DJ mixes tours with solo work

DJ Shine’s latest gig is a cross-country tour with hip hop artist and fellow Torontonian Drake

Jason Spanu has been active in Toronto’s electronic music scene since the 1990s.

At 15, Spanu, a.k.a DJ Shine, fell in love with the music genre at downtown raves, and worked his way up to become known as an innovative DJ, producer and programmer.

Fast forward to 2010: the 34-year-old is now on tour with one of the hottest hip-hop stars, Canada’s own Drake, as he opens across the country for Jay Z.

Spanu has worked hard to get where he is today.

A member of Nelly Furtado’s band since 2006, Spanu has played in the world’s biggest stadiums and venues, including the Super Bowl in Miami, on The Tonight Show and at the Grammy Awards.

While travelling and stellar contacts in the industry make his life pretty sweet, its all about the music, the Spadina and Eglinton resident says.

“Electronic music turns me on as there are no rules,” Spanu says, adding the payoff in working with the complexities of the genre is “if you get it, you get it.”

Spanu released his second solo album, Attention Deficit Disco in May, with an album release party at the Opera House on May 7.

Tracks on the album range from the fast-paced Chocolate Orange to the mellow Deep Sutra.

The Toronto native’s first album Thinque came out in 2001.

Since his initial album, Spanu starting working with Ableton Live, a computer software that allows artists more programming creativity.

“It gives you a key to a door that’s been locked,” Spanu says.

Spanu describes Toronto’s electronic scene as vibrant. With residents from almost every part of the world, Toronto musicians are influenced by world cultures.

“Look at Drake and Nelly, they are not quite strictly hip-hop or pop,” Spanu says. “I love being an ambassador of it.”

When he’s not touring, Spanu likes to make music in his home studio with his 19-month old son, who plays along with his dad on a set of drum pads.

About this article:

By: Lorianna De Giorgio
Posted: Jun 9 2010 10:01 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto