DJ Soulchild is a international club DJ, remixer, event/artist manager.
For over the last 13 years, DJ Soulchild has proven himself to be the most skilled, consistent and sought-after Urban Club DJ & leading R&B specialist/tastemaker in Switzerland, We at Neo2soul caught up with him
Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from?
My name is DJ Soulchild, i’m an international club DJ, remixer, event manager, artist manager and all-round R&B maniac from Switzerland, but originally from Jersey.
I’m one half of “The Remix Bullies“, a remixer/rapper duo i formed in June last year with my boy Nutta Butta over in New York. I also do a little songwriting too.
When did you start remixing music and was there a person or artist that inspired you to start producing or remixing songs and hit the studio?
I actually got into remixing by accident back in 2004 whilst randomly playing around on my turntables at home. I don’t know what made me do it, but something out of the blue just urged me to take Musiq Soulchild‘s “Forthenight” instrumental and throw the Ashanti “Rock Wit U” acapella over it.
And it worked perfectly, so i recorded it live on a crappy audio software so i could play it in my club sets. I really can’t explain the intent or notion behind it, but it was the first remix i ever did.
ASHANTI – Rock Wit U (DJ Soulchild’s Smoothed-Out Mix)
I didn’t take remixing seriously until early 2010 when i did this random remix of the II D Extreme classic “You Got Me Goin‘”, just for my own pleasure. But i decided to throw it on Facebook to get some feedback and people went crazy over it, even II D Extreme themselves! They even asked me to send them the instrumental so they could perform my version at their shows, which was pretty cool! That was definitely the turning point for me where i said to myself: “Man, i really need to keep on doing this”. Thank you to Randy, D’Extra and Jermaine for the inspiration!
II D EXTREME – U Got Me Goin’ (DJ Soulchild’s Old Skool Remix)
What made you get involved in the music industry?
It’s just what I’ve always wanted to do since i fell in love with music at 11 years old. First i wanted to become a drummer, so i eventually convinced my parents to buy me a drum kit and taught myself at 13 years old. I was really into Hip Hop at the time, so i formed my own Rap group called “DFP” with my best school buddies. That’s when i started producing my first tracks and demos in my bedroom and we performed locally on a regular basis.
Throughout that time i was also listening to a lot of Bobby Brown and vocal harmony groups like Color Me Badd and Boyz II Men, so i suddenly wanted to become a singer too and was introduced to an R&B boy band with whom i stuck with for 9 whole years.
We went through a lot together, from management and label changes to self-organized German club tours and even crashing casting auditions. That was my first real taste of the ups and downs of the music industry. So yeah, I’ve been doing my thing for quite a while now!
Brandy I Wanna Be Down (DJ Soulchild’s Diggy Down Hip-Hop mix)
When it comes to remixing music what would you credit as your main motivation?
My main motivation is my ideas. Once i have an idea stuck in my head i get all jittery and want to stop whatever else i’m doing and immediately put it to work, haha! I’m very impatient with myself. Most of my ideas spring to mind when i’m doing something completely random, like taking a shower or doing the dishes. Those are quiet moments when i get lost in thought, the inspiration and creativity just flows. My head is full of music, sometimes it even drives me crazy because i’m not able execute it right then and there. Plus i have the worst memory in the world, so i have trouble remembering everything that comes to mind.
Ryan Leslie – Addiction (DJ Soulchild’s NYC Throwback Remix)
What producers/remixers have influenced you and why?
My all-time favorite remixers would have to be Allen “Allstar” Gordon, DJ Eddie F / The Untouchables, Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie of the Bad Boy Hitmen and The Trackmasters. They’re just all-round incredible producers who pay attention to details, know how to create a killer groove, make you dance, and give original records an even greater rework. Most importantly, they all have their own distinctive sound. I grew up listening to their music and dancing to their productions at the clubs, so they’ve definitely influenced me in a big way.
I know you work tightly with Faye B How did that happen?
Yes, i manage Faye B. I guess you could say that was a natural development, i kinda slipped into that role by accident. We were a couple before we started working on her project, so we were a little hesitant at first about mixing our relationship with business.
But the combination of her raw talent, my early music industry experiences, my self-management and taste-making skills as a DJ, it seemed like the right thing to do and we haven’t looked back since.
It also helps that we share the same vision and taste in music. We’re a great team and work really well together.
What other artists have you produced/remixed for?
You know what, i’ve had a lot of bad luck with the official remix releases lately. I’ve done some work for and with big-name artists which never got released, due to various unfortunate reasons and circumstances beyond my control, which is a little frustrating to be honest.
