?
Dennis Shepherd – A lot of people seem to love ‘Playing With Fire’. It’s also one of my personal favourites. The runner ups for sure are ‘Losing My Mind’ (for which I am running a remix competition right now on https://www.edmproducertips.com), ‘I Can Feel’ and ‘We Are One’.
T.H.E – The album is almost entirely vocal in nature. Pick three of you vocal collaborators and tell how you chose them and what they brought to the album?
Dennis Shepherd – Katty Heath is a good friend of mine and we have worked and numerous projects together. I love writing songs with her and including her on this album was a no brainer. EKE (who sings on ‘Playing With Fire’) is another vocalist I would like to mention here. I have become a huge fan of her voice since Orjan Nilsen’s ‘Up & Up’ and definitely wanted to do a collab with her. Last but not least Eric Lumiere was one vocalist I always wanted to work with. Our collab turned out amazing!
T.H.E – Which was the hardest track for you to complete?
Dennis Shepherd – Definitely ‘Losing My Mind’. I did like 5 different versions of it until I was happy. That’s because the vocals were initially written for my track ‘Cabin Fever’ and it took me a while to produce something that fitted even better than ‘Cabin Fever’ to the vocals.
T.H.E – And which came together the quickest?
Dennis Shepherd – ‘When Our Worlds Collide’ was the quickest production on the album. Took me about 3 hours for the playback, another 2 hours for the lyrics which I wrote during a flight in August 2020 and another 4 hours or so for the vocal production after Sarah Russell sent me her brilliant vocals!
T.H.E – Anything else you’d like to tell our readers about the album, Dennis?
Dennis Shepherd – I hope you enjoy the album as much as I did producing it. There is a lot of blood and tears in it and I am sure you will hear that. Give it a try and shoot me a message with your feedback if you like.
T.H.E – Thanks for talking to us and all the best for the rest of 2021!