Cover photo by Clark Terrell @clarkterrell

Kosovan DJ and producer Regard has built up over 1 million subscribers through his series of deep house mixes, remixes, and original tracks after being signed to LEAF Management in 2012. In July 2019, he released his first official single, “Ride It,” on the label Ministry of Sound. The track quickly became an international hit, taking the internet and TikTok by storm, achieving over ten Top 10 single chart placements globally, including #2 in the UK where it is now certified multi-platinum. Although how he found his stage name was by accident, his success has been anything but. The word, “regardé,” came to the DJ during French class in high school. “To see” became the core behind Regard’s music. “When I perform,” he says, “I look at the people and how they feel the music.” For Regard, his deep house mixes consist not only of sound but also of sight. Performance is a reciprocal and intimate relationship between the DJ and his audience.

Since 2013, Regard has performed from Melbourne to Manchester to Dubai, and, last weekend, to Austin. He has built a unique understanding of his audiences and the music that makes them move – a skill that was prevalently on display during his Saturday evening set at Seismic Dance Event 4.0. His audiences have not always been so large and international, though, having grown up as the middle child and only son of a construction worker and housekeeper in Ferizaj, Kosovo. He was only 6 when the Kosovo War displaced 1 million Albanians and killed almost 10,000. In its early years of independence, Kosovo did not have a strong music scene, so Regard frequented lounges with his cousin during their teens. Over drinks one day, Regard’s cousin half-jokingly asked, “Why don’t you make songs like these?” and Regard’s curiosity was instantly ignited. He transitioned his early love for music from artists like Sabri Fejzullahu, Aleksander Gjoka, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson to more house compilations like those of Tiesto. From creating electro house mixes on his computer, he moved into deep house, sharing his music with his friends along the way. From the schoolyard, he moved his audience to YouTube and then continued to develop his formula while working with his manager, Hajiriz Bajrami of LEAF Management, who was also a high school classmate.

Photo by Clark Terrell @clarkterrell

Throughout his career, Regard has proven how much he wants to build his career, with the goal of eventually becoming the “best producer on the planet.” Read below for our interview with Regard ahead of his Seismic Dance Event set.

You’ve been DJing for the better part of a decade now. How has your style evolved over that time?

At the beginning of my career, I started listening to and playing deep house in small venues in my city (Ferizaj, Kosovo) and for all of my career, I continued to play deep house, until the success of “Ride It.” I adapted my DJ style with a more commercial sound or will match my sound to fit any event’s music style.

Your hit single “Ride It” is one of the most recognizable tracks on the dance floor these days. Why did you decide to remix that track?

Yeah, “Ride It” is my most recognizable track and I’m very grateful to everyone that was involved in making this record and release happen! It was just a random moment when I remixed it to be honest; I was just getting back to my hotel after one of my performances in Croatia, Zrce Beach, and “Ride It” by Jay Sean was playing on the radio. The basic idea came to me at that moment and I started working on it that night. Magic happens without a plan.

You’ve since released several more tracks, including “Say My Name” and “You.” What does your creative process entail? Where do you draw inspiration from?

After “Ride It” was released on Ministry of Sound, I released “Secrets,” “Say My Name,” “YOU,” and most recently, “SIGNALS.” My inspiration comes from living my life with fun and as a free spirit! When I produce my records, I’m used to staying alone in my studio because I release all of my emotions during the work process.

You’re just finishing up a North American tour. What have been some of your favorite memories from this?

Generally, I love the USA, and this is the best tour I’ve had until now! I pushed my manager to work and make another tour next year, so I will be back from April 23 through the end of May 2022.

What’s next for you? Will you be releasing more tracks? Taking some time off?

I just released “Signals,” and we drop the music video this week! It’s a beautiful record that I did with Kwabs and is worth a listen because the lyrics, sang by Kwabs, are beautiful.

If you could talk to yourself 10 years ago when you first started your career, what advice would you give?

Do not listen to anyone about your dreams! It’s all about you and what you want to achieve, so keep working in silence until your work makes noise.

If you could collaborate with any artist on the Seismic Dance Event lineup, who would it be?

There are so many amazing and respected artists on this lineup, so each artist would be possible, depending on the music style we would create! I’m open to a collaboration with any of these artists.

Connect with Regard: Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

Elena Lin Administrator
I am a concert/festival photographer based in St. Louis. I’m always eager to travel for new music and experiences and to meet new faces!
Elena Lin Administrator
I am a concert/festival photographer based in St. Louis. I’m always eager to travel for new music and experiences and to meet new faces!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.