EP 007 / 22.02.2022
PIONEERING A GENRE
Soul Button 00:00
all the time and I listen to my own track, I was trying to understand to, to trying to get the feeling, you know. So at some point that the small detail says no sense anymore, you know, because at the end of the day you as artists, you can spend even mount the years listening to the details, but the normal listener will never notice. It just it just, it will just pay attention to what this track is transmitting to them. You know, the feeling.
Farah Nanji 00:37
You're listening to the mission makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji, and I'm the founder of a business in the motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist with these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they're truly making an impact for this world. Hello, and welcome back to season three of the mission makers podcast. For today's episode, I'm joined by an artist and label owner who's been synonymous with pioneering his own genre, ethereal techno, his name is soul button and he runs the stereo key label. And in the words of the label, ethereal techno is melodic techno with intelligence, powering the mind, body and soul. The sound is characterised by its uplifting poetic nature, yet it has a distinctive edge, giving it a unique imprint, resonates deeply and fills the soul with immense positivity, all the while feeding the imagination and expanding the mind. So today, we expand our minds by going deeper with soul button about his creative process, the impact the genre has had on the music scene, and his reflections of the sacrifices he's had to make to run not just one, but three well known labels in dance music. Just before we begin, if you're interested in some really cool rewards like Virtual DJ lessens the chance to ask our guests questions and exclusive merchandise, head over to wwe.patreon.com forward slash mission makers to check out how you can access these exclusive rewards. And thank you to all of you been writing into us and subscribing to the show. It really makes a difference. So don't forget to hit that subscribe button if you love the content we're making here at Mission makers and help us take the show to the next level this season. Hey, Christian, welcome to the show. How you doing today?
Soul Button 03:05
Hi, how are you? Very fine and good. Finally back to work and ready to answer to your questions.
Farah Nanji 03:15
Well, thank you for taking the time out of your day to come on mission makers. We're really excited to have you as today's guests and going a bit deeper into your journey. So I wanted to sort of start off by going back to the beginning and I understand that your journey with music kind of first started when you listen to the electronic pioneers Kraftwerk in your teenage years which inspired you to start producing your own music. And fast forward a few decades and similar to them you've actually pioneered your own genre ethereal techno so what did music mean to you in your childhood? And could you have ever imagined that you know would have would have taken you down this this road to where you are today?
Soul Button 03:56
Ah definitely, I was not expecting something like this. I mean, it was started everything very quickly. I mean, I met a friend of mine or introduced me this music we find we found on the street one tape and was actually the music from cat craft where we spent like days and days listening to this tape and it was kind of noise at that time it was not even considered music, but everything started from there and definitely I would never expect that at the end. I was going to invent music general but yeah, I mean, it was kind of challenge that time I was very young there were there were nobody my CD was interested in electronic music. So it was it was just the case but nice case.
Farah Nanji 04:57
And what point did you decide like you know this is what I want to devote my life to did, was it always going to be music? Or did you were you preparing to do something else as you were growing up
Soul Button 05:08
where I said Everything started from this tape and then I was stressing out my dead skin our could have I could have achieved to produce and to make the music and then one day my my dad decided to buy me the first Roland drum machine. And and then after a couple of years and moved to, to North of Italy in Bologna, studying University and finally find found I found finally someone who was into electronic music. And then I kept studying electronic engineer and making music for some years until I decided to, to, to keep going only with the music. Of course, it was no easy because as you know, the I mean, it was difficult and it's still difficult to to live with to pay bills with music. But at the end, I took this decision I think it was I was 2223. Yeah.
Farah Nanji 06:18
Very interesting. And so I know that there's an interesting story behind the name, sell button and stay Okie. So I'd love for you to tell our listeners a little bit more about, you know how you pick the name for sale button. And then of course, the label how that sort of name came to came together?
Soul Button 06:33
Yeah, well, first of all, I've said that the two names came together, because when I decided to start with the label, then I even decided to start a new project as my personal project. So the thing was the I want had in mind all the projects or the idea. There was beyond the label the concepts, but I never thought about a name. And I was having some kind of difficulties to find the name because everything, you can find everything online, you know, wherever you Google is there. So it was very difficult. So then, once I received the letter from the finance and from German finance, I'm saying that I had to go there the day after and present my projects, because at the beginning I was trying and never succeed to get some money from the government that the project. So I had to go there and present the project with the name. But of course, I didn't have a name. So I called a nice friend. And I said, Listen, I'm panicking right now I have to find a name within tomorrow morning. And then he came to my house and he said, Okay, let's make, let's, let's try to make up a word. So we were like 333 Friends, we were just exchanging some pieces of paper. Everybody had right, sealable, and an exchange like rotation, this pieces of paper. And then at the end, we open all these papers. And one of those was stay your yoga. And most of them were nonsense words. And then this one was kind of nice. And we were like, Whoa, sounds like Japanese name. Then, of course, Google And Stay yoga that didn't exist. And then we said, Okay, that's it. This is funny. So it's completely invented name from two from now, from syllables.
