Meet Bashaya Soul: Born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow based Bashaya Soul’s sound is as accessible as it is complex. The Scottish producer’s funky, densely packed house tunes blend disco-style synthesizers with chopped vocal samples; looping drum patterns with live instrumentation, to create danceable club hits that keep listeners guessing the whole way through. Source: About Bashaya Soul, Spotify.
My Kind of Music, with Bashaya Soul.
MAGNETIC HEAT, From The OLD DAYS.
In search of new songs for my weekly update of the ‘Groovy Medicine’ (Feel Better!), Spotify playlist, I found my next guest, Bashaya Soul. I quote: ‘So basically bashaya is a word I made up, based on the Russian word большая (bolshaya)’. Google translate is ever helpful and finding that bolshaya means great / big, the name makes total sense after listening to his music. At that time, he posted 2 songs, but just a couple of days ago, he added a third one. This Spotlight will be an introduction to a musician whose heart beats DISCO. It seems I am going through my very own Disco Revival at the moment, so let me lead you through the three songs by order of ‘discovery’, Let’s Go!
On the 21st of December last year, I stumbled upon ‘Heat’ (Can You Feel It?), released 11/19/2020. The amount of new music presented every week is astounding, but to find something I really like, that’s another story altogether. I’ve said it before: whenever a song gets me at the first couple of beats, I’m pretty sure it’s a keeper and so was Heat, which I added to the playlist. I followed Bashaya Soul on Instagram, some time later on Facebook and somehow made a very awkward mistake, by assuming I was dealing with a female artist. You figured it out, I was wrong…
One of the first things that hit me while listening to the track, was the funky guitar and the delicious bass lines, which instantly reminded me of CHIC. Definite Stomping Disco Groove, keyboards afire, great sax solo’s and last but not least, catchy lyrics, soulfully sung. This is how Bashaya Soul describes ‘Heat’ on SoundCloud, I quote: ‘This little disco monster is heavily inspired by sounds of classic disco (think Chic, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross etc), but with some modern touches, giving it a somewhat Daft Punk charm. Featuring live recorded Sax, Trumpet and Horn sections, this song is perfect to groove to!’ And isn’t that the truth. Can You Feel It??
Mistaking Bashaya Soul for a woman, was especially crinchy for me: the times someone assume I am a man, I’m never really quite sure how to respond without being rude or making it awkward. But I was so happy to finally found some female artists (or so I thought, though there will be a couple in the near future lol), one of my questions was specifically directed to a woman…Luckily he informed me immediately and I do apologize again… Felt some heat right there, even if only from embarrassment 😂
Anyways, whenever I find something interesting, I try to make time to look into the artist and see what else they offer. I was not disappointed with ‘Magnetic’, released 9/24/2020. In fact it was quite the opposite and I thought this one to be even better, if possible. So, I not only added it to the weekly playlist, I sent Bashaya Soul’s Soundcloud link to Akara (TJMC), the 31st of December, curious about his opinion. Well it didn’t take him long to respond, telling me he loved ‘Magnetic’ and he would post it saying, I quote: ‘Tell em they gonna be my first track of 2021‘. Wait. What.. But he did.
‘Magnetic’ is as catchy as only Disco can be in my opinion, sorry-not-sorry. It has just the right beat, and an earworm that just won’t be removed anytime soon. The lyrics have these ‘I-know-this-is-the-first-time-I-hear-this-but-it-feels-like-I-have been-listening-forever’ feel. With a Hook like that, I was knocked out cold. I am in love with the piano in this song, though seemingly in the background, it carries the song all the way. Yeah, it definitely got me on a Sugar High…
Thinking this would be where my part ends, I was most pleasantly surprised when I found another song was added very recently. When checking SoundCloud, I found ‘Old Days’ was released 5 months ago and that’s when I started doubting my mental health lol: did I miss an entire song?? I mean, it’s me we’re talking about, anything is possible. After checking this with Bashaya Soul, he set my jumbled mind at ease, I quote: ‘I’ve just re-released it, so you didn’t miss it!’ Phieew.
‘Old Days’, brings me back where we started. With the definite ‘Nile Rodgers’ guitar sound, smooth basslines and added horns. And Ooh…when he hit that piano…the solo is simply Amazing, with an almost jazzy edge. The lyrics are speaking of going back to the ‘old days’, when life seemed to be simpler and more relaxed… It urges us to leave the present pressures behind us and ‘Let The Music Make You Happy’. It’s Your Time To Party. I couldn’t agree more.
