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Simon Doty: “underground club music can still be emotional and melodic”

Exclusively for MDM, top producer and Anjunadeep mainstay, Simon Doty, tells us all about his long-awaited “Universal Language” debut album

Simon Doty interview

Ahead of the global release of his debut album “Universal Language”, renowned Canadian producer and Anjunadeep mainstay Simon Doty has given MDM an exclusive interview in which he talks more in-depth about his highly anticipated album.

Simon has been building a prolific career within the electronic scene since 2013. It wasn’t until 2019 that he debuted on Above & Beyond‘s label with the single “Sama”. Since then, his career has been on a steady rise and today he is one of the top exponents of the British signature and melodic spectrum.

Ahead of the arrival of “Universal Language” on April 28, the RECESS boss takes us on an introspective journey of the album, learning more about the collaborations, the world tour, the personal and emotional meaning for him, and more. Read it below.

Also read: Simon Doty announces debut album “Universal Language” at Anjunadeep

Simon Doty interview
Simon Doty

Hi Simon, we really appreciate you taking the time to give us this interview. Also, we want to congratulate you on the arrival of your amazing album “Universal Language”, can you tell us a little bit about the story behind this album? How did the idea for its creation come about?

Thanks for having me! This album reflects my roots as a DJ first, every track is made to have maximum impact on the dance floor. I’ve heard lots of label heads and other artists talking about losing the groove in dance music and I couldn’t agree more. I wanted to show people that underground club music can still be emotional and melodic.

We can guess the concept behind the name of the album, but for you, what does “Universal Language” mean?

Yea it’s all about the moments and connections we share through music. I’ve been lucky to travel to so many countries where I don’t speak the language, and it’s never a problem because we all speak the language and vibes of house music. I had no idea what to call the album, and after hearing Roland’s vocals come back it was pretty clear we had to make it the title track and album title.

Each album is a story, it’s a moment of life, a collection of emotions, what are the aspects that you consider make “Universal Language” unique from the rest of the albums that are being released right now?

The biggest difference is that I designed the album to also be released as a continuous dj mix which we’re releasing separately. Also, the fact that we’re challenging fans to hear it in the club first, with the album coming out only near the end of the tour.

It’s impossible for the melodies of your songs not to be a journey of emotions, how do you manage to find the right melodies? How did they come up for the tracks of “Universal Language”?

The melodies just come naturally from playing around with all the different synthesizers. I usually mess around until I find something that I like and then I start my track from there.

Do you have any established process or routine to find a new sound? How do you find them, organize them and materialize them?

No I think it’s important to always be trying new things and new ways of working. This always things to always stay fresh and exciting. I’m always trying new synthesizers for example.

“Soulflow” is a powerful, energetic, and retrospective track, why did you decide to make it the first extracted from the album?

It felt like it was the perfect way to start off the album. Ursula’s lyrics really set the tone nicely for what’s to come on the rest of the album.

Previously, you already collaborated with Ursula Rucker in some pieces like “Hometown, how would you describe collaborating with her?

Ya, she’s really great to work with. I find her lyrics to be really powerful, she’s almost more of a spoken-word poet than anything else which I really love.

My Friend are one of the most prolific duos in Anjunadeep, just as ARTCHE never ceases to surprise the scene with each new release, how did the idea of collaborating with each of them for “Universal Language” come up?

I’ve been friends with the “My Friend” guys for a while now and have always been playing their music. So naturally, it was fit to try collaborating and seeing what happens. This is the second track I’ve done with Artche and I always love what he does with his vocals and his productions so it’s really easy to work with him.

We know that not everything is music, emotional and mental health is also important. Behind “Universal Language” there are many hours of work, and a lot of pressure or stress, how do you manage to cope with such moments?

Ya I think it’s really important to take lots of breaks away from music and having your phone out etc. I always love to exercise so for me it’s really important to make sure I’m always going for runs or working out.

Every moment in life has a very special part, a part that shines brighter than the rest, what was the most beautiful experience you lived during the time of creation of “Universal Language”?

I think it was really special to play at ABGT 500 weekend back-to-back with Marsh. We both had lots of friends there with us for the show and it was the first time I was able to play some of the Album tracks to a big crowd.

Going off the album a bit, last year you launched your own label RECESS which has already released some big hits on the scene, are there any surprises in store for RECESS in 2023?

We won’t have many releases as right now we are really focusing on the Universal Language album but we will definitely have some releases in store this year with some big remixers on board!

We don’t want to pass up the outstanding musical relationship you have built with Anjunadeep, can you share with us some of the most special moments you have had with Above & Beyond’s label?

I think working with them the whole way has been really special, from the first releases right up to now doing an album. They have a great team behind it all and now they have become more friends than anything else. Of course, playing all the shows with them are always amazing. I think my favorite is probably the Anjunadeep festival in Albania.

Finally, as part of your tour, you will make your debut in Argentina, one of the countries with more progressive music lovers, what can you tell us about your soon arrival to this beautiful country? Do you have in your agenda to reach any other LATAM country this year?

Yes, I’m very excited about playing in Argentina for the first time. I’ve heard many amazing things about the country and about the music scene! Yes, I will also be playing in Mexico and Colombia during the tour and I always love coming to these countries.

Nicolas Bernachea
Nicolas Bernachea

Connected to electronic music since I was 13 years old. For promotions and/or collaborations contact me at: