Peter Kovalčík aka Simple Souls is a rising star of the Czech and Slovak Drum & Bass scene. Hailing from Eastern Slovakia, the Prague based producer and DJ delivered some very fine releases in the past year on labels like Soul deep and Liquid Boppers. We wanted to ask Peter about his upcoming performance at the Drum & Bass on the Boat party, upcoming releases and long-term plans for the future.
Hey Peter, nice to meet you. Can you introduce yourself little bit?
Hi Tomas, nice to meet you again. You actually did a pretty good introduction of myself so I would like to introduce the concept of my project Simple Souls a bit more:
The whole idea of Simple Souls is to blend liquid funk dnb, hip hop, jazz, and other soulful styles with live instruments, into a mix of positive vibe music great to dance & relax to.
I am doing all the “studio stuff” like making beats, mixing, etc. The instrumental part is done by our guitarist and saxophonist. We are looking to add more live musicians + an MC/vocalist to our performances eventually.
Why did you choose to move from Slovakia to Prague, Czech Republic?
I moved from Slovakia to the UK for a few years right after finishing university. After a few years spent in various places in UK, I did not feel like I am progressing in life enough, so I decided to come back home to Slovakia. While looking for a job there, my friend who lives in Prague for a while now hit me up and hooked me up with a job in an IT company here. Since Prague is such a nice place, I thought I’d give it a shot. Now I’ve been here for about 5 years and I can honestly say moving to Prague was the best decision I ever made in my life!
How did you start with production? Do you consider yourself more like DJ or producer?
I did start with producing loooong time ago. When I was about 15, my friend brought me a copy of FL Studio 5 and I started my first attempts on creating music. I also became interested in DJing around that time, but at that age it took me a few years to generate enough cash to buy the cheapest Gemini CDJs.
Currently I obviously spend more time in the studio making my own tunes, but since I have no problem mixing from pretty much any setup, I also consider myself a legit DJ 😊
Can you name at least 5 producers, who are your biggest inspiration?
From the dnb scene Marky, Patife, Mr. Joseph, Makoto, Hugh Hardie and recently also Dossa & Locuzzed. Then there’s also a lot non-dnb stuff that inspires me: Tom Misch, FKJ, Daft Punk, Roy Ayers. There’s a lot really.
What’s your favorite release from yourself so far?
It’s the tune I did with MC Astro last year that came out on Liquid Boppers, cause it’s the first tune where I did all the melodies and sounds myself without sampling any old jazz/funk. I’ve been teaching myself how to play piano for a while now so there’s definitely more like this one coming up 😊
What about the bootleg of Russian singer Vitas? Even the original is pretty crazy, why did you choose this for remake?
Haha I found a mashup on the internet where the vocal is mixed with a track from Nirvana, which I found pretty funny. So, I started looking for the acapella, learned the chords for the original and the result sounded surprisingly good, so I thought I’d release this as a free track. It has had great response so far, though I knew from the start that people will either love or hate it, but the haters just take things too seriously imo.
So as you said, you sometime deliver sets with live music? This must be fun for your fans, right?
For now, we kinda have a problem with this as I live in Prague, the guitarist lives in Slovakia and our sax player lives in Germany so for a regular promoter it’s not easy to book all 3 of us for a show. I would love to have at least one of the guys to accompany my DJ sets but we’re trying to figure this one out currently. If any musicians from Prague read this and want to collaborate/play with me, don’t hesitate to hit me up!
What we can expect from you at Drum & Bass on the Boat party, where you will perform alongside LSB and RoyGreen & Protone?
Since I will play the opening set, it’s gonna be a nice n’ smooth lush start, progressing into summervibe feelgood rollers that will heat the crowd up nicely for LSB’s performance.
So probably something little bit similar like your promo mix that you did for this party?
Yes very similar, I will try to vibe with the crowd and see where the set takes us.
Yesterday your new EP was released on Soul Deep Recordings. Title track Fall is so great. Where did you get inspiration for this one?
I have heard the piano sample from Ahmad Jamal trio in a few hiphop tunes already and I thought I would use it as well but a bit more creatively, so I chopped it up and played around with it “MPC style” until I was happy with it. Then I sent it to my guitarist for a recording session and the main part was basically done.
The idea of the whole EP is to crossover every track between jazzy/lofi hiphop and dnb, so I thought I would leave the first half of the track at 50% tempo and leave the dnb part for the second drop. Glad you like the result!
So what’s next? Do you have some releases coming soon? What we can expect in 2019?
I am very hyped on music currently, so my plan is to release something (signed/free track/ep/dj mix) every month. I have multiple collaborations with various artists in progress, also a couple more remixes/bootlegs more or less finished. What I am really looking forward to is a 4 track EP that I recently signed to one of the labels I have always been looking up to, can’t say more about it yet though.
That’s great, congratulations! Thanks for you time, I really wish you all the best on your D&B journey. See you on the boat 😉
Thanks for the interview and continuous support Tomas, looking forward big time to the gig!