Riding across the industry atop his thumping remix for the Axwell Λ Ingrosso‘s February hit ‘Thinking About You‘, Paris born DJ and producer Solberjum has had a quite distinctive rise in the very first quarter of 2017. Having dominated the Future House sphere with his recent hip-hop collaborations with the likes of Devvon Terrell as part of ‘Live Like This‘ and Jmi Sissoko in ‘Ground Shaking‘ in mid and late 2016 respectively, the Parisian is back to the charts for a promising new year with releases such as ‘Smoke Dat‘ and the remix for the former Swedish House Mafia members – both tracks being released on Art&Music Recording as he remains one of their most consistent and upbeat additions.
With such a promising future in sight, the heavy support from the likes of W&W, Oliver Heldens, Don Diablo, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero, Lucas & Steve, R3hab, Quintino, Timmy Trumpet, Dr. Shiver and Swanky Tunes on his latest remix only goes to show that the belief in his abilities behind the production desk is not just his own, rather it is shared by the top artists of the industry too. To show our support and know more about the person behind Solberjum, we sat down with the Frenchman for an exclusive interview as he talked about his distinctive sound, the ‘Thinking About You’ remix, his origins and growth, his thoughts about the dance music scene and what’s in store for his fans for the time to come.
We feel you have a very distinctive sound, how would you describe your sound?
I have been working hard to create my own sound identity and make my sound recognizable from one track to another. Of course, I am not “copy pasting” track by track because this would not make any sense. What I always try to do is to have elements that can relate all of my tracks one to the other.
Some particular glitches, some recognizable distorted bass and, of course, my personal taste in making the arrangements. All this process also happened thanks to my Art&Music Recording team that keeps on providing me musical support and advises on my work. They helped me push my sound to the next level.
You’ve just released a massive remix of Thinking About You by Axwell Λ Ingrosso. Can you talk a little about your vision and the direction you wanted to take that remix?Axwell Λ Ingrosso.
I still remember the first time I heard the original song. I was working in the Control Room B of the Art&Music Studios and the label owner, “Dr. Shiver”, called me and played me the music video of the original track. I immediately thought, “Wow, sick top-line, sick production, and a very funny video”. But as a House DJ, that version couldn’t fit in my sets, so from that point onward I decided to make my own House version of it. At the end I can say that I’m very happy about it, because feedback is great.
And it received huge amount of support from the likes of W&W, Don Diablo, Oliver Heldens, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike to name a few. How does it feel to get support from artists like that? And what’s the best piece of advice you’d give to aspiring producers who want to reach these levels?
As a producer, it means a lot. Like I always said, it’s like a stamp of quality. They are influence in the DJ community. Their radio shows are broadcast worldwide, and it gives the opportunity to be heard by electronic music listeners too. So it’s a great exposure for an upcoming DJ/producer like me. It doesn’t mean your track is a hit, but it means – to me – that your music deserves to be listened to by the scene. In my case it was even better because I had the chance to have a few of them mention my name and the remix during their mix. I’m very thankful for that.
And if I had to share an advice for aspiring producers, I would say that there are tonnes of good producers out there, and one good way to have masses or big names listen to your music is to work with key players of the music industry. And in my case, my record label Art&Music Recording is making this possible.
We saw that you’ve started as a Hip Hop DJ and we can certainly hear the influences and infuse in some of your productions such as “Live Like This” and “Ground Shaking”. Can you tell us a bit more on your inspirations and musical background?
I’m a kid from the 90’s. I grew up in a suburb of Paris, where hip hop, R&B and funk music were the main music listened to by the kids. In our Walkman you could listen to music from the likes of Michael Jackson to Dr. Dre without forgetting Wu-Tang Clan.
At that time, I was very far from thinking that I’ll become an Electronic DJ/producer. For years I have been a DJ in urban parties in Paris and made mix-tapes. I have also been a DJ for famous urban french artists and I only started to move my music to electronic in 2006 when I created my project called Starz Angels with my friend Le kid, where we mixed electronic music and hip-hop. That’s when I became a real electronic music listener.
You’ve been in the scene for many years now, how do you see the future of dance music? What direction do you think the sound is heading in?
I think dance music will still have a bright future, since now it has seduces the masses. It will always mutate with different influences. I can see that dance music will keep existing in 2 ways – for clubs and for radios. Of course, club tracks will hit harder, while radio tracks will have a softer appeal, also given the fact that people will listen to this kind of music on their smartphones and through the radio while driving. But the good news for me is that genres are no longer really relevant for the crowds, that are now more focused on listening to good music rather than to a strictly defined genre. If you can seduce listeners with your music, they will come to see you on stage and from there you’ll be able to hit them harder. I think DJ Snake is a very good example of what I just mentioned.
What’s next musical step for Solberjum? Any interesting releasing lined up? Upcoming collaboration? Remixes?
This is a long discussion that we have with my Art&Music Recording team: I have a large panel of production skills and I need to make music that inspires me at the moment and not being stuck on one type of sound. That’s why I have been working hard lately to finalize as many tracks as I can, and three of them have been licensed to Sirup Group.
The first one is called “Dirty Shot” – and has been already released on April 24th. This one sounds like its name – ‘dirty’ – it’s very different from what I used to produce: you can listen to the entire track on the Dr. Shiver Miami 2017 compilation.
That track will be followed by two house tracks, one more bass house called “Right Back” and the other one more radio friendly called “I Don’t.” I have also made a bass house collaboration track with rising DJ/producer from Brazil named Beowülf. This one should be out middle of May on a Brazilian label. I also still plan to make new remixes, cause as a dj, we’re always looking to play new hot versions from famous songs. Last but not least, there is a lot of new music I am going to release on Art&Music Recording, that keeps on believing in me and supporting my job. So, I would say, keep an eye on my socials to discover what’s next.
The remix from Solberjum is available for a Free Download here.