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EG caught up with Samer Soltan to learn more about the drop of ‘Agnes’, his workflow and storytelling in the studio, his move to Brussels, and much more.
EG: Hi Samer! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have you been?
Samer Soltan: Hello EG, it’s a great pleasure to have this talk with you. I am now based in Brussels, Belgium. Love this city, the cultural diversity, and especially the people. I came here one year ago to study electronic music and now I am a graduate in IT Engineering and Sound Design.
EG: That’s fantastic Samer! By the way, congratulations on the drop of your new ‘Agnes’ EP on Secret Fusion! What has the initial reception been like?
Samer Soltan: ‘Agnes’, I am very proud of this release. I expected love and positive reactions like always from fans, but it’s crazy when you see that one of the tracks is being played at all parties in Europe / US festivals, especially after the support of TOP class names such as Dixon, Solomun, or Âme.
EG: So what’s the story behind ‘Agnes’? What’s the inspiration or general concept ‘powering’ the EP?
Samer Soltan: Every song has a story behind it. ‘Agnes’ was created six months ago in my studio. I found a guitar sample and as a producer, I tried to create a whole harmony of melodies, pads, and drums. It took some three weeks to finish the song, It’s a special song, made with a lot of love and passion, and then I said “it can be only ‘Agnes’“, which is the name of my wife.
EG: What was the process for ‘Agnes’ like? What can your fans expect to find on this particular package?
Samer Soltan: After finishing any EP, like any producer, I want to find the best home for my productions. I showed the EP to a friend who works closely with Secret Fusion, and when he showed them the tracks, they liked it, and they were very interested to release my music on their label.
‘Agnes’ EP is not out yet. it will be out to the world at the end of this month via Secret Fusion. The EP includes two original tracks (‘Agnes’ and ‘Miracle’) and a remix from Italian producer Ivory, who’s signed with Innervisions and Afterlife recently.
EG: How has your sound evolved since you first started out? Are you making the music you thought you’d set out to create?
Samer Soltan: It all started at a very early age when I was 14. I remember the first time I wanted to change something on a song to make it better, to make it into what I wanted to listen to. It was not an easy process because the information on how to produce music at that time was very limited, so I started to watch videos that were mostly in German (that’s the reason behind speaking German, I took masterclasses till I arrived at the point to say “this is what I want to do and move to Brussels to finish my studies in this field.”)
.EG: Let’s take this back to your origins. When did you first come in contact with electronic music? Was there a record o show that pushed you down the rabbit hole?
Samer Soltan: Âme’s set in a festival in Hammamet, Tunisia, summer 2017. It was a 4-hour set. I did the opening set for him and it was my first time as a DJ. That date changed everything. At that time, I had just finished my studies as an IT engineer, but I fell in love with something more than computers. And, honestly, the knowledge that I have via my academic studies helped me a lot to be where I am today.
EG: What does your studio look like at the moment? Have you picked up any new hardware or software that you’d recommend to other producers?
Samer Soltan: I use Ableton 10. I think it’s a complete DAW, it’s easy to learn and it presents me with the freedom to control my sound. I have a TR8 for drums and a Modal for the melodic parts. I can’t really say that I love analog synths or digital, the smart producer will know the right equipment for each moment. I started as a 100% in-box producer, with only a Mac and a DAW, without any hardware. I can’t say that hardware synths are better than digital synths. For me, the combination of both will create a great environment to process a unique sound.
EG: What’s next for Samer Soltan? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?
Samer Soltan: My project from the beginning was to build my name as a solid producer, which is a process that demands time, money, sacrifices, and especially, passion. At this point, I am taking things seriously as I can, I just had a tour in Europe this year and with the upcoming releases that I have for the rest of this year, the goal is to keep my musical direction, explore the US market, and create my label which will see the light next year.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Samer! We wish you all the best for the future.
Samer Soltan: I want to thank all the team at EG. It’s an honor to be hosted by one of the best magazines in electronic music, and I wish you all the best in all that you are doing.
Samer Soltan’s ‘Agnes’ EP is out now via Secret Fusion. Purchase your copy here.