|Over the last few years Soularis have really established themselves as major players in the hands-in-the-air, vocal house scene. With hits such as "Change the world", "Fire" and "I told you" featuring on countless compilations across the world, as well as bringing the music to life with a full live band, Soularis has really started to make its mark on the musical map. We spend a few moments getting to know the brains behind the Soularis sound, Jonathan Dunn.|
Question: You’ve built up quite a back catalogue and reputation in the full-blown soulful house scene. What has been your favourite release to date?
Answer: Hard to choose, but I think "Change The World" has been my favourite, it was the 1st track I wrote with Pete Simpson who must be one of the best vocalists in the soulful house scene.
Question: So, what’s the story behind your latest Seamless Twelves release "Closer"?
Answer: I'd been working on the music for a couple of weeks and had put down some chorus lyrics before Mandy Edge came into the studio. Mandy has been a long time contributor to Soularis and we work together really well, so it was all pretty much finished in one session. Ben Sowton heard the finished track and signed it for Seamless Twelves.
Question: Nathan G has added a more electro vibe to proceedings with his Luvbug remixes, are you usually more nervous or excited before you hear other peoples takes on your work?
Answer: Never nervous, sometimes excited, always curious.
Question: How did things change when you took a full live band out on tour? Did you have to tweak the arrangements much to suit the live situation?
Answer: I did quite a lot of work on the arrangements before we even started rehearsing the live stuff. Then tweaked things as we went along. The musicians contributed a lot with subtle variations of the original parts too.
Question: Do you now tailor more to the needs of live performers when writing a new track? Or do you try to make it fit the band afterwards?
Answer: I always try to make the song happen first, if it's good it'll work in a live situation.
Question: What has been your most memorable moment out on the road? Is it more fun than DJing, or just different?
Answer: That was probably the first gig we did with the band in Middlesbrough, I was so nervous but it went really well. It's a totally different feeling to DJing, but I love doing both.
Question: How easy is it to coax the ‘right’ performance out of a vocalist?
Answer: The best vocalists tend not to need any coaxing. Pete and Mandy are good examples, they turn up for the session and deliver every time.
Question: What inspired you in the early days? And what inspires you now?
Answer: Well I started out years ago writing music for computer games for Ocean Software in Manchester, so I was always into the electronic side of music. These days I get inspired when I hear real songs in house music. The sort of stuff that lasts forever and people will want to cover in 20 years time.
Question: What other tracks are you tipping for greatness this Summer?
Answer: Watch out for Central Avenue's release on Barcoda "Keep me coming back", there's a Soularis remix in there too which I'm really pleased with.
Question: What’s next for Soularis?
Answer: There's plenty of Soularis stuff coming up, including a new project I've started with Groove Assassin called "Ranura De Alma". The first track is due later this year on Seamless. I've also been busy with my SunSoaked label and have a great cover version of Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack "Back together" coming out over the summer.
Taken by Gavin Leversuch