And on a very ‘last minute’ note: I sent this song to Akara too and he actually posted it today, while I was writing the above! I am wearing a Very Big Smile right now, you can only imagine…
Well, that’s it, time for the interview, but first: Big Thank You to Bashaya Soul! Your music definitely made a very happy ending to 2020 indeed, as well as a groovy start of 2021. I wish you all the blessings and much Disco Vibes along the way, can’t wait to add more of your music to my playlists! I will add you to my Spotlight page, where you will stay indefinitely and I will update any new song you release in the future.
Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us, Who is Bashaya Soul?
‘Multi instrumentalist and producer from the Highlands of Scotland, currently based in Glasgow’.
How and when did you get started in the music scene? Which instruments do you play / do you sing?
‘Back in the day you used to be able to create basic songs with MIDI on the old Sony Ericsson phones, it was brilliant craic. As simple as it was, I think this just really aroused my curiosity of music production and digital instrumentation.
I first gained proper interest in production after having a go of some software, I think it was garageband, when I was about 12 or 13. It blew my mind that you could create whole pieces of music, from piano to drums, on one device. It seemed like endless fun and I haven’t looked back since.
I wish I could sing, it would make things a lot easier! Unfortunately I’ve got an absolutely terrible singing voice. I tinkle with pretty much anything I get my hands on, but my main instruments are piano (which I was forced to learn as a child and now I’m very glad I did!) and drums’.
Where do you get your inspiration from and who were your biggest examples?
‘I love going out; festivals, clubs, whatever it is, so I find these events quite inspiring in themselves. It gives you a chance to hear some cutting edge stuff first hand and can motivate you a great deal. It can also be a little daunting seeing masters of the trade doing their thing, seeing how high they set the bar for performance and creativity, but it’s just important to try and see their level as attainable, rather than impossible.
My biggest influences currently would just be all things classic disco. Chic, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross. I also love the more Housey side of Disco, think Folamour, Bellaire etc! My influences tend to vary vastly from month to month (I’ve been listening to Gerry Cinnamon tunes on repeat for about 3 weeks now!) but I always seem to resort back to the my beloved disco’.
The two songs you’ve released are both funky, disco tunes. Is this where your heart lies, or are you thinking about trying other genres too in the future?
‘I’d say I find disco and funk the most fun to create, as these styles just radiate positive vibes. It also gives brass instruments, especially sax and trumpet, an opportunity to shine, which is perfect because I absolutely love the sound of them.
Under a different moniker I also produce music with a deeper, more electronic feel, so I also dabble in other genres’.
Hold on a minute! So what’s this other moniker you also produce music under? If it’s alright with you, I could add that to the article?
‘It’s ‘Radiating Circles’.
I really don’t put any attention to this moniker at the moment, but you are welcome to include it’ 😉
So for all who are curious: I Did listen to all the songs from Radiating Circles, and yes, it’s very different from the ones mentioned above, which makes it even more interesting. Of course I will not let it pass, so if you like, give it a listen!
Okay, back to the interview 🙂
What do you consider your biggest challenge when creating / producing music?
‘Because I write and produce mostly by myself, I’d say the biggest challenge can be not having anyone to bounce ideas off, and just the fact that my creative process leads to quite a solitary existence. I also hate sitting down, and love being outside, so naturally feel a bit of cabin fever when getting stuck into a project that’s mainly centered around a piano and computer’.
Do you manage everything (writing / creating / producing / social media etc.) on your own?
‘I do indeed. Not really one for a big social media presence to be fair, but I have the pages out of necessity. I find it quite draining managing an online presence, so if any social media wizz is looking for a project, give me a shout!’
What is your dream, what would you like to accomplish in the near future / this year?
‘To be perfectly honest, I just like the idea that people are listening (and hopefully enjoying!) my music. Fame and fortune has never interested me whatsoever, but as long as people are listening, I’ll keep creating! I like the idea of starting up some live performances when the pandemic is finally over’
Are you currently working on something new? When can we expect your next track?
‘I’m currently doing a rework of my debut track ‘Old Days’. It will be re-released in the coming weeks, so that’s definitely one to look out for. Alongside that I’ve just started a re-work of ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles, so that’s something to keep an eye out for as well!’
Aah there it is 😃
Is there anything else you wish to share with your fans / the readers?
‘Many thanks to everyone that’s listening to my music and supported me during these early days, it means lot!’
Again, Big Thanks to Bashaya Soul, and to you my Groovy Readers, Go, Find and Listen! You won’t be disappointed.
Wishing y’all a Magnetic Week & get Your Groove On ❤