By: Anand Harsh
Early on in our search for up-and-coming talent in the bass music industry, we discovered Stephen Burke, a Bay Area-based prodigy who was putting a very unique twist on complextro, melodic dubstep, and progressive house.
Churning out tunes at a prolific rate, Burke landed on several prime labels, including Ministry of Sound, SectionZ, and Monstercat. His classical training and complete understanding of music theory allowed him to work across a multitude of genres, explore intensely intricate chord progressions, work with talented singers and coach them through his complex compositions, and even sing on his own songs.
Recently, Burke made the decision to change his artist name from SirensCeol to Siren. After building his brand for so long, and gathering a giant fan base, the tough decision had to be made. We got a chance to chat with Siren about that decision, as well as what fans can expect when he comes to perform at The Untz Festival in Mariposa, CA from June 2-4, 2016.
How difficult was it for you to shed the SirensCeol name, which had served you so well, to go with just the Siren moniker?
It certainly wasn't easy to let go of SirenCeol, because it truly was the building block in which got me to where I am today, however if you ask any artist who has been successful with their career, chances are that most have had to make a big change at some point within it. I loved that SirensCeol was so unique, and that if you typed it into Google, it's the only thing that would pop up. Although it came to a point where it could potentially slow my progress due to the fact that it simply was just too difficult for most people to pronounce. While that reasoning seems silly, it can hold you back for marketing purposes. The overall change to Siren has been swift, though and I don't think most of my fans seem to really care anyway, they just want the music!
Lately, I've really been transitioning into a sound that is more composition-heavy. What I mean by that is, imagine a film score blended in with electronic music. I felt that the music in which comes easily to me is mixing my more classic/cinematic roots with my skills today. As far as artists go, there are so many inspirational ones, but the top of my list is certainly Koan Sound, Haywyre, Savant, and honestly way too many to name; I also listen to a ton of indie video game soundtracks and movie scores for inspiration, as well.
A lot of fans will be seeing your live show for the very first time--what can those fans expect from your Siren set at The Untz Festival?
My goal for the festival is to provide a truly live experience for listeners. While DJing is fun, the route in which I am taking my music is more so to be heard and felt, rather than something to get wild to. So with that being said, I want to make it a point to have a live setup by this summer where I can perform and improvise along with my sets (also in which I hope to include most of my own music).
Are there any other artists on The Untz Festival you're excited to see for the first (or the millionth) time?
As for the rest of the lineup, I'm certainly excited to see the ones who are categorized with myself: Illenium, Said the Sky and Fractal since we all come from similar sounds and they have all been an inspiration to me at some point in my career. Other than that, there are quite a few names I actually haven't heard of myself on the lineup and I can't wait to get a taste of all the raw talent in which The Untz is bringing out this year!
You can catch Siren, along with some of the best in melodic bass like ILLENIUM, Fractal, and Said the Sky, and more at The Untz Festival at Mariposa County Fairgrounds in Mariposa, CA from June 2-4, 2016. Visit www.theuntzfestival.com to grab your tickets!
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