I grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan and grew up with a neighbourhood friend by the name of Lord G, started going out to when i was 15 at a club called “The World” music was hip hop & house, fell in love with both, kept the nightlife since then and grew a passion for soulful house while attending a NYC party called “Underground Network” which was hosted by Barbara Tucker and the resident Dj was Louie Vega, i started doing lighting at the club and had 1 night with Louie Vega which changed my whole aspect of house music, i met Alix while working with Masters at Work in 2000/2001, saw what music production was about and instantly fell in love and started a label called Sole Channel music in 2004 with Alix and I’m still here, lol. (my short version)
It is said that your childhood friend Lord G played a crucial role in your professional musical career. Tell us why did you choose to follow his style?
Well i never followed his style actually but i did follow his hustle, his energy, his determination, being from the same neighbourhood, he was the only one making power moves and had a great career and was doing big things, his Djing style at times were not where my heart was but nonetheless it was worth a listen and even now in my own career it helped a lot and i have benefitted.
You broke into house music after a light man got ill. However, you managed to establish yourself very well as a Dj/Producer/Label owner.
I always loved soul music, especially soulful house music, song structure, lyrics and keyboard work plus sick soulful bass lines, this combination i was always drawn too, i guess it was what i was hearing growing up and what my extended family was listening too as well, remember i grew up in the melting pot era of disco, garage and the birth of hip hop in this one city so we were exposed to a lot of things, i felt the magic and found my love of soulful house going to the underground network parties, i just felt more at home, you get this feeling of belonging to something, it’s a feeling you can’t help, you know deep down it’s right, it makes sense, it makes you happy, i can’t really explain that feeling, it’s something everyone experiences.
As a house veteran, there must be one gig which was memorable in your professional career, which one may it be?
South Africa 2006, SAMC my first one with Louie Vega and the crew, i mean to see it being embraced especially being with Alix and Franck Roger as well, then bringing Miss Patty the following year, i think the fact that we did not expect the amount of love and appreciation for what we do is what made it so, so special. There are many others but this was one i will always remember forever.
You have a very distinct sound which makes different from others; how would you classify your sound?
I don’t know about distinct but i always try to be different, my sound isn’t complex, it’s actually simple, that’s how music 90% of the time should be, enjoyable and unorthodox at times, i love challenging myself and most importantly in an industry that has grown tenfold it is incredibly important to set yourself apart from anyone!!
Do you believe that house music is on the right direction or there’s a lot that has to be done to improve it?
House music can never go in the wrong direction, it’s just too big now for that to happen, we are so different from hip hop, i do wish there was more unity a more unified genre instead of the shitty sub-genre names and music separation, i think unifying ourselves would be great but i also know how money and ego prevents this from ever happening.
Vinyl or Digital release?
Both if financially possible, there more formats you offer your customers the more exposure you get.
Do you think vinyl is dead?
Vinyl is not dead, i see it, i just don’t do it cause cost wise it doesn’t add up, i don’t make as much coming back than i do pressing it up, i totally understand the die hards and it’s never dead technology, it’s just not everyone’s priority nowadays and in this century of quick, fast and want, it’s not a smart business move unless your incredibly established.
After so many years in the industry shaking the crowd, many of us would like to believe that you have a secret. Share with us on what do you usually do during your brainstorming sessions?
Going out to hear different Dj’s, different parties and going out to places that are not your cup of tea or what your into and trying to understand what is big right now is my secret, listening to pop radio for a few, filtering out good music from bad music from today’s hit records, listening to what the underground world considers hot, following Dj top 10’s, most importantly embracing something new when it comes to you and trying to incorporate that in what you love to do and have others love it is inspiring and another secret, studying music.
The house music community all over the world is really growing; new upcoming producers are showing what they are capable of.
I love it, i remember in 2006 South Africa only had a handful of good producers and now you have a shit load of awesome producers and i love it so much, the demographics, technology and the easy access of the music, video of the scene has helped tremendously and it’s great, i honestly love it.
Do you foresee Sole Channel music signing someone who will last for decades in this industry same as you?
I hope so, i really do, and I’m always looking for new members, a team period.