Andre Power is co-founder of Soulection, the L.A.-based label and collective behind the growing success of several bedroom producers and SoundCloud artists, including GoldLink, Sango — and the opener for this Saturday's show "A Love Celebration" Valentine's gig in Oakland, Iamnobodi. Power's genuine affection for eclectic tunes and a taste for original sound is what makes his label great, and the Express spoke with him and Iamnobodi about their process as producers, politics, and love in advance of this Saturday's gig.
Express: This weekend's Valentine's gig is titled "A Love Celebration." So, I wanted to ask, what is love?
Iamnobodi: Love is a vibe. Love is a feeling. That's [the] million-dollar question right there. I guess you find out when you're in love.
Andre: I think it's a tough question. It's definitely a feeling, definitely a mood. It's an experience that we may not truly know. We just try to use that word to define what we feel, I guess.
Does it always involve another person?
Andre: It could be a person, place. It could be a thing. It could be a feeling. It doesn't even have to be an animate object. It could be anything. Something you smell, something you feel — it could be anything.
What are your thoughts about being political as a musician?
Andre: Me personally, I try to stay away from it. I have personal beliefs. But sometimes, as an artist and as an individual, that is also a brand. I'd never want to turn anybody off or away because of my personal belief on something. So, I understand having your voice and using your voice, but it's also OK to not have a public opinion on something.
Iamnobodi: Yeah, I would add that we all have our own personal thoughts and personal views. I think it's very important to pay attention nowadays.
Andre: Be aware.
Iamnobodi: To be aware, more than ever nowadays.
Does playing in the Bay get you excited?
Andre: I personally love the Bay; it's one of my favorite places in the world. The energy and the vibe in the Bay is very open and loving. It's definitely a special place and it holds a special place in my heart.
Iamnobodi: I've been to the Bay two or three times, and every time I've been, it's very [free]. I love it out there. Really looking forward.
There's a lot of "the same" in electronic music. Was it one of your goals to diversify styles and artists on your label?
Andre: As far as goals, I think for us we try to appeal to [underrepresented music], 'cause we have a lot of friends making this amazing music and it wasn't being heard. So, mostly for us we were trying to create a platform for these artists to be heard and to be seen live and get their stories told.
How did you both meet?
Iamnobodi: I met Andre. When was the first time I met you, bro?
Andre: First time we met was years ago. I think it was my first year of tour, August 2014. That's when we physically met but we had conversations before that.
How has notoriety affected you and the way you present yourself as an artist?
Iamnobodi: Well, it definitely made me grow up musically.
Andre: I guess I could say, for me, to repeat a lot of what Alex said, it definitely matures you fast. You can fine-tune yourself as a brand, and really take the supporters, and take the success and the position to do what you really want to do. Because now, you have eyes and ears on you, so if you want to focus on doing more in a community — if you want to focus on bringing awareness to mental health, or bringing awareness to love and your relationships — now you have these eyes and ears on you, and you can tell your story and people will listen.