An Interview with Joe Kay | Soulection

24 January 2014. Today marks a special day for Joe Kay and his team, because today signifies Soulection's third anniversary. And to celebrate, The 5 to 9 Life was able to exchange some inspiring words with the multi-talented individual in our first After Dark Adventures for 2014.

An Interview with Joe Kay

Soulection is a culture.

And the hard-working team behind the influential label has definitely been putting in the hard yards bringing us an entire roster of artists that the rest of the world has been sleeping on. Truly.

It’s kind of hard to pinpoint just one artist that you should listen to, especially considering the fact that I’ve blogged about more than a handful of them before, but one of the major players in making all this come together is one of the co-founders of the label: Joe Kay.

Not only is he the co-founder of Soulection, but he is also the head of A&R for the label (with over 20 artists on the bill to date), a DJ, a long-time host of Soulection Radio via, and a dedicated father to his gorgeous young daughter, Maliyah.

At the young age of 24, Joe Kay is doing what he loves and introducing us all to “the sound of tomorrow” each and every day.

Celebrating Soulection’s third anniversary today, it’s rather exciting and inspiring to see the amount of success that the Los Angeles label has achieved thus far; and by the looks of things, there’s no stopping them from reaching the highest point possible. It’s inevitable.

Taking time out of his ridiculously busy schedule, Joe found some time to answer a few questions for The 5 to 9 Life.

Soulection Crew

1. For anyone who isn’t already familiar, can you please introduce yourself.

I’m Joe Kay, Co-Founder of Soulection and I host Soulection radio. I love putting artists on.

2. How did all your paths cross to bring Soulection together? How did your journey with Soulection begin?

It all started because of Illvibes – a podcast I started out of my grandmother’s garage. That’s how I connected with our other co-founders – all because of a shared love of music. Soulection started as a platform to put artists on, and it’s continued as such.

3. In my opinion, one thing that really characterises Soulection and the sounds derived from the roster of artists is the fullness of sound – that real sense of scale. As a label ‘on the rise’, so to speak, do you think it helps to have a ‘big’ sound like that for people to remember you by?

HELL YAH. But because there are so many artists, labels and platforms doing this, it’s an interesting time in the electronic forward thinking beat soundscape that you have to make sure you stand out.

You can’t sound like everyone else. Most importantly though, stay original, be you and be consistent.

The Sound of Tomorrow

4. Where do you see your role within Soulection progressing in the coming months/years? Does the idea of fame appeal to you?

We’re a small company, so my role is varied as is everyone else’s on the team – all focusing on our core strengths though. We have a label, radio show, events, social media and many more things to run but at the end of the day, I’d definitely love to be considered a go-to resource for good music worldwide.

To think, it all started by selecting tracks and putting onto my Illvibes podast – a weird simple gift that turned into what things are today.

5. How do you normally go about choosing tracks for your radio show? And what are the records that you like to play the most at your live shows? Is there a big difference between the two?

Whatever I’m finding for the week, I make a playlist for. I’ll jut drag all the tracks I’m finding into the playlist throughout the week when I come up on some new/fresh sounds. If there is a certain vibe for the current show, ill try to go back and bring in forgotten tracks too – that’s crucial. Right now, I’m averaging 80-100+ tracks a show so it’s easy to forget what was played last week.

It really depends on the vibe of the show but usually anything that has high energy. I love quick selections, rapid stuff that keeps people engaged.

For live shows – anything from Carmack. Hard not to play at least 2 to 5 of his tracks in one set!


6. Since January (2013), Soundcloud has quietly positioned itself as the streaming elephant in the room that no one is talking about. How do you feel about this? Do you think this is still the case?

We wouldn’t be where we are without Soundcloud. They really changed the game. Soundcloud is the artist AND the people’s voice because you create your own feed. If you don’t like something you can unfollow that shit. It’s Democratic. You’re finding content that is just hard to find anywhere else.

7. Who would you credit as your greatest inspirations, musically or otherwise? Any dream artists you’d love to work with?

Inspirations: Dilla. (Illvibes used to be lol).
Non-musical = Maliyah (my daughter) – she makes me move faster.

An Interview with Joe Kay_2

8. Based on these influences, do you find yourself compelled more so to listen to other artists of the like or, do you think broadening who you listen to in fact influences yourself more so?

What I like about Soulection is that we represent everyone. Most platforms only rep their own. If its good, we’re sharing it. No hoarding here.

9. Pay it forward: What’s the best advice you’ve received that you would happily share with others?

If you believe in it, keep with it. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would others. Be confident.

10. What’s next for Soulection? [Are the rumours of a worldwide tour true? And will Australia be included? :)]

The rumours are true. We’re locking in dates now – stay tuned for a big 2014 of traveling. Australia would be amazing. We’re gonna make it happen.

Soulection Worldwide