FAYE B – Any Other Way (DJ Soulchild Remix)
Maybe i’ll release them on my own terms soon for reference purposes. But i did an official remix for an LA-based rapper called Tha Vill, which featured Kele Le Roc on the hook, i’ve done two official remixes for Faye B and i even won a remix competition last year by doing a remix for up-and-coming UK Pop/R&B girl group Primrose Hill, which also became official. I have some exciting official and unofficial remix projects in the pipeline, which i’m not allowed to speak on just yet until all is dealt with. I wish i could tell you, but you’re gonna have to wait and see!
PRIMROSE HILL – Candy Rain (DJ Soulchild Remix)
How do you go about making/remixing a beat for an artist? Do you just remix the beats and send them a couple to choose from? Or do you work alongside the artist?
Neither of those. All the artists i work with or want to work with are usually in the UK or overseas, so it all happens via the internet. I’ve built up a reputation and caught peoples attention over the past few years, so either they ask me or i offer them my services. I’ll only contact them if i have a seriously dope idea and i’m 100% confident that my remix would compliment their release. So they basically send me the acapella and i get down to work.
Do you think that radio is still as important as it was in the digital age?
Definitely still important, because it’s still serves as a promotional platform for artists. But Urban/R&B shows in particular are having a tough time right now. They have been forced to go independent because so many major radio stations have killed off their specialist shows over the years in exchange for the same old play-safe mainstream crap you hear on every other station.
So now the Urban DJ’s are reaching smaller audiences and the exposure for up-and-coming artists is obviously also on a smaller scale. The sunny side is, most independent radio DJ’s have the freedom to determine their own playlists, unlike with major radio stations where there’s often politics involved and an artist is forced to pay stupid money for spins.
I remember back in the day when people used to tune in to shows like Trevor Nelson‘s “Rhythm Nation” religiously every week with an empty cassette or Mini-Disc at hand in order to catch the latest new Urban music and exclusives. But i can imagine the fast output and availability of music on the internet has drawn back a great amount of listeners too.
HORACE BROWN – Things We Do 4 Luv (DJ Soulchild’s Remix)
Do you think the Internet helps or hinders independent artists?
Both. Artists benefit from the self-efficiency and full control over their music, promotion and building their fan bases. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow artists to connect with their fans and vice-versa. I also love the fact that it’s now so easy to connect with other musicians anywhere across the globe and collaborate on records from the comfort of your own home, without even having to be in the same studio. I guess one of the downsides of the internet is the illegal downloading, this has forced musicians to become more business savvy and make use of other methods to earn a living as a musician. Today, most money is made through performing and touring, so selling your albums and merchandise at concerts is very lucrative.
AMEL LARRIEUX – Get Up (DJ Soulchild’s Remix)
If you’re racking up a large number of real YouTube views, you can monetize your videos through a partnership program. I know a lot of independent artists who teach music on the side to finance their own endeavors. Crowd-funding is also a new and popular way to cover expensive album or video production costs, which takes a lot of weight of your shoulders. So yeah, there are many ways to beat or even profit from the internet.
What do you think of the state of the music out there, whats missing & what is needed to change if any?
Had you asked me this question 4 years ago i would’ve gone on a huuuuge rant about the state of music, hahaha! But i have to say it’s improved a great deal over the past 2 years, especially in 2013. There have been some fantastic albums and singles, especially in R&B, it’s made quite a turn for the better.
It seems as if a lot of people have become sick and tired of all this fast food garbage music and need something they can feel again, like they did back in the 80‘s and 90‘s, music with emotion, Soul and substance.
In fact, a lot of current Urban music is very heavily influenced by the 80’s and 90’s, so that pretty much say it all. I’m really happy about that. As for Hip Hop, there are some great artists out there, but i still feel like it’s going through a crisis and the good Rap is being suffocated and dominated by the ratchet, turn up, swag, diluted Down South sound.
MIGUEL ft. NUTTA BUTTA – Adorn (DJ Soulchild Remix)
For example, New York Hip Hop used to have its own signature Boom-Bap sound, but nowadays even New York rappers are selling out and hopping on the Down South bandwagon just to stay relevant. Some of them even rap like the Southern dudes! New York radio DJ’s aren’t supporting their own Rap artists either, unless it’s Down South flavored. Hip Hop is definitely in a rut right now. It’s a damn shame, because after all, New York invented and pioneered this shit! So if there’s any change needed, i’d say New York rappers need to stop being followers and start becoming leaders again.
Who would you want to make a comeback?
Hmmm, good question. A lot of my favorite artists have already made or are making a comeback as we speak or are still going strong.
But I think it’d have to go with two of my favorite R&B groups, Portrait and Jodeci. I know for a fact that Portrait still exists as a group, each member just has their own ventures, so they just need to come together, buckle down and make it happen for once and for all.
