On Tuesday 4th February 2016, the Spread Love radio show welcomed the brightest star on the horizon, Opolopo to do an exclusive guest mix.
Opolopo is a name that needs little introduction after scoring a tidal wave of successful with his live DJ performance; productions and remixes for countless artists such as: Nina Simone, Gregory Porter, Lisa Standfield, Michael Jackson et al.
Over the forthcoming weeks the show will be celebrating the launch of AMMP – (Angel Mel Music Promotions), by featuring a selection of guests mixes from the artists.
For more information on the artist bookings & AMMP go to www.ammpromotions.co.uk
Also on featured on the show is music from the likes of Al Hudson, Brian Johnson & Gil Scott Heron, Masters of Work Ft India, Ashley Beedle, John Morales and many more.
Angel Mel’s Spread Love show is held fortnightly on Tuesday 8pm until 10pm and Sunday 2pm until 4pm for Soultrain Radio, www.soultrainradio.co.uk
Follow the link to hear the show in full
Southport Weekender – Celebrating 28 Years Of Life, Love and Music at One of Britain’s largest & longest standing indoor dance events. Collection Of Music and Memories
Back in October 2014, the organisers of Southport weekender brought Southport back home to it’s original humble beginnings at the Pointins site. I made it my mission to interview and record as many of the SPW family, in celebration of our 50th anniversary. My aim was for people to share their first time and most cherished memories of the Southport Weekender. Since starting out on my mission, the recording of people’s stories was the easy part, but editing and putting it all to music was quite a different kettle of fish. I had to learn how to use the audacity program from scratch! So please excuse the all the ambient sounds in the background,and the imperfections. All the stories were recorded live from the event as it was happening. I’ve been holding on to this project for months, I was uncertain whether the finished product was good enough to share with my beloved Southport family. That is until I received the news on Wednesday 20th March that would no doubt change not only my life but the lives of those around me, when I heard that this years Southport Weekender would be the last. I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming since of loss, I felt bereft. Hearing the news was like losing a dear friend. Selfishly I could only think of life never being quite the same again, and that there could be nothing to fill the hole that it left behind. For Alex Lowes, Dave Gardner and the team to come to this decision must have been heart breaking for them. But I can not dwell on the sadness or sense of loss, when belonging to the worlds most friendliest music event has brought me and many others so much joy. Nothing can take away our memories, or the life long friendships and experiences that we all shared together. We belong to a unique community, fueled by our passion for music and togetherness which has ultimately changed our lives for the better. Remember there is no Southport without you, us or them. With every dance move we ever made, when we wiped the tears of happiness from our eyes, from the collective call of ‘Good Morning campers’, the infamous chalet parties, the mind blowing performances, our pride as we display our collection of SPW lanyards, the intensity of the build up as the event approaches. We have all be touched by the magic and it has left it’s mark like indelible ink right across our hearts. This isn’t the end it’s just the beginning of a brand new chapter in our lives. Lastly I want
to thank all the amazing people who contributed to this podcast and to everyone single one of the SPW family for having such a profound affect on my life. I hope by listening to this podcast it makes you smile and to bring back your own special memories. Special thanks to Corina & friend, the brilliant Antony Elson, Susie, Steve Smith, Rebecca Wann & Champs, Simon Schooly Philips, Fitzroy Da Buzzboy, Siobhan & Tracey, Adeva, Marcia Carr, Jean Carne, Rob Lawrence, The Beast, Annie & Alan Kenny Arscott from Mucho Soul, Mike Dirguid, John Stewart, (my soul sista Jan Whalley, Peter Borg, William Loonen Thanks to Colin Williams for the image. Music 1. George Benson – You can do it baby 2.Cheryl Lynn – Got to be real 3. Masters At Work – To be in love 4. Armand Van Heldon – You don’t know me (instrumental) 5.Sounds of Blackness – I’m going all the way 6. Maze – Twilight 7. Nu Colours – Greater Love 8. The Rebirth = This journey in 9.Jean Carne – Was that all it was 10.Omar – Dancing (Zed Bias remix) 11. Roy Ayers – Liquid Love 12. Kerri Chandler – Rain 13. Louie Vega – Cerca De Mi (instrumental) 14. Gregory Porter – On the way to Harlem
This is the tale of the ‘Synthesizer’ kid, who dreamed that one he would spread his love of electronic dance music to the far corners of the earth. The kid worked hard, hidden away in his studio mastering his craft. Today we know of him as Opolopo, the Producer & Remixer Extraordinaire and Turntable Dynamo.
