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beloved samo coming to Geneva TONIGHT

9 December 2011

Author : jeanne-salome-rochat


Teki Latex (Sound Pellegrino/TTC, Paris) + Samo Sound Boy (Trouble & Bass, Los Angeles) + WTF (Toast Terry, Genève)


Samuel Griesemer talks to us about a club in Buenos Aires, burritos, Samo Sound Boy’s appearance and more.

Jeanne-Salomé Rochat: Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Samo Sound Boy: I was born in New York City and i grew up there and then in rural New Hampshire. I moved back to NY when i was 19 and then out to the west coast when i was 22 and now I’m 26. Honestly, moving to LA was the first time I really felt excited about where I lived. The city is so strange and endless… It never ceases to fascinate me. It’s much more wild feeling than NYC. I live in the middle of the eastside of LA but there are coyotes on my street at night, and rattlesnakes in the bushes.

Describe what «wild» means in 25 characters or less.
Wild is just uncontrolled and free.

What are your parents’ jobs?
My mom is a social worker and my dad is a writer.

What’s your dad’s last book title?
Signal & Noise.

How did you get introduced to Fugees 99?
Fugees 99 is the name of a club in Buenos Aires where I got my start djing about six years ago. Back then it was owned by a nigerian guy and another guy from South Africa. It was different than any place in the city. Really just a barebones dancehall. Very cheap drinks, a lot of fights, and sometimes really great music.

What happened to the music you produced at the time, do you have any records of it?
When I started at Fugees 99, I was only really djing and not producing. Producing for me followed pretty quickly about a year later. The first track I ever made wad a club remix of Dj Khaleds Brown Paper Bag. I basically just sampled the strings (that Khaled took from the Beegees), and one vocal line. My drums were very simple but the track actually worked pretty well. It was done in a pretty simple Baltimore-club style like some of Scottie B’s stuff which I really loved. Soon after I started sampling weirder, more obscure sounds and made my 1st real original track which was called The Bandit. It’s pretty rough sounding to me now, but I still think the ideas and sounds are cool. It was definitely different sounding than anything I knew about at the time.

How would it be for you to go back and perform there in 2011?
I would love to go back there but I would definitely have to come with a pretty crunk set. Especially if it was a weekend. The crowd wasn’t that into more experimental stuff, they just wanted to get buck to gangster reggaeton and rap… But I can throw down with that stuff too, so I’d probably be ok.

What does your present workspace look like? How is it significant?
My workplace is the living room of my apartment in LA. It’s two tables with an old laptop, one cdj, a dj mixer and monitors. I also have an analog mixing board that my friend’s dad found in a basement and saved for me. My studio is really basic and cheap. Nothing fancy at all which I like because my apartment has gotten robbed in the past, so i’m not really worried about losing a bunch of expensive stuff. Also I like to be able to work on music anywhere so it’s nice not to be tied down to a lot of equipment.

California. What car do you drive?
I drive an older Toyota 4Runner which is kind of a pain in the city but is big enough to sleep in the back. So you can go out to desert camp really easily with it.

What is on your Toyota 4Runner driving playlist?
I listen to a lot of Power 106, which is LA’s biggest commercial hip-hop station. It can be pretty bad a lot of the time but they do «the new at 2» which is like an hour of really new shit that a lot of times is pretty local: Songs like Teach Me How to Dougie, Toot it and Boot it, etc. were all premiered on that show. All the new jerkin stuff comes out there. Like there’s this new song called Throw it Back that’s these social kids doing like a NOLA bounce thing. It’s really crazy.

Does Power 106 broadcast in the desert too?

It doesn’t come in all the way out in the desert so you have to burn CDs for those trips. Actually i like to listen to a lot of dance music out there. It’s cool to hear club stuff in the middle of that much space and with no one around.

Where would you go out for a night in NOLA?

There are two really cool and forward-minded parties in NOLA that I know about. They are called Radionone and Bones respectively. They both have really good resident Djs and I’ve actually played both of them before.

What would you slow dance to at a prom there?
I would slow dance to a chopped and screwed version of Lil Wayne Miss Officer.

Who would you cast in the sequel of Samo Sound Boy’s life?
So if it’s the sequel does that mean i’m dead?

In that case i would want Jeff Bridges to play the ghost of Samo Sound Boy.

Why must all hot and heavy American club stuff in music start in Chicago?

I think about that all the time, but I guess I really don’t know. I love it though because the midwest always gets disregarded when talking about the States. It’s always the east coast and the west coast, new york and LA. But for something as major as house music to come from Chicago is so significant. You read about clubs like The Warehouse in the early 80s, and everybody refers to it as being like church and religion. To experience that must have been so unreal, it’s hard to imagine.

Where would you go out for a night in Chicago?
In Chicago I would probably try to go wherever Dj Rashad was playing. I love his stuff but have never seen him live.

How do you like to dance?
I like to dance like Puff Daddy circa 1996.

Dance like Puff Daddy, in Chicago too?
I basically always try to dance like Diddy if I’m dancing.

What is the last thing you bought?

The last thing I bought was an al pastor burrito last night at the taco truck near my apartment.

How do you take your burrito?
I like al pastor burritos with pineapple and green salsa and lemon. That’s the best to me.

What do you think the vegan beef burrito is actually made out of?
I have no idea what vegan burritos are made of. The taco trucks I go to don’t really have those as an option… But I would guess some sort of soy bean.

What is the last record you bought? Was it a record?

Last record i bought was JS’ 12’’ Ice Cream, for 99 cents. So yeah it was a real record. I bought it to try and sample from.

Do you ever use your own voice in your work?
Yeah my own voice is in a couple of my own tracks but its really disguised with pitch adjustments and other mysterious effects.

Who would you like singing to you as you die of thirst in the desert?

Sade. Ha, that just seems fitting for a desert death song.

You’re planning a tour in Europe this summer, right?
Yes the plan is to be in Europe this August. I’ve never played anywhere over there, so i’m really excited. Details for this tour are still coming together but they will definitely all be online soon.

What does the liquor of European music taste like? What is it made out of?
To me certain places in Europe seem forward and open to new sounds in dance music. I mean london in particular seems like a place where every kid grows up making weird beats in their room and listening to Rinse FM.

So where would you go out for a night in London?

In London, I would to go to Boiler Room or to Fabric. Both of those places are legendary to me in different ways.

And after Europe, what’s next?
After Europe I really want to tour in Asia. That would be the dream.

What sense of yours do you wish was acute?
Right now i’m taking a lot of influence from older house music, stuff like Marshall Jefferson and Chip E, both old school Chicago guys. That rawness in their stuff is something i try to go after myself.

Who influences you the most?

Luckily i’m always finding a lot of inspiration and influence everywhere. I’d say the city of LA is probably my biggest overall influence. Just the way it looks and feels, the space, the streets, that’s all in my stuff.

Who would you make a burrito out of?

Nicki Minaj.

Do you have any upcoming collaborations you want to announce?

Yeah I’m actually working on some new tracks with my friend Jerome who is one half of the group LOL Boys. I’m also in the early stages of planning a label that will support more underground dance music from the US. But more on that soon!

Do you read magazines?
Yeah i read magazines. I read XXL Magazine on a pretty regular basis, but the last magazine i picked up was probably the latest Wax Poetics with Juan Atkins on the cover.

On what cover do you want your face to crash?
Rolling stone… Just kidding, Rolling Stone is wack! I’m just down with whoever’s down with me.


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