Exclusive Interview with Soulboy
Originally from the UK, Soulboy relocated to Asia and is now commuting between Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau. He played in Phuket, Koh Samui and Bangkok including Brush Lounge, Vinyl Cafe, Hush, Langham Place Hotel, X-perience BKK, Cafe Democ, Club Culture and Club Demo.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Soulboy, shortly before his Halloween performance at Nest Rooftop Lounge on Saturday 27th October.
You grew up in Edinburgh in Scotland (UK ), now commute between Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau. What made you relocate to Asia in 2004 and which place feels like home the most to you right now?
Edinburgh was getting me down at the time and i had just split with my long term girlfriend that year and seemed to be the right time to skedaddle.
I tried a few places in Europe first but nothing seemed to impact me as much as Asia did. I was looking on the internet one day for worldwide dj jobs and came across a job in Zhangmutou China right next to Hong Kong, they where looking for a European DJ to come out and help DJ & Promote so I sent my CV and next thing i knew I was jetting of to China. I needed to pass through Hong Kong to get to destination and i fell in love with Hong Kong that first night there their was no going back for me.
Right now I'm at a Crossroads and by the time this article is released i would of made my decision but I'm deciding where I'm going to spend the next 6 months this week, i get restless staying in the same place for a short time and always need to move around but l know l need to settle as I want to build my studio. Macau is my Base now as i love the peace and quiet of the place fresh air and places to walk from literally my doorstep. Its not got the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong or Bangkok or the crazy parties but that’s not what i'm looking for at this moment in time so its a perfect home for me for just now to concentrate on my health and Music production.
When did you start with DJ'ing and what made you start?
I started collecting mix tapes and following the Hip-Hop Culture from the ripe old age of 7 years old when RUN DMC brought out RAISING HELL in the late 80's.i use to listen and scratch my sisters records on her record player. It wasn't until 7 years later after collecting an arsenal of mix tapes, room full of posters and records i was finally be drawn to the DJ side of things from the love of Scratching and DJ'ing.
In Edinburgh I was always going to Under 18 rave clubs in the capital from the age of around 13 with my mates, 'The Citrus Club and M8 where the main ones at the Time.
This gave me my first taste of House music and MC's so I started to promote my own clubs whilst still at school at the Music Box now Liquid Rooms. At 17, I left school, i remember that day i simply got up out my chair told the teacher I'm leaving and went straight up to Backtraxx Records (a second hand record shop and Disco company in Edinburgh) where I did a Scotvec certificate in sales retail as well as working for disco company at night, 3 weeks later i was doing my school disco lol.
This lead me onto doing work experience at Underground Solush'n Records in the Capital working alongside Scottish DJ's like Ritchie Ruftone (UK DMC Champ 2012) and George T and Simon from Tribal Funktion which was great because these guys where older and taught me a lot more about the trade and record selling. From there i landed dj reseidencies in some of Scotland's Top Clubs and bars including EH1,City Café, The Venue and Vaults Night Club to name a few. Then on to More around UK and Europe.
How would you describe your music and what were your biggest influences?
Definitely Funky its gotta have "The Funk" and " Soul"whether its Breaks,Hip-Hop, House or Electro and its Got to be from the Soul. Way too many dj's selling there Soul these Days putting money first over Music and its Poisoning the scene and the youth of today and not really educating Newcomers to Dance Music, That’s all i can say really...
Hip-Hop is my Biggest influence all stems from there from my DJ style and record selection.
So far you released the EP “Salvation” in October 2011, the album “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” in February 2012 and just recently the EP “The Mayan” in October 2012. What’s next?
Well its been a pretty bussy year ive been going flat out 2012.
ive allready been working on my second Album "Work in Progress" which i hope to get out next year. its gonna have tracks from all the styles of music i listen to from Breaks,Hip-Hop,Electronica and House music with some remixes of tracks from the Can't Stop Wont Stop Album" too.
Also i wanna learn more production skills. I still feel I'm at the very early stages of producing and l got way too much to learn on the producing side. My mentors Martin Spence and Steve Foulds from Edinburgh are always sending me stuff like producing Tips and software updates along with other stuff i really cant get my head around yet, I need to knuckle down again and get back to study. 2013 i want to delve more into learning again on music production techniques and film making, always a student.
The EP “The Mayan” features the German Scratch DJ “Nobodi Da vinylist”. How did it come to this collaboration?
I been doing my 'Eazy On The Cut Scratch mixes for the past 2 years and brought out 3 to date. these where a collaboration of some of the hottest Scratch compositions from DJ's around the Planet which included Nobodi Da Vinylst on on 2 and 3. i Just loved his scratching style is was very Clean and Clinical with no mistakes so i thought.
It would be great for a recording of the Mayan E.p which worked out extremely well. We got a couple more things to be released soon too and e.p called Brainstrom which is in the works so keep an eye out for that in the coming months on my Label.
You also released Scratch Vinyls: “BRUCE LEE BATTLE BREAKS” and “SCHWARZENEGGER BREAKS” and “YODA BREAKS”. What can you tell about it?
Bruce Lee Battle Breaks is my first Scratch Vinyl under my Alias DJ Lone Wolf. it was really fun to make as i love Bruce Lee and all his movies. its a record for Scratch DJ's and Bruce Lee Fans with skipless scratch sentences and loops. You can buy online from HHV.DE Records. As for Schwarzenegger Breaks thats still stuck in the printing press in the Czech republic long story that be out soon. Yoda Breaks is still getting produced. As Everybody knows Vinyl is in Huge demand but its still a love for me and as long as Vinyl still gets pressed its still alive to me.
You have a monthly show on Underground Bangkok Radio (UB RADIO). When do you play and what kind of music can people expect from your 1 hour show?
I have a Monthly Sunday show from 3pm-4pm on UB thanks to Steve. it basically Keeps me on top of things with my music. The Show consists of a lot of Funky Breaks, Hip-Hop, a little drum n Bass,Deep House and what ever i can squeeze in to that one hour. I really enjoy doing it and very thankful to be part of the team.
Listen and Download Soulboy's Mixes on UB Radio:
With your project “Sideshow KUTS” you team up with other artists and do gigs in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Macau. Beside yourself, who is involved in the project?
Waw too many people to Name now as we gone Global not Just in Asia But now in Europe and US now. But my Major Players in these Cities you mentioned Are definitely DJ Kensho,DJ Criminal, Luke James Taylor,Man One, Jay Jay, J-P Lui,DJ Rocklee,Ted Lianillo,Mathew Creapea,David Garcet and MC Rayshizzle Ontop of That Our Street artist Matt Diamond adding so much Flavour to our Events with his artwork and Body paitings he really on fire at the moment very proud of him.
Plus the Record Labels Supporting us V.i.M Records,Diablo Loco and Bombastic Jam Records have been doing Guest Mixes for us and i also like to mention that 3 gigs are coming up in Europe from our Boys in Switzerland 'Essex Groove' ,Germany's Jayl Funk & Jiggy Joe from Bombastic Jam Records,DJ Koncept from Northern Ireland and DJ Fabot in Belgium putting on Sideshow Kuts Events. Big Love to the Kashmir Lounge Amsterdam for having us back every year to rock a show, big up Ferry and the boys there. Also my Guys in US promoting the Outfit Like Steve Dee from New York, DJ Streak Down in L.A, That kid named Cee in Houston ,Dj Tranceponder,Jefferson Funk from Florida plus my UK cats DJ Loop Sky Walker,DJ Rasp, Ramskank,Bob Scratch It,Ritchie Ruftone & DSK.
We have reps in Most cities now putting events and doing Mixes and videos for us other Djs need to mention that are part of the Team are Andrew Chow from Singapore,Ravs from Australia, DJ Booker and Pale Penguin from Greece, Lady Packa from Spain, Nobodi da Vinylist and DJ Beatcut from Germany,3CK from Slovakia and any DJ that doesn’t play Gangnam style is pretty welcome in my books.
Also the Venues are a huge help in our Success without them and there support we have nothing,especially our Home and Birth Place of sideshow Kuts " The Nest " Bangkok so and extra big thanks to Michael L the GM there for Letting me Continually work on the night from the start in 2011 and big up To Ruskie Cleava too at Big organizaton for all the Promotions at Nest too Cheers Guys....Sideshow Kuts 1st Birthday Party December TBC.Also Thanks to you Guys at Siam 2 night and v.i.p Bangkok plus Hong Kong Deluxe Party for all the extra promotion Respect.
How is nightlife in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Macau compared to Bangkok?
Hong Kong is wicked and getting better and has a huge variety of Music clubs now in every style of music and the city seem to be pushing there local Artists which is the key to any city being put on the Map i think the only thing gets me down is there is a lot of Banker wankers and Toffs in the city that give me a right headache at times hearing them complain about not reaching there billion doller targets but there out weighed by the the vast majority of great people in the city so i can't complain too much.
Bangkok is so much fun i would say its Party Capital of Asia. I've had so much fun and love here.People just don’t stop its hilarious 24/7 Parties everywhere all over its great. it has a very diverse scene from what I've seen.
Don’t go out too much these days unless im working, cant say i get to see too much but i did notice Bangkok's Party crowd at some of the top clubs seem to be your more middle aged,Shirt wearing "ive still got it types" to a very Young Arty Crowd then you got your kind of wanna be Rick Ross, lil wayne/Drake Hip-Hop dudes which i dont get makes me laugh and cringe at the same time.i like to see Younger crowds having a proper rave up instead of the Champagne approach to clubbing, but all in All Bangkok is very unique and has an array of Quality DJ's that just need that bit more exposure instead of the usual suspects week in and week out.
A lot of Clubs in Asian Cities which gets me down simply rely on international Guest dj's and Corporate Club Brands and don’t push home grown talent enough. Which is why come resident dj night its dead. Rule number 1 in my book promote your club and Residents first and from ground up building a following which sometimes can take time. People forget this is how Clubs like Cream and Ministry started. A lot of managers and promoters are blind to this fact. i still go down the old school route.
Macau scene is pretty small and dominated by the huge commercial Casino Clubs which i still havnt been to yet, it has a very small but expolsive underground scene which i tapped into and everybody seems to be on it which is great but mainly Macau is just my Office and studio space not too much for clubbing for me there at the moment.
What was the best and the worst gig you ever played?
Best Gig defo Club Culture 2011 with Martin Spence and Myself as Guest DJ's with Support from DJ Mody & Psy-ga Mushroom i played a full Break beat set with loads of scratching that was a blast.
Worst gig a disco back in 97 when i electrocuted myself pulling out the plugs from the sockets or djing at Langham Place hotel (koh Samui) when they put the DJ table right next to the reception desk while people where checking in that was pretty uncomfortable.
You travel a lot. If you break it down to the essential, what things do you need to have with you?
Over the years I've learnt to travel light. The less i bring the best it is and easy to move around. As long as i have a couple changes of clothes,my Laptop & headphones im sweet.
On 27th October you will perform live at Nest Rooftop Lounge on Sukhumvit 11, together with DJ Kensho and DJ Ted Lianillo. The name of the party is “Creep Show”. Can you tell us something about the concept of the event?
Sure yea its really the Halloween Version of Sideshow Kuts but this time Creepshow Kuts so every year i will do a creepshow from now on. Creepshow is also 1982 horror anthology film directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. So I came up with the concept of Both Sideshow Kuts and Creepshow blending them together to make a very special Halloween Party. I also picked DJ Kensho as our Guest DJ as i think he brings something special to Halloween no other DJ can pull off as he puts his effort and time into the DJ sets and Visuals creating a very Unique Live Spooky Show that coupled with our Other Guest DJ From Playboy Club and MGM in Macau' DJ Ted Lianillo' who will bring a very high energy party set to the night, we cant go wrong. On top of that we have two of the Best Graffiti Artists and Body Painters in Bangkok 'Matt Diamond & Vinni Kiniki doing there works along with some Monster Drink promotions and Prizes to be won for Best Costume, it's sure set to be a Roaster of a night.
So Come give us a little love and Check out the Sideshow Kuts Night "Creepshow on the 27th Oct we all put so much work into see you there...