We Talk To Soul Intent About His Debut Album ‘Delusions Of Grandeur’
Posted by Adam on 4th May 2017
Hi Alex! How are you mate?
Good thanks mate, just finished a 5hr round trip to Kettering so now sitting down with a glass of red to chat to you.
How’s 2017 been treating you? Any stand out moments so far?
So far it’s been pretty good. Moved house and just trying to set-up the new studio. Had a couple of great gigs and got some exciting bookings lined up to help promote the album. Been quiet on the release front though as I wanted the LP to have maximum impact when it gets released. There’ll be a few 2017 releases post album, both on Lossless and some other labels.
So you launched Lossless Music just over 4 years ago now. How has time been for you, was it harder than you had imagined?
It’s still a learning curve but I’m feeling pretty comfortable with how things are running now. I think the hardest part of releasing music is the marketing/promotion. People like yourself have been very supportive of the label, for which I’m very grateful for the exposure. That said, I can’t help but feel I’m lacking the industry clout and reach that comes with being affiliated with one of the bigger more established labels, but I hope that all comes with sticking at it and not giving up easily.
If I’m completely honest I find promotion the worst part of running a label. I often wish I could just post clips on Soundcloud, sit back and watch all the orders flood in but it doesn’t quite work like that. Anyone want to be label manager? You’ll get paid in free vinyl and quarterly sales meetings at Nandos!
And that’s on top of the sub labels too, are you just sticking with these ones now or are there even more in the pipeline?
Haha you never know, but for now I think 3 labels is enough. It feels perfect having Lossless for the more traditional dnb, Dope Plates for the retro influenced stuff and Exkursions for the more leftfield material. People’s feedback on the labels has been very positive. Dope Plates in particular has done really well, probably mostly down to the awesome logo drawn by Art Jaz from Genaside II.
So your debut album is on it’s way. Why now and why the title ‘Delusions Of Grandeur’?
I’ve liked the phrase for a while and thought it would suit an album, if I ever got round to doing it. I also liked how it’s a bit self deprecating There’s no interesting story behind it though if I’m honest, it just seemed to fit and once the artwork was done I know it was a good choice.
Was it always the plan to release your debut album on your own label or is that just how it’s worked out?
Well originally it started off as an EP and than when I was up in Nottingham catching up with Leon from Chromatic and I mentioned the idea of a EP to celebrate 10 years of Soul Intent and he casually said “if you’re doing an EP you might as well do a album”. It snowballed from there really. I had a couple of tracks sat there waiting for the right project and I had a short period of being really productive and it felt like doing a long player with actually possible. Admittedly 10 tracks maybe isn’t the biggest album ever but I’m really proud of every track.
I was having some press shots done with Chelone Wolf aka MC Lowqui just before Christmas and he suggested I send the final album including all the artwork to some labels to see if someone else would put it out but I only sent it to 3 labels in the end which I think was a sign that I’d already decided I wanted to release it myself.
You revisited one of my favourite Soul Intent tracks ‘Nearly There’ with a fresh vocal from Sula Mae – how did that come about?
I’m very proud of that track, I think its one of the most musical tracks I’ve ever produced. When I hooked up with jazz vocalist Sula Mae about a year ago I thought her voice would really suit the vibe of that track so I asked her if was up for making a vocal mix. About 2 weeks later she sent over a vocal and sat on top perfectly….she “smashed it” as us DnB lot would say.
There’s a few other collaborations on the album, did you have a specific list of artists that you wanted to work with before you started working on the album?
No specific target list, just happened that those tracks got finished and made the shortlist for the album. I have other collaborations in the works but who knows when they’ll get finished. I made a promise to myself that I would put a LP out first half of 2017 which I just about managed to stick to. Maybe the next one will feature more collaborations but I’ve historically found working with other people is long and sessions normally end up being pretty unproductive as we end up chatting or going to the pub. I think I’m a bad influence.
Describe the album in 5 words
Good music made from the heart
That’s six but we’ll forgive you…And finally, the hardest one of them all, what is your personal favourite track on the album.
Yeh that’s a tough one. I wanted to show the different vibes and styles I’m capable of as a producer as I’ve always wanted to show I’m not a one-trick-pony in the studio. From the deep to the dark, every track on the album has it’s merits but as I alluded to earlier I think ‘Nearly There’ is the track I’m most proud of. Add that incredible vocal from Sula Mae and feel this track has the potential to crossover and open my music up to new audiences as well as hopefully get appreciation from my long term supporters. Time will tell I guess!
Thanks so much mate! Is there anything else you want to tell us about?
We’ve got 3 singles lined up for September through to Christmas, one for each of the labels. Then in early 2018 there will be a solo LP on Dope Plates from a artist who’s already appeared on Lossless.
On a more personal level, I’d just like to thank Ninja Ninja for the continued support, and to everything who’s supported me over the last 10 years. I’m very grateful for the experiences I’ve had through music…. and on that note if there’s any promoters reading this and want to book me for a LP tour date please drop me a line via one of my social media channels.