Interview with seangran: A Curator for the People (Sep 2020)

An interview with seangran, who is a London-based DJ and Twitch streamer.
Ryan Magnole
Ryan Magnole
Lives in Somerville, MA and founded a record label / blog called EveryDejaVu. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @Wontu.

seangran is a London-based curator for the people. I was trying to remember the first time we crossed paths and I think it was through his writing at Artistic Manifesto (RIP), where I was also doing a few posts here and there. Around that time he reached out to me to do a two-part guest mix for EveryDejaVu called Word Up! that encapsulated artists and sounds that we were covering as a blog and label (at the time, we had just done a couple of compilation tapes). Since then, I’ve seen him showcase artists in the form of many radio shows, compilation albums, and lately, his Twitch channel. I caught up with him through Twitter DMs and Discord about his last few months on Twitch, the closing of Ace Hotel, and Stay Cool.

When did you first think to bring your DJing to Twitch?

When lock down started I found a way to broadcast custom videos to Instagram while doing live DJ mixing. Naturally, IG as a platform leaves a lot to be desired as it takes up a person’s phone screen, has a messy UI and so forth, so I wanted to find a better option. I’d been following Twitch since the days of as I’d been a lifelong gamer and finally decided to attempt streaming on there with my old MacBook, especially as a few DJ homies were also attempting the move.

As a lifelong gamer, what game or games did that start with and what are you playing nowadays?

Started with the NES and Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Blowout and some others. Nowadays I’m playing a healthy mix of Fall Guys, Rocket League, Spelunky 2 and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, a series I hold close to my heart since the third entry was my first real portal into music discovery.

Did you have any doubts or fears getting into streaming?

Honestly I didn’t have any doubts. When it comes to starting something new as I’ve often done at this point the journey is the challenge but also the fun part. If anything I didn’t expect it to go as well as it has!

What’s something that you wish you know before getting into Twitch and/or something you would advise someone starting out on Twitch?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. I would just say that consistency is key, it’s normal to have a core community that will stick around no matter what but if you disappear for a week even if it’s because you’re sick or something some of those more fringe members of your community will be likely to frequent your stream less.

Which streamers have you been tuning into lately?

Complexion aka The Future Beats Show captain is always gonna be someone I tune into. DJ-wise all of the homies from SoyEllaElla and 9thSage to HabibeatsDwaisoundsstankpalmer and of course the aforementioned AV8Musiq are always gonna be channels I frequent. Beyond that KnxwledgeSoulection and Kennybeats are a must for music, but there are also a few walking tour streamers that I like to put on, especially if they’re walking around Japan for the nostalgia.

You were just a part of a 24 hour stream festival called Raid The Polls that supported raising awareness for voter rights. Can you tell me more about that? How did that go?

/RAID THE POLLS was an amazing success, and is the first real streamathon that I’ve been involved in, shouts to Chris aka AV8Musiq for getting me involved. Despite being outside of the US presidential elections have a big effect on the rest of the world, especially in the UK for various reasons, so the cause was close to my heart for reasons involving the rest of the world as well as America. Being able to join some of the most talented DJs and artists in the project was amazing, and seeing that we were able to raise $5000 for Voteriders made all of us feel so great about it. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

In terms of tapping into this community, you’ve had a Discord set up for Stay Cool for some time now. How has that helped you grow closer to the community that follows you and Stay Cool in the loop of what you’re doing?

The Discord is relatively new, and got made around the 4th month of my twitch channel I think? I spent a lot of time getting the look right, finding a bot that could use the commands I’d written from Twitch, and more but the usage has been really surprising. Even when I’ve not streamed due to being sick or busy it’s stayed active and my followers look forward to our pool party chats, where discussions carry over from the Twitch stream or new ones are born. I have a lot more plans for it, but it’s still early days.

From afar, I can tell Ace Hotel meant a lot to you and Stay Cool. Can you tell me what the closing of it meant to you, Stay Cool, and the local scene?

The closing of Ace Hotel London as you’ve suggested will have a big effect in every way. For me beyond the incredible nights I attended and planned both as a regular attendee in 2017 and the booker in 2019 the real thing I’ll be losing is an incredible, big group of people that (for the most part) got along like a house on fire. There were so many amazing people across the departments, and to know that many of them as foreigners won’t even remain in the UK is a real shame.

To Stay Cool, Ace Hotel provided a home for collaborative events, and having that creative control to do collaborations with my own brand is something I’ve ever experienced before. The loss of the lobby, where DJs played nightly and curated the unique vibe of the space, and the club Miranda downstairs is bigger than many outside of the city can realize.

To London, especially Shoreditch, Ace was a key part of the revitalization of the area when it debuted in 2013 and it’s loss as one of many venues in Shoreditch closing means that when COVID does pass and people are looking for nightlife options they’re going to be facing a city that has changed greatly. At the same time with death comes rebirth so I’m sure there’ll be new and fresh options we have yet to discover.

It’s been apparent over the years I’ve known you that you genuinely enjoy showcasing new artists and music you enjoy. Through Stay Cool, you released the 3-part compilation, Altogether, in 2018 and Transitions in 2019 totaling over 100 tracks. How was it like bringing all of these artists together for these projects? Are there plans for another compilation coming from Stay Cool in the future?

I started work on a charity compilation last year but decided to wait for this year so that it could be done right. It’s still expected to drop in December, but due to some significant (and mostly positive) life changes that have happened there’s a small chance I’ll need to delay it again. I probably could’ve dropped it sooner but when it comes to charity I take things very seriously. Beyond that we’ll see what awaits Stay Cool next year as the journey has already taken me so many places that I didn’t expect. *

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