Essence of a true maestro…
How it all began?
I grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan with a neighbourhood friend by the name of Lord G and if I could recall I experienced my first night club adventure when I was 15 at a club called “The World” and the music played was hip hop & house and I just couldn’t help but fell in love with both genres and since that moment I gravitated towards the world of night life living. Then over time I grew a proclivity to soulful house more particular on one occasion at a NYC party called “underground network” which was hosted by Barbara Tucker and the resident DJ being Louie Vega.
I then started doing lighting at the club and had one night music experience with Louie Vega which changed my whole aspect of house music then shortly met with Alix Alvarez while working with masters at work in 2000/2001. Through this edifying expedition I had embarked on, I learned what music production was all about and instantly fell in love with it then soon after launched my own label called sole channel music in 2004 with Alix Alvarez and we’re still as robust as we were from the inception.
It is said that your childhood friend Lord G played a crucial role in your professional music career. Tell us why did you opt to follow his style and add from what he was doing?
Well I never followed his style 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 benefited.
You broke into house music after a light man got ill. However, you managed to establish yourself very well as a DJ. Take us through how you decided on your style of music?
I always loved soul music, especially soulful house music song structure, lyrics and keyboard work plus sick soulful basslines. This combination was always drawn too, I guess it was what I was hearing growing up and what my extended family was listening to 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 cant help, you know deep down it’s right, it makes sense, it makes you happy, I cant really explain that feeling, its something everyone experiences.
As a house veteran, there must be one gig which sticks out in your professional career, which one could it be?
South Africa in 2006 at SAMC my first one with Louie Vega and the crew, I mean to see our music being embraced especially with Alix Alvarez 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 special. There are many others but this one was one I will always remember forever.
You have a very distinct sound; 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 ten fold it is incredibly important to set your self apart from anyone!!
I’m a graphic designer, web designer, father, I wear many hats, I love to play video games when I can, love playing with my daughter as well.
Do you believe that house music is going at 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, the more formats you offer your customers the more exposure you get.
Is Vinyl dead?
Vinyl is not dead, I see it, I just don’t do it because 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 hard 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 you’re incredibly established.
After so many years in the industry moving the crowd, many of us would like to believe that you have some sort of a secret book. Take us through the table of content of this book?
Going out to hear different DJs, different parties and going out to places that are not your cup of tea or what you’re into and trying to understand what is big right now. Listening to pop radio, 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 studying music as a whole…
The house music community all over the world is really growing exponentially; new upcoming producers are proving that they are capable of shining and being lights in a vessel for good music. What can you say about that?
I love it, I remember in 2006 in South Africa there were only 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 has helped tremendously and it’s great, I honestly love it.
Like the saying every raconteur has an anecdote to narrate, share with us a year in particular which was difficult for you and how did you surmount those adversities?
In 2009/2010 my daughter was in her baby stages and trying to manage music production, the label and artists was extremely difficult. Gigs slowed down, releases slowed down, the scene was changing incredibly fast and I couldn’t see much because of the baby. Her growing stage is something you can’t get back, so focusing on being a dad and being there for her first words, walking and speaking were crucial times. Now that she’s grown,I have more time on my hands as she can do the most time consuming things on her own and now I have this flame that lit up in me and I’m getting back into the swing of things plus I learned so much being stuck at home, learning music production, studying mixing and mastering skills and I can readily saysole channel music has turned 10 years.
In future do you foresee any prospects of Sole Channel Music signing someone who will have a protracted attention span for decades in this industry just like you?
I hope so, I really do, and I’m always looking for new members, a team period. Follow us on the web www.solechannelmusic.com for all the latest news and goodies.