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Feature: Solid Stone [Interview]

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2019 has been a fruitful year for Canadian artist Solid Stone. The Montreal resident has released three critically acclaimed projects c/o his burgeoning Phenomena imprint. Landing in February, May and August, this trio of two track offerings found favour with a cross section of the underground’s most highly regarded DJs. Adriatique, Guy J, Sasha and Tale Of Us have all chimed in with support for Solid Stone’s fresh approach to melodic techno. Now on the cusp of his fourth EP project of the year, we catch up with the Canadian artist in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Hi Elias, thanks for sitting with us today! Tell us, what does a studio day look like for you?

Hey! Thanks for having me! Well I always with a good breakfast and coffee. I take care of a few emails then i dive into production. Sometimes I can spend hours on something that I would end up scrapping at the end and other times It would just flow easily and naturally. I always make sure I take small breaks every 30 minutes to refresh my ears. Something I find very important. That and mixing at low volume helps too!

What’s been on your to-do list this week?

Been working on getting everything ready for my Prismatic EP coming out this Friday on my label Phenomena and on my spare time I am finishing up a remix for another label and working towards the next EP!

Tell us more about your story. How did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a producer and Dj.

I remember hearing for the first time Children from the late Robert Miles when I was just a little kid and ever since then I’ve been hooked on electronic music, looking for that next track that would amaze me. Eventually, years down the line I just woke up on morning and just decided to buy music production software and the rest is history.

At which club or event did you experience electronic music for the first time and what memories have stuck with you from that moment?

My first experience was at Circus in Montreal about 10 years ago and Jerome Isma-ae was playing and the vibe was amazing everyone was dancing and I knew then and there that for sure this is what I wanted to do.

How has living in Canada shaped your sound and career? Has it had an impact on the music you produce in any way?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been living in an artistic city such as Montreal where there are clubs that would open at 2am till everyone leaves and where people know their music. The electronic music scene here is strong and has given me ample opportunities to showcase my music.

You have a new EP out this week on your Phenomena imprint. Tell us a bit about the EP and how it showcases your individualities as an artist.

For this ep I wanted to take it down a notch and present something a bit more melodic and laid back. For me every track has to be different from the next and so I do hope people will enjoy it.

How do you decide whether or not to release your own material on Phenomena or another label?

For the time being I am focusing on my imprint so that it grows into something more. The good part about releasing on your own label is that you can choose whatever you want to release and whenever you want to release it.

You’ve also recently released an amazing remix of Dowden on Tim Penner’s Slideways Music, tell us about how you approached the remix.

Thank you! When asked to remix a track I always try to pick off specific elements that I like and that I can focus on and build around. For this one it was its amazing arp. The remix did go through several iterations before it finally became what it is because I just have to be satisfied to the very end.

What do you enjoy more writing originals or remixing? And how do go about deciding on what remix projects to take?

I prefer producing originals no doubt about it. There are no limitations to how you can create and build your track. Now its not to say that I don’t enjoy remixing. The approach is different as you have to work within the idea of the original. If i like the idea then I will enjoy giving it my own touch.

Is there a side of yourself which you wish to explore more in your upcoming projects?

I find it is very hard to plan what you want to do musically and how you want tracks to sound as it really depends on your mood and how you feel at the time but what I’d like to explore would be the more “driving” techno side of music.

The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. How do you discover new music nowadays?

Every week I look for new music in preparation for my weekly podcast “Refresh Radio”. This allows me to stay on top of new music which I find through promos and Beatport.

Your Refresh Radio is still going strong, nearing 300 episodes now. What keeps the fire burning and is what you showcase on the show each week a good representation of what people could expect in a club set from you?

Refresh Radio has been going for nearly 7 years now and it has just been a tremendous help for my career. It keeps me on top of new music every week and is a good way of showcasing not only my favourite music but also what people can expect of a live dj set from me.

Describe one of the best sets you’ve played in your career. Where was the venue and how was the vibe? Do you often feel inspired to make music after being on the road?

I’d have to say that my set at PY1 in Montreal last August was one of my favourites. The vibe and the crowd were incredible. Coupled with some unique and amazing visuals it was definitely one for the books.

If you could go b2b with any artist, in any club, who and where would it be and why?

I would love the go B2B with my good friend Tim Penner one of these days. I can confidently say that we have the same vision when it comes to music and would be interested in trying that out if he is up for it! Location would definitely be Stereo in Montreal!

What is the one piece of advice you give now that you wished you could have gotten five or ten years ago?

Don’t try to sound or be like others. Stick to what you feel is best for you and perfect that skill.

Current five favorite tracks?

Circle of Life – Roots

Abayomi – Reach

Space Motion & Stylo – Amazon

Marcus Meinhardt – Lost Paradise (Lunar Plane Remix)

Teknaut – Moments

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Driving!

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year and in 2020? Any releases or special dates we should be looking out for?

So far the plan for 2020 is to continue to grow my label and the brand and perhaps evolve that project into something else! I also have more EP that I’ll be able to squeeze in by the end of the year so stay tuned for that one!

‘Prismatic’ is out now on Phenomena, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/35lsytM

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