Shay De Castro is a Mexico-based techno artist at the forefront of the genres next generation of talent.
She already plays regular DJ sets across North America, The United States and other parts of the world.
Her skills extend way beyond the DJ booth as she is also an accomplished producer who has already built up a solid back catalogue of releases including labels such as Spartaque’s Codex, Veerus’ Le Club, Spektre’s Respekt and Andre Crom’s OFF Recordings.
Last week, Shay De Castro dropped a new single called ‘Altered State of Mind’ on the Technoblazer record label and we invited her for this interview to learn more about that release as well as her other projects.
T.H.E – Hi Shay, it’s nice to be talking with you today. Where are you currently living, and what’s your opinion on the local techno scene?
Shay De Castro – Hey there! Thanks for having me! I’m living in-between Los Angeles, California and Guadalajara, Mexico. Mexico’s techno scene is very interesting to me and one that helped shape me into the artist I am today. Very vibrant, energetic and the perfect environment for trying something new and taking risks.
Los Angeles is a bit less flexible in that sense, however, I’ve played some insane crowds in LA warehouses downtown that were life-changing for me.
T.H.E – Can you let us know about your background, and how you first discovered electronic music?
Shay De Castro – Well, I’m from Boise, Idaho which had no electronic music venues when I was growing up. I was really into grunge, punk and basically any subgenre of rock. Through playing guitar and skateboarding, I met a ton of musicians but none listened to electronic music.
I came across electronic music when I was around 11 years old on Sirius Radio (haha) while cleaning around the house. I instantly fell in love with trance, which led me to techno and house shortly after. It has been an obsession since then!
T.H.E – Where did you play your first DJ gig, and how has your sound developed since then?
Shay De Castro – I played in Idaho first, but it wasn’t a serious gig – more like just playing around with my favourite trance tracks I’d found up to that point.
Today, I still incorporate some of those tracks and use certain elements that I first fell in love with. My sets can range in BPM quite a bit, but I always need a good melody or solid hook.
T.H.E – You also produce music, and I’d love to know about your studio set-up?
Shay De Castro – I do! Haha, well, right now it’s nothing special. As I am so back-and-forth between the US and Mexico currently, I keep the essentials on me. I have a pair of restored ESS monitors in LA that I use with my 2015 MacBook, Arturia MiniLab MKII, Scarlett 2i2, and my Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. In Guadalajara I use the same setup, minus the monitors.
T.H.E – Who are some of the artists that inspire your sound, and what do you like about their music?
Shay De Castro – That list is never-ending and always growing but right now, Pleasurekraft, Spektre and Mark Sherry.
All of them are just so incredibly innovative with insane sound design skills and creativity, with a unique sound that remains relevant over time. They’re examples of artists I truly feel carve out their own space in such an oversaturated industry.
T.H.E – Talking about your music, could you talk us through the concept of your new release on Technoblazer?
Shay De Castro – Sure! I was listening to a lot of Kraftek releases and Luca Agnelli, and I think this track kind of melded those influences together.
I am absolutely fascinated with the human mind and how it changes when subject to literally anything from sugar to propaganda. The vocal you hear in the main break is referring to that.
T.H.E – Is this your first time working with Technoblazer, and how did you first make contact with the record label?
Shay De Castro – It’s my first time working with them as a label, but we’ve known each other for about a year or so now as they have always been supportive of me and shared my music and reels and stuff on their Instagram page.
T.H.E – What’s coming next in your release schedule, and do you have any exciting gigs coming up?
Shay De Castro – Yeah, I do! One gig in particular I’m really excited about is in Philadelphia to play for the first time at WOWPhilly next month!
I have an EP coming up on Spektre’s Respekt which is a big milestone for me, as Respekt has been a huge influence for me since the very beginning. I have a single on another very “cosmic” label coming up as part of a various artists release, as well!
T.H.E – Thanks for taking the time to talk today, is there anything you want to add before we finish?
Shay De Castro – Thank you so much for having me, and enjoy the rest of your summer!