Osunlade is no doubt a modern pioneer when it comes to soul, house and spiritual vibes in our ever more eclectic modern music scene. We caught up with the Missouri born musician ahead of this Weeks’s Sunsplash Festival hosted on the beautiful beaches and bars or Southwest Turkey for an exclusive AboutToBlow interview.
Often described as one of the most motivated and spiritual figures in electronic music, Osunlade has created himself a platform (in his own label) to push the sounds he wants with the full credit he deserves. Over the past 15 years he has taken on the greatest stages accompanied by his own prolific tracks and remixes both inside and out of his own label’s work and since the introduction of Yoruba Records not many artists have become so synonymous within the distinctive international soul music scene.
Without much more to say we introduce Osunlade and fire some questions towards him before he sets off to the Mediterranean to accompany the likes of Giles Peterson, Karizma and Phil Asher who has also blessed us with this month’s guest mix.
- How long does it usually take for you to turn a remix around? And do you approach a remix in a different way depending on the original or whom you are producing under?
Great question! It varies…it could take anywhere from one day, a week or in most cases a few months or more. I never take a remix unless i absolutely love the song, as a matter of fact i usually turn down 90% of remix requests..afterwards I usually only take the vocals or melodic parts of the song and build from there, the absolute most important factor for me is that there isn’t a deadline as early on in my career I accepted remix for the sake of expanding, some of those I in turn wasn’t 100% content with. I vowed to never have that occur again.
- If you could do an official remix of anything, past or present, what track would it be and why?
There isn’t anything that comes to mind…funny thing I’m not a huge fan of remixes, I think they damage the listeners option to really explore the original and most times better version of the song.
- What tracks are you feeling right now from any genre?
I really love Little Dragons new effort, my favourite band of the past 3 years is Haitus Kaiyote, the new Daniel Crawford is also amazing and my brother seven Davis Jr is killin’ it right now! I’m really proud of his achievements and happy to see him getting the well-deserved reverence.
- You’ve been in the scene a long time now playing with various artists on different labels and such, If you had to recommend three artists to see live, who would they be and why?
Robert Glasper Experience, because it’s simply awesome!
- We know you’re a regular booking for festivals such as Southport Weekender in the UK who just celebrated 50 years. Can you see the same successful formula continuing for another 50 years? Is there anything you would change and which is your favourite festival to play at and why?
I can see the festival scene lasting but transforming into something less big crowd. It’s evident that those types of things are basically biting themselves in the ass with big names, drugs and generally shit music. I think as the kids grow older they will seek more intimate alternatives as well only the ones that offer something special will make it past 10 years I suppose.
My favourite festivals to play are these and in this order: Suncebeat (because every event is outdoors and in the beautiful setting of Croatia’s small village of Tisno and unlike its counterpart, the capacity is no more than 2k whereas Southport is more like 7k, as well it’s more a family vibe with peers than a festival). After would be a tie between two festival’s I adore. Harvest Festival in Burks Falls Ontario and Malasimbowhich I played the first time this year.
Harvest Festival because again the capacity is under 2k, it’s on a farm owned by an artist that created these screaming heads on the entire property. The setting is peaceful and it’s more a camping/ hippie type vibe with the first day being pay jazz, huge bon fires where people just sit and meet. Saturday is the tent/club night and Sunday is my favourite as it’s my stage… I get to stretch out and play everything imaginable.
Malasimbo on the other hand was the most organic festival I’ve ever attended and I’m certain I’d attend even if I weren’t performing. Situated on a small island in the Philippines on natural amphitheaters this one blew me away! The indigenous tribes build and work the festival so you get a real sense of the island and the people, the food and everything is all local. Even the kiosks are all traditional bamboo. The capacity is about 5k but it’s amazing to see a festival of this magnitude hosting 90% locals…as well it’s mostly a soul festival which is quite refreshing from all the electronic ones.
- And finally a tricky question we like to ask a lot here at About To Blow, Is there one artist or group that you wished you had discovered sooner or known about as a youngster?
Honestly none…I believe that the universe has blessed me with those I am supposed to work with, mentor or discover…one of the beauties of having a label is that your always finding new talent. I’m one that can appreciate art no matter where it comes from.
Catch Osunlade at Sunsplash Festival this month.