Interviews are always an adventure trip. At best, they give an insight into the way of working and the world of thoughts of artists and musicians. Here you find our WEST COAST Soul interviews.
“MAS” – INTERVIEW WITH CARWYN ELLIS
While winter still has Central Europe in its grip, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 bring us the first great summer album of the year with “Mas” via Légère Recordings. Like its predecessor, the highly acclaimed “Joia!”, this album is a collection of songs sung in Welsh, combined with distinct pop and South American influences from bossa nova, cumbia, samba and tropicália. Behind the project stands the Welsh musician Carwyn Ellis, founder and leader of Welsh band Colorama and renowned session man who has played with artists including Edwyn Collins, Oasis, The Pretenders and Shawn Lee. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the Cardiff-based singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist about cultural exchange, his fascination with South American sounds, recording the album in Rio de Janeiro and the role Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders played in the making of “Mas”.
“INTRODUCING…” – INTERVIEW WITH AARON FRAZER
With “Introducing…”, Brooklyn-born, Baltimore-raised songwriter Aaron Frazer has released one of the first album highlights of the year. Frazer previously stepped into the international spotlight as drummer and co-lead vocalist of the fabulous soul band Durand Jones & The Indications. The artist with the unique falsetto voice hadn’t planned on releasing a full-length solo LP until he received a call from Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who was so taken with Aaron’s voice and songwriting that he quickly convinced him to produce his solo debut. The result is an album on which Frazer doesn’t hide his old school soul roots, but also opens up to other influences from pop to gospel to doo-wop. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the talented musician about the making of the record, high-speed songwriting sessions, musical influences and the importance of the right drum sound.
PLEASURE, JOY AND HAPPINESS – INTERVIEW WITH EDDIE CHACON
Californian singer-songwriter Eddie Chacon is probably best known to most as one half of the early 90s US soul duo Charles & Eddie. With “Pleasure, Joy and Happiness”, the 56-year-old has ended his self-imposed musical exile in 2020 with the support of Solange and Frank Ocean collaborator John Carroll Kirby and released one of the best albums of the year. The introspective masterpiece will finally be released as a limited LP in Europe in January. Reason enough to talk with the artist, whom Mac DeMarco recently called his “planet earth’s number one musician”, about his current album, his career and musical influences.
THE SUNSET MANIFESTO – INTERVIEW WITH MARCUS LIESENFELD (DJ SUPERMARKT)
With “The Sunset Manifesto”, DJ Supermarkt aka Marcus Liesenfeld delivers the relaxed soundtrack for the private club evening between kitchen, home-office and Christmas tree in Corona times. The second release in the Too Slow To Disco Neo series presents sixteen sophisticated, adult-oriented and dance-inducing Sunset Disco treasures by international top acts and new discoveries such as Kraak & Smaak, Poolside, Roosevelt, Luxxury, Yuksek and PREP, which, in addition to their catchiness and smoothness, combine a sense of nostalgia that the Berlin DJ calls “parallel pop” – music for a delightful, if imaginary, contemporary world. WEST COAST SOUL talked with Marcus Liesenfeld about the new compilation, dance music in times of social distancing, nostalgia as a music trend, and what comes next for TSTD.
A JOYFUL SOUND – INTERVIEW WITH KELLY FINNIGAN
Even if it is still some time until Christmas Eve, with his great new Christmas album “A Joyful Sound” the American soul powerhouse Kelly Finnigan gives us one of the most beautiful musical gifts of the year already in the Advent season. The 38-year-old Bay Area-based singer, songwriter, engineer, producer, and band-leader of the famous Monophonics stands for authentic, handmade music and follows artists like Lee Fields and the late Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, who heralded the soul revival at the beginning of the 2000s. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the multi-talented artist about his new Christmas album, the relevance of soul music in our time, music influences, his favorite classic Christmas records and further plans.
INTERVIEW WITH VIKTOR JAKOB-JONSSON
After Swedish singer-songwriter Viktor Jakob-Jonsson has already caused a stir in the West Coast music scene with his excellent debut single “A Little Denial” in August, the next coup will follow at November 26th with the follow-up single “Monotony”, a wonderful 70s-inflected duet with none other than legendary singer and multiple Grammy winner Bill Champlin. Reason enough to ask the Stockholm-based artist and passionate West Coast music aficionado, who says of himself that he still has hundreds of songs in his drawer, for a talk.
SENTIMENTAL FOOLS – INTERVIEW WITH PHIL MARTIN (MARTIN & GARP)
Just in time, before the dull autumn weather makes us feel depressed, a dose of sunny optimism comes straight from the Netherlands. Today “Making Up”, the first single of the Dutch duo Martin & Garp, is released by Légère Recordings. A song that, with its catchy guitar and synthesizer licks and luxurious, radio-friendly harmonies, takes us straight to the heyday of Californian West Coast music of the late 70s and early 80s. WEST COAST SOUL talked with Timothy van der Holst aka Phil Martin about the new single, their forthcoming album “Sentimental Fools” and their fascination for smooth West Coast music.
