The 26-year-old Ottawa-born trance producer/DJ known as Sheridan Grout has started to carve out a name for himself in the trance music scene. In 2017, AVA Recordings made him one of their official artists and throughout that year Sheridan’s hit titles The Last Word, Breathless, and Love Hold On put his name on the map in a competitive trance music scene. His music is an evolution with a vocal focus on traditional melody-based progressive trance. A typical set for Sheridan Grout is usually fast-paced and full of energy because he finds that to be fun and entertaining. Some of his career highlights include playing festivals like Electric For Life and venues such as Beachclub in Montreal. He was also voted Future Favourite on A State of Trance multiple times, and was featured on Armin Van Buuren’s “A State of Trance Ibiza 2017” compilation. Our team took some time to talk to Sheridan about his music, the Ottawa trance scene, and where he is headed. This is what he had to say.
Q: Tell us how you got into producing, and what your first big break was.
A: I got into producing during my first year in university. I fell in love with electronic music at that time and wanted to be able to recreate the sounds and arrangements of some of my favourite producers. I think my first big break was signing my first release on AVA Recordings (Orbit). AVA has become a home label for my music and I’m thankful they took a shot signing me.
Q: What would you say was your breakthrough moment?
The Last Word was my first breakthrough production in my opinion. I actually had created the first half of the track before sending it over to Myah who I found online. She sang Bad Days as well. Myah wrote The Last Word in 48 hours and sent it back over to me. She’s extremely talented and someone I’m lucky to have found and worked with so often.
A: I pride myself on keeping the energy high in my performances. The shows in Ottawa are only getting bigger as more ravers come out and experience the trance scene in Ottawa. It’s something I’m definitely going to continue to do and start adding more production to.
Q: You’re an accountant by day and a DJ/Producer by night. How do you balance building both careers?
A: Sometimes its tough in terms of allocating time to both, however, its actually become easier since I just finished my CPA. I don’t study when I get home from work, leaving more time to work on productions and other business. So the balance has really become accounting during weekdays and production/DJing after 5PM and on weekends.
Q: Who are your current musical influences?
A: Ben Gold, Gareth Emery, Vigel, Omnia, Somna.
Q: What is it about trance music that is different from every other electronic genre?
A: Trance is different because it brings you on a journey and that’s what makes it special as an audience member in the crowd and as a DJ. From the audience’s perspective, you’re going on a journey and feeling the music. From a DJ’s perspective you see people in the crowd getting lost in your music, and that’s one of the best feelings in the world. The journey of a trance set makes it exceptional!
Q: If you were on a private jet heading to the gig of your dreams which one would it be?
A: ASOT Utrecht for sure! That would be surreal.
Q: How important is it to you to stick with that particular sound and how difficult is it to do so as you build your career?
A: It’s difficult, but important. Experimentation is important but you want to maintain a distinct sound and consistency so your fans know what they are getting. Look for your own signature sound in both instrumental and vocal tracks.
Q: Your release Bad Days with Luke Anders has your spirited vibe singing loud and clear, what was the inspiration behind the song?
A: The inspiration behind the track really came from the vocals. When I first heard them I thought we had a real winner. It was powerful, catchy and moving. I wanted to make sure the instrumental reflected that as well hence the powerful baseline and emotional chord progression.
Q: You are coming back to Toronto soon, having been announced on the line up for the very first U4RIA Trance Festival. What are your thoughts and feelings about this gig?
A: I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this fantastic event. The lineup is massive and I think it’s a very big step forward for Canada’s trance scene as a whole. I believe that we need more events on the scale of this one for trance in Canada. I’m also personally excited seeing how many people are traveling from out of town to this event. It really gives me a chance to showcase my music to trance fans who may not have heard it before.
Q: Do you have any advice for people just getting started as a DJ or producer?
A: Focus on your technique and production, and don’t get discouraged or beaten down by negative feedback because it’s all a part of the process. I had ten “No!”‘s from A State of Trance before getting accepted. If I had stopped at number 9 it never would have happened.
Q: What is next on the horizon for Sheridan Grout?
A: I have a new release with Somna (Siempre) out that I’m very excited about, and there are a few fantastic remixes of some of my vocal tracks which will be released this summer. I also just started working on my first 138 track which will be released in the future. So I’m keeping busy with my music.
Team EDM TOR wants to thank Sheridan for taking time out of his busy schedule for this interview. We can’t wait to see what is next from this rising Canadian star.
Shannon McCracken & Ryan Gentry – EDM TOR