Lime interview - Music
Soul Singer SEL and Fugi Rock
Lime caught up with the amazing soul singer S.E.L and Fugi Rock to discuss their Journey into music and their new Single 'Dangerous'
Your new single 'Dangerous' with Fugi Roc is just starting to buzz and you've being tipped by tastemakers as Ones To Watch, how's life at the moment?
S.E.L: Life is great! I am loving that the track is getting so much love! It deserves it! We worked hard to create something that screamed individuality...I think we accomplished that.
Fugi Roc: Things are really good thanks, a lot of great things are happening.
I'm am so glad people are feeling the material we are putting out, it makes me feel really good!
How did you guys team up and what makes your partnership so special?
Fugi Roc: Funny enough, we met playing for Soul 2 Soul. I was playing bass and S.E.L was a backing vocalist. The moment we met we became best friends instantly and have a special relationship. Our taste in music is also very similar. I love the music she loves and she loves the music I love, this always helps when we are trying to make music together we refer to the songs that we both instantly know and vibe of that.
You are also part of the Soul 2 Soul collective, and tell us how you became involved with them and are you an honorary Funki Dred?
S.E.L: It’s a bit deep as I was singing with a choir, and the director knew Jazzie B and used to do Backing Vocals for him. I always respected the way in which the choir director was so technical about singing as she took it seriously and took time to nurture and perfect her craft. I looked up to her because of that and would always stay on after choir as well as come in a bit earlier than everyone else for rehearsal - just to gain more knowledge from the director.
One day, Jazzie called her up asking if she would manage, organise and arrange the backing vocal section for him and the collective. She turned down the job saying it just wasn’t really for her anymore but told him she knew someone who would be perfect for the job...Me! I was soooooo star-struck when I heard Jazzie B on the other end of my phone for the first time!lol:-)
I owe a lot to that choir director...I won't mention her name but she knows who she is. xx
I am a proud Funki Dread.The Soul 2 Soul ethos is to consistently be an individual, and an asset to the collective. Working with such an amazing man like Jazzie B, I have grown so much as an artist. He is a perfectionist, and encourages us all to always strive for perfection in everything we do. The great thing about being part of the Soul 2 Soul family is that we are all amazing artists in our own right....all of us at the top of our game! So when we play together...its Sick! (In a good way!Lol :-)
Touring with Soul 2 Soul, live shows, and a couple of releases under your belt, can you tell us what your proudest moments have been so far and why? And is there one unforgettable memory during your singing career?
S.E.L: Wow! Proudest moments?...there has been so many. My first release, 'Necessary' getting Track of the Week on Jazz FM and Smooth FM was amazing! Playing my first sold-out show - there’s no feeling like it! Playing at London’s prestigious venues, Ronnie Scotts and Pizza Express Jazz in Dean Street....amazing!
As part of the Soul 2 Soul collective, probably the most unforgettable memory has been appearing on BBC2’s ‘Later’ with Jools Holland.
A little bird tells me your one of the UK's most formidable bass players, and that you've played alongside some great artists including P-Diddy, Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue and Bono. Can you tell us about this side of your career and what your proudest moments have been so far and why? And is there one unforgettable memory during your career?
Fugi Roc: I've had a great career so far, and there have been many moments that I look back on with fondness. Oone of the biggest moments was with Kylie Minogue. There was a part in the set that she would call me out the front and we would perform the song 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and I always felt sweet like she was singing that song directly to me - lol:-) It's funny, after six months of doing the same song it never got tired. Another fond moment was when I performed with P Diddy, as he has always been one of my heroes, because he is one of the hardest workers that I know of. He came from the bottom and worked hard to get to the top, and then to stay there.
What are you currently working on and what’s coming up for you in the next few months in terms of releases, shows etc?
S.E.L: In terms of releases, there’s the new single 'Dangerous'! I have also collaborated with Fugi Roc on his second release, 'Messy', which is a very hot track and I’m very excited about that.
Next year summer, I will be releasing my third single, 'Elevation', which everyone loves, and has already got worldwide radio airplay! lol :-) I have received so many requests to release it asap, but it has to be right. It’s a great summer track so I’m going to wait till next year to do it with my debut album.
I have been working with Shades of Soul and Pizza Express Jazz to put on a string of shows, both as a host and as an act. I am trying to make it my duty for up and coming artists to be given the opportunity to showcase their talent and abilities in a professional setting, so I’m really looking forward to these shows. The first one kicks off on October 5th in The Pheasantry in Chelsea, London, then October 12th, Maidstone and the big one November 1st at the Pheasantry again.