Farah Nanji 08:45
So you have lived in many countries, you know, in your life. And I know that you lived in London for a few years, learning about the music industry. So what what were some of your key observations about, like the London scene at that at that time?
Soul Button 09:00
Well, I mean, London was always, like, a goal for many European artists, like, maybe 10 years ago, you know, when you were doing music, you know. And you were living in Italy, in London or in Germany, Spain, London, London was always the goal, you know, reach and because it was actually very nice, you know, the, there was the real industry of electronic music. Still, there is most probably, so it was it was extremely nice, interesting for me, because when I went to London, I understood how the real music business was working, you know, like, when before you know, before to go to London, I couldn't even understand exactly the difference between a booking agency and a PR agency. It was all confused, you know? So when I went there I was, I understood very quickly out the music, business, the music business was working. And I can tell you that actually, after three or four years, when I moved to Berlin, I gained I was like, Okay, how it's possible that this stealing but lean the, which is, you know, kind of Underground's latronnik city, they still don't understand how the musical business works exactly like in London. So it was, for me, it was very interesting, because, I mean, from Italy, I went to London, I understood exactly how the music industry was working. And then I jumped to Berlin, they actually brought some ideas, you know, to, to other labels. And plus, I, I went to Berlin, and I thought, to open my, my tables with the knowledge that I got to loneliness. So, I mean, I was not very keen of all the industry dynamics, you know, about, you know, public relations staff and whatever, you know, you know, in London, if you're going to be successful if your friends have Bitanga, and this and that. So, I'm not those kind of people, you know, like, like, when an artist succeed for his music, and his potentiality and for his connections. And this is something that I noticed a lot in London, but at the same time, it was very good. For me, it was a very good experience, because I understood exactly how everything was working, remixing, you know, and stuff like this, everything. Everybody had my manager, you know, the time. So, yeah, it was a very good experience, in my opinion, it was short, but intense,
Farah Nanji 12:08
good training camp further sounds like, it sounds like Berlin was then quite pivotal towards your success, you know, you say you started the label, conceptualization are there. So talking about the label and stuff, you've you've obviously made a huge mark on the underground music scene in the recent years and, and CEO, he's evolved to have, you know, say Yoky, black and in a symphony, and each of them have a very different mission in their own right. And you've touched upon a little bit about the communication and the connection between the audience in them and the artists, what was what is your sort of ultimate vision for them? How do they sort of differentiate from each other? And has that vision evolved over time? Or has it stayed quite true to what you imagined it to be like, all those years ago?
Soul Button 12:54
Well, I mean, as I said, Before, I came from I moved from London to Berlin. And I mean, my idea was, I mean, after I got all the knowledge that I got in the understood in London, I went to Berlin and I finally found found one CD, which was cheap, you know, first of all, it could it was still I mean, even the government, the government itself, it was given opportunities to people to invest in, in art in general, you know, so, I found the CD which was kind of completely virgin in terms of music, business and art projects and stuff like this, you know, so, I said in a way, I cannot start to do what I was always dreaming to do since the city give us the opportunity, you know, I mean, I remember the first time I got an office when I started the labour I was paying something like I don't know 250 euros a month for a huge office and in London, I could even pay one one quarter of my room, you know, the same money. So, but of course, I want to, to start with the project that was had some kind of important concepts and meanings you know, behind so the first was definitely to start the project there was not only connect to the music by connect to the art in general so that's why we always in had some illustrator, you know, having this magazine cover, not only focused on the Music. And the other thing was that we wanted to focus on the quality of the, the product in general, you know, so not only the music, but even artwork and stuff like this. So we always said very amazing illustrators, we spent so much time in selecting music, you know, which. So we, we really want to create one label that was focusing on the quality of the music on the quality of the product, and not thinking about releasing that person, because he could give some exposure to the label of this, and that, you know, we're still producing music from unknown people sometimes about all this good music. And other thing was focusing on the, on the communication with people, you know, try to build a nice interaction with the people with, with our supporter with the people that buy music, they're the people that they interact with us every day. Because at the end, this is the most important thing. What understood at the end, all these years, in the music business, you know, there are two ways to succeed in the music business. One is if you have some connections, you know, so you reach the NSA, you reach the, you know, you get you get some exposure, so some visibility through people they already have. Or the other solution is, if you get through the normal people, the normal listeners, you know, that the end, they give you importance, you know, because if you have, if, as labour, if you have to compete with, I mean, let's say stay yoga, for example, is it has to compete with labels, like, after life, or heirloom, those kinds of labels, you know, which are big? No, because the labels are big, because the owners are big. So, you know what I mean? So I said, Okay, I'm not going to run behind big artists to make my labels big, I'm going to try to reach the the listeners, you know, and eventually potentially become popular and big, but through the listeners, and don't connections, you know, so this is, was my main, my main concept behind the library, you know,
Farah Nanji 18:00
how long did it take to build that sort of audience and going down that sort of that route of trying to get the audience bought in and developing that, that fan base?
