(Original Photo By: Zoltan Racz)
“You can never be sure in anything, especially in music. There is no such thing as a sure hit, there is no such thing as a sure gig, and there is no such thing as a sure tour. You always have to work your ass off for it.”
In this week’s installment of the Aspire to Inspire series, we sit down with Előd Császár, otherwise known as Shane 54, of the Hungarian duo Myon & Shane 54, to discuss everything from artist inspiration to the dilemma of creating something entirely new.
Coming from very different musical backgrounds, both Myon and Shane 54 had a lot of different talents to bring to the table. Myon had studied everything from jazz piano to synth programming while Shane was spending a great deal of his time as the lead singer in a Hungarian boy band that, believe it or not, sold a half million records. Although Shane’s teen years were spent in a boy band, his father was able to introduce him to his very own synthesizer at the age of five so he could perform his own small shows for the neighborhood kids from his upstairs window.
Even though music was always heavily present in their lives, they still experienced the vulnerability and fear that we all tend to go through as we put ourselves out there. With all of the hard work that they have ceaselessly poured into their craft, there is always the question of whether or not their listeners will enjoy it. As the duo’s popularity began to grow, they faced the dilemma of their creative path.
“Lets put it this way, the audience starts to own you in a way that they feel as though you are theirs. That’s sort of natural because in a way we are a part of their lives. For instance, if I like a song then the artist sort of becomes a part of my life and I cherish them and all that. Because of that, every artist has the dilemma of ‘am I going to go my own way and do what I want to do because they like me for who I am? Or do people like me because I can be their jukebox and make song after song just like the original?’ If I want to do something else, will they knock on my door and say ‘that’s not what [they] signed up for?!’”
Choosing which creative path to take aside, one aspect that always rings true in Myon & Shane 54’s music is that you will feel something by the end of it. They may experience each other’s opposing views and have disagreements over a snare drum here and there, but when it comes to the music they release as a finished product, the goal is always to make it personal for everyone. According to Shane, music could have the most amazing and creative soundscape mixed in the best possible way, but could still be absolute garbage if it does not move you from the inside in some way.
As Myon & Shane 54 have progressed through their career, it has been an incredibly humbling experience. From the age of five, sitting on his father’s shoulders at his first concert, to high-octane performances at festivals like EDC Orlando, it has truly been a surreal journey. Shane was kind enough to explain that feeling to us in the most creative way:
“Most of us DJs are never going to be world-wide superstars. We may travel in the US and play a lot of festivals and such, but essentially we are all still small crumbles in the brioche of life. We still have an impact on people’s lives though, and as an artist you cannot ask for more. As a Hungarian artist, you don’t usually get that out of Hungary. It doesn’t really happen to us. But then every once in a while when it does, we just stand there amazed that it is all happening. We were the dorks and geeks that were looked down on as kids, and it is such an unbelievable feeling to become part of an international movement. It’s big for us. We just embrace it, and I can only hope that we never take it for granted.”
At the end of the day, Myon & Shane 54 approach music in a very different way – always trying to push themselves through the “ceiling” that they see dance music building itself into. To them, there is so much more that can be done with electronic dance music. They still acknowledge, however, that there will always be those songs that everyone wants to hear again and again, year after year, but they truly recognize the intangible value found in a brand new sound that makes the artist click with the audience in an entirely new light. Much like falling in love all over again. This of course translates into the special relationship the Hungarian duo has with their fans all over the map. It is very important to them to keep that compassion constantly flowing.
“If something is really coming from the heart and it is something that really touches you, it doesn’t matter if it is done on a small computer by a guy who had no idea what he was doing. It’s still going to sound unbelievable and people will really feel it… If you do your job right, people will remember your song at the end of the night.”
“I will always meet a fan somewhere. I will never treat a fan badly, ever. I remember how bad it was when I met one of my biggest idols, and he was such an idiot. Maybe he had had a bad day, I know how taxing it can be, but it really doesn’t take much time. You can really make people’s day. The love you get from fans is worth more than anything. The least I can do is go down there and take a few selfies and such.”