WORDS BY Jordan Baylor
Faux Society introduces its audience to Andre Power, a man of many trades and talents. One we find very hard to put a label on, because he is constantly in the midst of reinventing himself and his art. As Co-founder of Soulection, one of the coolest record labels on the internet today, Power has organized a premiere collective of deejays, producers, singers, and artists who all possess THE signature ʻsound of tomorrow.ʼ
Itʼs hard to place your finger on, or put in a box the kind of artists that appear on the label, but as soon as PLAY is pressed and the melodic sounds of any one of the artists on Soulectionʼs roster creeps through your speakers, you know that you are experiencing something unique. Whether it be from Andreʼs personal production, or burgeoning producers like Sango, Esta, Evil Needle, Ta-Ku or any of the other many talented musicians underneath the banner, they all seem to lay down their own personal take of the next level signature sound which belongs to Soulection.
I originally met Soulectionsʼ fearless leader at his birthday celebration in San Diego. Andre is a tall, jovial man whoʼs laid back personality exudes confidence and positive energy. He is eloquent and has a great deal of passion for art and its creation. We spoke long before we did the interview, and what I immediately gleamed from Power is that as he elaborates on the many hats he wears, from photographer to deejay to producer to label head to A&R to promoter, that through it all, heʼs bursting at the seams with ambition.
Through it all, the label Power has helped grow, since its inception in 2011, is just one of the many tentacles of a strong, creative path, and an extremely damn good one.
FS: What was the single thing that made you create Soulection?
AP: The true story of it all- it was 2011 and I heard the homie Jo-Kayʼs (Co-founder) mixes called ʻIll Vibesʼ and it was non stop music. First time he spoke, I thought ʻthat dude sounds mad cool.ʼ So I hit him up, and we became homies. He then told me the idea for Soulection with his friend from France named –Ninety-Six. He wanted to bring me on the team, and we had no idea that it would become what it is today.
It was simply a blog where we posted all of our favorite music from the California music scene. When it launched, the original intention was just to be a website, and it just evolved into what it is now.
We put out a compilation (Volume 1) which was all original music from artists that we hand chose. At first it was kind of hard to reach out to these artists without any backing. Then we put out a second release which was Ta-Ku, whoʼs blowing up now, and we were like ʻletʼs turn it into a label.ʼ
From that point we just started releasing EPʼs, and spreading word throughout the world.
FS: What has been one of the biggest strategies ʻmarketing wiseʼ that has helped the brand expand so rapidly?
AP: Honestly, we all keep it true to ourselves, and there are a lot of people, artists, and labels who tend to cater to a certain vibe. We keep it real. We donʼt sugarcoat what we say or put out, and our main marketing strategy is to ʻkeep it realʼ to the music.
FS: What do you look for in an artist when you consider signing one to the Soulection banner?
AP: Our motto is ʻThe Sound of Tomorrowʼ and we look for artists who create timeless music. It sounds broad, but when you hear that sound, like, we must ask ʻCan I play this, five or ten years from now, and will it still be relevant?ʼ Between Sango, Evil Needle, Ta- Ku, all of these artist that we put out, we spend time, and focus on these artists. Weʼre crafting music that youʼll pass down to your grandkids.
We look for #1 passion and #2 a sound that will last a lifetime. Our inbox is inundated with work sent from new artists, and as an artist, you have to know that your music is ʻgood enoughʼ and ʻtimelessʼ, because if it isnʼt — you shouldnʼt be trying to share it. Thatʼs just my opinion, though.
FS: What are your day-to-day responsibilities as a head of the label?
AP: Thatʼs hard; I can tell you about today. Seriously, it gets hectic. Which is why we have a solid team. Being the head of a label, consists: FIRST, of all making sure all of the current artists are happy and comfortable. SECOND, it comes to down to merch, ’cause we do sell merch. Making sure all of the orders are out, customers are happy, and making sure we have the merch in time for shipping. THIRD, is consistent PR, always making sure the web knows about us, and our next release is getting the proper push.
Personally, Iʼm the Visual Director as well as the Co-founder of Soulection. I worry about the visual behind press kits, photography for all the artists, videos, flyers for events, and album art. Weʼre working on tours, festivals, and we just got a new office in LA. Thatʼs just a part of it. Iʼm always busy, and there are no down times. Thereʼs so much work behind it, and itʼs a daily grind.
FS: The Soulection brand is synonymous with great mixes between all of the artists on the roster. Does it get sort of competitive between the producers and deejays on the label?
AP: There is no favoritism when it comes to our artists, but we do have many artists who are more independent and self-motivated than others. If youʼre constantly grinding for yourself, and putting out music everyday, then weʼll promote everyday.
FS: What excites you most when you think of Soulection and the future?
AP: Honestly, itʼs just the future from where weʼve come in two years. From where we started to where we are now. Itʼs like, ʻhow did we do itʼ? Most artists are dreamers, and our dream, when the label started, was to be the ʻbiggest labelʻ. Our dream is to be a label that tours the world, and looks to want to be apart of the world. Thatʼs happened, and we continue to get music submissions everyday.
When my dream has become reality, and now Iʼve gotta dream of some massive shit. Dreams become goals within days. Me personally-my dream was to move to California and become this deejay in the city of San Diego, and that has happened.
We just want to keep growing and building with exactly what we have, and take over. Thereʼs no written formula or rules to what weʼre doing, and thatʼs a blessing.