We talk to DJ, producer and A&R of Electronical Reeds, Souldust is also one half of Deeligent Soul, a duo that reached the Traxsource Top 10 Charts several time already.
Can you begin by telling how you first got into producing electronic music, how old were you and what were you interested in?
I love listening to music, dancing at my parents’ parties, I began DJing when I was about… 16/17 years old. When college time was over and I had to choose what to study, I already knew I wanted to be a sound engineer. Made my studies in that domain and it led me to artist friends that needed a sound engineer and that is how I started. I was in my early 20ies.
Couple of months later I became the sound engineer of Felix Cage. Than he and my friend Inter4kt pushed me to produce so I made the Love Again remix and the Bushido remix, but I was, back then, more into mixing than composing and it sticked till a couple of months ago. Now I crave to produce and it is kinda new to me. I Love it!
Tell us about Belgium, have you lived there your whole life? And how has living there shaped your sound and career as an artist, A&R and sound engineer?
I’ve been living in Belgium my whole life, yes. This country was part of major changes in the electronic music but back then, the early 90s, I was listening to my parents’ music (as said up here) and that is what shaped most of my feelings about music.
It is the groove that you could find in the disco and the funk, even in some rock’n’roll songs. I love that – the groove. And from the disco came House music. I discovered Underground House Music in London in the late 90s and from that point on, I opened myself to the underground electronic music in all its form. The groove and the diversity are clearly what define me as an artist.
As an A&R of Electronical Reeds, when I first took that position, I was also in that mindset. But through different meetings with all the label team members, we decided to go with a specific genre of music and sound. My job was to stick with that. But of course, music is something subjective. So when I was listening to new demos, I probably had all that somewhere in my subconscious (laughs).
As a sound engineer, my approach of a track is a technical point of view first. Then I always try to capture the essence of the track and the mindset of the artist when he produced his (her) track. I want the soul and the vibe of the song to remain the same. I’m in there to improve what has been done, not to change it.
Your latest remix is being released on your label Electronical Reeds – Could you give an idea on how you went about creating it in the studio?
As an A&R, I always try to be close to my artists and TAPE being a friend, TAKE1 his first release, we had a lot of discussions about the track, the production, the sound. I had a bunch of ideas to submit but I held back as I realised that those ideas would change the feeling and the vibe of the original track. That was not the point at all!
Instead of sharing those ideas with TAPE and change the original, I locked myself in the studio and put all those ideas in the track. First I thought it would be an edit. But placing the rhythmics ideas I had in mind, I quickly realised that the genre had changed. This would definitely become a remix.
The process was somehow difficult because I was working on my remix, doing the production of the EP and I was also the sound engineer on the TAPE original and O.D.Math remix plus the mastering engineer of the EP… You can sense the difficulty here.
We all used the main melody of the original, without really changing it, but we used it in 3 different ways. At one point I decided to finish the original and the O.D.Math remix and come back on mine when those 2 tracks were done. So I wouldn’t go back and forth on those 3 productions anymore, I could focus on mine only.
I think it was the proper way of handling this. I could have lost myself and miss something in one of the track. As I told you before, I really try to capture the essence of a track and I really dig all 3 tracks. They have their own atmosphere, the same main melody but so different! Pretty proud of that 50th release !!
Your productions always carry a great musical quality, really deep and with a warm feeling, is this something you strive for in the studio and what do you want your music to convey to the listener?
I think my artist name answers that question (laughs) I clearly strive to express something through the music, whether I play it, compose it, produce it, release it. From my point of view, music is about sharing; a feeling, a groove, a sound, a melody, a rhythm, a moment in your life. We all have that special song somewhere in our mind that touched us on a certain level. It touched your soul, if you see what i mean 😉
What was the most memorable moment for you this year?
There were several. 2018 was an interesting year! I think the biggest one is when I realised that I had that urge to express some artistic content. I am saying artistic content because it began with composing and it evolved with expressing that artistic urge through different ways, for example composing, playing or making videos.
Back in the studio with Deeleegenz on a Monday morning, I realized that I really needed that; studio time and create. During lunch break I sent an email to the Electronical Reeds team to let them know I was going to take a step back from the label and focus on creating.
That was a huge step for me! It will definitely remain a marking step in whatever is coming!
Who do you suggest we look out for emerging in the Brussels scene?
You should definitely look out for those ones: Bigasti / DIM KELLY / Mombo / Inter4kt / OTON / TAPE / O.D.Math / Deeleegenz / Eleven / DJ Dirty Priest – I will look out for them for sure!!
Anything else on the horizon for you release/gig wise that you’d like to share with us?
Bigasti and I have a track to be released as a free download on TRNDmusik Soundcloud channel- mid January. We are working on 2 other tracks together so more release to come – collaborations and on my own. During the summer I focused a lot on gigs and now it is production time. No gigs to announce yet, for 2019. I really want to get more stuff out of the studio as we speak. Focusing a lot on that creating artistic content stuff we talked about – even created YouTube channel (laughs)
Whats on your agenda for 2019?
The main focus will be on that youtube channel. Feels like there is some good fun to have – a lot of creativity to develop. That includes composing, filming, editing, playing. Excited about that!
And I surely want to continue playing as I did during those past 3 months. I want to keep that good vibe I share with the crowd and to expend it outside of Belgium.
To sum it up, being fully Souldust, create and play!!