With a name that means ‘Plenty’, in Yoruba, Opolopo has much to smile about. He has a string of dance floor smashes under his belt including his track featuring Shea Soul – Be Enough, Choklate – The Tea, the now infamous remix for Gregory Porter 1960 what? and recent a track featuring 1990s soul singer Lisa Stanfield for her Picket Fence, not to mention the Sacha Williamson heavy weight slammer ‘Blame’.
The time has come for Opolopo to stand and be counted as one the most prolific producers around.
The 4 X 4 not only a classic house beat – it forms the foundation of the interview 8 questions only.
1. Tell me one thing about yourself that most people do not know?
I can beatbox with my teeth.
2. Do you remember the first tracks you heard that turned you on to a life of making music?
I’ve always been into “making music” for as long as I can remember. I have no formal training but as a kid I was always messing around on the piano, coming up with simple riffs and melodies. The big thing for me though, that really sucked me in, was the discovery of electronic music. One of my earliest musical memories is hearing the synth-pop tune Popcorn on the radio when I was 3 or 4. The track featured the Moog synthesizer and I remember being fascinated by how it sounded and how it was different from anything else on the radio. But the biggest moment was probably hearing Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene during a relaxation exercise in gym class in the late seventies. It sounded so alien and mystical. It was all synthesizers and drum machines. Synthesizer was kind of a dirty word back then -“you don’t have to know how to play, just how to press a button”. But I didn’t care. I loved the sound. So I went and bought Jarre’s The Concerts in China album, and it was listening to that album that made me go -“One day I’ll have the synths and machines and I’ll be making electronic music.”
3. I first became aware of your music, after hearing your now infamous remix of Gregory Porter’s 1960 what. How did you keep your feet on the ground after creating such a dance floor anthem?
I’ve told the story many times but it was just a simple edit/tweak I did for myself so I could play it in a clubby context. Then Gregory’s label heard of it and the rest is history. I only added the minimal elements I felt it needed for the dancefloor: a synth bassline, kick, hats and a bit of percussion. The success of the “remix” lies in the power of the original. All I did was to present the track to a new audience.
4. Peter you had the unique opportunity to go on tour with your keyboardist father, what did you learn about music that you may not have learned otherwise?
Yeah, I was just a kid tagging along every now and then with my dad, who played keys in a cover band. We went playing on a cruise ship or supporting some big show artists at hotels. Don’t think I learned so much about music itself. It was more of getting a, not always so glamorous, glimpse of musicians and artists lives in the spot light as well as backstage. I loved the experience but it didn’t really make me want to become a musician. I was more interested in production and the music making process than being on stage.
5. The ‘Opolopo production sound is distinctive, what do you think makes your sound and style so different that other producers?
It’s just about musical and sonic taste I think. I have certain things that I like and I kind of now how to get there. The rest is just tools to get the job done.
My musical journey growing up, as a listener and fan of music, goes from electronic through fusion and jazz, through funk, soul and boogie. I think all those elements are present in one way or another in my productions. I guess that gives me a certain sound.
6. If you had the choice between DJing in a world class music arena full of music lovers or writing and producing a double platinum selling record, which would you chose and why?
Haha, well there’s not much money in selling records anymore so financially I should go for the full music arena. But then again, my arena style fist pumping is a bit rusty so I’d still go for the platinum record.
But seriously, as much as I love DJ:ing, my first and biggest love will always be producing and making music. There’s something about locking yourself up in a studio, creating and controlling your own musical universe, that’s hard to beat.
7. You are the master of the remix. The last album you did was ‘Voltage Controlled Feelings’, released on Tokyo Dawn records back in 2010. Do you have plans to produce another album and can you tell me more about your future plans?
I co-wrote and produced vocalist Amalia’s debut album, Art Slave, for TDR in 2011. So there kind of was one more after VCF. 😉
But I’m releasing a spanking new full length album for Z Records later this year. A mix of boogie, funk and house. It’s been in the making for quite some time but I’m very excited to finally unleash it upon the world.
Other than that there’s a bunch of new remixes coming up.
8. If you have a mission in life what is it? How will you know once you’ve achieved it?
When it comes to music my only mission is to never compromise with the quality of my work. Sure, in retrospect some things might not have worked so well or turned out differently than I thought while making it. But I always try and put in the same amount of work and dedication no matter what the project is. I’ve always thought that if you set your bar high enough all the time, people will eventually catch on. I’ve always wanted to let the music speak for itself. If you keep doing that and have the stamina and are stubborn and foolish enough – you might succeed.
So being able to make a living doing music is in a sense a result of achieving my mission.
Thank you Opolopo for sharing your passions and ambitions with us. For more from Opolopo please follow the links below: