“Man discovered soul music as the answer to a desire for a higher emotional expression.” ~ DJ Soulswede
Soulinterviews.com celebrates its fifth anniversary on Sunday, June 30th. What a phenomenal ride this has been! Founded by premier
music journalist DJ Soulswede (aka Souly), Soulinterviews.com is well known for in-depth audio interviews of the famous and not so famous in the music world. The primary criteria for inclusion is that that artist is true to themselves and their music … that their music is a reflection of who they are.
DJ Soulswede was born and raised in Sweden. From an early age, he felt a strong connection to soul music, which was not exactly common in his country. One of his initial jobs as a DJ had him occasionally leaving the studio by the back door to avoid confrontation with those who did not understand where he was coming from. Souly’s trademark is his ability to ask appropriate questions … and then give the artist all the time they need to answer as they see fit. There is a secret here … while Souly prepares for each interview, he does not write out a set of questions. He allows each interview to flow as it will, making sure that all bases are covered, but in no particular order. He shows respect for the music, and for the artist’s making it.
On this anniversary we are turning the tables on Souly … we are asking him the questions!
Soulinterviews: Inquiring minds want to know – what made you decide to found Soulinterviews.com?
“I had two purposes with it. One was to make it a “life project”. How far can I take it, by doing it just the way I want by myself? I didn’t want to sit in the knee of a label, promoter, or radio station. I am a free spirit, and I want fly from time to time wherever I want. The second reason of course was my huge love and passion for the music, and a curiosity about why things sound like they doe. The “cause and effect” in the music. All my life I have always felt deeply connected to African culture and especially African-American culture. I have no idea why.”
Soulinterviews.com: The format of the site has changed over the years. The two primary components today are the audio interviews and the weekly two hour Solar Radio segment. Can you talk a bit about this.
“Initially my idea was to complement the interviews with other features to make the site even more attractive. The backside of it was that I was acting as administrator too much, and I lost the inspiration and the fun of music. Other webpages seemed to be doing a better job than we did, even though I had the best possible team around me. I also went through a difficult period in my life, and had to make things a bit different. My motto became: “Better to be good at one thing, than to be being okay on many things…”
Soulinterviews.com: What criteria do you use when deciding who to interview?
“Usually I just feel the music. If the music touches me, I show an interest in the artist. But of course there are established artists also with a very interesting history. Those artists also attract a wider audience, and I always try to balance that in the best possible way. But I would refuse to interview an artist just because they are famous. That will never happen … I have to like the music.”
Soulinterviews.com: What impact has your Solar Radio show had on the work that you do? Has it opened up avenues for you to showcase music? Has it allowed you to help showcase other DJ’s?
“No, I can’t say it has helped to showcase other DJ’s. I have always enjoyed the radio format, and Solar Radio is a great channel for me to reach out with my website and music. It also gives me the opportunity to feature “one-track-artists” (but still talented) that don’t make it to an interview.”
Soulinterviews.com: Which interviews had the most impact on you?
“Teena Marie of course. I interviewed her a few weeks before she suddenly passed. We had a great conversation. To interview the Furious 5 (Grandmaster Mele Mel and The Kidd Creole) was also really interesting, and gave me a lot of new knowledge.”
Soulinterviews.com: Looking back over the past five years, what changes do you see in the music field?
“We move towards a more electronic and ambient sound in contemporary soul music. The music is more often made with software instruments than “real” instrument. I also see heavy house music winds blowing from South Africa instead of Windy City Chicago.”
Soulinterviews.com: Where do you see Soulinterviews.com going in the next 2-3 years?
“I have absolutely no idea. I only try to do my very best in every single interview and radio show, and we’ll see what follows…hehe”
Soulinterviews.com: What message do you have for artists trying to make it in the current music environment?
“Accept that the music industry is just like any business. Stop complaining! Be true to yourself and surround yourself with the right people. Being a talented artist does not necessarily mean you are good in music management and promotion. Pay a lot of attention to the mixing and mastering process of your songs. A lot of indie music today sounds horrible.”
Soulinterviews.com: What message do you have for music fans? How can they best support the music and musicians that they have a passion for?
“Primarily by buying their music of course. Visit concerts and spread the word through your own networks.”
Major thanks to DJ Soulswede for the wonderful music and interviews that he has brought us! We look forward to many more years of in-depth interviews and breaking music!
This is how we looked like when we kicked off in 2008
This is how we looked like in 2011
Finally but not last we would like to send a special thanks to the old team at Soulinterviews.com (who have contributed in one way or another over the years) In alphabetical order:
Astral22, Björn Wiberg, Carter Burnette, Chris Campbell, David Petersson, Deardra Shuler, DJ David Craig, DJ Funk-O-Nots, Dominic McFadden, Gabriel “Gabe” Rich, Harumi Ishijima, James JL Lewis, Jonas “Joppe” Odhner at Odhnerform , Katharina Rumpf, Kinsith Entertainment (Ron Smith & Myshel Wilkins), Lenny Hamilton Jr (aka Lennox Legion), Louis Johnson, Matt Bauer, Nate Johnson, She Kent, Simon Phillips, Skip Reeves, Paul Cutting (aka SoulCuts), Peter Lund and Tanisha Jackson.
Many thanks also to our current webmaster Alistair Barnett.
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