We recently chatted to Cape Town native Soul Cougar about his musical inspiration, his unique production style and his new EP, Room 45
Natives: Who was Soul Cougar’s earliest musical inspiration?
SC: My first musical inspiration would be the likes of Steve silk Hurley, Armand van Helden
& Real 2 Reel.
Natives: What or who got you into djing/ music production?
SC: What got me into djing was watching my older uncle and long time family friend mess around trying to mix these two LP’s together and make the beats match. This was interesting I thought, so while they were out at college I stole their needles and started to mess around and the rest as they say is history.
Natives: How would you describe your style/ sound for someone who hasn’t heard your music?
SC: My musical style is one of many things since I love all genres.I dabbled in making most dance music styles, so for me it comes from being able to call on my experience.
I can bring all elements of the genres into any style of dance music I produce.
Natives: How do you stay ahead of musical trends?
SC: Staying ahead of musical trends is tricky, but in this game I feel we all feed off a good idea whether it be someone else’s or our own and its important to keep listening.
Natives: How did you get involved with Native Rootz Entertainment?
SC: I was first introduced to Native Rootz through a buddy of mine at a gig. I was playing my own productions and he asked if I’m interested in having a meeting and then it all started.
Natives: Name your most favourite/ well supported event you played at.
SC: One of my most supported events needs to be “Faded”. A massive get together of house lovers who love and support the art that house music brings.
Natives: What are your plans for the future musically?
SC: Future plans in music for me would be to help make Cape Town South Africa one of the house capitals of the world, whether it be with my productions or dj’ing.
Natives: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
SC: If I could collaborate with somebody omg there are so many. I would say Armand Van Helden. He has put his mark on dance music through the years and set trends throughout.
Natives: You have developed quite a fan base both locally and abroad, How did you manage to create awareness and maintain that following ?
SC: Creating the following I have today takes hard work, hours of it, and persistence.
Giving the people something they can dance to and always trying to create quality music, not quantity.
Natives: What is your process when creating a song?
SC: When I make a track it starts with a feeling like with all of us, but usually it all starts from some punchy percussion and a sweet bass tone.
Natives: What programming software do you use and is there any piece of gear that you enjoy using most? Or is it more than one piece of gear?
SC: The production software I use due to preference is FL Studio. It has the working format and layout I love working in and helps me get what I need to create fat bass tones. I love using it simply due to the huge amount of plugins available
I am currently using a novation launch key 49, which is perfect for my production style.
Natives: Do you find yourself transitioning well from the studio to live performance?
SC: Transitioning from studio to live performance, I love it. I get to project my sound to the crowd live and make them feel like they are part of the productions.
Natives: What is your opinion on the current pop culture trend of Djing and the future of the art?
SC: The pop culture of dj’ng in a way has crippled those who love the craft, who are not in it for fame, but to keep the culture true to its ideals.
Natives: Is there any hope for the Dj purist or those who consider it a serious art form?
SC: I feel there is hope for the purists of us Dj’s but we need to keep it real, and not conform to commercial trends when the going gets tough.
Natives: What inspired the tracks on the Room 45 EP?
SC: I wanted that classic house sound which always had good drum arrangement and really nice basslines. It was simple but catchy. All it took for me was finding the right plugins in FL studio to get that sound that I wanted and that was it. The rest was arrangement and mixing as usual.
Natives: You have chalked up 5 EP releases and 4 bootlegs now with Native Rootz Entertainment in a span of 2 years.
You have grown in popularity both locally and abroad, especially the US, and are really respected by fellow producers and fans alike.
How do you keep making club thumpers and how do you keep motivated?
SC: It’s not easy but self motivation is a personal thing for me. It’s always about wanting to add my mark on the industry however big or small that may be, but in doing so creating the right sound that others can respond to on an emotional level.
Natives:Great, do you have any words of encouragement to the amateur up and coming bedroom producers out there? I’m sure you have many who look up to you.
SC: Yes I do, keep on pushing, don’t stop learning and growing. Try to take criticism well, be it good or bad and use it to steer you on in your conviction.
Truly inspiring words from Juston Whitaker aka Soul Cougar who’s new EP title Room45.
Is out now on all major digital outlets.
You can listen to and purchase Room45 here.