“Man discovered soul music as the answer to a desire for a higher emotional expression” ~ ~ ~ DJ Soulswede
DJ Soulswede, aka Souly, founded Soulinterviews.com as a way to both honor and share soul music, and to actively bring the heart of “soul” back. Born and raised in Sweden, music has been a part of his life “forever”. His father has played the organ in local churches for most of his life – one of Souly’s earliest memories is delving into his father’s vinyl collection, where the artists he discovered (including Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder) made in indelible impression on him. So it was no surprise when at eight years old, the young soul scholar in the making asked his parents for the new George McCrae single “Rock Your Baby.” Even at such a young age, Soulswede knew there was something special about hearing McCrae’s soulful voice coasting along over a melodic, soulful groove. He then began to explore his father’s vinyl collection, taking an instant liking to Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder in particular. In 1980, at the age of thirteen, he bought his first album, “Secret Combination” by Randy Crawford.
In the mid-80’s local radio stations crossed Souly’s radar. One small
problem – he didn’t like the music they were playing! Wanting to share
the music that he loved, he found a solution – he approached one of the
stations about hosting a show featuring soul music. The end result – the
show “Soul Power Radio” (which later became “Soul Food Radio”) was
born. While this was the beginning of a lifetime passion for bringing
music and artists into the public eye, it had its difficulties, as soul
was not a well known, nor a well accepted genre in Sweden. To his shock,
he was even threatened on one of his live shows, and reviled for
playing black music on the radio, His musical tastes ended up putting
him in risk of harm, so much so that he had to leave the studio through a
back door for a period of time.
At the same time Souly was freelancing with “Soul Corner”, a highly respected show on Swedish National Radio, interviewing such greats as Robert “Kool” Bell and Dennis “DT” Thomas of Kool & The Gang. On his own local radio show he was interviewing artists such as Tyrone Davis, BeBe & CeCe Winans and Mitch McDowell of General Kane. This was quite an achievement, and quite daunting for such a young man (he was twenty years old at the time), interviewing established artists of this caliber. It worked because he was respected for his depth of knowledge and his deep love for the music.
With a solid background of interviewing established artists behind him, Souly is now focused on bringing his audiences the best music out there, from the well-known to the lesser known artists, and sharing the “story behind the story” of the artists making the music. His interviews take the listener to a higher, deeper level in their appreciation for the music by allowing the artists behind the music to share their journey. And share their journey they do!
In the 90’s Souly moved to Spain to work for a few years, followed by a move back to Stockholm. As is the way of the world, he drifted away from the close contact he had developed with the music world. In 2008 he founded Soulinterviews.com, an Internet site that was to be his way back into the world of music, his way of nurturing his soul, and the soul of his listeners. Soulinterviews.com features deep soul, hardcore funk, smooth jazz, R&B, and soulful house. Souly’s mission – to restore the art and essence of making music to its proper form.
Since the inception of Soulinterviews.com, Souly has interviewed legendary greats, up and coming artists, and artists that have a body of work that has a deep core, but that may not be that well known. As a young man, his interest in interviewing artists was simply that it was cool to talk to them. That interest has evolved into wanting to look behind the music, to hear the details, to see why an artist works the way that they do, to share their journey, to allow them to tell their story.
Souly is a listener more than a questioner. He is very touched by the fact that extremely talented people are still humble, and that humility and talent go hand in hand. While he does not go into an interview with any expectations (no prepared questions- he does the research and then allows the interview to flow as it will), he has come out of interviews with some very magical moments!
In his interview with Bootsy Collins the conversation turns to the marriage between Bootsy’s bass riffs and the horn section of The Horny Horns. It’s an “ongoing dialogue” between them, and the secret behind Bootsy’s unique sound and the sound of Parliament-Funkadelic.
Speaking with Marc Gordon of LeVert was filled with intense moments, including a discussion relating to the groups beginnings, and the “haters”, those who viewed them with resistance and skepticism. Talk flowed naturally to the untimely death of Gerald LeVert, and the impact that it had on Gordon and the group. A nod of thanks to Marc Gordon, who is one of the primary reasons that Souly founded Soulinterviews.com. ”Marc’s story gave me the strength and courage needed to trust in myself and focus on my goal.” DJ Soulswede says.
The James Ingram interview touches on Ingram’s involvement with Quincy Jones, which lead to his being hand picked to perform in “We Are The World”, and his future humanitarian work. One of the best moments in this interview is the story behind the name of “Yah Mo Be There” – a combination of the name of God and slang. A moment that almost slides by is Ingram talking about the impact that the Internet would have on the music industry (what he saw then is what is there now).
The legendary Charlie Wilson (Uncle Charlie) talked about the difficult periods in his life, and his great respect for his wife, who helped him work through it. (This is strongly reflected in his choice of music this is supportive of women, and of treating them well.) Souly brought out the history behind the son “You Are” – how and why a live orchestra was added, and how it drove the song over the top!
The tribute show that Souly did for Robert Brookins stands as a true gift to the music world. Philip Bailey, a close friend of Brookins, discusses Brookins’ from a very personal point of view: from his health issues, to his ability to multi-task (he could play keyboard and bass while singing AND leading the band), to the reasons behind Bailey having to release Brookins from Earth, Wind & Fire. As soul music moves us to another place and time, Souly’s tribute interview takes us to another place and time. Robert Brookins … soulfully on the Night Shift!
Music is a form of spiritual therapy … good music reflects the person behind it, and that person’s history is what makes their music the oxygen that we breathe. For Souly, Soulinterviews.com has become a lifetime project – one in which he can present artists and their music in the manner that he feels best connects them with their listeners. His goal is to bring memorable moments to his listeners … to bring them deep insights about the artists and the music that he presents. Souly sees the podcast format as the best possible format for interviews. It’s ”radio on the listeners terms”. The end result … a body of work (through audio interviews and Soul Interviews Radio Show on Solar Radio) that will be long lasting, and readily available to his listening audience.
DJ Soulswede – taking the pulse of the music industry, one artist at a time!
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