Getting To Know… Random Soul

Getting To Know... Random Soul

Getting To Know… Random Soul

f: Hi Husky & Yogi, it’s a pleasure to chat with you both today, how are you?

RS: All good down under thanks! We’re busy working away on multiple things as always. Things are heating up down here (Literally in a spring heatwave!) and summer is just around the corner, which means more events and less sleep. It also means summer holidays and we both have kids, so that’s always a time we try to focus on family too. So we’re racing to finalise some music now before life gets too busy.

f: Please tell us a little about yourselves, where you’re from and how you started making music together?

RS: We’re both from Sydney, Australia. We met back around 2003 and both worked at the dance arena store inside the local Sanity Music and quickly formed a friendship and love for similar house music. Yogi was already producing music on his own and Husky had only just started DJ’ing. Husky tagged along to a few of Yogi’s gigs and was hooked. It was then music all the way. We started making tunes together in 2006 and haven’t stopped since. After releasing on labels like Salted Music and Large records, we wanted to branch out and do our thing so we started our own label in 2010 to maintain control of our music and ensure a faster release schedule.

f: What’s the inspiration behind the name Random Soul? 

Husky: We both came from a varied musical background, but loved a wide selection of music. Yogi used to be in a rock band and played bass for that, he also plays keys for various other bands on occasions so musically he is far superior than I. I liked early breakbeat, hip hop and of course house in all its forms.

Yogi: But one thing we always seemed to love with music was something with some soul. When we DJ’ed together our sets were quite random too, so I believe it was born from there.

f: You’re in Australia, how is the house music scene over there?

RS: It’s recovering well after Covid. Plenty of club events are going on again, which is exciting! We are playing quite a few gigs each week around Sydney and as summer approaches we start to gig again as Random Soul. There are a stack of festivals too and it’s no secret that we have some amazing exports musically from Australia. So great to see names like Sonny Fodera, Dom Dolla, Odd Mob, Fisher, Rufus Du Sol, etc, become household names.

f: Who did you listen to growing up and do they influence your music career at all today?

Husky: Loads of 70’s and 80’s music in my house Lionel Ritchie, Fleetwood Mac, Simply Red, along with stuff from the 60’s and earlier too. My grandparents always loved the singing detective, ha ha. This early influence played a role in my own tastes as I looked beyond the popular stuff for more intricate music.

Yogi: For me believe it or not, my parents had loads of country and folk records playing a lot of the time. We would also have the radio going a lot of the time and that is where I would wait patiently to record my favourite tunes to tape. So I was exposed to a lot early on, but my love of songwriting is definitely influenced by all of this.

f: What was your first release as Random Soul?

RS: ‘Key To Soul’ on Jay-J’s label Shifted Music –

f: Which of your own tracks was the biggest labour of love to create / personal favourite?

Husky: It’s always fun when you get to work with friends and other people in general. That creates a cool atmosphere in the studio and often takes us outside of our comfort zone. It opens our minds up to new methods and styles too. Working with Sandy Rivera (Kings Of Tomorrow) has to be a career highlight for me personally.

Yogi: Yeah, for sure. It was a full 2 days in the studio and we wrote a song called ‘Please’ that was then released on his label Deepvisionz, via Defected. 

Husky: This was the first record we wrote together with Yogi’s elite vocals. It did really well and landed at #3 on Traxsource I think, and we have since worked on another record ‘Reach’ with him after that. Need to lock in that 3rd record!

Yogi: Ha ha for sure! Also this second album process has been so much fun, and definitely a labour of love! Loving all of this album, feeling pretty proud of it, especially getting to put down live strings and horns for some of the songs.

f: Your new release, Random Soul pres: From The Vault ‘Hypnotize Me’ is out this week, please tell us a little about how it sounds?  

RS: We wanted to bring life to some of our favourites from the back catalogue, in order to play these songs to a new audience, but still maintain their integrity and style. It’s a more modern punch for the production, but with plenty of the original uplifting soul to connect with our long standing fans.

f: There are also more remixes to come from Knight Horse and James Alexandr Remixes, what did they bring to the table?

