Behind The Beats: Dj SoulClap
First and foremost, who is Dj SoulClap?
A father, a family man, a producer and Dj, a sitcom lover, vinyl addict, sneaker freak, basketball player, a hobby cook, a beer drinker, and overall I would say I'm a great friend and easy to get along with!
The name SoulClap is unique because...
It ain't really unique, I found out there is another SoulClap dude from Germany and I'm pretty mad about that thing... I often get confused with him although my beats are completely different. But all in all it represents who I am, it stands for fun and rhythm. I want everybody to have a good time with my music.
I first met you via the internet (I think Myspace) and we chopped it up about The Soul Occs project. Will the Soul Occs project drop in the future?
Man, this is my problem child. The problem is, we recorded the album on 3 completely different mics, I just don't like when the vocals sound very different. The album is crazy, but it's hard to get it done. Tony and myself are planning to get it mixed and put it out as a free download.
Social Networking sites make it easier to collaborate with people across the world. You have had the opportunity to collaborate with Masta Ace, Punchline, Edo.G, and other notable hip hop emcees. Do you still get excited when you receive songs or material from emcees that you look up to?
I'm always getting excited like a little kid in the candy store when I see that I have new vocals in my inbox, no matter who it is. I immediately go to the studio and mix it.
Speaking of Punchline, you recently told me that you two are working on a dual project. Could you share the direction of the project and when it will drop?
We just decided 2 weeks ago, that we wanna do an album. Punch already had like 8 beats from me that he liked, it was like a natural decision to do it. We have been collaborating on multiple joints and people always loved to hear him on my beats. We already recorded 5 joints in that short period of time. I hope we will have everything ready to go in the late summer. Already had talks with a label that is very interested in releasing it. We don't have a real direction for the album, it will be just straight Hip Hop. We don't keep it too underground, I think it will have a lot of mass appeal and cover a wide range of different beats. But overall you can expect soulful claps and Punchlines.
You also have other projects that you are working on. Could you present some of the other projects that you are working on?
Man, this is a good question. I'm in the finishing steps of my collabo album with Wyldbunch from Brooklyn. He just released his first album called Rich Blood Broke Pockets which features a joint I produced. Please check it out, Bunch is very lyrical, I love him! Our album will be a concept album called Life. It is covering only topics that everybody can relate to. Life Decisions, Staying Positive, Educating Yourselves, Doing It For Hip Hop, Never Forgetting You, stuff like that. He did a great job on writing all these joints and sticking to the topic. Then I'm still working on my mixtape in collaboration with Dj Easy from Berlin. It will be a collection of my best joints plus a lot of exclusive and new material. It will contain a remix of the "Authentic" joint I did with Ace and Edo, but I can't tell more right now. Features will include Ace, Edo, Punch & Words, Rasco, Doitall, Donny Goines, K.Sparks and many more.
Then I got a project I still need an MC for, it has to be out in June, so it needs to be done quick, but it will be a crazy thing, top secret though. Also planning an EP with the female MC group Vicious Cycle. They are dope!
Rasco hit me up recently asking to do a collabo project too, so I'm staying busy. Oh, can't forget about my German project. Collaborating with a Germany producer from my hometown. He had some gold plaques in the nineties and won an Echo award, the most important German music award. We want to produce an album for my home girl Souleez, who you can hear on 2 Soul Occs joints. It will be German Soul, with some old drums and scratches and everything, live instruments, strings, something you have never heard before.
I also read from your website that you graduated from college with a degree in Marketing. I am completing my Masters in Business Administration. How important is education in regards to your music career? Has the marketing knowledge made it easier for you to engage in business related issues?
I also graduated in Business Administration, but I specialized in Marketing. I got a Diploma, which is comparable to the Master's degree. Education is most important, you never know how the music thing will work out. It's also important that you are able to handle your own business. I can work on my own marketing plan, creativity is my main strength. I think it's funny that there are soo many people out there claiming they are PR and Marketing specialists, just because they hang around on the internet all day and read a book about marketing (I have seen a lot of that lately). I can combine the knowledge I gained from the music and the studies. I was always combining these two directions, I built a network of great artists and business people within the last years, I think the hard work will pay off soon. I'm also part of Wyclef Jean's Warrior Dj Coalition, just didn't have the possibility of Dj'ing a lot lately, the pitch on both turntables is broken.
You have been blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with some legends in the game. Are there any artists that SoulClap would like to work with in the future?
Honestly, I'm not too stuck in the underground like many people. I would like to work with 50 Cent, I love his music and definitely his hustle, he is a really smart guy. I'd also like to work with Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, and of course Talib Kweli. Busta Rhymes, man there are so many people I'd like to work with. I wanna unite Ace and Eminem on a joint, that would be cool. Ace is Eminem's favorite MC, most people don't know that. I'd really like to unite the mainstream and underground.
Describe the German Hip-Hop scene to the masses...
The golden age of German Hip Hop was in the late 90's. Dope music videos were played on TV. We had the main areas of Hamburg and Stuttgart, everything from those cities was crazy! Great lyrics, word play, fun rhymes, I loved it. Then in the early to mid 2000's, gangster rap started taking over and rhyme skills were in the background. Since then, I haven't really bought a lot of German records. But as far as Hip Hop, we still have real jams were all the elements are represented. Good Rap with smart lyrics is still appreciated, no wonder why all the artists from the States are touring Europe all the time. I think Eastern Europe is representing Hip Hop the best right now.
Could you direct me to three German acts that I should check out?
Check Youtube for Absolute Beginner, Eins Zwo, Dendemann, Samy Deluxe, those are some of my favorites. You should also check Curse, Olli Banjo, Kool Savas and Sido, to make it complete. Oh if you wanna hear the pioneers, check Advanced Chemistry and Torch!
Western artists have recently gravitated to the sounds of German based beat makers (Shuko, Anno Domino, Yourself, Croup, Tobrock, and more). The expansion of hip-hop is indeed World-Wide. Have you ever thought about collaborating with the aforementioned beat makers?
Honestly I don't really care about other beat makers that much. If I wanna collaborate on beats I rather work together with my people Esperado and Kallsen, you should definitely check them out too. Esperado is my boy, he is crazy with all the technical stuff too. We were often hanging around in our university days, late at night, writing songs, drinking beer, talking bullshit and recording, those were the best days, man! Yeah, I did an EP with Espy, called Snapshot, where we were rapping on some of our favorite instrumentals. It was called snapshot because we met in the evening, started drinking beer, picked a beat, started writing and recorded it right on the spot. Yeah, I can rap too, haha.
If you had to pick one word to describe your production what word would you use?
How can the masses stay in contact with you?
Hit up my Website and sign up for the newsletter. There is also a contact form that you can fill out to reach me. If you want beats or need marketing services, or just want to give some feedback, hit me up. I'm happy about every email I receive and I usually reply to all of them.
Any final thoughts?
I don't think, I just do, lol.
Thank you for your time and contribution to hip-hop!
Thank you my brother. Really appreciate it! Please check my SoundCloud page for the latest tracks!