Getting to know André Sobota – Interviewed by Shilpa Shah
I am amazed with the journey I’m taken on when I listen to Andre’s “5 a.m”. Shivers, a sense of euphoria and being taken on a mesmerizing journey are just some of the words that can only begin to describe the depth and soul of Andre Sobota’s music. Being a musical prodigy, and having the good fortune of being able to study music at a young age, Andre composed his first track at the tender age of nine.
Starting out, Andre entered the dance music scene by producing Drum n Bass, which was well received and made producers sit up and take notice of this young man’s talent.
It didn’t stop there. Thinking out of the box is what makes Andre stand apart from the rest, and each of his tracks has a familiarity, yet are vastly different from each other. His tracks weave a story, and the technical intricacy of his tracks is unparalleled and can be matched by few. He has been featured on record labels such as Pryda & Friends, Spectrum, Toolroom, Monster Tunes, to name a few. With support from the likes of Markus Schulz, Sasha, Dubfire, Eric Prydz, he has firmly made his mark in the dance music industry and has been considered one of Brasil’s finest exports in the world of progressive/minimal/tech-house.
When I was given the opportunity to interview this talented DJ/Producer, I was extremely excited to delve into what makes Andre Sobota create those beautiful melodies. So lovelies, here he is, one of Brasil’s stars – Andre Sobota.
- Andre, my name is Shilpa and let me first say what an honor it is for me to do this interview with you. So, let me start off by asking how the start of 2013 has been for you in terms of music and production? My honor! 2013 has been great so far, been working on a true mountain of new material.
- When I tried to search for more information on you, I really didn’t find much! You are a tough man to google! J Do you like to keep a low profile in general? Yes and no. The project is constantly evolving and changing so I’m letting the records speak themselves for now. As the next steps confirm there will be more information and word context.
- With such a musical background and having extensive training in music, you have experimented with so many different genres, and yet you are now being recognized for your soulful melodies and your out of the box compositions. Is this all part of your musical training? I think its because of my background with progressive rock & jazz. My musical training is more oriented to improvisation and jamming than discipline and exercises, so its more about a natural flow, inspiration, intuition, whats in the air. That’s what I’m trying to incorporate in electronic music, make the elements react to each other every instant like a band does. Which means that even in the most simple and apparently naïve tracks there are tons of interactions and stuff going on.
- You released quite a few Drum n Bass productions as one half of the duo Bungle. And you had releases on some well known DnB labels. How did you make the progression from DnB to progressive/tech house? Actually Bungle is only me. I’ve done exclusively drum & bass for 5 years, then at a certain point it was time to expand to house & techno. Just a natural progression, but I’ve kept doing drum & bass all these years.
- When you look at the support that you’ve gained from artists such as Markus, Sasha, Carl Cox, Dubfire (to name a few) over the years, what is your first thought? It tells that your doing something right. But these days people receive thousands of promos every day so I try to not worry too much about it.
- You have been featured on some premier labels like Toolroom, Pryda & Friends, Spectrum Recordings. I want to know, how did your Saviour EP get signed onto Toolroom Trax? Was it very difficult to get Toolroom to notice your work? I’ve never sent a demo to Toolroom, so you imagine how surprised I was when they contacted me. The EP was already done. Not something that happens every day!
- When you look back on the artists you’ve been fortunate to collaborate with, and remix for, who was the one artist that really had you in awe? Coldplay & Rihanna
- Your music has different emotions, and at least personally, I feel I connect with your music when I listen to it. Do you always want to build that kind of a personal connection with your listeners? That’s the main thing. It’s something that comes up straight when I pick up my guitar and piano. Just a few notes and it’s there, something you couldn’t describe ever. And it’s moving, you can’t visualize it. That’s what drives me, to bring that kind of personal vibe to the club.
- You did a guestmix on Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy radio show. Given that it is a show that has been heard more among the trance fans rather than a wider audience, how do you feel you had to prepare for your mix and how did you choose the tracks? Again that was very natural, the guys at Anjuna let me free to take my direction. I’ve realized how open minded they are when they’ve supported Futura several times before my guest mix.
8. When you sit down in the studio to compose a new track, what are the key elements that you specifically focus on to bring the track together? Are there days when you feel that your compositions simply don’t come together? The inspiration and melodies. Bad days happen when my brain is focused on sound rather than music. When I’m looking up for a certain sound, start doing music by what I see on the screen, moving elements here and there, by trial and error, that’s when I loose it. The last two years I’ve had very few bad days, because I realized that if the melody is not really saying anything the sound will never come right. And recently I’ve started to find the sound color with the notes, rather than the sound source. When I go too much technical and there’s no emotion, I may spend weeks and not come up with anything concrete.
9. The talent that stems out of Brasil is quite in a league of its own. You have artists who focus on all genres of dance music. If you had to collaborate with a fellow Brasilian artist, who would you want to work with and why? Gui Boratto
10. Now, since you produce house/tech-house and progressive, you understand how soulful the genre truly is. When you see Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta and the like (the more mainstream dance artists) being classified as “House” what do you have to say about it? Honestly, I don’t worry about that. These guys are great songwriters and producers. Some songs have great melodies. So I don’t have a problem really. But when it comes to rock I can’t say that, for me rock died in 73 (laughs).
11. Dance music today has become full of genres and sub-genres and everyone claims to be right about what genre each artist belongs to. Before, half these sub genres didn’t even exist. What do you have to say about these different new genres that keep creeping up in Dance music? Again, I don’t worry much. I’m looking up for the process not the result. The trip, not the destination. Whatever its called, it will never be as good as Black Sabbath anyway! (laughs)
12. André, if I had to ask you to describe your music in 5 words you would say… Red, Blue, Green, White and Black
13. Would you ever “shift” your sound again to something different from what you are doing now? What genre of music would you love to experiment with if you had the chance? The masterplan has always been to go back to my musical background, rock & jazz at some point. I’ve done some material on that way last year, there will certainly have to be a transition because it sounds a bit different to some of my stuff. Changes will happen anytime soon.
14. Now, onward to what the rest of 2013 has in store. What are some of your upcoming projects? Do we have an album in the offing? Despite having a huge amount of material on the works, I’m focused on doing good singles for this year. And put the project on tour. After that, yes the album. There is already the name and main track. I can’t wait to finally get on that!
15. If you had to choose 3 producers to work with, who you haven’t worked with before, who would they be and why? Boards Of Canada, Gui Boratto, Luke Abbott.
16. If you had to compose a score for a film, what kind of film would you ideally do it for? Something occult, vintage and dark.
17. Can you tell us if you are going to be touring anywhere exciting this year? (perhaps India) J That’s the main priority now. Good news shall come very soon!
18. Andre, thank you for taking the time out for us here at Euphoric to do this interview. I wish you all the success in the future! Would you like to leave a message for your fans and readers alike? J A sincere thank you for all the support and every feedback. That’s what keeps me moving!