At the age of 28 Shaun Brockhurst better knows as 'Doctor P' has triumphed well beyond his years in the electronic dance music scene. With over 21 smash-hit releases including Circus One & Two, 'Sweet Shop', 'Badman Sound', 'Tetris' and the newer 'Shiskabob' (FREE DOWNLOAD HERE) he has positioned himself as one of the most highly sought after artists to work with in this industry. In 2007 his 'claim to fame' 'Sweet Shop', was released on MySpace and since then he's become a co-founder of a massive record label, sold out shows, toured internationally and inspired a generation of up and coming producers. With a long list of achievements and respect from peers and fans, Doctor P has surely positioned himself as one of the most influential DJs in the music scene.
The humble, talented man with all the right moves took the time to answer some of Destiny's questions about himself, the Circus label, the upcoming Grand Central EP dropping on March 24th and the US tour that features himself, their newest addition, 'Mizuki' and 'Cookie Monsta'. You can catch Doctor P and the rest of the Circus Records Tour on March 22nd at the new Toronto venue Adelaide Hall as part of the 4th Annual Bass Week.
Since that fateful summer in 2009 when you decided to create Circus Records alongside Flux Pavillion, Simon Swan & Earl Falconer, did you realize you would become such a massive force in the Electronic Music scene. For yourself, what has been the best part of the success?
I don't think anyone can predict what will happen when they decide to start something like that. Of course we hoped for success, but I think we achieved a lot more than we expected, a lot faster than we expected as well! It has been an extremely interesting learning experience for me, and for all of us I think. I never expected to be in the position where I was co-running a label and touring the world as a DJ, especially as it virtually happened over-night! I went from being unemployed, sitting in my pyjamas making music on an old computer to touring the world, performing to thousands of people within a few months.
The Grand Central tour is running for just over a month in nine different cities. How is the touring process for you guys? Is it a time to relax and focus on the shows, or more about utilizing down time to deal with current projects you're all involved in?
There really is no down time in any of our lives. I think some people have the impression that we spend our time partying and chilling out, but touring and producing music is surprisingly hard work, as the dark circles under my eyes will testify! My manager/label co-owner Simon once told me that this isn't a job, it's a way of life, and I think that pretty much sums it up. We'll all be working on music the whole time we're on tour I think. There are always some fun times as well though, usually after a few drinks at the shows.
The 11-track long Grand Central EP features other artists outside of the Circus label (Which is rare for you guys). What can we expect from this release dropping March 24th? Are you currently working on other projects?
We are all really happy with the album. We wanted to do something different and something that was outside of our comfort zone, and I think we have achieved what we hoped to do. We wanted to put together an album that was different to anything else currently available in the world of electronic music. There is a lot of house-style music on it, and some other different styles which is very unusual for Circus. We all felt that even though we were initially known for Dubstep, there is so much good electronic music in the world and we wanted to explore some slightly different things. To me, it still sounds very ‘Circusy' though!
What are some of your favourite festivals to play during the year? Is there a particular one you are looking forward to playing this upcoming season?
All the big American festivals always blow my mind. They just seem to go all out on the stage production and sound systems in America, so it's always really fun to perform.
Circus is home to a group of heavyweight producers, does this affect the rate in which new talent is signed?
We are always on the hunt for new talent, but we do try and focus a lot of energy on signed artists. We like the idea of signing artists and helping them all develop and hone their sound. I like to think of Circus as a big family, we are all friends outside of the music side of things, so it's like we are all working together to make the music as good as possible.
In terms of style, Circus One solidified the label as Dubstep-heavy. However, other releases since have been a mixture of every genre from glitch hop to house. Can we expect to see more of that particularly on Circus Three?
When we started the label we knew we would eventually branch out into other styles, as we are all into lots of different styles of music. I want ‘Circus Three’ to be something really exciting and surprising. I don't think we will be sticking to Dubstep, but we will definitely stay with our ‘Circus Sound' that people have come to recognize.
During collaborations, are you able to identify each other's sound and work alongside each other seamlessly, or are there roadblocks?
I think an artist's sound will come through in anything they produce. It's all about their personality and their taste. Me and Cookie Monsta have made two tracks together, and I think they are both recognizable as our own.
What advice would you give to up and coming producers about originality and making a name for themselves?
It's a cliche to say 'passion', but it is true. If you are not passionate about the music then you have no chance of succeeding. I hear a lot of young producers making Trap & Dubstep etc, but I feel that they are only making it because it happens to be a popular sound at the moment. I think the key is making music that you really want to make, regardless of whether it may become successful or not. The thing I have noticed about successful producers I have spoken to, people like Skrillex, Madeon, Noisia, etc, is that they all really care about the music, and love making it. None of those guys are doing it for the glory, just for the enjoyment of making the music itself. I think that if you get the music right, the rest will happen naturally.
Both you and Flux Pavillion have accredited Rusko for getting you interested in Dubstep. What are some of your other influences for your trademark sound?
I was heavily into Drum n Bass before I discovered Dubstep (well I still am in to Drum and Bass). Producers like Original Sin, Noisia, Pendulum, Chase & Status, Clipz, etc, influenced me a lot in the early days of my productions. I used to spend hours trying to make drums like Noisia, and bass sounds like Original Sin. I never really managed to make Drum n Bass like those guys, but I took what I learned from their tracks and applied it to Dubstep, and that's how my sound was born.
You started as a drum and bass DJ, have you thought about releasing drum and bass material in a series of EP's?
I still make Drum n Bass, but there are so many guys doing it so well at the moment that I don't end up finishing the tracks. I compare my Drum and Bass to tracks to someone like TC and then I lose faith in mine!
Being from the UK you've heard a lot of UK funk and garage growing up. What do you think about the current explosion in the U.S. and abroad?
I am really shocked that Garage has taken off. I loved Garage when I was younger, but it really died off in the UK. I have been working on some Garagey stuff recently, I loved that sound a lot when I was a teenager, and I've been rediscovering it recently.
What set-up are you currently using in the studio?
I have an iMac and Focal SM9 monitors. No outboard gear or anything fancy really. My music has to be portable between my laptop and studio computer, so I am only really able to use software. I make a lot of music when I am on the road, so my 'studio' is often a hotel bed or an airplane seat.
What are the three things you can't live without while touring?
I only need two...laptop & headphones!
You have a massive fan base here in Toronto, any final words to the Toronto crew before your show on March 22nd?
Every time I have played in Toronto it's been really good. It was one of the first places I ever played outside of Europe, so I have fond memories whenever I go back there. I'm hoping this show will be as good as all the other's I have played there. We're all looking forward to the whole tour!
FOLLOW DOCTOR P ON FACEBOOK
Words By: Sahara 'Saha' P.