Meet deephouse talent Culoe de Song from South Africa

Meet deephouse talent Culoe de Song from South Africa

Sep 9, 2011 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author

His distinctive sound, a mixture of house, deep house, hip-hop and electro combined with African influences, make him one of the fastest rising stars of South Africa. Culoe de Song just entered his twenties, but the DJ from Johannesburg is rapidly taking over the world. This Saturday he will be releasing his new album Elevation! in the Sugar Factory, invited by SSSST!. had a nice chat with him before he boarded his plane to dazzle us with his epic African house music.

Elevation Album Podcast by Culoe De Song by Culoe De Song

You participated in the Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona in 2008, from where you’re international career took flight. There you shared your culture and experience through music with a new type of audience and got in contact with the Innervisions label. What happened after that?

“Well before I was just making the music, but at the Red Bull Music Academy I got serious. Of course I joined Soulistic Music already, but kept reaching out. The academy was a big step. The moment Innervisions came to me was the moment it all really started, especially internationally. It felt like the time to present them my part of the evolution in music.”

It must have not only been a big step for you, but also for South African dance music. You being one of the few reaching so high?

“Yeah, it was. We’re in an era of the youth, a lot of young people are getting into the dance business and that’s just what I did. There are a lot of young South African producers, musicians and other artists that are taking their chance. I’m just part of the movement.”

Culoe de Song

Operating from Johannesburg, how do you manage to get such a broad audience?

“Joburg is good for my business and it has a nice vibe. It’s like South Africa’s New York. But also in the countryside the dance scene is growing. That’s the good thing about South Africa; there’s a lot of things growing in different places. Not only the people in the big cities, but also in the smaller towns they’re are interested in dance music. The scene is big and filled with African house musicians.”

The year after the academy you returned to the city for Sonar Festival. The same summer you played in Europe’s underground dance music scene in Italy, Belgium, Germany and Amsterdam. How does that make you feel?

“There must be a lot of people around the world that love my music. With all the publicity I got more bookings and that feels very good. The people are reaching out to my music, they way I play it. Before I mainly worked in South Africa, so to go out was huge. The responses of the rest of the world were enthusiastic. It’s a great honour touring around the world with my music.”

Culoe de Song

Now you’ve come back to Amsterdam to delight us with a new album of epic African house music. Does Amsterdam have a special place in your heart?

“Amsterdam is amazing. I’m really excited to come back to Sugarfactory, because last time it was very nice. The city is one of my favourites in the world and last year I also performed during Amsterdam Dance Event. What attracts me most is the fact that Amsterdam is so retro, you get a really calm atmosphere.”

And our dance music scene, including our audience?

“When they get to clubs it’s a different story with the people from Amsterdam. They really enjoy the music and just go crazy. Everybody feels the music very bad. You got a lot a artistic people walking around and you can see that in the dance scene as well as within the audience. Amsterdam is just one of a kind.”

Red Bull Music Academy

In what way do you think your music connects people in Europe and the United States to the people in Africa?

“It’s great to travel the world, experience and meet people around the world because it’s all about music. With music we can all understand each other: it’s universal.Even though we use less vocals in dance music, it makes sense and therefore bridges gaps. We feel each other. It’s powerful.”

And South Africa in particular?

“I’ve got a big fan base in South Africa that reflects to the fans outside. But of course South Africa is a country where the difference between rich and poor are very big. So I think by growing up in Africa we got the message that with music you can relate to people, no matter their status. Next to that South Africa is a country with a lot of – turbulent – history, whereby the music and rhythms got filled with political messages. It’s the young people who learn about this history via music and so I try to keep that local flavour into there as well. That’s unique for South Africa.”

About your new album Elevation!: how did you keep the mixture of house, deep house, international hiphop and electro with African influences alive on this one?

“My new album is filled with local vibes with the inspiration of indigenous music. It also features some collaborations, like I did before as well. I chose the title Elevation! with a good reason, because I think it’s a step up again for my music. Everything I experienced has led me to a point right now and I wanted to put the growth into this album.”

What’s the next step for Culoe de Song?

“Keep spreading the word, spreading the music. I want to tell my people about my love for South Africa and show them the beauty of our country. I try to do that with my music, but also just by telling people. More collaborations around the world to keep putting people together with the music. That’s my main influence and that’s what keeps me going.”

SSSST! It’s Culoe de Song

When: September 10th, 00:00-05:00
Where: Sugarfactory, Lijnbaansgracht 238
Tickets: €12,50,-


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