I’d really love that and i’m still keeping my fingers crossed. And i hate to say this, but i don’t think there’s much hope for Jodeci anymore though, i’ve kinda given up on that one.
K-Ci & JoJo‘s new album is dope though, for those who don’t know! Oh, and how could i forget – A Tribe Called Quest! After touring together last Summer i hoped a single or new album would follow, but we all know how on and off their situation is. Man, i’d really, really love for them to release another album. I truly believe their impact would single-handedly save New York Hip Hop and make others follow suit!
Avant – Lie About Us (DJ Soulchild’s Silky Soul Remix)
Which artist(s) or track would you like to remix and why?
I can’t say i have a specific artist i’d like to remix for, because at the end of the day it’s all about a great song and me coming up with a dope idea for it, no matter who it is. I’m open to collaborate with any artist out there, as long as i truly love the record and given i have the time. I just want to continue to push quality R&B through my remixes with my trademark throwback sound and eventually have big-name artists say: “Man, that’s dope! I need a DJ Soulchild remix for my release too!”
How did you get into Dj’ing?
I actually started DJ-ing back in 2001, whilst i was still in my R&B boy band. Back then it was just fun to me and something i did in my bedroom in my free time.
The main reason i even bought turntables was because i had been a music collector since i was 11 years old and realized that there was a lot of dope R&B tracks and rare promo or white label remixes on vinyl which weren’t available on CD.
A local DJ friend of mine called DJ SCA used to mix these amazing R&B sets in the clubs and i’d be like: “Damn, i’ve never heard that joint before! That’s hot!” I wanted those joints so badly too, so i went out and bought them on vinyl, along with my first pair of turntables.
One thing lead to another and before i knew it, i was trying my hand at mixing two records together and quickly became addicted. My first public gig was at a friends birthday party, which lead to a recommendation, which lead to further gigs and from then on it just spiraled upwards! After the band split up in 2004 i decided this was gonna be my plan B and my new way of representing quality music to the fullest.
KEITH ROBINSON ft. SADAT X – Same Rules (DJ Soulchild Remix)
What music was bumping when you where coming up?
Well, like i just mentioned, i started collecting music at 11 years old, so that was around 1990/1991. New Jack Swing was at its peak and that’s what i fell in love with. But i was listening to everything from Bobby Brown, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Color Me Badd, Naughty By Nature, Heavy D, Salt’n’Pepa, De La Soul, right through to more Pop-orientated music like NKOTB, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, C&C Music Factory, Kris Kross and Marky Mark. Hey, i was young, don’t judge me! Hahaha! My musical taste obviously matured over time, so i was getting into Public Enemy, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Blackstreet, Boyz II Men, SWV, TLC, Montell Jordan, Eternal, Damage and loads more.
What equipment do you use when you do a mix?
Two Technics SL-1210 MK2 turntables, a Pioneer DJM-800 mixer and Serato Scratch Live. I’m thinking of finally buying a Rane TTM-58 mixer soon though.
What do you consider your biggest achievement so far?
I’ve had so many career highlights, so it’s difficult to pin-point one. But right off the cuff, playing in Dubai back in the Summer of 2008 was an incredible experience! I’ve DJ’d for Chris Brown and Rihanna, two of the worlds biggest artists, at Chris Brown’s official afterparty.
I’ve had artists like Charlie Wilson, MC Lyte, Ryan Leslie and Horace Brown acknowledge and praise my remix work. Faye B hit number 3 on the UK Soul Chart and number 8 on the UK Urban Club Chart with her debut single “Finally“. I know that’s not my personal achievement as such, but as her manager and collaborator i share her victories, so i’m very proud!
CHRIS BROWN – Fine China (DJ Soulchild Remix)
2014 is here, what do you have planned?
Definitely more remixes! My next remixes are going to be crazy and i can’t wait for my supporters to hear what i’ve got in store for them. Some cool high-profile collaborations in the works! I’ll be starting work on the follow up to my successful mixtape “R&B Secrets, Vol. 1” soon, the tracklist is set. I definitely want to DJ abroad more in 2014 and finally make it over to the States.
Faye B will be releasing some amazing new singles, her debut album “Arrival” is planned for the second half of 2014, plus we’ll be touring soon, so i’m sure that’ll keep me pretty occupied.
Any big ups or shouts out you want send out?
Yes, i’d just like to thank every single person out there who supports what i do, be it with my remixes, gigs, own events or even my endeavors with Faye B. Without you there’d be no me and that’s the truth. I truly love what i do and i thank you for making all this possible and being my driving force!
Thanks for your time.
NEW REMIX FOR 2014
CHARLIE WILSON – I Still Have You (DJ Soulchild Remix)
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