KAB x JunGALA Interview: Samo Sound Boy
This Saturday, it comes recommended to make the pilgrimage from Albany to New Paltz (it really is just a straight shoot down 87 after all) to catch Dubbel Dutch and Samo Sound Boy play out in celebration of the two-year anniversary of JunGALA at Cabaloosa’s.
Simply put, this booking feels like planets aligned, especially considering that it is a two-year celebration (big ups New Paltz!) and also how last year when Samo was billed to play JunGALA, we were hit with a cancelation due to brutality in the form of Hurricane Irene. Thankfully the good folks involved with JunGALA and Broken Teeth Crew worked out bringing him back around and, no less, at a time when his label Body High is really beginning to turn heads.
Recently, Alexander Wang featured a track from the label’s own DJ Funeral during its runway show (!!!) and next week (Feb. 28) DJ Sliink’s Vibrate EP comes out on Body High! Sliink absolutely did the damn thing in the club last week and I’m stoked to catch Samo, (co-founder of the label alongside Jerome of the LOL Boys) just a week later. Also of note, this will be Dubbel Dutch’s second time gracing JunGALA so you can stop kicking yourself if you missed him play out locally last time (like I’ve been).
Samo Sound Boy, of Trouble & Bass, is a Los Angeles based producer and DJ whose powerful live sets and original productions have brought him to the forefront of today’s global club scene. With his second EP released through Palms Out Sounds, another for Trouble and Bass, and forthcoming remixes for the likes of Tim Dolla, Bassanova, and NGUZUNGUZU, Samo is only getting started spreading his club aesthetic that Chicago journalist Dave Quam described as: “Weird, banging, and beautiful. Like a shortwave radio recording of all the best stations at once.
Hit the jump below to get better acquainted with Samo Sound Boy!
How did you get involved with producing and DJing? What drew you in? I got involved with producing and DJ-ing down in Argentina, in Buenos Aires, it was all through a club down there called Fugees 99, where I got my first DJ gig, and there I also met Gavin Burnett (Oro 11) who was living down there at the time, and DJing there as well, and producing. I learned to DJ at the club, and he was the first person I learned any production stuff from. I would go over there and sit and watch him use Reason, and started to figure out how to use it.
How did you link up with Jerome? Working together on Body High and as DJ Dodger Stadium naturally means spending a lot of time together, has one ever punk’d the other? What’s your chemistry like in the studio and overall, what’s it been like working together? Jerome and I met two or three years ago in LA, and we became friends. Last summer we met up to work on music together. It started really casually at first, but it was really fun, and everything came together better than we thought, so we just kind of ran with it, and ended up with the DJ Dodger Stadium EP, and we were really happy with it. Jerome is a huge punk, but he’s also the best guy ever, and I think overall our chemistry is a yin yang thing, we balance each other out in terms of our personality, and I think I tend to see stuff in the bigger picture, and I think Jerome’s really great at figuring out how to make everything better in the moment.
What’s it been like the past couple days following the release of DJ Soulja Man’s Eski Tech? Have you had any moments of reassurance or particular feedback that stood out to you following the release, especially given that Body High is still a relatively new imprint/venture? The feedback for everything has been building with each release, but fortunately we have a pretty great network of DJs who know our stuff and like it, so we get great feedback there, and our fanbase seems to be growing exponentially. It’s great to see responses from new names every time. That’s really cool.
How did you link up with people like DJ Funeral, DJ Soulja Man and DJ Sliink? What was the deciding factor to put out their music on Body High? Do they all have a common denominator-quality you are looking for to represent Body High, or did it just conceptualize/come to be naturally? What do you look for in future releases? The biggest factor with Body High is we want the material to really stand out as having original concepts and sounds and takes on club music. But more than being an experimental label, we want everything we release to be the hottest tracks you could possibly play in the club. So it’s a combination of wanting stuff that’s really firey and hot but also original. So everyone we’ve put out has that in some way. And DJ Sliink was somebody who fit the idea of a Body High release, because his stuff is undeniably the biggest tracks in the club right now, but it’s also original. He’s somebody who I met recently, but it happened really naturally: DJ Sliink’s manager, Dirty South Joe, is somebody who helped me a lot when I was starting out, so it was easy to connect, and we could all work together to get his stuff out.
KAB Bonus: If you missed it, check out the Q+A we did with Sliink last week before he set (le) poisson rouge and Fuze Box ablaze, respectfully. Previous OUTPOST1 x on the sly guest MYRRYRS also is releasing on Body High. Past Q+A here.
What was it like creating the video for “Shuffle Code”? Did you write the story? Have you made anything like it before? What did you learn during the process? I did write the story. I think the biggest thing it showed me or reinforced was how far plot and story go in a project like that. Even if it’s loose, having a bit of a story to follow it really catches people’s interest. That’s a really important thing for me, even with releasing music, is thinking about how to explain it, giving the honest story of where something comes from and what it means. “Shuffle Code wasn’t just kind of this collage of images, there was a real thread. In general story is just a really powerful thing, if you can figure out story and plot into what you do, even if it’s not a video, even if it’s just a press release. It has to come from an honest place, but you can take something a lot further with that. It made me realize how much people really want a narrative.
Do you think that DJ Dodger Stadium will grow to be more than a side project for you and Jerome? Are you still planning on working and releasing on music under the name Samo Sound Boy? What’s up next for you and T&B? We’ll be doing stuff both ways, DJ Dodger Stadium will have a release coming out this year, and Samo Sound Boy will have at least one or two releases coming out this year.
Currently based out of L.A., how often are you traveling and swapping coasts (such as to do T&B business)? How do you pass the time en route? I travel a lot these days, I’m kind of back and forth all the time and all over the place. I mostly pass the time working on new material. The plane is the great place to work, there’s no distractions, and I never buy the Internet or anything. That’s one of my favorite places to work for sure.
What was your first gig like? My first real gig in a club was down in Argentina. I played literally while the guys were mopping the floor and cleaning up from the night before. Screwing in light bulbs, counting money. I played for 2 hours while the main DJ smoked weed in the bathroom, and then he took over as soon as any real club goers got there. So yeah, that was my first real gig. Playing for bartenders in Argentina.
What do you do when you’re not making music? Do you have a thing called ‘free time’? How do you combat boredom? I definitely never get bored and I don’t have that much free time. Especially now since Body High is in full swing– man I don’t have any free time any more. It’s basically all I think about these days.
Favorite kind of taco? Al Pastor.
What can we look forward to on Saturday in New Paltz? I’m really looking forward to Saturday. It’s going to be amazing to play with Dubbel Dutch. I’ve known him for a really long time, and he’s personally my favorite producer. We’re both going to play some different stuff. It’s going to be the first time I’ve played some Body High tracks anywhere. I want to give a preview of what Body High’s going to do in 2012. Which is, just light the club on fire.
JunGALA is this Saturday February 25th and the cover is $6 21+ / $8 18+. More information available over at the Facebook event.