Sometimes a new talent comes along that makes music with such sophistication that you automatically feel that it must comes from someone you would associate with being from the 'old school' set. Mr. Sosa, however, is not only super young, he is an extraordinarily gifted UK DJ & Producer who seems to have gone from being a relatively unknown artist to now commanding a position amongst the next generation of potential top club talents. With his catchy chords, broken beats and menacing acids lines, he has seen his music being released on some of the very best labels in the world including Anjunadeep, Stress Records and of course, Last Night on Earth [where he has collaborated with the man-like himself, Sasha].
2022 has already been an incredibly strong year for Mr. Sosa with appearances at Egg London, Warm Up Festival, Industry Belfast and Troxy London. Add to this his continued support from Radio One, Kiss FM and Rinse FM, along with his resume of ever growing labels, and it is clear to see that this Bournemouth-native is one of the scenes hottest rising stars and definitely one to watch!
Hello mate! How are you? Thanks for making this one happen. I've been wanting to chat with you for a while now. Firstly… Who is Mr. Sosa? Is there a story behind the name..
Hi Bean! Yes, I'm really good. Cheers for asking! I find myself explaining the origins to people all the time as it’s quite random haha.. I used to make lofi house music associated with the 80s aesthetic. My all time favourite film is Scarface and one of the characters in the movie is called Mr. Sosa. I just thought it sounded cool and mysterious in connection to lofi so I rolled with it and things started taking off so it stuck!
So, I like to start at the beginning… What music did you listen to growing up and what made you decide to take up music as a career?
I listened to a lot of usual stuff as a kid like the pop punk scene that was booming in the 2000’s but it’s only recently dawned on me that a lot of influence has come from video games I used to play and movies. Most notably GTA Vice City where you could basically live in the 80’s (which was ground breaking to me at the time). The radio stations in that game were actually full of amazing classic tunes to the point where I would always listen to 80’s music.
Way too many to single out but it planted the seed of how good music should sound.
I was listening to Tangerine Dream after watching the film Risky Business one day and it inspired me to try making my own music. Before this I'd never even thought about producing! Although I’d bought a set of decks and tried DJ'ing about 5 years before this after getting into the dance scene being heavily into house, going to Ibiza and the movement that Bicep were pioneering at the time in the early 2010’s. It kinda snowballed from there and everything took place naturally.
Your sound is heavily influenced by that 90’s acid house vibe… Is this era something you started listening to or are you just drawn to it from a musical perspective?
I did go through a phase where all I would listen to was 90’s acid house, but that was already after listening to the new generation of revived house music in the 2010’s which I still think is one of the best eras for house music. I guess you could say it influenced those producers which connected with me so it is definitely relevant, it was kind of a mix of classic tunes and the new stuff which I liked.
Who are you greatest influences right now?
I try to avoid influences where possible if they’re too direct as I find my best productions come from a clean slate where the track almost makes itself and sometimes I just feel like I’m there to put the pieces together if that makes sense. However, I'm finding that I get some of my influences these days from old tunes from the 60’s up to the 00’s for production ideas anyway. Usually completely random with no correlation to dance music, anyone from punk bands like The Dammed to 90’s Nu Metal like Deftones etc. I listen to A LOT of music and just soak it all up.
You seem to be producing some incredibly sophisticated breaks tracks of late which are sprinkled with a [somewhat] UK garage type vibe that I’m literally obsessing over right now… What got you into breaks? Was there a particular track or artists that shifted your mindset from the traditional 4/4 format?
100%! I loved Ejeca’s track 'Jalek' and when I heard the breakbeat remix I was hooked. I didn’t really see the hype with breaks before then but that totally changed my mind. Especially with the creative opportunities that chopping breaks can bring compared to 4/4. It’s like Pandora’s box and I love seeing how far out I can get my drums sounding, the wackier and more unique the better. Same with Garage breaks, similar story with Joy Orbison’s Hyph Mngo.
Speaking of breaks, there has been a huge resurgence of this genre filtering into a few different genres… Production wise: What do you feel the main difference is when making a 4/4 track compared to say a 3/4 track? Do you think you need to ‘add’ more to a broken beat track to make it more dance floor friendly?
It’s kind of the other way round with me, I find 4/4 much more dance/DJ friendly but it completely depends on the rest of the elements in the track. Some tracks just demand 4/4, breaks can get really busy so if the rest of the track has a lot going on I’ll opt for a 4/4 but if there’s big emphasis on the bassline then breaks can really work well to free up that space. My favourite is actually combining both breaks and 4/4 in the same track, that just sounds really naughty haha.
You have worked with some pretty major heavy hitting DJ/producers such as the man like Sasha. What’s it like to know your production skills are rated so highly by that caliber of artist? Who is on your list of ‘dream’ producers that you would love to collaborate with?
It’s really cool and took me by surprise to be honest, having legends like that interested in my work who have been doing this for longer than I’ve been alive and actually collaborating with me. To be honest, there are many dream producers that I would like to work with but I guess the likes of Tangerine Dream, Aphex Twin, Burial, Deetron and Bicep would be up there.
For all the producer readers out there… what’s ur studio set up like? Anything you couldn’t live without?
I’ve built up my studio over the years with quite a bit of Analog and vintage gear. Some of which doesn’t get used as much as it should but I definitely couldn’t live without my Matrix 1000 or my Super 6. Those are a dream to use and always deliver fresh sounds.
Do you have an all time favourite MR.SOSA track? And if so, why?
This is a really good question and it’s the tunes that flew under the radar. A few of my favourites are actually still unreleased as they’re so different but my favourite track which I’ve released is definitely Pharaoh. I just love hearing it and I always get a kick out of it as it has so much energy. I played it at ADE this year and it’s the only time I’ve played it out. Really such a special vibe to me.
As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people? Which artists are on your list of ‘ones to watch’?
Definitely! The sound that I find myself seeking at the moment seems quite niche and there’s not too many producers pumping it out so when I stumble on tunes or tracks people send me that click it’s awesome. I’m really liking what Lawrence Hart is doing at the minute and also Overmono seem to keep hitting the nail on the head with every release.
What is some advice that you can give to someone hoping to make a career in music production?
Don’t do it! Haha just joking! Honestly though, it’s a marathon and as long as you’re 100% committed then you’ve got nothing to lose. Focus on your craft and produce as much as possible, make connections and be patient. As long as you don’t give up it will come.
So where to from here? What are you most looking forward to? Any up&coming events or tracks we need to keep an eye out for?
Really looking forward to playing Sub Club in November, heard so many good things about it so I’m sure it will be a special one! I’ve also got lots of new releases lined up, first to see the light of day will be next up on my label Viceworks, called 'Feel The Wind'. It’s a heavy hitter.. details will come soon but it’ll be out near the end of November.
Thanks so much for your tim today!
Hopefully we get to catch up next Summer!
Thank you Bean. That sounds awesome.