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„We’re always cookin’ something up.“ – Cookin’ Soul im Interview

„We’re always cookin’ something up.“ – Cookin’ Soul im Interview

Das spanische Produzenten-Duo Cookin´ Soul, bestehend aus Big Size & Zock, ist mittlerweile nicht nur in ihrer Heimat Valencia zu Genre-internen Superstars aufgestiegen, sondern konnte durch seine Remixes vor allem in den USA eine große Aufmerksamkeit generieren. Durch die eigenen Produktionen für Künstler wie Nicki Minaj, Pusha T oder Redman werden die beiden Spanier derzeit so richtig gehyped.

Als Latin-Grammy-Award Gewinner und weltweit gehandelter Party-Geheimtipp kamen Big Size & Zock im September in unsere Hauptstadt Wien, um sich im etwas verdunkelten Raucherbereich des Cafe Leopold bei einem kleinen Snack, zwischen Flug und Stagetime, mit uns über ihre Erfolgsgeschichte zu unterhalten und um zu erzählen, was sie in Zukunft noch so für uns auskochen werden.

cookin soul 1
by Jessy Nowarre

TM: You are from Valencia, Spain. On your website you’re mentioned as Spanish superstars. Is there a big scene in Spain? Definitely, there are a lot of people making big money, ‚cause they got the crowd from South Amerika behind them. They are listening a lot to hip hop from Spain. We have a lot of big stars. Years ago, it was not like this, we only had to compete with pop music and stuff like that. But now, everybody starts to buy albums and tickets for the shows. It’s a really good scene now.

So would you say that you’re superstars in Spain? I wouldn’t say superstars, but you know, people know us. It’s not like people on the street are going crazy, but some ask for a picture. I mean hip hop is not the biggest music in Spain. But ist definitely bigger than it used to be.

How did the whole Grammy thing happen? We made some songs for one of the biggest female hip hop artists in Spain. Mala Rodruiguez, she is really world famous. We did some songs for her album. It was a Latin Grammy. We love to work with different artists – from famous to underground. For example Nicki Minaj or Curren$y.

Speaking of Curren$y, how do you got in contact with the Jet Life crew? When we started Cookin’ Soul, the main thing for us was not to produce hip hop in Spain only. We also wanted to produce for artists in the US. We started sending out beats and collecting emails from MySpace, from the A&Rs, the labels and the artists. Hey, we have some beats and stuff. I think the first artist we got in touch with was Ali Vegas. And from there on we started to get some more connections. Fortunately, we had a big presence in the blogs – many of them posted  our mixtapes. I think the Curren$y connection was through Twitter. And now we mainly connect with artists via Twitter. We started with MySpace, I mean we’re from Valencia in Spain, we’re not even from Barcelona. So we had to do it all over the internet.

What was your favorite artist you worked with? We worked with so many artists. But definitely the Jet Life crew. They are one of our favorites right now. They love our sound. And it’s the sound we really wanna do.

cookin soul 2
by Jessy Nowarre

We saw the trailer for the new album Cookies. You want to switch to real instruments instead of sampeling now? Yeah, the Cookies album. We have so many versions of it now. It’s kinda like a Detox, I guess. But it’s not gonna be an instruments only album anymore. We have so many tracks and then we said we will drop this later. And then the project got kind of abandoned. But we want it as an instrumental album – but not only real instruments. I hope we can drop it pretty soon. If you listen to a project so many times, you think all the time, that you could have done this better.

Are you playing some instruments on your own? We don’t play any instruments – we play music in our own way. And we have so many friends we work with for the real instrumental samples. We have some jazz musicians playing on the album. Also a former member of Cookin’ Soul, Mirco.

You guys must be real soul and jazz fans. Where do you find all the samples? Yeah, of course! Our main influence is soul and jazz. But at the same time, we enjoy listening to different things. We did some compilations with Dj Whoo Kid for Halloween. We just sampeled horror movies and soundtracks. It’s a lot of fun to take samples from different sources. I mean our name is Cookin’ Soul. We had also this song in which we’re only sampeling a cutting knife and stuff like that. We sample a lot of stuff. And we love to take samples from old spanish songs and spanish music icons – flamenco and stuff. We turned really weird spanish music into hip hop. Whatever sounds good.

How do you create songs? As a team or on your own? It happens independently. Normaly everyone cooks up things on his own. And than we show it to each other. And it’s like, can you play a bassline here or do you have some ideas for this one. We live just two minutes walking away from each other. But we hardly meet. Most oft he things happen through the internet.

How you met each other? I know him because of my older brother. He was a DJ too – the MC champion in spain. So i know him since he was really small. One day he called me and said, you should listen to what i’ve recorded. Than we said we should get together to make music. And here we are.

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So what are your plans for the new album? We’re talking to some labels now. Because we want to release it on vinyl. The album is not completely done, but it’s like 60 percent done. But this time we want to finish it up. Because we really wanna drop it. But we’re still searching for the best label and the best conditions. We want to drop it on vinyl and as free download or something like that.

With wich artists you would love to work with in the future? Dead or alive? We want to produce for Jay-Z obviously. We met his A&R and he became a friend of us. He said, he is a fan of our stuff. And maybe we could earn a bit of money, which always helps to keep going on. But from the bottom of my heart, I would love to do something with Q-Tip. He is one of my favorite rappers.

Why you release mostly mixtapes? Beacause of sampling clearances? We did it mainly to get more attention. It’s the best way to get our stuff out in the world. Beside of the fact, that clearing samples is always difficult, we were always fans of mixtapes. If you don’t know the name, you don’t buy anything. First you have to gain yourself a name out there. It was never about the money.

What can we expect in the future? We’re having a project with YG on the run. And with Styles P too. If you know Cookin’ Soul, you know we’re always cookin’ something up and we always drop a lot of music. Stay tuned and thank you for inviting us to Austria. It’s amazing, that people know us here. It’s crazy. That’s why we’ve worked so hard.

(by edHardygirl14/Farid Kjazimi)