Behind The Scenes – The Gardens Of Babylon

For our next Behind The Scenes interview, we caught up with Shishi, who is the head honcho behind the record label and the super parties of The Gardens Of Babylon.

We spoke about how it all started, The Gardens Of Babylon festival, what the sound of TGOB is plus so much more!

Hi Shishi, nice to catch up with you, how are you doing today?

Hey loves, thank you for the endless patience. The interview has been long overdue. I am absolutely doing fantastic this morning. We have our four-day festival, The Monastery from July 28th to August 1st. It’s been a crazy time! Absurd challenges. But so far so good! Nothing can stop us.

Let’s start by asking, how did the birth of The Garden Of Babylon originally happen and how long has it been running?

So, I founded The Gardens of Babylon in 2016 as an event series. I dreamt of creating a global network or a community that connects people through the love for music and spirituality, to bring people together at events, and afterwards enable them to build friendships, lives and to find each other wherever they would go. We started the music label in 2018. It was a beautiful way to go more into depth with the musicians close to our hearts. 

Do you have any upcoming releases we can talk about that are planned in the pipeline?

We can talk about our upcoming release from the talented Milo Häfliger. I am SO excited about this one. I know Milo mostly as a super talented DJ. He started producing only a few years ago, and it turned out he’s even more talented as a producer! It’s very good. It’s his first release on our label this August. We’re always very grateful to have him in the Babylon family and now he will be part of our label – amazing!

We asked Guy Mantzur to do a remix for us too on this release, and it’s a magic addition! I’m a huge fan of Guy, as a producer and a human being. Two fantastic newcomers for our label, you can imagine my excitement for this release. 

When receiving demos from artists, how long do you normally take to come back to the artists with an answer?

Gosh, it’s very unpredictable. It can go really fast, and you’re signed within a few weeks. But sometimes I need a reminder, or five

If you don’t like the music that’s been sent, do you go back to the artists with any feedback?

Most of the time it’s a personal opinion and I tell them I don’t think the track is a fit for the label. Actual feedback comes in when we want to sign it but think some minor adjustments are needed. So, when you get feedback it’s a good sign I guess.

Who is the head honcho behind TGOB?

Most people see me as the head honcho. Fortunately, I have great business partners Reinier Suyderhoud, Tom Veldhuis and Jasper Goossens. They operate more behind the scenes I would say. I can’t say I am the only head honcho. 

How would you describe the sound of TGOB and would you say it has changed over the years?

We’re always placed in the corner of organic house music. The sound is more eclectic than that. At our four-day event we go from Hraach to Robag Wruhme. From DJ Holographic to Eelke Kleijn. It’s melodic. But we will also hear melodic techno.

Will we see you guys at any other shows this year?

Wow, we do so many shows. As I said we have our own festival next week. So excited for that one!!! We have a residency in Ibiza & Mykonos. We will be going to Egypt for the first time. Basel, London, Amsterdam Dance Event. Enough on the horizon. 

When creating the line-ups for your parties, how do you pick the artists that play?

I like to explore. I admire the festivals that don’t need to post their line ups. The trust and space for creativity is just endless. To be blunt as a promoter you are always pivoting between the vested musicians that sell the tickets and the new talent you want to showcase.

In countries where the Babylon brand is strong, I have more freedom. It allows me to bring more new talent or at least lesser known. To bring a new idol to the Babylon crowd is the thing I love the most about my job. 

How would you describe the TGOB sound to someone who hasn’t heard of you before?

The sound goes from jazz to nu disco. I find it hard to label this sound other than by emotions. The music is gripping, emotional, and beautiful. You can feel the love and passion of each artist. It’s not something you can classify as one specific sound.

Do you have plans for any other events happening this year?

All eyes on The Monastery right now. It’s the most amazing four days you can imagine.


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July 22, 2022