Demuir’s musical output has truly led him to stand out amongst his peers and be championed by dance music’s elite artists. He is proofing this with his string of high-profile releases on Hot Creations, Fool’s Gold, Desolat, Origins, Heist & Pets Recordings in 2019 and an incredible stream of the finest underground House releases on his own label Purveyor Underground. These releases are another addition to his growing catalogue, incl. EP’s on the legendary label Classic Music Company as well as Jesse Rose’s imprint Play It Down, and multiple releases on DJ Sneak’s labels including EP’s on I’m A House Gangster, and his most recent full-length album TruSkool on Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings, which helped him to be awarded #1 Jacking House Producer of both 2015 & 2016 by Traxsource. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Demuir started off as a child playing around on his Dad’s Hammond B3 organ, before beginning to play music seriously at the age of 16, with skills covering the keys, bass guitar, drums and percussion instruments. He first fell in love with house music after hearing Derrick May’s “Strings of Life”, and by seeing May, DJ Sneak, and Mark Farina at Industry, the legendary Toronto nightclub. He first perfected his craft in his native Canada at venues like Nest & One Loft in Toronto, Salon Daomé & Circus in Montreal, Club Called Rhonda in LA, and Electric Island.
This is your first time performing at Bali’s hottest new pool / beachside destination Tropicola? What have you heard about the venue and the crazy parties its already famous for?
It is, indeed, my first time to Bali and Tropicola. I’ve only heard good things about Bali as a destination and let’s say that I’ve been paying close attention to Tropicola’s Instagram to affirm the “crazy” your question infers. LOL! I’m looking forward to it!
What else have you heard about Bali’s current festival and clubbing boom? What is the vibe amongst your circle of industry friends and team?
I’ve heard Bali is a great place to “let go” and that it also has a deep appreciation for authentic underground electronic music, which is the general consensus in my conversations with my industry peers. I cannot express how relieved I am to see this level of dedication and proper representation of our music’s culture against the beautiful backdrop that is Bali! Please keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let the allure of commercialism change things.
How do you think the underground music scene differs across the world?
Great question! I think the lines are becoming more blurred in terms of what genres specific underground scenes around the world support. The previous perception was that Germany is synonymous with Techno and North America is making aggressive distinctions between House vs. New York House vs. Garage House, Tech House, etc. However, I see things changing where great parties embrace everything from Funky, Jackin, Chicago House to Tech House beats when played properly and in tune with the audience receiving it. We very much have the internet and social media to thank for this evolution.
Besides the event what else you going to do in your downtime in Bali? Beach time, surf – food, food and more local food?
I plan to enjoy the beach, drinks, food, and people. These things excite me because they influence my music production and I can get an array of ideas. It’s one thing to read about places like Bali, but a whole other element when you actually experience them.
When you’re not glued to your studio speakers, in transit to the next show or rocking dancefloors with your legendary DJ sets what do you like to do when switching of from music world?
When I’m not in music mode, which is hard because it’s a significant part of my life…I still stay in the art vein by going to the museum, reading, and having a good drink and conversation at my favourite mixologist bar in Toronto. I’m also committed to just picking up and travelling, which in all these experiences bring me back to music in terms of their influence.
If you weren’t travelling the world DJing on a weekly basis what do you think you would be doing looking back at your years in high school and the first thing that comes to mind?
This one is easy. I finished High School earlier than my peers and was deep into computer programming and system design. So, I think I would probably be in that world or in investing.
What are you earliest memories of music?
My earliest memories of music go back to the age of 3 when I remember my Dad practicing on his keyboard or hearing records being played first thing in the morning and when he returned from work. It didn’t stop there. My parents would regularly host parties playing everything from Calypso, Reggae, Jazz, Funk, Classical, Soul, etc.
Can you tell us about the journey of your sound and how underground music in Toronto has influenced it? How do you aim to transcend this in your sets?
The journey of my sound has gone from Hip Hop, House, Electro, Disco, Jackin, Techno, Soulful House / Afro House, and Tech House. All of this is simply a reflection of Toronto’s diversity. I can literally call out what clubs and local scenes that were attached to each of these that drove my approach in creating these genres. These are reflected in my sets when it’s most appropriate for the audience just based on overall vibe. If they want it funky, we can go there and then go with some harder Techno or Tech House. No Limits.
Looking back at Toronto’s very vibrant scene what are some of the clubs that hold many special memories for you that are now closed and what made them so special?
Industry and Comfort Zone are the two standouts that hold many memories for me. Although my parents’ strict rules prevented me from going to Industry, the mix tapes and CDs documented an amazing and extremely influential experience on me. Industry had introduced the likes of Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak, and Daft Punk to the city’s scene. These guys are iconic, and in those days, we didn’t have the prevalence of the internet and social media to distract us. The energy was just raw with people experimenting in their own journeys of sound, sex, and drugs to be honest, but all done under a positive focus. In contrast, Comfort Zone’s influence was rooted in dark beats with parties lasting all weekend up to early Monday morning. Imagine a bunker-like aesthetic with a sweating ceiling and dark corners that pushed the audience right up against the DJ booth. I had the privilege of partying there when I was no longer under my parent’s thumb and also played there a few times. They have forever left a mark on our scene.
How about your favourite current club to play at right now in Toronto? And in Canada in general?
I have to say Coda is my favourite club to play in Toronto and Canada. The sound system is well designed, and the punter’s will take whatever you throw at them when done right despite a lean towards Techno and Tech House, which is mainly stemming from its roots as Footwork (the previous venue they outgrew).
What is it that makes Toronto such a creative hub for musicians? Is it the cold weather that keeps you in the studio for longer periods? The community? There is no doubt something special in the drinking water.
I always believe the creative attraction to Toronto is found in the city’s diversity. With that comes an abundance of talent because it is a melding and constant exploration of various cultures under one umbrella. I recall Drake’s producer ‘40’ affirming the cold winter keeping us inside our studios and focusing on our craft. I think there is some truth to that for me because I only go out for 2 things in the winter, which is food and you can fill in the blank here….
What’s next for Demuir?
My team and I have a number of exciting things coming in addition to the Bali / Asia tour that includes my forthcoming release, “We Be Houseln’” EP on Josh Butler’s ‘Origins’ label September 27 and a release of our B2B set together at Coda in Toronto. October keeps us going with a massive joint party between my label Purveyor Underground and Junior Sanchez’ Brobot Records at the W Hotel in Amsterdam October 16 for ADE. This party will include headliners like Cassy, DJ Sneak, Sidney Charles, and Harry Romero to name a few. Music wise, the release of my “To Be A Star” EP on Purveyor Underground featuring Phil Weeks on the title track and a remix by Carlo Lio is scheduled for October 25 followed a remix I did for Cuatero on Rawthentic and another EP on Detroit Swindle’s Heist in December. Exciting times indeed!