ON THE SESH with Ciaran McAuley

Firstly, welcome to the famous ON THE SESH hot seat !  Can you tell us a little about yourself ?!

Hey guys, thanks for having me on here. My name is Ciaran McAuley, pronounced Keer-on, this seems to be difficult for most, I’ve heard some funny attempts!

I’m from Belfast , N.Ireland and yes personal development is my other obsession, always trying to improve and give the best of myself and encourage others to do the same through my social media.

You’ve exploded in the trance scene over the past 12-18 months, moving from an up and coming DJ / producer to one of the most in demand and most loved artists on the scene. What do you think kick started that?

Thank you, it means a lot to hear that. I guess my crazy obsession, passion and drive is shining through now. I always stay humble and be truly grateful for everything that comes to me, I would do anything for my fans and followers, they’ve played a huge role on making this dream a reality.

Has trance always been your first love for playing out and production?

My heart has always been with the trance from my teenage years but I do listen to many other genres, I also really enjoy the opportunity to play my much loved progressive sounds when they come around from time to time, be it a warm up slot or an open to close set, plus I do love to switch off and rave it out with some techno 😉

<Reader Question from Steven Lees>  What was the first track that you heard that made you think .. that’s it, trance is where I belong?

Oh good question, it’s hard to pin point that one track but Paul Oakenfold was the biggest influence to my music journey and his 2 years Cream residency compilation was the main culprit. It’s full of gems, LSG – Netherworld, James Holden – Horizons, C.M – Dream Universe, Taste Experience – Summersault… the list goes on!

<Reader Question from AJ Blackromeo> What did you do first, DJ’ing or production?

I started DJing around the age of 15 and shared my belt drive Red Dwarf turntables with my older brother. It wasn’t until my early 20’s old studio partner Mark Reynolds asked me to come play around in his studio, that’s when Walsh & McAuley where born.

<Reader Question from Darren Summers>  What has been the highlight of your DJing career so far, one moment that you thought “I’ve done it!”

Haha! I love to hear these comments, I’m still working on that sell out world tour, the solo concerts, the headlining EDC, Tomorrowland, ID&T’s, Transmission, Creamfields etc which will happen! But sometimes opening my 5* hotel rooms does it for me. Sometimes I ring my mum on my travels or from my hotel saying someone has paid me to come play music and put my in the beautiful hotel, crazy!

You’re set at Luminosity 2018 is widely regarded as one of the best of the whole festival…. how did you prepare and are did you expect the response it received?

I’m truly grateful to hear all these comments (re previous question) it’s things like this make me feel “I’ve made it” thank you, again. As for the Lumi set, I put so much time and effort into all my sets, always keeping flow and the energy high. We all have our personal “Ciaran McAuley” favourite set I guess.

You’re sets obviously feature a lot of your own work, undoubtedly some of the best production in trance! Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into production?

Thank you! I touched a little on this in a previous question. When Walsh & McAuley came to an end in 2014 I was so worried, Mark was the engineer so it was basically a fresh start for me! I remember asking guys in the scene for help and everyone turned their back, some even gave nasty replies but I’m so grateful they did, now look eh… hard work pays guys! I locked myself in the studio, getting up at 05:00 each morning before my 9-5 then back in again after work. Still to this day I spend up 10 hours or more most days in the studio.

What is your go to gear and software these days?

Honestly, I’m not really a big tech head, I use the most basic equipment and don’t have anything really exciting in my studio. Abelton, Sylenth, Zebra, Spire, Omnisphere and my midi keyboard is basically my set up.

Can you talk us through a typical session in the studio. How do you get the ideas out of your head and into our ears?

I’ve come to realise that the best work comes from what flows, not forcing anything. I’ve had many arguments with labels in the past, trying to make their deadlines and forcing your art shows in your work, I feel. I have countless unfinished projects so I go with what ever I’m buzzing with.

Would you say production is integral to a career in DJing in the modern scene?

Unfortunately to be a “DJ” these days isn’t just about your music so the more you can “scream” the better… Production is a huge part of that surely.

There is a lot of talent out there at the moment, is there anyone for you that is killing it at the moment ?

Yeah the scene is great at the minute, Craig Connelly and Cold Blue are guys I always support and like I said previous, I’m a huge progressive fan. My favourite producers would be Lane 8 and Ben Bohmer

<Reader question from Carmel O’Gorman> You recently formed Holy Waters with Roxanne Emery, are you going to he focusing less on your solo career or is this a side project.

Carmel, No no, Holy Waters has given me breathing space away from or should I say in between my solo stuff. Nothing will change 🙂

Can you tell us about any of your upcoming releases and notable gigs (solo and and holy waters)

Sure, November will see the release of my remix of trance classic Julie Thompson – Shine on Grotesque, which was my intro at Lumi beach this year, its been going down a storm in my sets! also coming Nov is the remix package of Holy Waters – Amsterdam including Amir Hussain’s 138 remix. Then December, FSOE release my big ID from Aly & Fila’s sets 😉 On the gig front I have Above & Beyond’s Common Ground Tour in Belfast and Newcastle then I’m off to Dreamstate SoCal.

A couple of hard ones for you now Ciaran… what is your favourite track of all time to listen to… and your favourite to play to everyone else ?

Ah guys these type of questions could wreck my brain for days! I’ve been obsessed with music for many many years now, going through so many era’s, each having their own gems. As for playing them, I’m real fussy with music quality so its tough to find classics that sit well in my sets, this is why I remix so many Haha!

Which would you rather get into a fight with… one horse sized duck, or a dozen duck sized horses?

The more the merrier I guess but lets hope I don’t have to Haha!

Christmas is coming up soon… a time for goodwill… but what’s the worst present you’ve ever been given..  and on the flip, what’s the best ?

Christmas is a time to share with your loved ones, friends and family etc and I’ve been through so many bad or sad times, I remember last year being so grateful to have a clear head to enjoy the times with everyone (something most take for granted!) so that’s the gift I wish for every year. As for the worst gift, well you could flip that for the previous years haha but lets not ruin this great interview 🙂

<Reader question from Pete Bromage> Can you still drink (sesh)  like you did in Ibiza 2017 ?

Haha, Yes of course, some people get to meet Party Ciaran… Pete did in Ibiza 2017 😉 good times


Thank you Ciaran, and a huge thank you to FSOE and Full Circle Agency for helping to make this happen !


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