Arts + Culture Blog Entrepreneurship Music

Soulection | A Drink With

Location: Soulection HQ

Downtown Los Angeles

Cocktail: Spicy Frescaloma

4 mint leaves

5 jalapeño slices

1 oz. lime juice

½ oz. simple syrup

2 oz. blanco tequila

Fresca

Unique Citrus Glowing Soda

Add mint, jalapeño, lime juice and easy syrup to shaker. Muddle. Add tequila, shake, strain over ice and prime with Fresca. Garnish with mint sprig.

Cheers! Again in 2011 you didn’t essentially got down to create what Soulection has turn into— this unbiased music platform, radio present on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio with an audience of tens of millions and artist collective bringing collectively a whole lot of hundreds of supporters worldwide. Do you assume that’s why it’s been a hit or did you all the time know you have been constructing something greater?

Joe Kay: I feel we had the imaginative and prescient, however occasions have modified so much that we didn’t know what it will be. We simply knew that we needed to convey individuals collectively by way of music. We needed to journey and we needed to place artists on who didn’t have a platform. This was earlier than Apple Music and the Spotify period. We have been utilizing free providers [like MySpace, SoundCloud and Facebook] that have been permitting us to get the word out.

At what second did you understand you have been onto something?

Andre Energy: Once we saw the response of the internet once we put out our third or fourth release. There was a snowball starting to grow of artists that we really admired who needed to work with us. They have been reaching out to us. On our first undertaking it was Joe reaching out to them like, “Hey, we have this cool thing we want to do. Are you guys down?” they usually’d say, “Oh, that sounds cool. I’m down.” However as soon as we put out that third or fourth release over the course of like six months artists began reaching out to us.

Joe: Again in 2011 we put out this free compilation with all of our favorite producers and we didn’t assume it was going to be something. It was like a zipper file and hosted by means of our homepage and it obtained like 10,000 downloads. Once more, this was pre-everything. There was no Instagram … From that point on it began progressing and other people began demanding issues and commenting on the radio show that they needed extra. We started to take it extra critically. We had a terrific numerous following strictly because we have been bringing in artists from totally different elements of the world. They have been bringing their viewers from Europe, Australia and locations like that. We’ve all the time been really early [spotting] artists, typically too early where individuals don’t get it. However then it all the time ties back to how Soulection put out their first launch. [It has happened with] a whole lot of artists who’re very successful immediately.

In case you have been to boil it down, why do you assume you’ve been capable of garner the respect in the music business and such a loyal following?

Andre:  I feel like a lot of people respect the whole DIY tradition that we embody as a result of we give plenty of artists hope that it’s attainable. If I can do it, you can do it. In the event you’re an artist or a producer and you’re making music in your bedroom, there’s this entire concept like, “Yo, if I work hard enough and my sound is that good… I can one day be a part of Soulection,” or, “I can grow and one day go on tour, play these shows and follow my dreams.”

You say Soulection is a motion and a culture. How do you outline your tradition?

Joe: I think about it extra of a group. I feel the phrase culture is a bit oversaturated proper now. You hear huge brands and everyone eager to be a part of the culture. I feel the sound that we’ve pushed out has all the time been true to who we are. Every little thing that we do is so selective—from the music we put out, the those that we choose to be part of the roster to the photographers and each photograph and video that we publish. All the things is so nicely curated, and other people recognize that from the leap. All of these issues mixed are pushing us so far of the place we’re.

Andre: So far as our core and what we’re about… pushing the sound of tomorrow, staying revolutionary, remaining real and having a robust family base within our roster, within our staff. That’s tremendous necessary for us. You possibly can have superb music, you could be tremendous popping but when we don’t have that connection personally within our crew, it’s arduous for us to work collectively. It’s a must to be part of this household … We additionally see that there are over 100 individuals all over the world with Soulection tattoos.

Joe: Extra I might say… perhaps within the hundreds. That’s when you realize it’s actual. It sort of puts a bit of strain [on us] however it’s a superb strain because it makes you assume, “Damn, if we ever fell off or if we lost the value and the reason why people got into it in the first place…” that may make you depressed or make you assume, “Sh-t did we fall off? Did we lose it?” That emblem has a variety of which means, it’s changed individuals’s lives. It’s inspiring and we’re making an attempt to continuously reinvent ourselves. It’s a very fascinating time right now as a result of there’s so much over-saturation with music and art with social media. You publish one thing and it’s swallowed, it’s down the feed in half a second, every thing’s so momentary. So it’s a must to do so much to stand out.

What have been some growing pains along the best way?

