Charles Webster, the man who gave us the infamously beautiful and deeeeep remix of Michael Cleis’ La Mezcla swooped into South Africa for one exclusive gig- Rooftop Delights in Johannebsurg, with Grant Bunting, Digital Rockit, Household Funk, Whitey D’Vine, and D’ Ritmo on the local rhythm machine, and word is the party was a roof-raising deep house experience! We invited our IDM readers to send us their Questions for Charles and interview the man himself, so we managed to nabbed him for a quick Q ‘n A after his set. Press Play and enjoy.
So it’s been 3 years since you were last in SA, and almost 3 since we last interviewed you on the launch of your Defected album, what have you been up to?
Lot’s of things… travelling for gigs and live shows, but mainly studio work and remixing. I’m working on a new album, a jazz album, lot’s of new projects with singers etc….the usual really.
You’ve seen the dance scene grow and evolve over the last 20 years, without ever being considered mainstream. What’s it like knowing your music has been an intrinsic part of that?
It has always been a choice of mine to stay away from scenes or current styles and just do ‘my thing. That way you build a solid base for your music that cannot be taken away… in effect you become unique. It feels nice but it is kind of irrelevant… new kids getting into music now don’t care about the past, the key is for my music be still relevant now.
You’ve produced a HUGE amount of music to date- and that’s just what gets released… If you had tomake the album of your life- literally, which would be the 10 tracks you’d use to depict it? 😉
A tricky question. My favourite songs and productions change all the time, it depends on mood, sometimes I like the more melancholic songs like ‘Sweet Butterfly’ and sometimes I like the more uplifting songs like ‘Soothe’ It’s very hard to condense so much music into a ‘Best Of’ type thing- a lot of tracks not yet released are exciting me at the moment… you will hear them soon!
We held a competition inviting our readers to interview you and selected the best questions to submit to you- this is what the Webster fans of SA wanted to know:
How important is it to you to make music that charges you emotionally before forwarding it for release? Sibusiso Dladla
Emotional content in the music is essential..it’s not just about making a track for the sake of just releasing something or for money…i think a producer’s duty is to put all their emotions and honesty into every song/track.
What elements influence your creativity to tune in to the mind of the listener and be able create something extraordinary out of virtually nothing? Tsakane Shiburi
Just having an open mind and open ears to everything around me and being honest with it all and staying true to my heart…. I think people can hear it when music is made from the heart.
What was it like working with Matthew Herbert? Marc Morris
Fun and easy… it’s always fun working with friends.
Are you planning to collaborate with any SA talent while you are here or in the future- to hit us with a loved-up Jozi-style track? Katherine Van As
No plans to do any collaborations… maybe in the future. This trip is very short and busy…so there is no time.
Do u ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a banging track in your head and go down to the studio immediately to make it? Emmanuel Nzilo
Yes, I often get ideas in dreams also.
This country released your first ever mix-CD (What’s Phat 4) and has a deep affinity for your music, how would you describe the dance scene here (and South Africa in general) to people internationally? Greg Bowes
I always tell people about how great the South African crowds are, they have amazing love and passion for good music .
During the years you have produced a lot of House music using different Monikers (nicknames) such as Furry Phreaks, Presence and Megatonk- you’re one of a few producers who are able to do this successfully which is very Interesting, what inspired you to do it? Phumlani Ntsele
It is nice to have different pseudonyms, it allows me to make music with different attitudes and vibes, I become the different person when I am making a track under a different name… it’s fun.
How does it feel before playing a set for a diff crowd- do you have a particular set you like playing, do you play new tracks or just go by what you feel? Marilyn Ross
I always go by feel, I never know what I’m going to play until I have started, it’s all about reading from the crowd and the vibe of the night.
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out? Roxanne du Plessis
Go hiking, I love the outdoors or just relax with a glass of wine, nice food… and of course lot’s of sleep.
And lastly, how many trucker caps do you own?
Hmmm.. maybe 8.