Exclusive Interview with Toronto DJ Sean Miller
The internationally recognized DJ speaks to Shalom Life about his career, his inspirations and why Casa Miller is the best restaurant in town.
Toronto native Sean Miller exploded on the scene 10 years ago. He has received international recognition for his unique style, passion for music, and hard work.
In 2003, he landed a residency at Toronto’s legendary nightclub, Boa. Two years later, he earned North American admiration after opening on Steve Lawler’s Lights Out & Viva tour.
Miller has spun at some of the world’s most prestigious nightclubs and festivals including Ministry of Sound (London), Space (Miami), Avalon (Los Angeles), Red Light (Paris), Spirit & Pacha (New York), La mania (Romania), and Stereo (Montreal).
Last week, Sean took some time out of his busy schedule to speak to me about his music, upcoming shows, and plans for the future.
AB: When did you start DJing?
SM: I bought my first set of turntables in 1996 after a few frustrating years with my garage band. I used to be a drummer. We were together during junior high and some of high school. There was a lack of inspiration for me and I was searching for a musical change. I went to a rave party and when I saw the DJ working the room I knew that I found my calling.
AB: What were you originally influenced by? What continues to inspire you?
SM: As I was growing up my father always had music playing in the house. Lots of R&B, Soul, funk & Rock Music. George Benson, Phil Collins, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, The Eurhythmics. There was always an incredible variety of music playing in the house. I think all of this really shaped me and influenced me musically. I love music. It's a huge party of my life. My father put me in the Royal Conservatory of Music for drumming at the age of 6 so I was always influenced by rhythm and percussion. Nowadays I can't say I'm inspired by anything specific. I just do what I do. It's what I do. I love listening to all kinds of music, but now I am just focused on making music I can play and making music for the clubs.
AB: What sets you apart from other Toronto-based DJ's?
SM: I have always just kind of done my own thing. I am very busy and kind of caught up in my own little music world and really just focused on what I am doing. I think there have been some really talented people coming out of Toronto over the years. It's good to see it, and it shows people are working hard. I think I have been really fortunate so far. Some of my big residencies here in Toronto at clubs like Boa & Sonic were really huge stepping-stones for me to get my music out to wider audience. Being taken under the wing of a huge DJ like Steve Lawler was also a huge thing for me. It gave me international exposure and credibility. I have always taken my time doing things and have always had a vision of what I want. I have only ever done things they way I saw fit. I focus on making music for labels I really admire and I think this has really allowed me to stay true to myself and set my own pace.
AB: If you had to describe your musical sense in three words, what would they be?
SM: Quality House Music!
AB: If your latest CD ate at a restaurant in Toronto, where would it go? What about clothing store?
SM: It would definitely eat at Casa Miller. My mother is the best cook in town!! I like Lileo in the Distillery.
AB: What is your favorite thing about Toronto? What neighbourhood do you live in or spend most of your time in?
SM: My favorite thing about Toronto is that my beautiful fiancé, family and friends are all here. I live downtown and spend all my free time locked up in the studio I built in Thornhill.
AB: What are your plans for the future in terms of both your music and otherwise?
SM: I definitely want to leave a mark in the dance music world. I would like to collaborate with some more people. I'm in the midst of my first artist album. I just got engaged so I am even ready to start a little Miller family soon!
AB: Where can we see you play next? Buy your CD's?
SM: The next string of gigs start off here in Toronto on NYE at Abode, which is a hip new club where I will be starting a residency in 2011. Then I fly out to Panama where I play the Space and Sound Festival Jan 1st. Jan 2nd I fly straight to Playa Del Carmen for the BPM festival where I am doing my Clash Party for the 4th year in a row. Then off to Peru.
Catch DJ Sean Miller at Abode Nightclub on New Year's Eve!