THE RHEAD BROTHERS STORY – INTERVIEW WITH JOHN RHEAD
The fact that in the golden era great West Coast music was not only created in sunny California, but could also flourish in the rather rainy Great Britain, was demonstrated not least by the English duo The Rhead Brothers in the late 1970s. The brothers John and Steve Rhead recorded two albums whose quality could compete with any American production and which are still sought after and loved by many music aficionados today. WEST COAST SOUL talked with John Rhead about their musical beginnings, the making of their two excellent albums, “Dedicate “and “Black Shaheen”, his memories of the Muscle Shoals music scene and the rediscovery of the Rhead Brothers in 2016.
Three years after his critically acclaimed debut “Walkin’ On Air”, Finnish songwriter, producer and arranger Tomi Malm returns with his sophomore effort “Coming Home” via Contante & Sonante. His new album presents another flawless collection of pop, soul and fusion songs, recorded with the help of some of the most talented musicians on the West Coast music scene. WEST COAST SOUL talked with the multi-talented artist about the making of his new album, the importance of collaboration, the characteristic Tomi Malm sound and his everlasting love for West Coast music.
CORONA CRISIS CHAT WITH MARCOS VALLE
The current corona crisis especially affects musicians, bands and artists. Against this background, we at WEST COAST SOUL would like to give musicians the opportunity to talk about the current situation, but also give fans a little insight into their musical roots. Today we talk with the legendary Brazilian pianist, singer and composer Marcos Valle.
INTERVIEW WITH YOUNG GUN SILVER FOX
After their critically acclaimed milestones ‘West End Coast’ and ‘AM Waves’, Shawn Lee and Andy Platts, better known as Young Gun Silver Fox, return this February with their long-awaited new album ‘Canyons’. Reason enough to talk with ‘Young Gun’ and ‘Silver Fox’ about the new album, their band anniversary, sources of inspiration, kids and further plans.
Overview about all our interviews
- “Mas” – Interview with Carwyn Ellis
- “Introducing…” – Interview with Aaron Frazer
- Pleasure, Joy and Happiness – Interview with Eddie Chacon
- The Sunset Manifesto – Interview with Marcus Liesenfeld (DJ Supermarkt)
- A Joyful Sound – Interview with Kelly Finnigan
- Interview with Viktor Jakob-Jonsson
- Masters of Modern Smoothness – Interview with PREP
- Sentimental Fools – Interview with Phil Martin (Martin & Garp)
- The Rhead Brothers Story – Interview with John Rhead
- “Coming Home” – Interview with Tomi Malm
- Hamish Stuart (Average White Band)
- Ned Doheny
- Chris Jasper
- Joel Sarakula – Companionship
- Corona Crisis Chat with Marcus Liesenfeld (Too Slow To Disco)
- Corona Crisis Chat with Marcos Valle
- Corona Crisis Chat with Fernando Perdomo
- Corona Crisis Chat with Marc Jordan
- Corona Crisis Chat with Andy Platts (Mamas Gun/ Young Gun Silver Fox)
- Corona Crisis Chat with Shawn Lee (Young Gun Silver Fox)
- Corona Crisis Chat with Don Breithaupt (Monkey House)
- Izo FitzRoy – How The Mighty Fall
- Young Gun Silver Fox – Canyons
- Dexter Wansel
- Mandoo – Pacific Addiction
- Al Sunny – Planets
- Shawn Lee – Rides Again
- Kraak & Smaak – Pleasure Centre
- Marcos Valle – Sempre
- Friday – Interview with Don Breithaupt (Monkey House)
- Patrice Rushen – Remind Me
- Doug Brons – Timepiece
- Bill LaBounty
- Marc Jordan – Both Sides
- Marcus Liesenfeld – Too Slow To Disco Neo – En France
- Jerry Hey
- Lucas Arruda – Onda Nova
- Brian Ellis – Deep Clues
- Fernando Perdomo – Zebra Crossing
- Shawn Lee & Paul Elliott – Library Music Film
- Allan Thomas – Two Sides To Every Story
- Ed Motta – Criterion Of The Senses
- Jonathan Jeremiah – Good Day
- Shawn Lee & The Soul Surfers
- Tomi Malm
- Interview with Hyleen – B-Side
- Leo Sidran – Cool School
- Young Gun Silver Fox – AM Waves
- Marcus Liesenfeld & Ed Motta – Too Slow To Disco Brasil
- Joel Sarakula – Love Club