Ahead of his debut Mieliepop performance we catch up with Trancemicsoul discussing his emotive production, the evolution of DJing and delving into and when to expect new music
The name Trancemicsoul is the ideal representation of your entrancing and soul-filled fusion of deep house, techno and other experimental forms of electronica. Has this always been your performance/producer name and how did it come about?
Well, I used the alias “DJ Trance” as my stage name until tertiary institution where I got exposed to music composition in 2006. I knew the Disc Jockey abbreviation (DJ) had to be removed from my stage name as I was more interested in being an artist rather than just a DJ due to music composition. But I didn’t want to lose the “Trance”, so I fused it with “Mic”. I also believed (still do) my soul is responsible for making the music, so I decided to include “Soul” to the name and TranceMicSoul was born.
Emotion is a term often associated with both your productions and mixes. Why is it so important to you to convey emotion in your music and how difficult would you say it is to convey emotion in electronic music with so much emotionless electronic music on commercial radio?
As you know emotion is any conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a certain degree of pleasure or displeasure. So I always pay attention in creating very warm, happy and lovely feelings when I produce or DJ, to convey a certain memory of great times, making it difficult for one to forget how I made him/her feel. So storytelling through music is my core foundation, creating expressions of art in music. It is not an easy thing to do because it requires so much attention to detail when creating these expressions, from your own state of mind, mood, style of music, track selection, mixing and timing.
Your interest in production and DJing began around 2 decades ago. What in your opinion has been the biggest evolution in the industry in that time and what do you see being the next evolution in the next 20 years?
In my opinion, DJ’s are now becoming artists due to the fact that the audience has changed. People are more interested in a performance compared to a DJ set (mixing one song to another), so DJ’s have to add a little bit of spice into their sets. It can be by a form of skill, adding a percussionist, drummer, keyboard player, vocalist, dancers and more. Playing live is the next big step for South African artists and DJ’s. I think having the full control of what to play, when and how (separating musical components that makes up a song) is the ultimate freedom.
‘Emotions On A Picadilly’ was featured as one of the top 25 tracks on #TheFussList in 2016. Are we correct to say that there was a slowdown in your releases following that and when can we expect more from you?
Yes, you are correct. I had a vinyl release scheduled for 2017 but due to a lack of patience from the label, we had to terminate the deal. I had the music but we struggled a bit with the mixing of the records (something that I take very serious). I had to go back and forth to the studio so that I could enhance my vision on the records as best as possible, but the label boss thought otherwise due to time. Like they always say, you can’t rush art! In 2018 you will most definitely get the music and you will understand why I had to hold back on it. I’m super happy with what I have now.
It seems you’re taking a step into promoting your own events with the Trancemicsoul Sessions. Tell us more about the idea behind these events and what it’s being like going from being a performer to also being the promoter.
Yes, but I can say that I’m not yet a promoter. I’m just using my influence in the industry to retrieve the Pretoria that we all used to love musically. I think every artist has his or her own vision when it comes to events and culture, even though some will have the best logistics and some won’t. Remember in most cases it’s all about who you know, what you have accomplished and how many products you can sell. The music might be the last thing on the list. We as artists have depended a lot on promoters and for most of them it’s all about the paycheque, not the culture or vision. So I decided to start the sessions with a good friend and brother Henk Van Der Schyf. These sessions are all about cross-pollination in music, lifestyle and culture. I figured that Pretoria has lost so much talent and support due to lack of consistency in the music culture (specifically house and electronic music). So this is one of my top priorities in 2018 and beyond.
You’ve worked with Henk Van Der Schyf on various events including Grietfest and even the Trancemicsoul Sessions but this will be your first time at Mieliepop. What are you expecting from the event and what can fans expect from your debut Mieliepop performance?
I have heard a lot of great stories about Mieliepop and I’m really excited to be making my debut. As usual, I’ll be spreading the cinematic melancholia sound and some Techno on the TOYTOY floor. I’m also looking forward to connecting with other like-minded people that will be attending the festival.
What can we expect from Trancemicsoul for the rest of 2018?
You can definitely expect more growth as an artist, DJ, producer and in my personal life. I’m working very hard as the man behind the scene in various awesome projects. The music will reach you this year!
Mieliepop takes place 21 – 24 March at the 30th of September at Tolderia Resort in Lothair, Mpumalang. Get your tickets here. For all updates on Mieliepop follow the hashtag #Mieliepop2018 and Mieliepop on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.