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Interview with Soul Button

Interview with Soul Button

An interesting interview with the Soul of STEYOYOKE Recordings

Editor USM
Mon 18 Nov 2019

Hello Christian and welcome on USM!
Hi guys, thanks for having me. 

Describe us your current state. Where are you now?
Just got back to Berlin from Cairo. I had an amazing time with the lively and warm Egyptian crowd, which I have to say is very connected to my music. I have a week left to finish 2 new tracks and then I’m off to Beirut for my 6 hour extended set, in the middle of the revolution. :)

What inspired you to get into the music field? How difficult was to establish your own music business and what have you learned all this years from the field? 
I started producing music more than 20 years ago when a few friends were into the electronic music and most were into Heavy Metal or Italian Pop Music. The inspiration, as I’ve mentioned in other interviews, was a tape from the historical Germans “Kraftwerk”, which I found by chance on the street. If you think about it, I’ve been producing music since I was 20 and only getting results now that I am 43, you can assume what my answer is regarding how difficult it was. If you ask me what the key was to success, I will definitely tell you what I usually tell all the young producers - the key is to produce music that comes from yourself, without thinking of what labels want, what the hype is at the moment, and what you see on top of the charts. The process takes more time than producing the hype. But, in the long term your fans will love your music because it is distinctive and it reflects exactly who you are. Musicians who have their own unique style will last forever, and this is the concept of music intended as art. “Producers” who copy and paste loops and hope to become famous disappear in couple of years. I guess we have many examples.

What is your "Hot Potato" of a typical working day?
When I’m not traveling, I work in the morning at the office to coordinate all my guys for the 3 labels and in the afternoon I run to studio. This means I spend most of my time sitting in front of a computer and not enough time to workout, so my answer is definitely the health of my back/posture.

Creativity is something that we are born with but everyone has something different to trigger it out. What triggers your creativity?    
What triggers my creativity is mainly the constant feedback I receive from my beloved followers, which I care so much about. They write me in all social media platforms, thanking me for all the emotions I give them and for healing their souls with my music. Traveling and playing for people who specifically come to listen to your music is definitely what pushes me to go back to the studio on Mondays after a long weekend. I always try to offer something new for them. I don’t aim to top charts, I don’t pay for fake followers, I don’t spend thousands of dollars for an article on Mixmag, I only care about how my real, organic followers perceive and feel my music.

Ok let's get into your studio. What is the main music gear that you use for your music production? Your favorite gear?
The main gear is the Dave Smith Prophet REV2. I used plugins for years, but when I got this synthesizer, I finally understood what the difference is between an analog synth and a virtual synth. I can’t do music anymore without my Prophet.

Soul Button - Phantom Existence album. How long it took to complete your album and what do you want to present with this piece? You have really interesting contributions like Violin Girl, Rebecca Sumner, Mistier, Terry Grant and Photographs. that gives an interesting perspective to the album. 
Honestly, I started thinking of making an album maybe 2-3 years ago. But,  it was only an idea until last January when I decided to put together all the pieces and create the entire work. Once I decided to make and finalize it, it took me maybe 8-10 hours a day in the studio for about 5 months. I didn’t want to make an album of just a compilation of original tracks, but I also wanted to give a message. Every single track and every single lyrics have meaning and it’s all about the beauty of Freedom. I believe we live in a box where media, society and even the music business itself, taught us what’s good and bad, what’s right and wrong. We lost the concept of being and feeling free, and even expressing  our own opinions. So, I wanted to give a message to all the listeners, to stop and try to think how our lives could be without any limitations and how it could be if we were really free. It was amazing to collaborate with singers and musicians who really love the concept of the album and express it in words in their own way. I sent them the music and guided them with the subject of the song. It was a very cool experiment from my side.

As an artist and label owner how you see the electronic music industry what you love and what you hate? Is the music your main source to get a living?
I love art, I love music and I love music as form of expression. Making music to me is a give-and-take process. I make music to give feelings and emotions to people and in exchange, I get their love and support. Unfortunately, the music business destroyed all of this. Managements, booking agents, exclusive contracts, etc. have transformed what art was into a money-machine. There are a few artists left, the rest are just products. There are famous DJs who play on the biggest stages in the world and have never produced a single track and have no idea what it means to make a son. But, they have good management and a good budget to invest in social media agencies. In this case, I only see the give-and-take as a money flow between promoters, “fake artists” and managers. Music is the last thing. So, if you ask me what I “hate” the most, it is the people who are only attracted by big names and only give opportunities to this music industry that makes all this garbage happen. I don’t hate managers and booking agents because they do their work. I don’t like the blind people who spend way too much money to go to Tomorrowland and listen to “artists” who are not involved with art at all.
And yes, I do only music for a living.

Any plans to see you in Greece the short future?
I don’t think Greece is in the near future for me. In my opinion, Greece, like other countries like my own country Italy, are stuck to big names. They can afford to pay thousands and thousands of euros for big names and they offer hundreds for artists like me.

What's your vision about the future of electronic music and business etc.?
I don’t see a nice future to be very honest with you. Electronic music and especially the techno scene is becoming the new EDM. When you see Solomun playing at Tomorrowland, it’s already clear. People are investing so much money to buy their own tracks and be first on beatport. People would sell their houses to invest in social media and buy articles on the main music magazines in order to be FAMOUS. All this will destroy the music. I often receive emails from kids asking how much I want to be released on Steyoyoke. The future I see is terrible. I hope I’m wrong.

What's your plans for today?
Keep doing what I’m doing. Wake up in the morning and do whatever it is I feel like doing. If I feel inspired, I’ll go to studio and make music. If I don’t feel like making music, I will work on my label plans. The other plan is to build a studio in another country, with sun, nature, maybe sea, and trying to get more inspired by nature.

Share with us something positive and motivating?  
Ohhh, thanks for this question. The positive thing is that there are still people who believe in art, in what’s so-called underground, and they keep doing what they love as a way of satisfaction for themselves and for others. And this is exactly the concept of my album. In some parts of “Imagine To Be Free”, I wrote: “Now, Imagine understanding all this and not wanting to play the game. Imagine being surrounded by people who think in the same way that you do”. That’s exactly my life
and the motivating part of it. It is this idea that I carry with me when it comes to my labels and my projects. If you follow my labels, you know very well, that those people who think in the same way I do, are still here next to me and they believe in my concept. The others who were only looking for fame are not with us anymore. So, my advice is always stay true to yourself and never sacrifice who you are for anyone.
Thank you for your time and good luck! :) Positive vibes from all our team

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Phantom Existence
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