Soul Button 18:12
Well, I have to say that I never thought about this, but it was quite easy, but because it was the right moment, you know, I mean, I'm 100% sure if I would open say yoga, right now, it would be not the same impact. But in 2012, we came out with this kind of new music, let's say, I mean, it was nuts. Not something extremely new, but not even the same stuff. It was 2012. We came out with this incredible, strong concept of illustration, restorations, exhibitions, you know, and so there were actually there were people that were buying violence, because of the illustrations and because of the music, you know, but the end was all together. I remember the first period, the first month, I was getting emails from very big artists, they were like, Oh my God, what did you guys are doing? Who are you guys? But it was just the right time. Because it was not a jungle like now. Now there are 10 labels today. And they all go get a copy of copy of God and the old zero chances to succeed. It might be
Farah Nanji 19:45
difficult, isn't it? I mean, you see a lot of artists who start their own labels because it may be there's a frustration of not being able to reach the bigger labels because there is as you say, it is a bit of a game there is a bit on there about who you know, and sometimes the decisions On made purely based on the quality of the sound and you know, it's it's it's definitely a saturated space for sure. And I'm, I'm sure that COVID has been a time where many people have produced and labels must be quite backed out for a long time. Are you guys quite a you? I mean, like, how far in your pipeline are you with with releases?
Soul Button 20:22
We're pretty full right now. It's really, we're coming out with lots of stuff. Now, there was there was a moment there was kind of art, you know, because there was some kind of general general depression among the artists, you know, I was kind of hard, and especially, had to do lots of work to, to keep together. So, for some months, I had to, like, psychologist, then label on to call all the artists every week and say, Come on. We have to keep do and don't worry, everything will be fine. You know, even though I was not so convinced by myself, but do it. But I think it's everything fine. Now. To the confident now. We I already in the last two, three months, we made, we released some very good tracks. And now in the next three, four months, I'm very sure. There will be nice trucks. Yeah, I think we've seen it's coming back slowly.
Farah Nanji 21:34
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's little by little is it surely coming back? And so you mentioned earlier you do you do? You do take onboard underground artists who perhaps haven't been so well known? So what's the process? Like when like a new artist joins the family is? Is there a process? Seems like you have quite a close relationship with the artists that are on your label.
Soul Button 21:59
I mean, we do really listen lots of demos. Because and when we find good music, we just take it. I mean, without discussion, you know, if it's good music, it's good music, or I mean, we don't, we don't think about anything, the only thing that we might check before to decide. It's, I mean, sometimes there are those artists releasing here and there, like every two weeks for on 1000s of different labels. You know, when we see this kind of behaviour, you know, this means to me that these people have no plan, you know what I mean? So, that kind of case, I might consider to not release the music because I, I mean, for me, it's very important to understand if the artist has some kind of planning or some some kind of vision of the, of what's going on in the music business, you know. So sometimes when, again, when I see this people that just are dying to release to get big to get families to get Babila have to play, you know, this anxious situation. I'm like, okay, don't worry. It's fine. But if I see that good music you know, I always keep a chance and then I don't promise anything, no then relations between artists and they grow slowly and naturally, you know, like all these people that you see in the label a chronic devil and clouds as she would never say sit set each other and say, Okay, now officially, you are part of the yoga blah, blah, blah, we have to sign the contract or whatever, nothing, just came spontaneously. So then it's even your ability as artists, you know, to get close to the label, you know, and I mean, I can make an example for example. Some years ago, I was playing monster stereo. It finished the play was very direct, was seven hours set. And this guy monarca was probably you know, it's our artist for years now. He came to me with the USB stick. Show, he said, I have some tracks I want to show you and just to get a listen. It was an extract, he released his first back. Then he came to Berlin, he came to visit us, he came to our anniversary party met all of us, he spent two days with us, you know. So this these are things the as label owner or whatever, you know, you appreciate, you know, I mean, this guy came from Montral to meet us personally, you know, he means that he has plan. He knows what he's doing what he wants, you know what I mean? So this is important, you know. And the other thing, you know, there are sometimes people that they jump into the labour, but then they want everything as soon you know, like, when I feel stress, I don't like, generally. There were many artists, you know, they came and were like, ah, but you have to promote me more, but you have to consider me like, your old artists, and you know, like, relax. Everything comes when it's time. Yeah, I'm very. I'm very direct person. And straight forward. So yeah.
