Soldiers of Twilight (DJ Rork and Lady Bird) sexy joint ‘Believe’ by far characterizes what I am referring to here. Besides the fact that it was a very big success not only in South Africa but the rest of the world it distinctively blended influences coming from the roots of R&B, soul, funk and deep house music. It’s one of those songs that the vocals reach and caress you at the core. It’s timeless refined music.
Ahead of their much anticipated (first time) 2010 South African tour, I managed to track them down for one on one session. They are set perform live at Le Mix Room in Newtown, Jo burg on the 3rd December 2010, Cape Town and Durban
Tell us at what point did you get into music and what or who inspired you to do what you do today?
I discovered Electronic Music when it first arrived in France (1988) and I appreciated the music and atmosphere in parties straight away. Before that, I listened to Hip Hop and Soul Music.
You have a huge list of productions under your belt; which one stands out for you or the one you had the most fun doing?
The choice is very hard. I have three actually which are: “Believe”, because it’s a classic that I did with Lady Bird. “I wanna See You Come Down”, it’s old but it’s my first success as a solo artist, and “Hiya Kaya” by Kentphonic because when I first heard the track I loved the Original Version and of course Khensy’s voice.
Joe Smooth “Promised Land”
Kentphonik “Hiya Kaya” (DJ Rork Rework)
Jill Scott “Crown Royal on Ice” (Harness Shelter Mix)
Peven Everett “Burning Hot” (DJ Rork Guitar Edit)
Womack and Womack “Teardrop” (DJ Rork Edit)
Your record label’s philosophy and mission statement is ‘KEEPING HOUSE MUSIC ALIVE’. A lot of people may interpret this in different ways. As DJ Rork how would you explain this mission to the fans and how do you show it through your music?
I’ll explain this in two ways. Firstly it’s because I love HOUSE MUSIC! The second reason why the value proposition for my label is “Keeping House Music Alive” it’s because in France we have a lot of “bad house” and I wanted people to know the difference. Now that I’m thinking about it I think it should read “Keeping REAL House Music Alive”.
You must of played at some pretty impressive venues over the years, what’s been your favorite experience, the venue and location and why does it stand out above the rest?
Hard choice, but I would have to say Japan, because of the people there for their intense passion for music and the refined quality of sound. The WMC (Winter Music Conference) in Miami comes second for its energy and to see my friends from all around the world. And thirdly the Djoon in Paris because it’s my home!
Well…besides being European we are a small collective unlike to Louie Vega’s Elements of Life band who are sometimes seven on stage.
‘Believe’ received a lot of love from the South African fans, how did the track come about, who else was involved in it?
“Believe” received a lot of love from lots of fans all around the world and still today! We were very lucky to be on an enormous amount of compilations. We think also that the words really touched a lot of people, they could identify. Maybe that’s what touched South Africans too.
You’ve been known to support a lot of South African House music, for instance you’ve done remixes for KENTPHONIK “UTHANDO” (DJ RORK Rework / Stalwart), KENTPHONIK “HIYA KAYA” and KENTPHONIK “SUNDAY SHOWERS”, in your opinion what makes SA house music unique? What interested you in collaborating with SA DJ’s and producers?
I think it’s a very uniquely interpreted sound and the atmosphere. The groove and drums are very interesting and exciting in SA House Music. A few years ago with “Believe” and “City Life” had a very good connection with South African producers for example the group B.O.P. (DJ Oskido and Bruce Sebitlo) and Vinny Da Vinci. Since then I have always kept my eyes opened on what was going over there. When I established my record label Stalwart, it became sort of a natural progression to give back so that tracks like the one’s from Kentphonik (Euphonik and DJ Kent) and their mixes could be known throughout the world.
I’ve heard people refer to you as a DJ with a musical quest: preaching quality music to open people’s mind & ears. Do you agree or disagree with this? Does it describe you as an artist?
Yes I totally agree, I have always wanted to share and open people up to this music.
When doing a remix or producing a track, where do you think your depth lies? In other words what makes your productions stand out, for people to immediately say that is a DJ Rork tune?
I think that’s not a question for me to entirely answer. DJ Rocco however says it’s the groove in the track and my drum programming that kind of distinguishes me. Lady Bird says that it’s my integrity because I don’t follow trends. I stick to what I love as a DJ and Producer. I’d like to also add that my mixes are very much eclectic, encompassing a wide spectrum of music.
It’s because House Music has a spiritual quality about it. It also brings all styles of music into one whether it Soul, Jazz, R&B, or even Funk – One Music for One Nation! It could always get better than what it is. We must just keeping pushing and doing what we do best making good music. Also staying strong and positive!
What is the question you get asked all the time by your fans? How do you respond to it?
Hahaha! I’ve been asked quite a number of times ‘What number is your hotel room’ ‘When and where are you playing again’ and ‘Please, come back again!’
Are there any other hidden gems that Soldiers of Twilight have done that we should go out there and find or still look forward to?
Other than “Believe”, there is also “Drive On” and “City Life”. Other tracks have not been released yet. We are waiting for the right moment for them to come out!
For your tour to South Africa this summer, what should people expect?
That we play naked! Hahahaha! They should expect an explosive and great show. Good music with a feel good vibe. They will leave the venue with feeling happy and positive. South Africa is gonna burn, they will be sweating hot, fever!
Friday 3 December- Le Mix Room, Johannesburg
Saturday 4 December – Voom Voom Club, Cape Town
Friday 10 December in Durban
Listen to the sultry sounds of Soldiers of Twilight with a special podcast mixed by DJ Rork. Get it here!