Dennis Sheperd - A mentor that any artist would like to have

Black Hole

May 24th, 2023

Dennis Sheperd is an artist who constantly pushes forward, with a visionary approach that is always innovative. Aiming to share his love for music with the world, as well as his skills with up-and-coming producers. With two decades of experience in the music industry and the support of some of the biggest names in the scene, his exceptional talents are undeniable. As a producer, DJ, mixer, mastering engineer, and music instructor, Dennis takes care of it all. Several months back, Dennis Sheperd released his fourth album, “Onwards//Upwards” for Black Hole, which featured collaborations with some incredible vocalists and achieved enormous success.

During this interview, we had the opportunity to chat with Dennis about his recent projects, his thoughts on the ever-changing music scene, and his sources of inspiration. Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding of this brilliant artist.

With nearly six months since the release of your fourth album, “Onwards//Upwards,” you’ve had enough time to collect feedback and reactions from your fans and followers. Are you pleased with the overall response to the album?
Yes, I am. I believe it’s the best music I have ever written. Some of the feedback I have read really put a smile on my face. I could also not be happier to have a label partner like Black Hole to release this album.

Having 15 years of experience in the music industry must have exposed you to significant changes, and it’s likely that your music production has also transformed over time. How would you describe your journey and adaptation to an evolving industry?
The quality of music has increased a lot and from a technical point of view, it’s really amazing what you can do nowadays. However, the shelf life of music has decreased substantially over the years and it feels like quantity plays a way bigger factor these days. The same goes for social media which seems essential in ‘making it’. Not necessarily what I like, but it’s part of the job now.

The last release of “Majestic,” which includes the original mix, extended version, and chillout version, has been a fantastic and refreshing addition to your sound, and we love it! How do you select a specific style to focus on at any given time?
Thanks! I just do what I love and feel in the moment. There’s no agenda or a specific style I strive for. But in recent times I have been more inspired to do progressive influenced music. I really like it at this point in time and there’s a great amount of creativity in that field.

We remember your beginnings, and one of your most successful tracks of 2011 was “Fallen Angel” What led you to do a melodic techno rework of the track and release it a few weeks ago?
Actually, one of my music production students did a progressive rework of it which kinda gave me the idea of doing a rework by myself. I am really proud of this project as I really only used the vocals from the original. Everything else is new and sounds nice and fresh in my opinion.

Speaking of a different sound, we’re all familiar with your “dark” alter ego known as “DR. DRTY.” You’ve already given us a taste of what this exciting project is about, but what was the overall inspiration?
I really started getting into the techno sound in 2018 and started playing it more on gigs. In 2019 I hosted a techno Soundcation and learned from artists such as Spektre, OC & Verde, Juliet Fox and Sudhaus. That gave me the last push to give techno production a try.

You have collaborated with a number of vocalists, including Ana Criado, JES, Katty Heath, Diana Miro, and Mira Feder, to name just a few. On occasion, you have worked with the same vocalists more than once. It’s clear that you choose your collaborators wisely, but what is the main reason for asking a specific singer to collaborate with you?
An excellent voice and good songwriting skills are the most important reason. After a successful first collaboration, I would consider a follow-up collaboration if we had a good vibe in the studio or via the internet. That’s very important to me.

Can you tell us more about Dennis the instructor, a term often associated with your name? We are sure our followers would like to know more about it.
I love teaching other people about music production. That’s why I offer 1-on-1 coaching and host the Soundcations where I invite other artists to teach with me. It’s very fulfilling to see your students grow and them having success with their art. I would also call my coaching more of a mentorship. I like to connect with my students on a personal level and give them career advice as well.

Your creativity and positive energy have led to some amazing projects, such as In Search of Sunrise. If we ask you to name your greatest accomplishment, what would it be?
My greatest accomplishment would probably be that I’m still in the business for the right reasons. I absolutely love creating music and have a lot of fun in the studio. It’s quite cliché to say this but the quote ‘find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’ really is true.

Given your exceptional skills and innovative mindset, we eagerly await your future projects. Would you be willing to give us a sneak peek at what’s to come for everyone reading this?
Lots of exciting new music in different genres and styles that I haven’t explored yet. I love to change things up and surprise my followers. And they are in for a rollercoaster of emotions.