As part of the Soul2soul collective, we will be starting our 25 Anniversary tour in November and there’s lots of live dates.
Fugi Roc: I am working on new singles at the moment,as our first one "Dangerous" seems to be doing very well. I want to have at least five single choices so that when the time I won't have to rush to create anything new. Apart from that I am enjoying playing with Soul 2 Soul and we have a string of dates around England coming up in November.
How and when were you first infected by dance music and do you have a clear earliest musical memory ? What inspires you musically?
S.E.L: My first dance music infection is as clear as day! HQ's ‘S-Express’ The tune drove me crazy, every time it came on.
My earliest musical memory has to be how excited I used to get over the 'Now' compilations, my first being ‘Now 12’ with Salt n Pepa's 'Push it' getting the rewind consistently as well as S-Express of course. I also used to be a huge fan of Mel and Kim and Terence Trent D'arby - timeless tunes I still play now. Janet Jackson was always in my tape deck as well, and I have every album to date. Soul 2 Soul's Club Classics Vol 1 was a major musical turning point for me as well, as I'm sure it was for everyone!
Musically, I am inspired by individualism and perfectionists, and I am a loyal fan of artists who remain consistent and stay true to who they are. For me it’s all about true music and musicians. Soul 2 Soul, Jamiroquai, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Musiq Soulchild, Omar, Goapele and Ledisi.
I sometimes find that I hold onto old skool as for me, that’s when the greatest music was made...timeless.
Fugi Roc: I was first infected by the dance bug in my Kylie days. Kylie is the Queen of pop dance, and having to play songs like, 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' 'Love At First Sight' and 'Light Years' just got into my blood.
My earliest musical memory was me sitting in the musicians' pits at church. I always wanted to play the drums and I would wait for an opportunity when the drummer didn'y arrive so I could get my chance to play. He was always there and never missed a Sunday but the bass player did. So I decided to learn to play bass and it became my first love.
Musically I am inspired by many people including John Schofield, U 2, Jay-Z, P Diddy, Timberland, Mint Condition, Black Street and Teddy Riley, but my biggest inspiration has been Michael Jackson.
I'm inspired by life and by my mum. Life because so many things happen on a day-to-day basis it's easy to write a song about a situation, and my mum because she is the most beautiful kind-hearted woman on the planet. I am inspired to give her the life she deserves that's what inspires me from day to day.
How did you get into singing?
S.E.L: I am a classically trained musician, on the violin and piano, they were my first instruments. Singing just came naturally to me and I first sang in my school choir and remember the thrill I had when I did my first solo - I knew I wanted to perform then.
How did you get into music?
Fugi Roc: I started playing bass in church, and one of my sister's good friends heard me play and happened to be playing for an artist called Lucy Silvas. Lucy was going on tour around Asia and needed a bass player, and when he heard me he asked me to join the tour. Of course I said yes and that was in 2000 and I have been playing ever since.
First record you ever brought?
S.E.L: ‘Now 12’ album
Fugi Roc: The first record I ever bought was probably N.W.A's 'Straight Out Of Compton' - lol:-) I was really into my gangsta rap at the time.
Who is the most inspirational and influential person in your life and why?
S.E.L: I have three... my mum, dad and brother because they have always collectively pushed me to be all I can be and to fulfill my dreams. The support is unconditional and consistent.
Fugi Roc: I've already told you about my mother so it's time to tell you about my father. He was a pastor of the church, a very funny person with an incredible intelligence. He always used to tell me that nothing is impossible if I really believe it. He told me to follow my dreams and never let anybody tell me that I couldn't do anything. He has passed away now and I really really miss him.
And is there anything fun or wacky or that we don’t know about you?
S.E.L: I am a silly child at heart that laughs in most situations, bakes cupcakes as a hobby and has a candycrush addiction! lol :-)
S.E.L Live Dates
05/10/13: The Pheasantry, 152-154 Kings Road, SW3 4UT, London,
12/10/13: Pizza Express Jazz, 32-34 Earl Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1PF
25/10/13: The High Barn, 28 Bardfield Centre, Great Bardfield, Essex CM7 4SL
01/11/13: The Pheasantry, 152-154 Kings Road, SW3 4UT, London,
Fugi Roc featuring S.E.L. release ‘Dangerous’ on Bournehill Music in October. For all info https://soundcloud.com/fugiroc ; www.s-e-lsoul.com and www.reverbnation.com/bournehillmusic
An interview with Bernard Kordieh
Jareth Find Her Path