Shaun Frank and Jane Delaney have struck a creative union that most artists could only dream of. As a DJ/producer, Frank has proven himself a formidable purveyor of music that spans the house spectrum. Delaney Jane’s voice, meanwhile, is on the fast track to becoming one of the most sought-after sounds in electronic music. Between the two of them, the sky’s the limit.
Frank and Jane’s working relationship goes back about a year to their Borgeous collaboration, “This Could Be Love.” Last Summer, the duo saw their collective star power surge when their Oliver Heldens collaboration, “Shades of Grey,” shot to #1 on the Beatport charts – effectively capturing the attention of thousands in the electronic music scene.
By the time they released “Heaven,” they had the formula down – and for that matter, the track may well be the most impressive thing they’ve put out and one of 2015’s best EDM songs. While drawing from the future house sound that’s been so popular on a global scale, it almost seems unjust to lump it into any category. Truly, the track stands as a testament to what can be accomplished when a vocalist’s role in the creative process is fully realized.
That said, “Heaven” came out back in the Fall, and the duo haven’t put anything out in 2016 just yet, so We Got This Covered caught up with them recently to find out what they’ve got in store for us. During the course of our interview, they spoke about what’s in the works in terms of new music, how to make a name for yourself in such a crowded industry, the importance of song writing and so much more.
Check out what they had to say below, and enjoy!
Let’s talk about India a bit. You were there roughly a month ago touring. What was your experience like over there and how is India’s EDM scene shaping up?
Shaun Frank: It was actually our first time being over there. We started in Hong Kong, then went to India, then went to Indonesia. We played with DVBBS as well in Hong Kong, which was cool. India was crazy though. We were pretty shell shocked by it, too.
Delaney Jane: You mean culture shocked, right?
Shaun Frank: No, shell shocked. Or both. We had been travelling a lot at that point [laughs]. The food was amazing there, too. We ate butter chicken almost every day. You’ve got to be careful though. With our tight schedule, if you get sick it’s game over.
Did either of you get sick?
Delaney Jane: I did once, but that was in Bali.
Shaun Frank: You’ve got to be careful in all of those countries. It was a dope trip though. We had three days off in Bali which was amazing….
Delaney Jane: Can I talk now? [laughs] In regards to India, I wish we would have had some more time there because we had three shows in three different cities. So every day we would wake up early, catch a flight, get settled, take a nap, eat and then play the show. No time off. We didn’t even get to see the Taj Mahal, which is something we wanted to do. We did go to one temple though, and our guide told us that the temple brings in 5,000 homeless people every night.
What I got from being there is that the culture has so much love and support, even though there’s so much poverty. It was nice to see how much love they have for each other though, and for the people they bring in. We were treated like royalty when we were there.
Shaun Frank: And that love crosses over to the music, too. They have such a passion for music. It’s way different than here.
Did you find that the crowds knew most of your songs?
Shaun Frank: Yeah, especially our track “Heaven” with KSHMR.
Right, because KSHMR is Indian. Is that why you went over there in the first place?
Shaun Frank: Not really, no. We just got an email to come over there a few months ago and they were really amped to have Delaney perform with me. We’ve been working on having her in the shows more as well. I think there were parts of the tour where she was on stage almost the whole time.
Delaney Jane: Yah, it was so chill. I would just MC and hype the crowd.
Shaun Frank: A lot of DJs have MCs. I have a singer.
Works out well! How do you acquire fans over in India though? Did you focus your efforts on building a name for yourself there, or does it just happen organically?
Shaun Frank: Well they came to us to have us play there. I never would have thought we’d be touring Asia this early in our careers to be honest.
It’s hard to break out in a region that far away.
Shaun Frank: Exactly. But that’s the beauty of the internet, right? Spinnin’ Records has been amazing for promotion, too. And also, whenever we post on Facebook or Instagram there’s always a ton of comments from people around the world. It kind of just happens naturally.
2015 was a breakout year for both of you, but what do you think was the turning point?
Delaney Jane: It was probably “Shades of Grey.” I mean, “This Could Be Love” put us on the map, but we knew we needed a strong follow up. We were both surprised how naturally “Shades” came together for us, but we loved it. And the response to it was incredible.
Shaun Frank: And Oliver Heldens is someone that we really liked, and we all worked well together in the studio. We didn’t really know him before, either. He had played a few of my remixes on his radio show, and we eventually met on New Year’s in Toronto and had some drinks together. And after that we all went to Niagara Falls together and went bowling and then we came back and went into the studio, where I played him the “Shades of Grey” vocal.
Delaney and I had written it previously and I was actually struggling with what to do with it. I wasn’t going in the right direction. Oliver had ideas right away though and it just happened. He doesn’t collaborate with too many people either, so it was pretty great.
Have you found that your every day life has changed a lot due to how much popularity and fame you’ve gained over the past year or so?
Delaney Jane: Well, for one, I love life. Especially now that I don’t have to focus on school. I was actually in school while all of this was starting. I was at a private school for performing arts and I dropped out four months before I was set to graduate, to go on tour with Shaun. It was one of the biggest decisions of my life.
It’s nice being able to focus 100% on what I love now. Getting to travel is amazing, too. I do find that people treat me differently now though. I mean, I know which friends have always been my friends. But then there are those people who were just acquaintances and now they’re really, really nice. It’s a bit hard to know who’s genuine and actually cares about you and who just wants to be close to you because your name means something.
Do you find yourselves ever getting recognized on the streets by fans?
Shaun Frank: Actually, I was with DVBBS the other day and some guy pulled me aside and recognized me. He didn’t recognize DVBBS, he recognized me though. In Toronto it happens a lot, too, as that’s where we’re from. When we go out in Toronto people recognize us.
Where do you like to go out in the city?
Shaun Frank: The Hoxton, 100%. It’s like our family. I was basically a resident there when I started. It’s responsible for a lot of my growth as an artist. That’s where I met so many of the guys that I’m friends with now. Don Diablo, Sam Feldt etc. A lot of guys would come in from out of town and play at Hoxton and I’d meet them there.
My manager runs The Hoxton and he runs the parties there, so he would always do a dinner with all the DJs who played, and that way we could meet them. That’s been the biggest thing for Delaney and I, our relationships with all these other artists. A lot of it was forged through our time at The Hoxton, and that’s a big part of why we’ve been able to be so successful.