Interview with Soul Supreme
The record world is deep and far flung. There are thousands of people hitting the shop bins looking for music and countless more making it. Today we bring you an interview with DJ and producer Soul Supreme out of Amsterdam, a man equally as dedicated to hitting the bins as he is the keys. Enjoy.
Where are you from?
I'm originally from Israel. I was born in Jerusalem and lived most of my life in a one of its suburbs. I moved to Tel Aviv when I was 25 and 2 years later to Amsterdam where I am living for the last 4 years.
How long have you been making music?
My relationship with music is quite complicated. It was always around me but I was not always fully invested in making it.I started playing classical music when I was 8. I liked it but didn't take it too seriously and stopped when I was 12. Shortly after that I got into hip hop (started bboying/writing graff) that path led me to funk, soul, rap, jazz, brazillian etc and I really got into discovering more music and where samples came from. When I was 16 I wanted to get back into playing keys and start studying jazz. I was obsessed with it playing 6-8 hours everyday instead of going to school. I wanted to pursue a career as a jazz pianist but when I was 18 I had to join the army. After I was released from the army (3 years later) I tried to get back into it but I completely lost all my abilities and was incredibly frustrated and stopped playing. I decided to start spinning records - so I could work with music in a different way. I started collecting records and built my name as a dj in Israel.
A few years later (in 2013) I bought an MPC2000 and started making beats. I was limiting myself to working only with the MPC (no computers) and only sampling records as I strongly believe limitations make you creative and mastering your craft is essential as an artist. In 2014 I moved to the Netherlands. Being away from friends and family meant I had much more time for myself - and being outside of your comfort zone opens you to new ideas so soon I started mixing and using soft synths on my beats. It completely changed how I perceived the process of creating music and I decided to study sound engineering. During my sound engineering studies I was really exposed to the power of sound design and I wanted to learn more about synths. I bought my Moog and my beats became more focused on playing everything and not sampling as much. This was around 11-12 years after I stopped playing keys but the moment I got my Moog is the moment I knew I had to get back into it. I finished my sound engineering degree 6 months ago and since then I have been playing 6-8 hours daily on the keys. I started taking jazz lessons and studying as much as I can.
How does record culture play a part in your creative process?
Record culture plays a huge role in my creative process. Without digging I would never make the music I make.In my personal experience records are the ultimate source of education and inspiration a musician can have.
There is so much music I love and when I cover it I get to understand how its build, how its mixed and how it grooves. Sometime I just do it because a song is stuck in my head and sometimes I get curious about a synth patch, the changes or how something was mixed.I also strongly believe as an artist its important to know your roots. By studying the ones that came before you and what influenced them you have a better understanding of yourself - you develop tools that enable you to understand your own creative vision.
How is the music scene in Amsterdam? Record stores?
I can't say a lot about the music scene here as even after 4 years of living here I don't feel a part of it. I found the club scene to be a closed circle and its more about who you know and not what you do.
No worries though - I do my own thing. Doing less gigs means I can wake up early everyday and make more music.Outside of the music scene, however, most of the people I meet in my day to day life are really open to different music and also appreciate it. Just walking around the city you can hear Brazilian music, jazz or funk coming out of restaurants and bars. The record shops in Amsterdam are amazing and the sellers take their job very seriously - they know music and they go above and beyond to make sure they stock the good stuff. I especially recommend Waxwell and City Records. If you visit Amsterdam both are a must.
As a working creative what has been something that helped you remain focused?
Listening to good music makes me focused. People created countless pieces of beauty that touch and inspire me and if I could make others feel the same then its worth the tough times.
What’s in the pipeline?
I have a few 45's on the way on Star Creature Records,
one of them being a collaboration with Lucid Paradise, I also play keys on the new Fredfades and Jawn Rice album that will be released this fall on Mutual Intentions.Besides of my own music I also write music for short films, animation and commercials and collaborate with artists on installations.
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