Joe: At first we did every thing off of handshake offers. I feel that’s why we have been capable of get out so fast early on. The whole lot was identical to, “I love your music. Let’s put it out tomorrow.” It was that fast however over time we discovered the business aspect of it. We realized as we grew we needed to set up the enterprise properly with an LLC, get legal professionals and pay taxes. If you want to last outdoors of the internet, you need to set this stuff up. I went to high school, but I wasn’t a business major. No one taught us how you can run a document label so we needed to study by means of trial and error. The core values for us are compatibility, staying true, being trustworthy, being transparent and speaking. There’s a whole lot of points. You’ve got it from all elements. You’ve got artist envy, which I all the time discuss. Artists examine themselves to other artists in the crew. There may be a young artist who is available in and just blooms quicker than the one that has been doing it for 3-5 years and who’s thought-about the veteran. You cope with melancholy and artists get caught up in the entire mental aspect. On the employees aspect you could have individuals who have been working behind the scenes they usually need to be credited for his or her work. We will’t assist that we’re the face of this and there have been situations up to now where there have been individuals who have been a part of this and felt [like they didn’t get credit.] The face [of the brand usually] gets credit. That’s a gift and a curse because when something goes improper, who’s the one that will get blamed? So, it’s a stability.

What are the keys to a profitable business relationship?

Andre: I feel having a relationship outdoors of enterprise, truly being pals, truly being family, with the ability to do things. Take time away from work, hang around, go to dinner, go on trips together and have things in widespread. Take time away from the business to develop with the individuals round you so when it’s time to get to work you have already got this connection and you realize you’re on the identical wavelength.

You’re both gifted DJs. What happens should you’re having a nasty day, your power is off and it’s a must to get on stage to carry out?

Andre:  It happens typically. Particularly if you’re on tour. You’re tired, already drained and let’s say 5 minutes before your set you get a telephone name that you simply don’t like and it simply kills your entire vibe. You haven’t any selection, it’s a must to go on. So for me, I really feel that first music and every little thing type of goes away. I type of black out and my focus for that hour is to have a great time. Once I depart the stage I’m nonetheless full of this power. I’m completely happy and I’m in a very good temper. It takes time to return down from it and get back to reality. But yeah, you simply can’t assist it.

Joe: We have now to deliver, we now have the obligation to. Individuals are there to see us. And yeah, it may get slightly scary typically, in fact. I mean there are things which might be out of our control like tech points. The thing is, the gang feeds off of us. In the event that they see that your face is panicking or they see your physique language, it’s a wrap. Once they see you struggling up there and one thing’s flawed, it’s exhausting for them to be into it. The last thing you need to do is present that you simply’re panicking. You gotta suck it up, you must have thick pores and skin, you gotta make it work … it’s a must to maneuver by means of it, you got to power by means of it.

With so much happening, how do you keep your mind proper and never get overwhelmed?

Joe: We do get overwhelmed. I just did a floatation tank close to Joshua Tree. It was powerful, it was crazy. It was a bit of weird being in pitch darkness for an hour. You’re floating they usually put minerals and salts [in the water.] It’s additionally used for meditation. When’s the last time you have been in a tank floating in pitch black and no sound? That was the first time in my life that I’ve ever been in 60 minutes of silence. I’m talking about no lights, it’s simply the darkness and what you can also make of it. It helped me mirror on numerous things which might be happening in my life, both personally and business-wise. It gave me lots of readability. Understanding is an enormous factor to maintain me sane. All of us have things on our plate and once I’m stressed understanding has been a approach to get out and release my power. I do Muay Thai boxing. We have now a courtroom proper here, so we’ll play basketball. I actually assume being wholesome is an enormous a part of longevity in this enterprise.

Andre: I just received a motorcycle. I’ll bike round my neighborhood. I acquired this crazy travel bug once I started traveling with Soulection. As soon as I saw a couple of nations on one tour, I advised myself I needed to see as many nations in this lifetime as potential. Something that basically helps me get re-grounded is touring alone. And taking time to walk around and explore with my digital camera, pay attention to relax ambient music. That’s my type of meditation I assume. It could possibly be a overseas country or it could possibly be one other city that’s 100 miles away however just taking that point alone to yourself, to disconnect really helps me for positive.

For those who might have a drink with anybody, who wouldn’t it be?

Joe: Off the top of my head it will be Kobe Bryant. I really like Kobe. I have his jersey on and I didn’t even understand it [laughs]. I just love his work ethic … What I all the time attempt to say is, “Work harder than your situation.” I might just speak to him about find out how to cope with strain, methods to cope with adversity and issues like that.

Andre: Kanye West. Figuring out that when he started, he started off as a rapper after which he began producing his own stuff, or vice versa, however a lot of people advised him at first, “Yo, you can’t do these things together. You have to do one or the other.” … I’ve this insane love for music, however I’m also a painter, a designer and all of those different things. There have been occasions in my life inside the previous 7-8 years the place individuals advised me, “Hey, you can’t do it all. You need to focus on one thing.” Watching him and his success in all these totally different fields is sort of just like the place I need to be and what I’m going to do. I know a lot of people aren’t the most important fans of him… but simply his work ethic and his entire imaginative and prescient, I feel he’d be a very cool individual to have a dialog with.

Images by German Vizcarra

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