Last week Italian duo Souldynamic came to our HQ for a quick chat and a DJ set.
Luca and Stefano first met in a record shop in their home town Frosinone, Italy, and led by their deep passion for House music, they founded their project called ‘Souldynamic’ in 2007.
The duo soon began travelling the world to pursue their DJing / producing career, then playing with some of the biggest names in the house music scene, such as Kerri Chandler, Osunlade, Karizma, DJ Spen, Kenny Dope, Phil Asher, Luis Radio, Atjazz and many others.
During their career, the duo collaborated with the likes of Louie Vega, Josh Milan, Margaret Grace, Peven Everett, Ultra Naté, and performed at some of the finest international clubs. Among them are Pacha (Ibiza), Room 26 (Rome), Beat Players at East Village (London), Kee Club (Hong Kong), Pacha (Mallorca), Nb Club (Coimbra), Armani Bar (Hong Kong), Urban Klub (Italy), Supperclub (Amsterdam). Since achieving worldwide success, they hold their residency at Southport Weekender‘s open air festival SuncéBeat every summer.
In 2017 Souldynamic founded their first label, Excedo Records, which celebrated its first release titled ‘Excedo’ last December.
Watch Souldynamic’s exclusive DJ set aired live April 21st 2018 from our HQ in Milan:
Hello and welcome to House of Frankie, Underground Radio in Milan, Italy. Today, I’m here with Italian duo Souldynamic. Hi, nice to have you here in Milan!
Talking about The Souldynamic project, how did you guys meet? When and how you decided to create a duo?
Luca: So when we met, many years ago – I think it was like 15 years ago – it was in a record shop, the only one we had in our town and it was just for a special occasion. I remember that the owner of this record shop told me “I need to introduce you to this guy, Stefano, because he follows House music and probably you could match and do something together”. And now we’re like brothers, because we’ve spent a lot of time together every day. We’ve started with a radio station actually, but after a few years of radio show we thought that this wasn’t enough because we couldn’t do what we actually wanted to do, which is DJing, and not just to host a radio show. So, we decided to start a project, but it was just like a joke or a game. We started producing many tracks, but we were not totally satisfied with lots of them. However, once we produced a track we thought “Wow! It sounds good, so probably we can release it! Let’s find a name”, Stefano came out with Souldynamic, which sounds good for a lot of people. I was just surprised to see that a lot of people from England ask us “How do you guys came with Souldynamic? It’s very cool!” and it’s so nice for us. It’s a long story but that’s a very, very short version of it.
Your career started in Frosinone, Italy, and then you made a name for yourself in the international scene. How did you get into the DJing industry? Did you face any difficulties on your path to success?
L: Well, probably Frosinone was the biggest motivation for Souldynamic because yes, the city is beautiful, but the underground music scene is not very big. But anyway, we had a lot of goals and we noticed that producing music was the only solution to arrive somewhere else. So, we got into the DJ industry just by creating productions, making remixes and new music… that was the only thing we could do and also, that’s the only thing we’re keep doing for our label Excedo. As to difficulties, we keep facing a lot of them actually, because we’re still growing, we’re still trying to carve out a niche for ourself. You know, being Italian is not very easy, because Italy is very strange. We would like to play much more in Italy, but here most people keep recruiting DJs from other countries and we would really like to let them know that even if we are Italian, we like to travel around Italy, to discover new places and enjoy the marvellous dance floors we have. We think that all those DJs that come to Italy really enjoy our dance floors, because our way to dance, the warm they find, the food, everything is amazing…. So, we believe that all the Italian DJs should have more space here in Italy. Yes, there are many difficulties but, you know, you just have to front them, to fight to solve all your problems and move forward to your goal! That’s the only thing you could do.
You are very popular in the UK! Over the years you have played at various important festivals like Southport Weekender and your DJ sets have always been characterized by a soulful sound. Nowadays, however, you appear on the music scene with a more electronic sound. What’s behind this change? Is it part of a separate project?
Stefano: We have produced vocal house, soulful vibes for ten years and after the release of our album ‘Origins’, which was characterized by ten vocal tracks, we needed to change, because the music business is one of the biggest market out there. So, we want to change our mind, our prospective, we would love to enter in another dimension, we need to do this. We try, step by step to move towards another sound, but always with our passion for the past, for funky music, for soulful, jazz, and afro beat.
L: Well, Southport and SuncéBeat are the main reasons why we are popular. We have a lot of followers in the UK and yes, they love the soulful sound, but we always say we are House DJs, a music genre which includes many other subgenres. If you look at our past, we’ve tried so many genres of House music but now I think we’re looking a little bit at the Deep House one for the production. As to the first releases on Excedo Records, we just want to let the people know that we’re doing something different because we’re closing a decade of Souldynamic and opening another one. But anyway, it’s always the same project, Souldynamic, and we think that a real artist is someone who’s open to trying as many music genres as he can. A good DJ and producer should try a lot of different sounds, all of them coming from House music, and we said so because of our DJ sets. When we play we just don’t play vocal tracks, we play a lot of instrumentals, and at one point, we realized that we hadn’t created many instrumentals, so we needed to do more!
