Artist Feature 007: Sean Roman

March. 30. 2015

Photo: Duro the Third

Photo: Duro the Third

This week we are starting things off right with the smooth sounds of Sean Roman aka Mutt!  One would be hard pressed to talk about Canadian Drum & Bass without this man's name popping up, with releases from Creative Source to Spearhead and DJ bookings around the globe few Canadians have reached his level of 170 bpm prowess.  But things don’t stop there, Sean has proven his skill across genres with the growing popularity of his house music alias under his real name.  Read more below about Sean’s musical upbringing, his top 5 tracks, and some funny gig experiences…

Hey Mutt, great to have ya here on the blog.  What’s happening at the moment?
Hey man I am good. At the moment I am doing a lot of house music as Sean Roman, and writing drum’n’bass with one of my good producer/DJ friends Tedder from Victoria. As Sean Roman I have releases coming out on CR2, Bunny Tiger and House of Disco. My next drum’n’bass release will be on Rubik Records this summer.

Tell us a bit about your musical upbringing in Toronto.
I grew up in Scarborough. Which is kind of regarded as “the ghetto” in a way. I don’t feel that way about it but a lot of Torontonians do. It’s a pretty mixed part of the city with a lot of people from different cultures. I think this had a big influence on me. Growing up I listened to a lot of hiphop and dancehall. My father also got me into different types of music he was into when he was younger. People like Neil Young, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan…and he bought me a guitar so I could jam along. So my musical influences are pretty diverse.

Mutt - side a. Hot Lick Squeeze. side aa. Just the Kind Of.

Your track "Hot Lick Squeeze" got the attention of Fabio and his Creative Source imprint back in 2006.  Was this a sort of turning point in your musical career getting signed to such an influential label?
Yeh totally. Fabio is such a tastemaker that when he puts your track out and starts playing it, it legitimizes it in a way. Also I was just a big fan of his so it was an honour to do the release on Creative Source. I had already done one prior to ‘Hot Lick Squeeze” but it didn’t get too much traction.

Throughout your discography there reads a number of classic dnb labels, some which you have multiple releases on.  Do you think it's important to develop longer term relationships with labels?
I think so. It’s the music business so if you find people that you vibe with it's important to keep those people around you. Some of my best friends are people I have met through music, people I have known for years.

How has making music changed for you from 2005 to 2015?
Technology… it’s gotten much easier to have a professional sounding product without a bunch of expensive gear etc. Also… no one pays for music anymore… so sadly it seems a bit more disposable. Or people are writing it without giving any thought to longevity.

You also produce house music under your real name: Sean Roman.  How do you balance these two production aliases?
Well the last few years I have been focusing on deep house music and nu disco. I had been writing drum’n’bass for years and even though you love something you can get tired of it. Also being in Toronto did not really nurture my love for it at all–Toronto loves its hard drum and bass and I never really got into that stuff as much. So it was these factors that pushed me towards other sounds.
I have been lucky to have two careers in music, most people don’t get that chance…

It sounds like you’ve been spending quite a bit of time in Berlin.  What have you been up to in Europe?
I was living in Berlin last year with my girlfriend. I mostly focused on writing music, touring and producing sample packs and other music projects. In the past year I have gotten to go to play in Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Ibiza, Paris, and bunch of other awesome places I am forgetting to name…. It was an interesting time. I also started a music project with a good friend of mine DJ Flipperi–we are called Invisible Cities.

Top 5 tracks for you at the moment?
Kind of all over the place…
Spectrasoul- Always
Mutt- Changes
The Avener- Fade out lines
CNCPT- Brenda
Ghost Face Killah feat. Kandace Springs- Love don’t live here no more

Any funny/memorable gig stories?
Hmmm… one time I ended up not so sober frantically looking for my glasses in Canada’s only rainforest…. only to find out days later they were in a Seattle Hilton…
Another time I ended up going to catch a flight in Tijuana only to find out I was a day early for the flight… I ended up stranded at the airport with no working phone…
There are a bunch of stories… but I don’t want to risk my mom ever finding out about my misadventures on tour…

Parting words?
Look out for my upcoming dnb releases on Rubik! Also look out for my upcoming house releases on Cr2, Bunny Tiger, and Altus Project (a label I am helping run with my agent and friend Lee M Kelsall).

Check my music on Souncloud as Mutt and Sean Roman.