Farah Nanji 26:27
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's important. Yeah. To have. I mean, I find it really interesting what you say about the fact that yeah, you do you do want to take onboard someone who has a plan and not just going here, there and everywhere. And of course, like it is, it's tough, because like, you know, I'm sure when you make music, if you can't find a decent home for it, like what you know, you want it to get out, but then you do need to also, I guess, like, have a belief in yourself and know that, like, it should be for the bigger picture. And not everything also needs to get released at the end of the day, like,
Soul Button 26:57
Yeah, I mean, I always say, I mean, it's much better to release. If you have 20 tracks, you know, it's much better to select to and to invest energy, money wherever you want. And but to invest on those two tracks and not think, to release all 20. And hopefully, one will work. And this is our 99% of the young artists think I have 20 tracks, I will release all 20 on different labels, and hopefully one will work is completely wrong. I don't know why they didn't understand the small details.
Farah Nanji 27:44
Hey, you, we hope you're enjoying today's episode. We're on a serious mission here to create one of the world's best podcast series. And we'd be so grateful if you could support us in any way by becoming a patron of the show. There's a tear to every level from earlybird tiers where you get downloads to all my music with some super cool ninja stickers to our VIP mission, make it here's where you get Epic Rewards like exclusive footage that never gets add the chance to submit questions to our guests with signed copies of books from them, DJ lessons, one to one coaching and a whole load of super cool ninja measure making merchandise, you can start supporting us for less than what it cost you to fill up your car for a month by simply heading over to wwe.patreon.com forward slash mission makers. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show. Very interesting. So as a label owner, I mean like how have you kind of like felt about or combated the issue of like, streaming? You know, music piracy, like how do you combat that? How do you feel about that as a label owner?
Soul Button 28:50
I mean, you asked me how do I see this live streaming?
Farah Nanji 28:54
Not live streaming, but like more, let's say services like Spotify, you know, Apple Music? People are not buying the only people were buying music are DJs right? Not necessarily the actual listeners of the tracks. The audience? Yeah.
Soul Button 29:09
Well, I mean, okay, what I can tell you, I mean, I, in general, I really like the concept of the streaming because people don't want to pay, okay. I mean, we're living this is a period of our life where there's this kind of thing, you know, that's everything has to be for free, kind of for free, you know, the concept to pay for music. It's, it became very weird, you know? I mean, it's so easy now to get news for free and the Lord and year. So it's something that it's not I'm pretty sure it's but it's not possible to control anymore. So the idea of paying the artists through the place or on streaming platforms and taking the money through membership, it's amazing in my opinion. So I really like the concept but the problem is the the pay is running so little that it's incredible you know, to make to pay your bills, you have to get 1 million plays a month, so definitely is now going to work I'm very interested in in the new concepts of this and ft, you know, descript new ideas coming out, I'm very, very close to a new project, which is called out use right now, which is decentralised crypto streaming platform, where the artists will eventually getting rewards and getting paid without going through other platforms, you know, like, without paying fees to Spotify, blah, blah, blah. And this is going to be the future you know, so I'm very interested in this. And in general, not only about streaming, but in general even about selling like, I'm pretty sure that in the next five, six years all these shops will completely disappear. Because, I mean, I'm one of the persons I can see that the the the direction of the main labels are taken is they're trying to sell music by themselves. You know, we are tired to leave all these huge fees to Beatport you know, I'm tired I won't sell the music by myself if you support you won't support the label you want to buy music buy from the label don't need to buy from it but who cares about this chart? Nobody cares anymore you know? So this is this is gonna be the the future might be this crypto decentralised solution and labels which we start to sell music but it's
Farah Nanji 33:04
definitely and I mean like because of obviously the situation like do you feel there's more pressure to to find other ways of revenue? Like not necessarily through the music itself? Because like to sustain the ecosystem? You know, is it more events you know that that kind of fuel the ecosystem because the actual streaming of the sound isn't doesn't generate as you say, you need 1 million plays to have even to even support your your living right so let alone fund the whole ecosystem of enable.
