Vancouver’s dynamic duo of dance/R&B talk about the group’s evolution and what it takes to make it in the music industry

Dirty Radio singer Farshad “Shadi” Edalat promises Dancing Bear Music & Arts Festival attendees “a hype dance party” on April 27. Formed in 2010, the Vancouver-based duo is known internationally for creating a beat-filled marriage of progressive soul, R&B and electronic music.

“We originally started making music together as a production team, and the first Dirty Radio record was going to be a solo project for Shadi,” said drummer Zachary “Waspy” Forbes. “As we started to perform and continue writing, we realized the project was more collaborative and decided to make Dirty Radio a band.”

Since then, Dirty Radio has gone through a few personnel changes and fine-tuned its synthesis of sounds.

“In the beginning, we performed as a five-piece live band, but over the years have experimented with tons of different live setups and now perform as a duo,” said Shadi. “Musically, we’ve always loved to experiment with different sounds and haven’t limited ourselves to just one genre. After writing hundreds of songs and playing around with different sounds we decided to focus on dance/R&B music because we found we gravitate to that most naturally and we love performing it live.”

Dirty Radio also puts more of an emphasis on growing its fanbase online rather than through conventional radio play (ironic, considering the group’s name), racking up impressive Soundcloud and Spotify numbers. That means despite being a Canadian band, they don’t focus on succeeding only on their home turf.

“Canada is really tough to be successful in musically, partly because the population isn’t very big. For context, there’s more people in California than in all of Canada,” said Waspy. “We feel like it’s been difficult to crack and decided to start focusing on collaborating and releasing music internationally with other producers and songwriters across the globe.”

However, despite not focussing that much on the Great White North, the band earned nominations two years running at the Western Canadian Music Awards for Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year. Their strategy is clearly working.

“We’ve been working on Dirty Radio for close to decade now,” said Shadi. “We hope it inspires anyone out there with a dream to continue pursuing their passion and never give up. Don’t listen to the haters…if anyone spends time hating on you, it’s usually because they hate themselves first.”

Dirty Radio is set to drop a new album this month, followed by a UK tour, but you can catch them live April 27 at the Dancing Bear Music & Arts Festival at Quest along with acts including Imur, Schewy and Pack A.D.

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