Soul Clap chat to Dubzy about their new album ‘Soul Clap’ and performing on their tour. They also talk about upcoming winter gigs and and the dance music scene in America.
This is Dubzy every week here on Unity Radio, we speak to leading artists on the dance music scene for our real sound of the city feature and today I am joined by what I class as House music and Funk music royalty; SoulClap how’s it going guys ?
Wow what an introduction!
Serious I’m not gonna lie I’ve been a big fan for a long time so I’m very excited to be talking to you today, just to get us started, could you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started?
We’re both from directly out of Boston/ Massachusetts, we met in the 90s, we were big into the rave scene then and we had a mutual friend that put us in touch, we’re sort of from neighbouring high schools, we were both DJing in 96/97 and he linked us up, we found we had very similar musical taste, we started sharing a musical collection and performing together, SoulClap started in 2001, we put out our first music on Air Drop Records in 2008/2007 and met on the one magical night, we wondered in to the Marcy Hotel in Brooklyn-New York; we were down in New York partying and met Seth, Wolf and Lamb and shared our music with them, they believed in us at the time, guys like Seth, Early Curtis, Ryan Cross and Shawn Reeves were sort of the main DJs in the Wold and Lamb scene, they started championing our records in their gigs in the United States, abroad and Berlin, that’s sort of where things took off.
So how did feel to be getting support from guys like that at the time?
Oh man at that time that was incredible, these guys were really just breaking and started pushing this US met back to house sound after Minimal had dominated for so long and we were looking up to them and got to meet them and they were playing out music, skyping us live from their parties, they were sending us videos of them playing our songs and it was just a really exciting time, just in general that was an exciting time for House music in Europe because there was that whole crew and then our department came through and we were close with them and the whole hot natured crew like Jamie and Lee, we all would hang out and play at parties together so it was a really exciting time.
So at what point did you start your own Label Crew Love?
So we were artist on Wolf and Lamb for a long time and then we started our SoulClap Record label 4 years ago and then this year we started Crew Love Records together with Wold and Lamb as a home for a bigger project and mostly the albums from out Crew Love collective, so far this year we put up a Nick Monico album, a No regular play album and then our next one drops on Friday.
So you mentioned your new album is out tomorrow, let’s talk about that.
So this album is 4 years in the making, our first album came out in 2012 and after that we retoured quite a bit and then this incredible opportunity came up to meet and work with George Clinton from Parliament and Funkadelic , so we ended up going to Florida where he has these studios called ‘What Studios’ and we wrote a lot of music there, some with George but mostly with some of the musicians from Parliament and Funkadelic touring band and there’s a lot of younger people hanging around the studio making music of all different genres but we ended up writing a lot with them, with the help of Saabi The Hour Child Ali which is someone who’s become a really good friend, he’s George’s nephew and he’s someone that we talk about a lot in the interviews so between Florida and New York and on the road, this music all started to come together, also studio sessions in New York with Red Bull in the Red Bull studios, so we ended up being able to develop the ideas over a 4 year period of time which allowed the tracks to kind of grow and breathe because we’re lovers of really complex music like Stevie Wonder, Parliamen and Funkadelic and Prince and we have something funky of our own but to grow from Djs to new producers to someone who’s doing something that’s even somewhat competitive takes a lot of time and it takes the effort of many, not just some you know?, we got great studio session musicians, we got great engineers , we tied it all together by going to a Martin Butex studio in Barcelona and he mixed and tied them tracks for us, he was another big part of the whole thing , time and marination plus studio engineers, multiplied by Martin Butex equals a dope album.
Wow so there’s definitely gone in to it then, was there any specific reason why you made this a self-titled album? Do you feel like this is a true definition of the SoulClap sound?
Yes definitely because the first album was taking our influences and making an album that we would of loved in high school and while the ideas were there, we just weren’t ready as producers at all and didn’t really know the process to make a really musical album like that, so now this album is wehere we actually have the influences and have the experience and a team around us that makes the album sound like the music we hear in our brains, it’s getting a lot closer but I will also say confidently that this being self-titled is kind of a new beginning and the music that will follow this is also very exciting, and to get to 11 tracks we had to make ¾ times as many and since then so much more has been written so there’s such an enormous body of music that we can keep pulling from now, lots to come musically.
