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Soul Supreme - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Soulful Supremacy Of Soul Supreme

April 2005

Hip-hop has connected cultures and helped unite a substantial part of the world. While hip-hop was born in The Bronx, NY and is mainly an American culture, the hip-hop producer, Soul Supreme has origins can be traced to a vast mountainous range in Sweden. The enigmatic producer began making beats at the young age of 16. While he actually made his debut on Krs-one’s "Profits Vs. Prophets", Soul Supreme first gained worldwide critical acclaim with his production on “The Saturday Nite Agenda” LP. Released on Grit Records, “The Saturday Nite Agenda” was a concept record compilation, which fused the essence of 70's soul cinema with hardcore hip-hop. With a myriad of guests like Krs-One, A.G., Pete Rock, O.C., Big Daddy Kane, and Wordsworth, “The Saturday Nite Agenda” became an underground classic. Many underground hip-hop fans know and respect the name, but the fans have no idea that he is a white, Swedish man.

Since photographs of the man are extremely rare in publications, an enigmatic atmosphere was created around the remixer / producer. After the success of “The Saturday Nite Agenda”, Soul Supreme dove head first into the art of the remix. Soul Supreme’s “Soulmatic” is a collection of remixes from the “Stillmatic” LP by Nas. Soul Supreme was one of the first producers to release remixed albums of other artist’s albums. These remix albums began to be extremely popular. 9th Wonder of Little Brother, Dangermouse, and MF Doom all began to release remix albums of their favorite artists.

In 2005, Soul Supreme and Statik Selektah released “Uncommonly Nasty” LP, which was a collection of remixed songs of Nas and Common. Fortunately, the love for creating beats was not abandoned. Throughout the years, Soul Supreme produced beats for Baby Blak, L Da Headtoucha, A.G., Pete Rock, Krs-One, Big Daddy Kane, and many others.

In 2005, Nocturne Records and Grit Records released “Starchild” by O.C. (of the D.I.T.C. crew). The previous O.C. album, “Bon Appetit” was a major disappointment to fans due to uncomfortable beats and an overall dull vibe. “Starchild” is a modern hip-hop classic that redeems O.C. Soul Supreme’s production on some of the tracks give the LP a soulful, insightful, intelligent, and powerful emotion. Together, O.C. and Soul Supreme make a perfect team. “Ya Don’t Stop” is a magnificent track where O.C.’s confidence, sharp lyrics, and tight flow instantly grab the listener. Soul Supreme’s use of the vocal sample has a subliminal and confident vibe. Across the ocean, races and cultures have come together to create some magnificent hip-hop.

MVRemix: What goes on?

Soul Supreme: Right now, I’m just recovering from having the flu. Other than that, everything is really cool. I just moved back to Malmö, Sweden after 8 months in the very dope city of London.

MVRemix: How long did it take you to do the remixes for the ‘Uncommonly Nasty’ LP? How did you approach them? Why did you choose those specific songs?

Soul Supreme: Well, first of, ‘Uncommonly Nasty’ is a collection of some of the best remixes from the two remix albums I did for some time ago. Those remix albums are named “Soulmatic” and “Soul and Sense”. The ‘Soulmatic’ was basically, the first ten songs from ‘Stillmatic’ by Nas. It is as simple as that. I wanted to make a pass to ‘Illmatic’. 9th Wonder had done ‘God’s Stepson’, and I thought it was an amazing idea to, sort of, play God and change the course of history. I was thinking ‘What would that album sound like with these beats instead?’ It felt especially valid since the original production on those two albums was inconsistent even though Nas is such a great emcee. The Common remixes were a little different since Common always has been better at picking beats than Nas. This of course does not include the immaculate ‘Illmatic’. In this case, it had nothing to do with improving the originals. Most of them are absolutely perfect. I simply picked some favorite Common tunes and made my versions of them.

MVRemix: For ‘Uncommonly Nasty’, you had another producer, Statik Selektah to work with. Did you do the songs separately, or were all of the remixes done together?

Soul Supreme: We didn’t actually work together in the studio. I made all the beats. Statik, who is a lot better at mixing and blending than me, finished the remixes.

MVRemix: O.C.’s new album, ‘Starchild’ is incredible. How do you feel this is different from O.C.’s past releases?

Soul Supreme: I agree! I love how he went back to being more introspective. I don’t think there are that many emcees out there who do that better. I mainly feel that it’s less of a street album than the first two. This not a bad thing! Clearly, it is more underground than the ‘Bon Appetit’ LP. It’ s mature, sincere hip-hop that looks back, without sounding dated.

MVRemix: How is O.C. different to work with than other emcees?

Soul Supreme: I don’t know really. Everybody is different. I do think he has picked the best of my beats. He picked the most fitting stuff out of all the emcees I’ve worked with so far.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Grit Records?

Soul Supreme: Through a website, like five years ago. Grit was just an idea in the twisted mind of Grit CEO, Mahlon Williams. (laughs).

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Nocturne Records?

Soul Supreme: Through Grit.

MVRemix: What are your favorite songs which you produced?

Soul Supreme: O.C.'s ‘Special’ and ‘Getaway’. ‘Queen’ by Pete Rock & AG. AG’s ‘TSNA’, Petter’s ‘Repa Skivan’, and ‘Got yourself…(remix)’ by Nas.

MVRemix: Can you explain the production process?

Soul Supreme: I always start with finding a sample. I listen to some records until I find something I like. Then, I record it into the computer, cut it, and start building the beat by adding drums, bass, etc. I always start with the melody or sample.

MVRemix: When writing, do you produce the beat first or do you have a set theme?

Soul Supreme: Depends. Sometimes, I look for something special. Most of the time, I just listen to music and see where it takes me.

MVRemix: When doing remixes, how do you approach the track?

Soul Supreme: That also depends. Some remixes, I make from scratch. I browse through sample archives and listen through records for fitting samples. Other times, I use existing beats, tweaking them to fit the song being remixed.”

MVRemix: What song took you the longest to do? Why?

Soul Supreme: The ‘One Mic (remix)’, because of the build-ups and the different sample sources.

MVRemix: What song took you the shortest to do? Why?

Soul Supreme: I actually don’t know, but I think they are the ones where I already had a beat done.

MVRemix: When produced the entire album of ‘The Saturday Nite Agenda’, did you have a specific strategy?

Soul Supreme: Of course, trying to make as good beats as possible, but also, trying to get a variety in the sound without making it sound incoherent.

MVRemix: What equipment do you use?”

Soul Supreme: Computer and records. Trying to keep it simple.

MVRemix: Which instruments are your favorites?

Soul Supreme: I love most instruments, everything from vintage synths to accordions. I have a problem with really heavy guitars most of the time, though.

MVRemix: When did you first begin making music? What was it like?

Soul Supreme: About six years ago. It was interesting, a new universe. Still is.

MVRemix: How were you making a living before or outside music?

Soul Supreme: Before starting with music, I was still in school. I’ve worked briefly as a sales assistant and in telephone sales. It was no more than a total of maybe two months.

MVRemix: Have you ever played a live show?

Soul Supreme: I’ve never performed live yet.

MVRemix: What is your favorite way to smoke weed? Blunts, bongs, etc?

Soul Supreme: Blunts.

MVRemix: As a white guy in Sweden, do you ever encounter racism?

Soul Supreme: Being white in Sweden, I don’t personally experience that much direct racism. Of course, I’m aware of it though.

>> continued...

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"I don’t know really. Everybody is different. I do think he [OC] has picked the best of my beats. He picked the most fitting stuff out of all the emcees I’ve worked with so far. "