Soul Button 33:36
Yeah, I mean, right now the situation is quite hard because me personally I was running the label with the money I was doing from the from the gigs and performances which are pretty zero the last couple of years you know, so something has to happen this business definitely I mean, some some p some artists I'm trying to ask money for even for live streaming right now stuff like this, but just trying to plan but you know, but it's no enough in it's the real solution. If we are not if we will not be able to go back on the stage and perform like we were doing before. I think it's gonna be very hard for many labels because I mean, it's impossible to live with the with the income from streaming and selling at the moment it's it's it's a business there it's actually very funny. This is something that I always say you know, it's a business Dec brings money only to management, DSP shops, stores, you know, agencies PR agencies and, and the only one that doesn't get any man is the artist. You know, I mean, our we can work this out longer work system. You know, Spotify makes billions of money Beatport make billions of money, distributors, they make so much money I give 20% every month to my distributor and every distributor has 801,000 labels. So why all these people that have to make money in the artist have to do nothing? No even one not zero. So it's definitely the assumption they cannot work. I mean, they get advantage of the Bebo, like as the we do music for passion, you know?
Farah Nanji 35:54
It's just suppresses talent, right? Because, you know, how long can someone sustain that without without the fair, like investment coming back to what you've put your time and energy and belief, ultimately into? I do hope, you know, obviously, a lot of things have been reset in this pandemic, and a lot of time to reflect and question things. And perhaps, hopefully, this might be a very important time for things to change and allow ourselves to actually take a pause from the system and come at it differently. So the yes, as you say, the emergence of NF T's, I'm quite excited to see what how, what will come out from you guys on that on that platform? And anybody listening who appreciates what studio he's doing? And definitely, you know, keep an eye out on that. For sure. What I wanted to ask you what also was that? How do you when you're when you're kind of creating your own sound your own, you know, production? Like, how do you do you feel like, it's quite easy for you now to sort of reach that final point of like, okay, musics done, this track is done, I'm gonna, I'm gonna let it go. Does that come? Do you feel more with experience, you know, quantity, sort of, you know, production? Better, but for anybody who's kind of maybe gets a bit stuck on the creative process of like, when, when can I say that, you know, this is done, you know, like, Do you Do you have any sort of opinions about or advice about that even.
Soul Button 37:21
Um, I mean, in general, I would say that this is, I mean, of course, this will, this is an issue and a problem for every kind of, producer. Even if you, if you produce music for 45 years, you can always forever find something that you want to change and something that doesn't sound like you want and some millions of small details. The important thing to me is that every time you listen, you have to like, kind of difficult to explain English for me, but like, every time you listen, you have to listen, like with a different perspective, like starting with checking the details, you know, like they're aware but this purse, small percussion, you know, but all the time you listen going like more general general general overview or you know, until at the end, you just perceive the world sound from beginning to the end without spending time to the single details, you know, I don't know if I succeed, to explain, you know, but all the time that I listen to my own track, I was trying to understand to, to trying to get the feeling, you know, so at some points that the small detail says no sense anymore, you know, because at the end of the day, you as artists, you can spend even mount the years listening to the details, but the normal listener will never notice. It, just it just, it will just pay attention to what this track is transmitting to them, you know, the feeling. So even when people even friends, the sentiment tracks, you know, can you give me a feedback about this track? It's, it's very rare for me to say i This sound is too loud or this percussion is too dry or whatever, I always give feedbacks about feeling, you know, because this is the most important thing to me. So, definitely, I I succeed to stop having this this problem with experience, you know, because at some point, you just have to close and that's it, you know, whatever, you know, So with the years I developed this skill to, to not be so much picky, you know, details and stuff like this. So definitely, I think it's something that comes with, with the experience.
Farah Nanji 40:22
And what what comes first view, like Does the name and the feeling of what you want to create come first or does that? Does that happen sort of after you've kind of created the sketch or the idea of what? What you're making?
