Solardo On House Music, Patterned Shirts & Ibiza

We fire 10 questions at producers Mark Richards and James Eliot who make up the Tech House duo, Solardo. The boys have recently risen to fame following a series of releases on highly respected labels including VIVA, Toolroom, Hot Creations and Relief Records and are without a doubt in some part responsible for the mass purchase of outrageous shirts over the past year. Their fresh sound conjures up imagery of Ibiza sands and cocktails in the sun so it comes as no surprise that these two are in high demand this summer. But what got them to where they are now and have they ever pulled at a party simply by wearing the craziest shirt?

First of all, congrats on a great year for you guys in 2016.

"Thanks, it was truly a year to remember."

What are your musical influences or heroes you looked up to growing up? Have you always been into electronic music more specifically house?

"Michael Jackson, a lot of the early rap bands in America like Public Enemy, NWA. We haven't always been into electronic music" explains Mark. James: "I think from an early age we both realised that music was going to play a major role in our lives and both being the same age we kind of discovered drum' n' bass first around 16/17 years old. We have since continued a shared passion for a variety of music genres throughout the years.It wasn't until around 2006 that I discovered house music and instantly fell in love with everything about it and the scene that comes with it." Mark: "I got introduced to the house music scene around three years ago and literally have never looked back since."

It seems like success came pretty quickly to you guys between your first release and hitting number 1 on Hot Creations. Was that the case or were there years of graft before?

Mark: "Well I have been producing music for around 16 years, all different types of genres and had a career in Dubstep which took me playing a lot of cool places around the world. In terms of our success together as Solardo I guess you could say it did come quite quickly but the year before we had any music signed, we literally sat in the studio for 15 hours a day and compiled roughly 50 tracks that we were completely happy with. It might look like our success has been achieved quickly from an outside point of view but a lot has gone on behind the scenes to get us to where we are today."

How did the name Solardo come about? It sounds Spanish but you guys are from Manchester? "Well, we actually sat and brainstormed for 5-6 weeks daily looking for a cool name but different to the norm. Wanting to find something with impact that sounded cool with a European twist.

Tribesmen was an obvious hit reaching number 1 on Beatport but what are your personal favourite tracks that you've released so far? "Now that is a good question. We have released a lot of music that we really like over the last year, so we would have to go with The Step Off, Work That Shit, Phonejacker and the B side to Tribesman, Psycho Ex-Girlfriend."

How would you describe your style in 3 words?

"Distinctive, explosive, engaging.

You're well known for sporting the odd patterned shirt. Do you have a favourite one any other favourite items of clothing?

"We can't say we have a favourite shirt because we have way too many, literally hundreds and we wear different shirts for different scenarios - Christmassy shirts for the festive season and extremely bright ones for the summer festival period. We are also well known to sport a cap or two."

Have either of you ever pulled at a party simply because you had the coolest shirt on?

"Obviously, that goes without saying. Haha."

After a massively successful year in 2016 what are Solardo's plans for 2017?

"We have lots in the pipeline this year. As regards to music, we've recently had our EP 'Matador' come out on Green Velvet's label, 'Relief Records', but everything else music-wise we can't say right now. We've already begun our 20 date UK tour before the summer festival season gets underway where we will be playing various festivals throughout the world. Ibiza is confirmed but we can't disclose the details just yet but safe to say it's going to be an incredible Ibiza run."

What has been the best moment so far on your journey? And weirdest moment?

"Our best moment has got to be when Tribesmen went to number one on Beatport or when we won best British breakthrough act of 2016. Weirdest moment has got to be Bez from the Happy Mondays after party at Glastonbury, but that's all we're saying on that matter. Haha."

Any advice for budding DJ's/producers out there?

"Try and make your own individual sound and try and be different to stand out from an overcrowded scene. Never give up, and never take no for an answer.

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