Course, you can tell when an album’s going to be good as well when there’s only a select amount of tracks on there, these days you get albums that have 22 tracks on there.
It’s true I really long for the days that albums only had 8-9 songs on them.
So are there any plans on going on road with this album or doing a tour with a live show?
yes, we are actually on tour right now, we started last week, so we kicked it off just before the album came out, we’re in London right now we did a show that was a fundraiser for fabric so shout out to raising money for fabric but for the first time ever we have this live set that we’ve been working on and we’re just experimenting it now, we haven’t really been promoting doing live shows, we’ve just been surprising people doing gigs.
Can we catch you in Manchester at any time?
You know what we don’t have a manchester date on this tour sadly but hopefully on our next European tour we will, we can’t wait to come back.
Right, so let’s speak more about touring, how’s your summer been this year? You’ve been all over the place, how have you found it?
The summer was a different step for us because we’ve spent the last 7 years in Europe for most of the summer and there’s so much amazing stuff happening there all the time but we felt like there was a chance that the US was really bubbling and there was some cool gigs we could do in the US, we spent most of the summer based in New York and touring round the US with our Crew Love collective, we did a bunch of outside/outdoor parties, festival takeovers and stuff, so finally in the states it feels like it’s a really good time for Electronic music, dance music and there’s a strong support from people there so this is a summer to explore that and spend time at home in New-York.
great stuff so as an outsider, we see the EDM culture there is huge so would you say there’s a lot more support for the underground these days?
definitely, from people involved and also people getting a little bit too old for EDM and trying to find more interesting music , deep house nights are just popping up everywhere and there’s plenty of room for collective sounds, people are in a way almost more open minded because they don’t know anything yet
are there any particular stands out moments from your summer?
We got a really incredible Crew Love party in New York City where we had Dmitri from Paris join us and Midnight Magic who’s new album is coming out on SoulClap Records in the next couple of months, they’re an amazing Brooklyn base- disco band ensemble, they are so powerful, Morgan, Wiley and Andrew the bass player have done so much with Hercules Love Affair , that was amazing, the party was in Manhattan near the river, there’s this kind of beach club, beautiful setting, amazing people and great performance, Dmitri was amazing too.
Yeah, I always say the longer the journey to the party, the more you appreciate it when you get there right?
yes, back in the day you had to drive hours to get to the rave so it’s always exciting, the excitement builds and then you finally get there and can just let go and be loose it’s amazing.
of course, so now the summers over you mentioned you’re on tour at the momemt as well, what’s lined up for winter?
We got the album tour going through mid-December, then we take some time off, then head to the bpm festival in Mexico in January
Dubzy: So you are back this year for the 10th anniversary?
SoulClap: yeah, this is going to be our 5th Crew Love party there so we’ve n=been involved for a long time and we were going even before that when it was a tiny festival
Dubzy: so you were going before you played there?
yeah but we just didn’t have the Crew Love thing going yet, we played at number 19 party 6 or 7 years ago
what makes BPM so special, what makes it stand out from other festivals?
Being on the Beach, it’s amazing, playing in Mexico as a DJ is amazing because the fans are so enthusiastic, there’s a big crowd right after New Year’s so New York is super cold, and the UK is too so a lot of people want to get out of the cold and in to the sunshine, not to mention places like Mexico are great places for people to let their hair down and have fun.
for anyone heading out there in the New Year, can you throw out any recommendations for chill spots?
I think we should give Taco a recommendation, there are a lot of chill spots but there are so many people out there, so a lot of the vibes are with party people, I’ve heard people talk about AKU MALL, but there is a fair amount of scooba diving and yoga, go get some taco’s because the food is amazing, Rob Garza is from Fevery Co-operation, a restaurant we can’t remember the name of but he has fine dining that meets Mexican and these incredible street taco spots.
I am so sold right now, I want to get my tickets right now
you can get an upset tummy from the food but it’s worth it
amazing, and what’s planned for your Crew Love party? Have you got the line-up sorted yet?
we’ve been working really hard to get a special guest because it’s the 10th anniversary they gave us a nice budget to book somebody so we’re still figuring out who it’s gonna be but it is going to be a really special guest.
amazing, well guys it’s been an absolute pleasure to chat to you today, I wish you both the best of luck with the album and with BPM