Soul Button 40:35
Oh, no, no, no, to be honest. I don't, I just don't think completely, you know, I just live everything coming out. You know, I don't think why I never think I want to do something like this or something like that. I want to reap created that kind of emotional, whatever, you know, I never know what's gonna happen when I sit in front of my computer science. So yeah.
Farah Nanji 41:08
I don't know. That Fair enough. Fair enough. What I'd also love to ask you, I don't know, sometimes this might be difficult to kind of, like, take a step back and like think, okay, when you're so involved in it, but you know, it is it is it is sort of acknowledged and well known that Steve Aoki has kind of created this, as you say, this feeling right of ethereal techno, and in a way, you know, techno, which has this melody and has this sort of feeling of melancholy or takes you on a journey, and you don't, you know, you're taken away from your immediate environment at that point. And it's obviously been extremely successful. So do you think that there's been any effect that this has had on the underground? Like, do you see any effect from from this? Or Not really?
Soul Button 41:58
Well, no, I mean, it's still kind of surprising to me, you know, that. It became like a general you know, it's so funny when I go on YouTube and see this YouTube videos out, make a contract. Find it? Seriously. So I don't know. I mean, what I can tell you is, I mean, one, one impulse for me, you know, it's, I mean, I like techno, I liked house music, I come from hard techno experience when I was younger, was playing one under 60 When I was 65 BPM. But at some point, of my music experience, you know, development, I don't know what to say, but I felt like this need to, to, to create an ambient, the music, you know, some atmosphere, you know, and not just sound, you know, because this was given me the opportunity to, to, to take the crowd, you know, to, to, to create this communication between the it was not any more something just to tune to and Megan people dancing, you know, for me, as DJ when I play I perform in front of 1000 people I appreciate much more that guy is, you know, standing with closed eyes and leaving the music, you know, and not those people that like jumping like crazy, you know, because I think that guy's feeling the music, you know, this is delivered to me. So, slowly and without thinking I developed this kind of I don't know what to say. But anyway, develop this idea, you know, at this. It wasn't it was nice, you know, like when you create this through melodies, but doesn't have to be absolutely a melody. You can be even a pad, you know, this at the end after you played for like 20 minutes, 30 minutes, you know, people are complaining to the music, you know, because you created the ambient, you know, it's not only about dance, dancing, it's just and it's true. I mean, when when the most beautiful compliments the gods I remember years ago when we were collecting feedbacks from people, which actually we usually do. And one guy said Steel gets mentioned because going to the party it's not going to dance it's like it's an experience you know? It's true I mean I understand even though I'm from the from the DJ side and then the when when we get people then don't never listen to this music to our party they go out and they're like wow even if they don't don't understand the music actually that it happened last week in Berlin one of my best friend got a good new girlfriend she never she doesn't know anything about this music she's completely rock and stuff. And he brought to our party in the end she said Oh, you got you have a new fund today. I didn't know anything about this music was amazing. I I trade I was like a gentleman for like four hours you know? So that's the then what is a direct technician to me you know, it's I mean people if we want to edit your techniques kind of sub general of melodic techno you know, is our I consider but melodic techno is just exactly how what's the word says techno with melodies but thelia Techno is a direct techno with melodies, but with an ambience, you know, with, with the sounds and despair and stuff they give you this? Yeah, this concept of being in full journey, you know, from beginning to the end.
Farah Nanji 46:48
Yeah, it's very mystical experience. And it's quite exciting when, when someone new kind of discovers this world and never come across it before. And it's, you know, it's a rabbit hole after that, once you're in, you know, you can never forget about this sound, right? It's not taken. It's, it's, you want to discover that I
Soul Button 47:06
mean, that's some kind of trends, the same kind of progressive, you know, there's, it's kind of a mix of different different influences, you know, from different kinds of gender, but sometimes, there are people you know, the struggle to try to define this. Oh, I want to understand, was this progressive? Is it trends? Is it techno Is it is it has to know, whether it is it just the 80s
Farah Nanji 47:37
we don't always have to put it in a box, that's for sure. So moving on to a bit more of you as, as an individual and like, your sort of habits to succeed. Do you, you know, be you know, living this life as a DJ as a label owner, it's quite nocturnal. I mean, it's, it has its effects. You've been in the scene for a long time. As you've sort of grown through that scene, have you found like, you know, anything that you you keep? That is just non negotiable in your daily routine that's extremely important, that helps you achieve like, like clarity, when you're kind of going after this mission that you have, whether it's meditation, yoga, like I mean, is there anything that you personally do to take care of yourself to be able to succeed
Soul Button 48:29
not something specific, to be honest, but I really need to wake up, I've in my coffee, and just sitting on my desk, me and myself, and nobody else for like, a couple of hours. And this helps me to understand what I have to do today, what I have to do this week, what I have to do this month, what I have to do this year, you know, and it's me and myself, my computer and my papers, you know, and this gives me the global vision, you know, what, there's my mind so this is the most important thing I really need to spend. I mean, after during the day, you know, I can my wife can call me 20 times they, you know, the baby needs this. The baby needs that. But but the first couple of hours in the morning after my golf to be in sitting, just me and myself. WhatsApp doesn't ring still too early for the artists. So this is the only thing that I really need when I'm when I'm at home of course,
Farah Nanji 49:56
how do you like a contract that when you're touring then like Do you just kind of do you just do it and just just kind of get through touring as what it is? Or? Or do you find you are able to make that time for yourself when you're travelling and stuff?
