Paul SG: This Is Me
Paul SG breaks out his style of D&B – not strictly ‘liquid’ as you’ll read – and in doing so proudly proclaims that ‘This Is Me’ in the form of a new album out very very soon.
So. When did this new project arise or start to, after last we spoke?
The project has been in the works for quite some time now. I already finished two LPs years ago for another label and for reasons out of my control those never came out.
Does the title connect, as such?
I quickly decided that I want my debut LP to come out on my own imprint which means more work but also more freedom and joy
‘This Is Me’ is the title track of the album which I wrote with Brooklyn based Wordmith T.R.A.C.! it’s a very personal track with an obviously personal title which made it the perfect title track for my album.
It also refers to me being versatile within our own boundaries of the genre.
What’s being you mean?
Being “Me” means: a great interest in all sorts of musical emotions and feels which I tried to show on the album.
How would you describe the encompassing sound here?
I would much rather keep it like Miles Davis and call it ‘Social Music’. I actually don’t appreciate the term ‘Liquid’.
‘Lefthanded’ sounds great… what’s the title refer to?
Lefthanded people are usually special in many different ways. When I wrote the track I thought this sounds very unusual and I immediately thought of ‘Lefthanded’ as a possible title for it.
It received great reactions from both crowd and DJs and has always been something special which is why I kept the title.
I’m righthanded by the way.
Conrad appears on ‘You’ll Never Know’ which has a lovely 70s street vibe, how did you come to do this tune?
I’ve known Conrad since my days with Goodlooking. We played together a few times, hung out occasionally and kept the connection alive to this day.
We are constantly talking and exchanging thoughts and music. I guess we always wanted to do something and it just happened naturally.
I’m glad we got to finish the song just in time to include it in the LP as it adds yet another feel to This Is Me.
‘Cherry Blossom Tears’ is a killer track, pure liquid (to me)… who is the vocalist?
I met Angelina Dove through LTJ Bukem who thought we should work together.
‘Cherry Blossom Tears’ was the result and it definitely wasn’t the last time we worked together. She is an amazing artist and a very nice person which to me matters a lot.
Writing music is something so personal and i’m not sure if I’d like to work with someone I don’t click with.
Final tune ‘Swosha’ sounds brilliant, could listen to this all day, and those sort of hazy vibes. Would you do more at this tempo?
‘Swosha’ is one of dozens of tracks that I have done in this style. It’s always a pleasure to shut on drum & bass for an hour and dive into something different. Being naive is total freedom and I’m naive when I write in different tempo.
I guess you can still hear me in there which is why I added it to the LP.
I will definitely continue to write more downtempo whenever I feel like it and who knows, maybe i’ll release some of it some day.
So how does this album see you progress in general? With killers like ‘Trapped in Memories’ and ‘Not Worth It’… you seem to be running in the red zone, full of creativity.
Well I believe I achieved what I had in mind: a versatile LP.
16 tracks also give you the chance to explore various emotions and templates.
I must have written well over 300 tunes over the past four years and yes I think This Is Me sums it pretty much up.
I wanted to have a bit of everything on there rather than doing a best of. There is obviously a high standard on Jazzsticks given by the fact that i’m blessed to call some of the most talented guys my family and it’s always been a friendly rivalry between us.
We inspire each other constantly which then gets the best out of us.
What’s another tune you would focus on?
I’m not sure I have a “favourite” but the intro track ‘Verrazano’ is somehow special.
I usually go for a healthy combination of samples & synthesis but I ended up recording an immense amount of sounds for this tune and I also got a session player in for some additional rhythm guitar.
Sooooo I have been working on this intro for a few days and realised that I have absolutely no idea how I can come up with a drop and main part that does this intro justice.
I remember having Patife over for a few days, I played it to him and told him about my dilemma and he understood.
Anyway as it usually is, if something is meant to be it will come together eventually but I didn’t have much time as I had my [self given] deadlines for the album and one night it just clicked.
I was digging though some random disco/soul samples and found this part in a track that seemed to be in key with the pads and sounds but it changed the whole atmosphere immensely.
I decided to give it a go, layered a bunch of extra sounds and played more chords to complement and complete and it was done.
Like with many other tracks on the LP I went in and spent serious time rather than rushing from vibe to vibe which I did a few years back.
Any thoughts on the state of D&B right now? Where’s it going?
Oh, well… I follow but I don’t follow if that makes any sense? I think that breaks find their way back into drum and bass which I appreciate and I strongly believe in a real comeback for ‘Social Music’.
Any shouts, Paul?
Out to my Jazzsticks Collective including my fantastic, patient & overall amazing graphic designer martin of The Creative Surgery, to Denis for the constant work on mastering, to Conrad for hours of motivational speech, to all vocalist I could work with on the LP, to Danny for many years of mentoring and to everyone else believing in my philosophy!