Both our album ‘Origins’ and its title track gave us a lot of satisfactions, so that’s why we opened this new era of Souldynamic.
Last year, your label Excedo Records celebrated its first release titled ‘Excedo’. Could you tell us something about this new record label? What was the idea behind it?
L: Well, I need to be short again. We had been thinking about having our own label for many years but we were waiting to be a more complete artist. Excedo is the result of many years of working and it has a very precise reason why it was launched. It’s the opportunity for Souldynamic to release more music, to be more open to different kinds of music, and you will soon hear many dimensions of music. The first track called “Excedo” was a tune we arranged a few months ago, we even played it at our Boiler Room. We were waiting to release our album first, ‘Origins’, on Tribe Records, a label which we will probably work again for. Excedo is many things, that’s why we chose the chameleon as its icon; it has so many characteristics. Plus, all the titles of each track from the ‘Chameleon EP’ refers to a feature of the chameleon itself. This wants to explain how much we are able to look at music in different ways and that’s why we chose this animal. I remember when we were at the office looking for a name for the label and we found “excedo”, which is a word from the Latin language that means “go over, never stop and look beyond the mountains, there’s a big world you can explore”. So, that’s why the label is called this way! But this is also the next mission for Souldynamic.
What’s next for Souldynamic? Are you working on new projects?
S: We’re working on a lot of projects like the ‘Chameleon EP, Vol. 3’ [Head here for Vol.2], we’re working on new tracks characterized by about 70 samples of Italian music, like Italo Disco. We’re also working on new vocal tracks, like those from our album ‘Origins’. There are 2 tracks, one featuring Jocelyn Mathieu remixed by Mannu, the other featuring two mellow remixes by DJ Spen. Plus, a lot of projects out soon on our label Excedo Records.
What do you think of the new Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2? In your opinion, how important is technology in the field of DJing?
L: DJing is technology, without technology we couldn’t do anything and probably we would need a band on stage. Pioneer is Pioneer and we are not those kinds of DJs who use all the features that Pioneer gives to you, such as those DJs like DJ Spen who know very well all its buttons. Anyway, we feel very comfortable with the CDJs-2000NXS2, because you can choose very quickly any track you would like to play and you also have a very intuitive selection of buttons. Probably for most people it seems like they are doing something strange but in the end, it’s very easy to use them and that’s makes the DJ work much easier. So, thank you Pioneer, because without you probably many DJs out there wouldn’t be DJing.
Josh Milan, Ultra Naté, Robert Owens, Louie Vega are some of the artists you have remixed or produced. So, what’s your favourite collaboration you have ever made?
S: Maybe the last one, Louie Vega, the Maestro. Yeah, for us it’s the most important remix that we have made over the last ten years. Also, it was really important for us because of the relationship with Vega and the other great DJs around him, you know. We remixed the track “Magical Ride feat. N’Dea Davenport” and it was really fun because is a good vocal track, with a nice piano reef. For us it was one of the biggest collaboration ever, so we always thank Louie. Also, personally, I loved the remix that we did with Josh Milan on King Street Records. It was a good collaboration and it’s one of my favourite remix because it has that good Latin soulful vibes.
L: I have another one, Dennis Ferrer’s “Church Lady”, which was a very big track and was a very good tune to remix. Of course, Louie Vega’s one is in our heart, but I think “Church Lady” was a track that changed something in the House music industry and Dennis Ferrer himself did a lot for the industry. So, that mix was very nice because we had the opportunity to do an organ track, an organ version without vocal and that was big satisfaction too because many DJs played that.
Right in front of you, there’s a selection of canvas, that’s what we call our Artists’ “Gallery Wall”, showcasing some of our ideals and inspirational figures from the international underground music scene. Which of these artists have influenced your sound?
L: We see so many faces over there but there are a few who are very important for us and very inspiring. Probably for both of us I can mention Ron Trent, Kerri Chandler, of course the Maestro Louie Vega, Claudio Coccoluto and Luis Radio. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Italian DJs because, you know, Claudio and Luigi (aka Luis Radio) are the House pioneers in Italy with many others, but they are the most recognized ones in the House music scene.
We are very glad to have been DJing with a lot of them over the years. We have played as the opening act for Carl Cox at Southport Weekender; we had the pleasure to meet Alex Neri some years ago; we have been in the car with Black Coffee, who’s actually an icon, and with whom we were also on a boat party at SuncéBeat; we have worked for DJ Spen several times, and many others! But the Master is always Frankie.
House of Frankie, was born as a project dedicated to Frankie Knuckles, and more in general, as a tribute to house music. What do you guys think of this legendary DJ and producer?
S: We are DJs and producers because of Frankie Knuckles. He was and he is still the history of house music. For us he represents our biggest inspiration, we have followed his music and work not only for his remixes and productions but also for the person he was, because he was a really nice person. So, for us he is the prototype of a DJ, a father.
Thank you, guys! It was great to have you here! Bye Luca, bye Stefano! See you soon!
Listen to Souldynamic’s latest releases on Traxsource
Video Filmed and Edited by Samantha Faini.