While Australian house music duo The Aston Shuffle have been hitting the main stage at huge clubs and festivals overseas, they’re still keen as ever to give Aussie crowds some love.
With the Gold Coast’s new club venue NXT LVL set to open in September
, The Aston Shuffle's Mikah Freeman is keen to kick off the opening weekend with killer new tracks for a thirsty crowd.
“We’re just looking forward to trying a whole bunch of new music on a really up for it crowd, because the crowds on the opening weekend at a brand-new nightclub are usually pretty up for it,” Mikah says.
The duo have seen a steady rise to stardom since their humble beginnings in 2006, going from tinkering in a recording studio on their off days, to pulling huge international music sets at the likes of Tomorrowland and Hï Ibiza.
“We gifted some good remix opportunities that we really kind of put our heart and soul into, and funnily enough the remixes were accepted. I think a lot of the heavyweights in the industry were vibing [sic] on the sound we were coming up with.
“Before we knew it we were doing it full-time. It’s been a wild ride I guess over the last ten years or so; we never really thought that this was what we’d be doing for a career choice, but here we still are.”
Although the duo have enjoyed international success, they still appreciate heading to the Gold Coast to play. “Some of the best shows I’ve ever played and ever been to have been on the Gold Coast; the fans up there and the club scene in general is just really, really healthy,” Mikah says.
Despite hosting their weekly radio show, 'Friday Night Shuffle' on triple j, Mikah is constantly playing catch-up with the ever-changing tastes of Australian listeners. “I often find it quite hard to stay on top of the musical shifts,” he admits.
“Popularity and genres come and go really quick. Five years ago it was all super, super-heavy dubstep and trap music and a lot of those people's tastes have probably matured, and that’s when you saw the rise of the deep house and tech house.”
Mikah can’t wait to get involved with NXT LVL's Funktion One sound system. “I can’t wait to get among it, I’m really looking forward to seeing what this club looks like. I’ve heard the sound system is pretty incredible and it’s always a pleasure to play on a system that’s really, really good.”
It’s not just the sound system he has faith in. Mikah is excited to work with venue owner, not to mention prolific promoter, Mark James.
“I’ve known Mark for many, many years now and he’s always been at the forefront of clubbing and festivals over the years. To see this new venture that he’s working on, I’m really excited and to be playing the opening weekend is definitely an honour.”
While his excitement is clear, Mikah is taking the opportunity very seriously. “It’s always pretty special to play the opening weekend,” he says.
“I think there’s also a bit of pressure to make sure that you play a really good set as well. You obviously want to try and set a precedent for the other artists who are going to be following on after us.”
The Aston Shuffle play NXT LVL (Gold Coast) 21 September.