Soul Button 50:11
Well, when I was travelling was not very easy to be honest, you know, but I'm very organised person. So I always try the way to do it in a way or another, I don't know how I do it, sometimes I even wander by myself. But yeah, I live with my papers and notes everywhere in all my bags, my computer and everything. So as soon as I have some one hour, you know, that, that was able to work, you know, the airport and the plane, wherever, I was always ready to work and to focus, you know, even if I was destroyed from the day before. So, and plus a couple of people, the there are managers next to me. Like my wife, and Kate, which is my label manager who follows me for six, seven years regiment,
Farah Nanji 51:21
very important to have that strong support system behind you. 100%. Last question, want to ask you about the music side of things, and, and the label is that I did I read that some somewhere that, you know, sometimes you get emails from, from artists who tried to buy themselves onto your labels and stuff. And I know that, you know, you seem to be a guy that that cares a lot about, like, the ethics and the morality and doing the right thing and kind of also making a change, right. So I wondered if, like, you know, does the label respond back to people like that in a way that maybe, you know, might help to educate someone out of that sort of mindset of, you know, you can't buy success? You know, it's, it's about more about doing the right thing, right? Did you do you ever respond to those sorts of emails when you when you receive them?
Soul Button 52:16
Yes, or not, sometimes when we see potentiality, you know, potential since some person and we see that they do some mistakes in the form on the way out the rights on the way out, you know, how they send the stuff we try to, to explain, and very often they appreciate, you know, from the other way, the emails that we receive are too many. So, I have to be honest, you know, when I was from the other side, that was an artist reaching labels, I was like, why they don't answer me. And now I'm from the other side, and now I understand why the answer because sometimes are too many. And unfortunately, they don't really, I mean, the majority just attempts, let's, you know, they don't send, I mean, I wish I could check, you know, the demos and and at least receiving constantly music that fits with the label, you know, and but you have to listen 20 I mean, 50 demos to find one track average, the fits with Labour, you know? So at some point, you're like, Okay, what do I have to answer to this artist? You know, I didn't understand it all that way. Don't do this, this music, you know, but, but very often, you know, we find some I don't know like, I can make an example. I mean, there's a couple of days ago I answered a guy and I was like, you are sending me what? Three tracks four tracks every 20 days. Yeah. And we are not we never got take one track of you. So try to understand why. You know, if you are sending three tracks every for every 20 days, you know, and so I try to explain him you know, I said this means that you are working just on the quantity you know, Mr to send me three tracks every 20 days. Just stop it sending tracks for six months. Collect all the tracks you have done in the six months Choose three, you know, the best three? And then send to me and then I'm pretty sure we'll release it. You know? So in this way we try sometimes to, to educate people. Yeah. But as I said, it's not very easy sometimes because of the amount. We've seen too many. Yeah,
Farah Nanji 55:23
for sure. You definitely need those gatekeepers as well. So we're moving on to the audience q&a, we have two questions that come in from our audience. So the first one's from David in London, who asks, How did it feel to kind of get back on the dance floor this summer? And do you remember what that first track was? That you played? When you did get to play your first gig?
Soul Button 55:49
Yes. I mean, it was definitely a good feeling. He was kind of oh my god, I forgot this feeling. Even before to start, I was like, as my girlfriend as the Simca still know how to play. Bye was nice. And I remember that the first track they played was actually the intro of the new album from clouds SJ that we just released last week, I guess. Which is, yeah, it's very nice track with no drums for the like, couple of minutes, the first couple of minutes. So like a really intro. So it was very nice, because it's very melodic, like, progressive. He opens the Yeah, so was very good. This was their first track. I think it's the quality check is called existence. So clouds is ChexSystems.
