Thanks Sidney for your time to do this, we wish all the best on 2016!
Electronic Groove: You’ve had a busy year so far with recent releases on Crosstown Rebels, Truesoul, and another coming soon on 20/20 Editions. Does it come easy to produce so many tracks or are there any roadblocks in the creative process?
Sidney Charles: Generally I don’t have any problems with my creativity. In my process of producing I always try to not plan too much where I want to go with a track. I’d rather prefer to start producing freely and see where it takes me; and with time I will see what kind of track it will be. Of course there are days where my creative energy is not really high and I rather stop before start hating myself for making awful music… But normally the next day I’m back on track and feel refreshed with some new ideas.
EG: Tell us about your new EP “Keep it Real” with 20/20 Editions. Where did the name come from?
Sidney Charles: This EP is a straight on DJ EP for the dance floor. All 4 tracks are high in swing and filled with lots of energy in the groove and musical elements. Just like most of the tracks I produce.
Of course, I didn’t want to make an EP with 4 equal tracks, so there’s a change in atmosphere throughout the EP. “Keep it Real” is a party track with uplifting vibe and catchy vocals with a pumping 4/4 action. “Flak 94” has a much more deeper atmosphere but keeps its energy with the use of strong drumming. “Rookie” is a tech tool that is characterized by changing steps through its arrangements. And lastly there’s “Paraswing” that has more of a weird after-hour vibe.
The names came up in my head simply because I find that one of the most difficult problems a dj is confronted nowadays is to stay authentic during his creative process. Most of the djs claim to be underground and not commercial but there is a thin line where you can easily loose your red string and go into the wrong direction.
So keep it real refers to my attitude that if your are underground and you claim you are, you should work hard to keep it that way and don’t loose yourself in the commercial attractions.
EG: How does Sidney Charles keep it real?
Sidney Charles: Well my sound is a straight underground DJ sound. I don’t think you can listen to my tracks at home and really understand why I produced a track in a certain way. There is a lot about house music that you can only feel in the dance floor. So you would need a proper sound system and also understand the message behind the track. My music is not made for a big target group… it’s mostly for dj’s who play music out loud.
In general I prefer to play at venues and festivals that show in their character that they are interested in keeping the underground alive and making it a place for everyone.
EG: We’re guessing you have a few more productions coming up. Any sneak peeks you can share?
Sidney Charles: I have another Avotre EP coming in a few months. I am also working on a remix for a big name in the scene. I’m really excited about this project but I can’t tell you too much about it!
EG: Do you enjoy playing your productions or do you prefer someone else playing them?
Sidney Charles: I do enjoy playing my productions in the beginning phases where I test them out and see how they are sounding in the club or on in a festival. After that phase then I prefer hearing my tracks being played by others.
EG: We know you have been working closely with Santé over the past few years. How did your friendship with him start?
Sidney Charles: My first ever release was on a label called Kling Klong and the label-manager asked Santé whether he would be up for doing a remix.
This was how I first met him. It was over the Internet and we were exchanging music from time to time. It was after I moved to Berlin that we met in person and had good time talking about music and life. During this time he was in the middle of planning his label, Avotre, and I was very happy when he asked me to be a part of it. We started with showcases in Berlin and also some smaller places in Germany. When I think back it’s crazy how much the label has developed in the last 4 years.
EG: At the moment you’re touring Asia and Australia, then heading back to Europe. What are you doing with all those frequent flyer miles?
Sidney Charles: LOL…Well I mostly use them for vacation flights.
EG: Which artists have you recently seen that are worth mentioning?
Sidney Charles: I love all the new productions of Kevin Over, Kindimmer, Anil Aras, Rhythm & Soul, Hector Couto, Quell, Brett Johnson just to name a few.
Lately I had the pleasure to listen to a lot of great dj’s like Cassy, Benny Rodriguez, Black Coffee, Laurent Garnier. I mention these as they always blew my mind.
EG: Thank you Sidney for Keeping it Real 😉