RS: We love both their energy, these guys are great! They really brought their own vibes to the table. Knight Horse is known for his synth pop and nu disco approach and that slotted in perfectly with the vocal for us. We play a lot of his stuff at our own gigs where the vibe is more relaxed, so we wanted something like this for the package.

James Alexandr is an exciting producer who is killing it here. He is producing some great music and he plays to a broad audience in Australia. His remix really picks up the tempo and offers a bouncy but driving club vibe for the release.

f: Please tell us a bit more about From The Vault Series.

RS: Basically, it’s an opportunity to revisit some of our earlier catalogue, which we still love, but to be able to put a fresh spin on it. With everyone reaching for classic reworks these days, we thought why not reach for our own and modernise some of our favourite catalogue along the way. We have a fair few original tracks in the bank, so there’s plenty to look at and shine a new light on.

f: Aside of releasing on great labels such as Large music, Guesthouse, Salted Music and Deepvisionz, among others, you also run your own label, Random Soul Recordings. How’s that all going and who can we find on the label?

RS: The label was always a place for us to release music we loved, but mainly to release our own music. We get sent some cool stuff though and always enjoy working on a release from another artist. The last few years we have had some great releases from Dante Tom & Spectoral, Delaforce, Jason Pascascio, C-Zens, Dutchican Soul & Stereosoulz, Tonis & Narda, Withus, & Lawrence Friend. 

f: Who does what in the studio?

Husky: We almost always start tracks together and then usually separate to focus on our strengths. Yogi is more of a musician and mixdown engineer and I often take the original ideas and produce them further into a solid arrangement. 

Yogi: Then we usually come back together to review and finalise the production. I mix the record in my studio and then we do a series of passes to play at our gigs to get the best out of the mix and flow from 2 perspectives, till we are able to finalise the record.

f: Who or what inspires your songs?

Yogi: If we are talking lyrically, we are usually inspired to write about subjects that are close to our heart, like our relationships and past experiences. If we are talking about the vibe and feel of the music, it is pretty limitless where we draw our inspiration from.

Husky: Yeah, we always have an idea for something new because we are playing gigs every weekend here in Sydney, so we are constantly searching for and playing new music for each other as inspiration.

f: What’s been your highlight gig this year and where are you most looking forward to playing?

RS: We played some great gigs back in winter this year, warming up the Ivy main room for the Toolroom party was great! We then played at the Greenwood in North Sydney with Basement Jaxx. NYE is always a highlight for us here in Sydney. Last year we took over from Dimitri From Paris to close out the night. It was a big one!

f: Which dance track holds the most precious memories for you?

Husky: Always a very hard one to answer as there are so many records and so many moments. From my own clubbing experience though, records like Sandy Rivera’s ‘Forever’ on subliminal have fond memories of day parties in Sydney in the early 2000’s.

Side note, I always have fond memories of the early days of Random Soul, when we had started playing around America. We would play one of our own tracks and the crowd would quickly realise that Yogi was singing live! A lot of the time, that blows people’s mind and that moment is very special for me.

Yogi: Yeah, always a funny one to see that realization, ha ha. For me, I would say songs like Blue 6’s ‘Music & Wine’ have left a pretty big mark on me. I love the way they blend song, soul and electronica. Truly is an artform and this song always does it for me.

f: Who are your top 5 current producers?

RS: These cats always deliver. Shapeshifters, Mousse T, Grant Nelson, David Penn, Saison. It’s pretty hard to get through our set without smashing these producers’ music.

f: What else are you working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

RS: Our 2nd album! Stoked that we have 12 brand new songs with some really cool international and local talents. We can’t wait to wrap it up and roll it out in 2024! We also have another ‘From The Vault’ instalment coming with our 2012 song ‘Music Inside’.

Random Soul ‘Hypnotize Me’ (Random Soul Reworks and Knight Horse Remixes) are out now.

Random Soul ‘Hypnotize Me’ (James Alexandr Remix) will be released on Beatport Promo October 13th.

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