Farah Nanji 56:57
What's the album called? So people can go back and
Soul Button 57:00
the album is called between shadows and lights.
Farah Nanji 57:04
Okay, nice. Yeah. Awesome. Second question is from Alexia in New York. And she asks, What is your go to your favourite plugin for creating melodies? Are you more of a hardware guy? Yes.
Soul Button 57:20
Ah, no, I mean, actually, I've I've some adware but I use always the same, which is called Rev. Two from David Smith. But in terms of the actual VST that I use the most I mean, I tried to avoid the one the everybody using because at some point everybody was using all this the same this kind of diva stuff and you know, all the tracks there were 70 Always the same. I use a lot Omnisphere great plugin. Yeah, because it's very full of sounds. I use a lot repro from scold you he I guess the brand. Yeah. I use a lot. repro she's very good. well spent. I use a lot. Julia.
Farah Nanji 58:30
Yeah. Nice. Some solid solid. plugins that. Cool. And lastly, we're going to have our quick fire round, which is just a couple of questions. Not more than sort of 60 seconds on each. And so our first question as a native Italian we do have to ask you Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Soul Button 58:51
Absolutely not. No, I never saw any.
Farah Nanji 58:58
Yeah, I definitely agree with you on that one. On the note of pizza, what what is your favourite place to get pizza in Berlin?
Soul Button 59:07
Um, there's a very nice restaurant called El Mundo. Which means the word. Very good bit. Okay. A little MPs.
Farah Nanji 59:21
Which part of Berlin is that in
Soul Button 59:22
Farah Nanji 59:26
Cool. Cool. Next one, what's the best music documentary that you've you've seen?
Soul Button 59:35
The doors Jim Morrison for sure.
Farah Nanji 59:38
That's a great documentary. If you could, if you could film school, any film, would you would you have one in mind? And what if you can film school any film? Would you have any in mind that you'd love to do the music for?
Soul Button 59:56
If I would like to do a music for any movie with you
Farah Nanji 1:00:00
Yeah, exactly. So to write to basically score like do the music, right, you know, for for movie to make the soundtrack.
Soul Button 1:00:07
Just actually what I would love to do for every kind of movie because it's the best thing to do some tracks, but I always thought that I would like to, to remake completely you know, the movie Berlin calling. Yeah. Paul Kalkbrenner. Yeah, yeah. I was forced to do X to redo completely the music of that movie. The No way. So maybe this one.
Farah Nanji 1:00:35
Wow. That's that's very interesting. Because that soundtrack was, was huge when it came. Yeah, it's,
Soul Button 1:00:41
it's actually amazing. But that's why I was always thinking, Well, I would sound this this movie with something different.
Farah Nanji 1:00:51
Very interesting. And lastly, Christian, what are you most grateful for this month?
Soul Button 1:00:56
Where in general, I'm very happy. And this month, because I'm finished to build my studio. Finally. Yes, they didn't so long. And and the other thing that I would like to mention is that I'm extremely happy that. And it's finally it's so nice and so beautiful. Because every day is you feel this connection stronger and stronger with with your own son. So yeah, I just wanted to mention this
Farah Nanji 1:01:41
beautiful note to end on. Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate your time and your insights. And we'll put in all the plugs for the label and everything and definitely keep an eye out for the for the LF lft projects as well.
Soul Button 1:01:56
Yes, everybody should. Thank you so much thank you by
Farah Nanji 1:02:05
what I take away most from today's interview is that you really don't need to follow the mainstream or the direction of the hype. It's so easy to get caught up in that and we see hundreds of artists doing that even in underground music. But in the end, having your own individuality and identity will be the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd. Especially as we're going into such an automated world. Those humans skills that we've talked about all throughout this show are so important. And I truly think it's like that for most things in life, whether you're in music, or in business. So guys, also don't forget, if you want to grab a copy of today's show notes, then head over to WWE mission makers.com forward slash soul button, where you will also find notes from all of our previous episodes. And we've got some amazing guests coming on the show this season. So be sure to share the show with your friends and subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, YouTube and wherever else you listen to your podcasts. You can reach out to me at Mission makers or at DJ or n one nga on Instagram. And if you're interested in supporting the show and getting some really cool rewards like Virtual DJ lessons and exclusive merchandise, then don't forget to visit ww patreon.com forward slash mission makers. Thank you for listening and until next time, keep it laser focused