If ever a man seemed destined to DJ, it would have to be Shane Stiel.
"I got into dance music when I was 15," he said in an interview. "I was fortunate enough to get to watch some big names rock an event. I really enjoyed what they were doing and chose to challenge myself to learn how to spin. My mother bought me two Numark turntables and a Numark mixer for Christmas and that allowed me to practice as much as possible."
Stiel came to DJing through a love of music. He played the French horn and trumpet way back in elementary school, the was in the choir through middle and high school. It was in high school that he discovered the local rave scene. "It was more amazing than I could ever imagine," he has said, "not solely for the community, but for the music."
The young DJ hopeful was allowed to try his turn at the turntables. That one night was enough to convince him — and the festival promoters — that he was a natural. He continued to work closely with friend and promoter Ryan Dykstra, whose long-running night at Club Pure gave Stiel the chance to meet well-known DJ/producers Kimball Collins, George Acosta, Guy Ornadel, and Jon Bishop.
He also became a regular fixture at Denver clubs Traxx 2000 and Club Matrixx, where he came to the notice of some of the biggest names in the world, including Tiesto, Crystal Method, Deep Dish and Digital Assassins. Then, at the height of his burgeoning DJ career, he was so affected by the events of 9/11 that, in early 2003, he made a major life change: He joined the Navy, which brought him to San Diego.
He fell in love with the beautiful Southern California city. After his discharge from the military, he settled in San Diego for good and quickly immersed himself in the local nightlife scene.
If you haven't heard Stiel yet, chances are you will. His own production and promotion company, Haus of Stiel, has provided him with the means to take it on the road. In March 2014 alone, for example, Haus of Stiel headlined club nights in Chicago and Atlanta, as well as a night at Skyy Lounge, a club in Greenville, S.C., to promote the Palm Springs White Party.
This guy really gets around. Late in 2013, he was playing events like "Meat Rack" at the Factory in West Hollywood and the "Underbear" party for San Francisco Bear Pride. Somehow, he also manages residencies at Rich's in San Diego and Hydrate in Chicago. Haus of Stiel has become so popular that it has even inspired its own fan base, the so-called "Haus Hedz." Eat your heart out, Lady Gaga!
What makes Stiel stand out from a crowded field is his unique musical style, which has evolved over the years. "When I started spinning, I was really in to trance and House," he said. "I mainly spun progressive and hard trance. There was a bit of evolving on my part, and I finally found my niche. Now I play a fusion of House, tribal, disco, Circuit, trance, and tech House.
"I like to mix it all together to really take people on a journey they will never forget," he added. He says he has an issue with the EDM that dominates the dance floor. For him, "dance usually has more vocals and can come in many forms. House is my cup of tea and in my opinion dominates the dance floor with its driving beats, funky melodies, and memorable vocals. There is so many different forms of music, and I only see it as continuing to grow."
For Stiel, music is life. Once you hear one of his podcasts, you'll understand his love for dance music in all its forms. Hear him live and you're going to enter the ranks of the dedicated Haus Hedz.