DJ Sun: 100
DJ Sun has been a musical cornerstone of Houston for many years and in many ways, he has built the Houston electronic music scene into what it is today. Between playing records at his well-known residencies all over Houston, he also founded SoularGrooves, a weekly radio show on KPFT 90.1 fm dedicated to groovy music of the soul and jazz persuasion. SoularGrooves has been home to guest artists and local Houston DJs for nearly 20 years and has been awarded accolades such as Best Radio Show and Best DJ.
I’m honored to have been able to chat with DJ Sun on his upcoming album, 100, and get his thoughts on the album, his career, and the Houston electronic music scene. Read on below and let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
Lauren Ignited: Who do you recognize as a few of your musical mentors?
DJ Sun: I have had great collaborators from whom I have learned a lot. I’d have to say that I look up to Tim Ruiz, my engineer and 3-time Grammy winner with La Mafia. He contributed greatly: he’s not only a gifted musician with a great ear, but has an awesome working method.
LI: Looking back, what was the most touching moment for you, in Houston, early in your career as a musician?
Sun: As a musician I don’t need to go too far back. SXSW 2012 when I performed with my band Resolution. We covered Jorge Ben’s “Errare” which covered subject matter that I had explored a month before in a solo (and somewhat spiritually explorative) trip to Enchanted Rock. The other moment I can remember, as a dj, was when I stepped on the same stage as Massive Attack (opening for them at a show here in Houston) and had a quick chat with Robert Del Naja and Horace Andy; brought things full circle.
LI: Tell me the story of how 100 was born.
Sun: In taking a look at my career and which “lane” I fit in musically, I received feedback and introspectively discovered that my musical aesthetics (dj-ing and production) fall in a sort of middleground between tempos. If you were to take “lounge” or really slow trippy stuff- it may fall at 80-90 beats per minute…If you’re out dancing to house or electro stuff that drives the dance floor, you would be around 120-130 beats per minute…My sound represents the “getting ready” mode: 100 beats per minute…
LI: When it comes to Houston, which young, up and coming bands are you really excited to see succeed?
Sun: I’d like to see what Quincy Banks has in his arsenal: he is an up and coming producer… I wanna see The Manichean, The Ton Tons, Grandfather Child, Fat Tony, and others succeed and help to carry a “Houston” sound…
LI: Do you do a lot of crate digging or do you buy online?
Sun: I prefer going to the local vinyl shops and discovering gems from a batch of records that someone recently parted with…
LI: What was your favorite track of 2012?
Sun: I’ll be rebellious here and cite a 1974 track I “discovered” in 2012: “Errare Humanum Est”- Jorge ben.
LI: How do you see the Houston electronic music scene shaping in 2013 and beyond?
Sun: I hope to make a solid contribution to the music scene in Houston, in general… I want to work with producers, rappers, jazz, soul, rock musicians…all part of one Houston music scene.
LI: In your minds eye, who did you write this album for?
Sun: I made this album for a few sets, if I’m pushed to identify these sets I would say: those that are exploring “different” sounds but harken back to some “old- school” aesthetics. Others will just be able to put the CD in and allow it to play- I want to take people on a a bit of a trip through my experiences in music. “Taking people on a trip” may sound cliche, but I want folks to explore a bit of the historical sounds that have influenced me in my life.
LI: What does 100 mean to you, now, as you near the completion of your 100 days to 100?
Sun: 100 is a manifestation of a dream I’ve had since I delved into music: producing an album and jumpstarting a full-on career as a producer
LI: Do you have any closing words for the readers?
Sun: Music lives in everyone…I often hear “I’m horrible with music” from novices who may have contemplated exploring music and it inspires me to encourage someone to perhaps find an instrument and just go at it…
100, DJ Sun’s new, fully self-produced album comes out January 19th, 2013. Follow the countdown with his daily blog posts to www.soulargrooves.com. Then celebrate with Sun, his friends and fans, and everyone involved at CHA Champagne and Wine Bar from 9:30pm-2am. Pssssst…insider tip…it’s also his birthday!
Connect with DJ Sun on twitter, facebook, soundcloud and online. Tune into SoularGrooves on KPFT 90.1 FM from 9pm to 12am CST every Saturday night! Or catch him live on Monday nights at The Flat, Wednesday at Onion Creek, Fridays at Boheme and Sundays in the MKT Bar at Phoenicia.
Images courtesy of DJ Sun.