Belgium artist Kolombo has a busy schedule with tours in Brazil, Australia, the U.S. and Europe all year long. The man has signed to labels such as Kompakt, Turbo and Dyinamic. Back in 2012 Solomun played Kolombo’s "My Own Business" during BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix as one of Kolombo's first big breaks. His work on his own imprint LouLou records has helped to discover a lot of up & coming talents lately. We sat down with him to chat about his upcoming tune on Dirtybird, his love for the country of Brazil and his taste for analog gear.
I hear you just toured in Australia. How was it?
It was really great! I usually go once a year to Australia & New Zealand, they always receive me with love and respect. The crowd there is amazing, really into music.
After publishing a successful track on Dirtybird’s BBQ Filthy Flavor compilation last summer, do you have any other plans to release again with the San Francisco-based label? EP maybe?
Yes, I’ll have a track at the BBQ compilation in 2019 again. It will be out in March. I can’t wait for that!
How do you think this release will impact your career, or at least the impact in 2019?
I believe it’s going to be good for my career, especially in the USA also because it will be released during the WMC, it’s a good way to start the year. I’m really happy to keep working with Dirtybird, I really like and respect their work.
What's your best memory touring in the USA?
Every time is special, but last summer at HARD Festival, I was invited to play at the Fisher Stage [Pink]. It was so great to meet all the guys, Felix Da Housecat, Bontan and Mélé. We had a great time! Even my driver was enjoying the party with us, it was awesome!
What was the craziest party you played at in Brazil? How do you enjoy playing over there?
Really hard to pick one as the craziest one, all parties in Brazil used to be crazy! Warung definitely is one of my favorite places in the entire world; the crowd is so into the music. Last June I had an extended seven hour set. It was amazing! I have many friends in Brazil; my support DJ and my manager are Brazilians. The weather is always so nice, I love to spend time at the beach, doing barbecue, this kind of summer vibes. I consider myself half Brazilian already.
How is your Portuguese? I believe Brazilian are party-people, but they must be very welcoming too. How would you define “brasileiros”?
My Portuguese is getting better slowly (laughs). I still can’t speak fluently, but I understand a lot of words and expressions. Absolutely, Brazilians are some of the friendliest people I know. They’re also very happy, funny and loyal.
Can you describe the distinct sound of LouLou records? Who would you count as your core label artists?
We don’t like to stick in one kind of a sound, we try to be eclectic and versatile, but for sure it’s between house and techno, a mix of that, always respecting the artist’s identity. Our core label artists are, LouLou Players – of course, Fran Bortolossi (Brazil), Branzei (Canada), Malikk (France), Stil & Bense (Germany), Sinner & James (Canada) and myself.
What are the best things about running a label and do you think it’s for everyone?
I think it’s an opportunity to discover new talents, there is a lot of good people doing crazy good things out there, we receive many tracks every day. It’s hard to listen to everything, but it’s great when we can find something special from an unknown talent. Running a label is not for everyone, even for me (laughs) in our case, my partner Jerome (LouLou Players), takes care about pretty much everything, 85% of the work comes from him. I basically do the first chat with the artist. I work on deciding about new releases and also plans for showcases, etc.
Do you give a chance to up & coming talents for your label? You know the type that has 200 followers on Soundcloud, please give us an example.
Absolutely! I think It’s our main goal to discover new talents. Branzei from Canada is a good example, he doesn’t have only 200 followers (laughs) but he was a delightful surprise this year for the label, his EP ‘Magic Dragon’ released a few weeks ago has done really well.
What are the benefits of making music with analog equipment?
I used to say that I am an old school guy; I’m totally into analog machines. The benefit is that you can find an exclusive sound from analog, its more warm, dirty and dry. The texture is totally different then a digital plug in. Also it’s way funnier to make music with real machines.
The down side is you can't carry it with you from Brazil to Belgium can you?
Unfortunately, you can’t! It would be a dream! But I don’t take my babies out of the studio in any case ! (laughs)
Going back, you had a track featured on the first Solomun's Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1. Did you feel any kind of boost at the time thanks to that?
Yes, of course! Solomun is Solomun! The track was also released at his label 2DIY4 at the time. It was a huge step in my career, because the track was the one of the first with the pitch down vocal, bass on the front – later some people said I would be part of the “G-house” genre, but I never identified myself like that.
What are your achievable goals not only for 2019, but for the next couple of years?
For sure to keep playing a lot, making music to stay relevant in the scene for the years to come. I can’t live without doing that!