Roger Shah (German pronunciation: [ˈʁɔdʒɐ ˈʃaː]; born 29 November 1972 in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany), also known as DJ Shah and Sunlounger is a German electronic music composer and producer.
Roger Shah was born in Esslingen in southern Germany to a German mother and a Pakistani father. His brother Pedro del Mar (real name Patrick Shah), also a trance DJ, hosts a bi-weekly vocal trance show called Mellomania. Roger first began to hit his production stride in his native country in 1999 putting out the tracks "Claps", "The Mission" & "Tides of Time". In 2003 his "High" release was signed by Virgin Records imprint Nebula. This marked his first non-domestic release, and over the course of the next 5 years he inked productions to a range of trance labels such as Black Hole Recordings, Anjunadeep Records and Vandit Records.
Roger Shah has featured in DJ Mag Top 100 list 5 times, peaking at #21. He received a double EMPO nomination for Best Trance & Progressive DJ and Best Radio Show and an IDMA award nomination as break through artist in 2008. With more than 500 releases, his music videos watched about 90 million times and having played at the most important clubs such as Privilege Ibiza or Zouk in Singapore as well as at a lot of major festivals such as Ultra Music Festival in the olympic stadium in Seoul and many A State Of Trance events around the globe.
As a producer he has worked with and produced for artists such as Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, Sarah MacLachlan, Kosheen, Bryan Adams or Moya Brennan, who is best known for her works with Hollywood producers like Hans Zimmer.
As a classical music composer with an EDM background he has the talent to expand his career, he recently signed deals with some of the leading movie score/ trailer houses in Hollywood and has started to work on orchestral cues for those companies.
The Armin Connection
In 2007 Armin van Buuren named Shah’s "Who Will Find Me" release as his favourite track of 2007. Having heard the demo of its follow-up, Van Buuren saw crossover potential in the track and made contact in early 2008 to ask if Shah would like to collaborate on it. The result was the Chris Jones song ‘Going Wrong’ which reached number 5 in The Netherlands, the track went on to become one of the biggest selling trance singles of the year. From there Magic Island Records – Shah’s primary label moved from his own stable to that of one of Armin’s industry-leading Armada Music.
Magic Island Records
An imprint for both Roger’s own material and that of like-minded producers, Magic Island releases have quickly become fixtures in the CDJs of the world’s biggest spinners. Notable up and coming names like Ralph Fritsch, DJ Cosmo, Kim Svard and Walsh & McAuley have all had releases on the label.
Songbook released in 2008 was strongly received by both press and fans alike, it was praised for its innovative dual club mix and acoustic version approach. Singles taken from it like "Don’t Wake Me Up" and the aforementioned "Going Wrong" & "Who Will Find Me" (a Top 20 ASOT Tune of the Year in 2008) proved to be particularly popular. This was followed up by another solo album Openminded in 2011. Again this featured 2 CDs, one of club mixes and one of album mixes.
Live and DJ performances
In late 2008 Shah took the decision to change his artist name. Dropping the ‘DJ’ prefix, he revised it to Roger Shah – a move that signalled a move away from straightforward DJ sets. During live performance, Roger Shah frequently uses a wireless keyboard interface such as the M-Audio Oxygen 25 (25 key USB midi controller). Roger Shah has mentioned numerous times that he will perform with his laptop instead of CDs.
Pseudonyms and side projects
In addition to his own name Roger has also produced under various other aliases. Notable among them are his ‘pka’ DJ Shah, High Noon at Salinas, Magic Island & Savannah. Shah is also one half of the Anjunabeats released act Purple Moods, Black Hole project Global Experience and ASOT’s Black Pearl, whose ’06 – ’09 spanning singles ‘Coral Sea’, ‘Java’, ‘Bounty Island’ and ‘Rise’ generated much additional interest in Shah’s solo productions.
This project included the release of the ‘Another Day On The Terrace' album in 2008 which reached No.1 on Dutch iTunes’ ‘all-music-genres’ chart and spawned four singles: ‘In & Out’, ‘Aguas Blancas’, ‘Crawling’ & ‘White Sand’. The project become so celebrated that Roger expanded Sunlounger into a live act - a performance of which was featured on Armada’s ArminOnly DVD. It was this experience that he credited with his latter wholesale move into live Roger Shah performances. In 2009 Roger released the Sunlounger follow-up LP ‘Sunny Tales'. It's progeny singles included ‘Catwalk’, ‘Mediterranean Flower’, ‘Change Your Mind’ and the much-revered ‘Lost’ - voted as Tune of the Year for the 2008 A State of Trance radio show hosted by Armin van Buuren and numerous #1 airplay positions across the globe. His third album, The Beach Side of Life, was released in 2010.
Magic Island: Music For Balearic People – The Compilations
Shah’s compilation series has so far seen eight outings (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Encapsulating everything Shah stands for musically, their intrinsically White Island trance sound has sound-tracked an uncountable number of clubbers holidays. Roger typically uses the compilations as first-listen holders for future singles & collaborations with Vol.2 including ones with Signum, Judge Jules & Amanda O’Riordan and Tenishia.
‘Magic Island: Music For Balearic People’ – The Radio Show
Broadcasting weekly, Magic Island – Music For Balearic People is a 2-hour radio show carried by the DI.FM station and is currently being syndicated to many other countries, most recently including Mexico and Jordan. Presented by Roger every Friday between 21.00 GMT (22:00 CET), it features melodic trance through the first hour with Balearic, Chillout and Dream Trance styles in the second hour.
Shah has reworked tracks for legendary vocalists like Sarah McLachlan and Nadia Ali. He’s also remixed tunes for a litany of trance-masters including Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren, Mark Norman, York, Cosmic Gate, Josh Gabriel, Johan Gielen, System F, The Thrillseekers, Solarstone, Three Drives, Matt Darey & Oceanlab. Most recently Roger has rewired Andain’s ‘Beautiful Things ‘10’ and Richard Durand’s ‘Always The Sun’.