There is no doubt that part of your excitement for Bal en Blanc has something to do with the unreal lineup in store for us in 2016. So we sat down with Sultan + Shepard to get a taste of what you're in for.
If you haven't heard of this power duo, you should probably get acquainted because you're in for a treat. This Canadian power duo has been killing it in the electronic music scene and they don't plan on slowing down any time soon.
Sultan (Ossama Al Sarraf) and Shepard (Ned Shepard) joined forces in Montreal back in 2002.
"I studied Mechanical Engineering and Ned took religious studies [at McGill University]," Shepard told us.
Sultan was already a regular in the Montreal music scene, and after a series of gigs DJing, he released his first track, "Primal Instinct." In 2001, he was signed to Chug Records. Shepard, who was also in university at the time, saw Sultan perform a set in 2002. Shepard sent Sultan a demo CD of music he'd been working on in hopes of collaboration. Sultan gave Shepard a call the following day - and the rest is history!
"It has been an amazing experience," they said. "Just working with them and seeing what they do is a huge source of inspiration for us."
Sultan + Shepard are now mainly located in LA, and we were curious about the difference between the LA and Montreal EDM scenes. According to the pair, there is a big difference. In Montreal, the EDM crowd is much younger - we can start to attend these shows at 18.
"University culture and young people [are] still holding on to the EDM scene.", they claimed.
Looks like Montreal's got it right! Our young, urban population has done a lot to help maintain our vibrant music scene. But when the duo head back to their old stomping grounds, they admit that it turns into "more of a food tour than anything." They're always sure to visit their favourite restaurants, including: Joe Beef, Portugalia (“the best ribs in town”), and Queue de Cheval. They also love to visit with their friends and check out any events going on in the city.
As for Bal en Blanc 2016, what can we expect from Sultan +Shepard? Big things! They will be dropping their recent collaboration with Showtek, which won't be released for another month! You can also expect a few new edits, as well. Yes, that's right. You can expect a pretty exclusive performance so you don't want to miss it.
The boys have also signed a "major deal with Armada for 6 songs which will come in a string of releases shortly after the Showtek record." In short, they are going to have a pretty exciting year.
If you haven’t yet got your tickets for Bal en Blanc, you better hurry up! They’re selling fast.
Be sure to check out Sultan + Shepard playing their set on Sunday at Bal en Blanc 2016.