D-Sol aka David Solomon is not exactly the guy you'd think would be interested in DJing, let alone getting into a studio and making a track. You might think that being the CEO of America's fifth largest bank would be a little bit of a time suck, putting hobbies and side projects out to pasture permanently. Everything about D-Sol lets you soak in the notion that we are not defined by our day jobs, no matter how far from your passions that job may be. Magnetic caught up with D-Sol just before Winter Music Conference to learn more about his first track "Feel Alive" and his love for electronic dance music and DJing.
“All the proceeds from ‘Feel Alive’ and future Payback releases go directly to non-profit organizations helping individuals and families struggling with opioid addiction,” D-Sol explains. “The epidemic reaches all corners of society, killing close to 150 Americans every day. With the support of Atlantic Records and Big Beat, Payback Records is trying to do our small part.”
Tell us a little bit about how “Feel Alive” came about?
DS: I’ve been mixing music for a number of years now, but producing an original piece of music was a new challenge. The track started as a house beat that over time turned into something you could dance to. Definitely happier. But it was a process that took more than a year, given I do this mainly on Sunday afternoons, to get to the finished product.
As someone with a very demanding full-time career, what is your best advice for someone who wants to follow their passion for music and still manage a "day job"? How do you make time for both?
DS: My job at Goldman Sachs is my priority. But it’s important for people to have an outlet. I do this on weekends, or, since I travel a lot, on an airplane after I’ve finished up work. Music helps me clear my head, recharge and get ready for what’s next. It’s important to have something like that regardless of what you do professionally.
As a very busy professional, how do you get into the creative headspace after a long day at the office? Is there any secret to the transition or do you just walk into the studio and go for it?
DS: There’s no secret other than that this is something that I do first and foremost because it’s fun. Maybe because it’s not my day job, I feel a little looser when I am on the decks or spending time focused on producing music.
When did DJing and electronic music become something you wanted to get serious about it?
DS: I have always loved music, but I never really thought about making my own until I met Paul Oakenfold. He and I developed a close relationship, and he introduced me to some people who helped me learn and share new sounds. I’m still learning, obviously, but it’s something I enjoy doing, and I’m going to keep trying to get better.
What artists and DJs have been influential on your sound and style of DJing?
DS: Well, Paul Oakenfold, for one. Dimitri Vegas, Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren. I’m open to all different styles, and when I get the chance to meet other DJs and collaborate, I get introduced to new sounds, and that’s one of my favorite parts of all of this. There are a lot of DJs doing some very interesting things. I really like what Julian Dzeko is doing. Morgan Page is terrific. I have always liked EDX, and I like what M-22 is doing. And personally, I am very influenced by the Motown and disco sounds from the 60s and 70s.
Ableton or Logic?
DS: I work more with Logic, but I’ve used both. I’m no expert, though. Working on it!
When in the studio what is the process for you to start a track? Do you have any formal musical training or is it all by ear?
DS: I played saxophone for eight years growing up so I can read music and understand basic music theory. Generally, though I work with professionals to flesh out ideas, I’ve learned a lot since I started doing this, but still a long way to go.
Tell us a bit about the philanthropy the proceeds of “Feel Alive” is supporting?
DS: All the proceeds from ‘Feel Alive’ and all future Payback Records releases go directly to nonprofits helping those affected by the opioid crisis and addiction generally. This is an epidemic that reaches all corners of society, killing close to 150 Americans every day. Releasing these songs is just one small way to do our part to help.
So far what has been your favorite gig and what would be your dream gig?
DS: It’s cool just to see people out on the dancefloor enjoying your music. Every new gig is my new favorite.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
DS: Star Wars.
Right brain or left brain or a bit of both?
DS: Both. I think I’ve stayed in the business in part because it takes both creative and analytical skills. Music is the same way.
Favorite genre of electronic music?
DS: I’m really open to all of it
What does 2019 look like for D-Sol? Any high profile gigs? Any more music in the pipeline?
DS: I'm focused on my new role as CEO, and I’m hoping there will be some time on weekends to make some more music.