Robsoul owner Phil Weeks is a man who’s right up there with the very best in contemporary house music. The Frenchman has wowed audiences all over the world with his vibrant outlook, not only within music but on life in general. Two weeks ago he did his very first studio showcase in his very own room which was completely improvised using carefully selected classics. Not only that, but the legend that is has been in the studio with Ladybird, working on a track that’s been almost 15 years in the making. We pulled up a stool with Phil to chat about his performance at Pacha this Friday, all the aforementioned projects as well as being constantly on the look out for fresh talent for his sister label, Robsoul digital…
I see you have been in the studio recently with Ladybird, how has that been for you?
Phil Weeks: Oh man this was great, we have known each other for about 15 years. She was originally doing music for DJ Hawk and Moneymaker. We had never made any music before and when I got to Ibiza I kind of made the decision that I wanted to make some beats with her. I actually found her contact on facebook after so many years on not speaking. Se I got straight back in touch straight away and from then we got in the studio. I started on the original and instrumental and then she came down to the studio. After two weeks we had something great!
Can you let us know how the results have gone?
PW: Fantastic! I have been trying out the tracks in the clubs and man they have gone down great. I have done two mixes, one for the video and a piano version. The instrumental without the vocal has smashed the clubs so far, so that’s a great bit of news. The only thing is, we aren’t sure what to do with the track yet. I have so many EPs ready to go on the label so maybe we need to find another home for it. I’m going to start thinking about it next week.
How did your live studio set go two weeks ago, what was your idea behind showcasing that?
PW: You know, this is me, I get these stupid ideas but 9 times out of 10 I go through with them. I had a few people asking me about the studio and doing something live so I did. I have done a few live streams before of my mixing, but never from the studio. Usually I get around 500/1000 viewers but with the demand of the studio feature I got like around 17,000. I couldn’t believe it. I think I’m still counting now too. It was easy to set up, I just fixed a camera in my room. It was a little crazy but we got there in the end. Also, I did it in two hours so had no time to pre select samples. All I did was improvise all the samples from old school records like Marvin Gay and Isaac Hayes. Because tof he quality of the music, I didn’t make any mistakes. I also processed the show live and how I cut the loops and samples and so I could do it without any hardware.
How was the feedback on it?
PW: You know the feedback was great, people really seemed to enjoy it. Like I say, we usually get around 1000 but we got around 17,000 at first and it’s still going I think. People were so interested in what I was doing and the response was just awesome. It was actually really nice to give away all my secrets after 20 years in the game.
I really love the NG9 Project’s latest on Robsoul, how has the response been on that record?
PW: Ahhh NG9, you know that’s actually Nail and Cass Roc from the UK. Nail has been producing for years, even when I started back out in ’96. He was releasing a lot back then, but since then he has been a bit quiet. I saw one day a reissued track that he had done and I just loved it. He then somehow contacted me and said he was doing another project. They sent about 20 tracks and I signed them all pretty much!
Tell us about your crate diggin’ series, are you pleased with the response?
PW: For sure, it’s been amazing. 50% of my sets are new music and 50% is old. A lot of the time I digitalise my vinyl as I can’t always travel with it everywhere. I have so much great music and want to try and throw everything into a set that I possibly can. 10 years ago folk didn’t produce on computers, they used to spend their money on hardware, mixing desks and drum machines and that made the music sound better (in my opinion). That’s when the quality of house music was better. Now people just buy plug ins online and roll with it. Anyway I tried to get licenses for around 60 tracks, which I narrowed down to 30, which in turn we got 3 volumes of 10 tracks each. Like I say I love new ideas and when it comes down to it, I’m quite spontaneous.
Any producers you’re into?
PW: A lot of the really unknown underground guys we have on Robsoul are from London. Jade Cox being one of them, she’s coming through with us and one to look out for. When she sent me her music it was just amazing. Really soulful and no nonsense. Then there is Jordan Peak, who is a really well known producer and living in London now, right? He’s just great and has some huge tracks to his name.
Robsoul is really going strong at the moment, what can we expect from the label soon? Can we be excited about any new talent?
PW: We release music every couple of weeks man. Next year will also be 15 years of Robsoul so look out for that. For now I’m really concentrating pushing new artists through Robsoul digital and then when they have come through and have made a name for themselves pushing them through vinyl also. Coming up we have NG9, myself out on 29th also. 5 tracks from Alex T over in Italy, then me again ‘Live at Palladium’, so lots to look forward too.