Q: Hi! Loving the chill, soothing vibe of “Joseph.” The track is a homage to your grandfathers & father, who all have the name Joseph. Can you walk me a little through your inspiration behind this track, and how your family influenced it?
SABOLIOUS: Actually, the first thing that came up was the name of the track. This happened by chance after the basic structure of the beat was finished. Only later did the inspiration flow to dedicate this track to my father and my two grandfathers, so to speak. A somewhat peculiar approach, but it feels harmonious.
Q: Listening to “Joseph” instantly puts me in a chill, calming mood. What do you hope listeners take away from this track?
SABOLIOUS: They should be able to relax and at least temporarily escape from the rush of the present time. The track can also be played in the background, in the car, in the living room or in the headphones on the subway. It should also encourage them to think about who or what has shaped them in the course of their lives. As the vocal sample in the song indicates, I was accompanied by my dad and both grandfathers (“somehow you bring me up”).
Q: How’s the music scene in Vienna, Austria? I’m always intrigued, as I’ve never been out of the US!
SABOLIOUS: Music in general has a long tradition in Austria, and especially in Vienna. However, this mainly applies to the so-called classical music around Mozart and Haydn. There are still many events in this genre today. In entertainment music, there are also isolated stars that make it big, but then they are more at home in Austropop or mainstream hip-hop. The communities of the genres I see myself as belonging to (chill hop, lofi, reggae/dub, electronic, trap) are very manageable. Sometimes we collaborate and work together. Unfortunately, it is basically very difficult as an independent artist (or label) in Austria, since far too little music from Austria is played and advertised on the radio.
Q: You have had a slew of projects recently, and I’m sure you have a lot of knowledge about the music industry. What piece of advice would you give to other up-and-coming artists?
SABOLIOUS: The best thing is to simply do your own thing authentically and maybe see where there is a gap in the market. The music market is so oversaturated that innovation and creativity are required. It is also important to dare to do something new and not to constantly chew old things again.
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three albums, which would they be?
SABOLIOUS: At the moment probably these 3:
Gentleman – Journey to Jah
John Coltrane – Giant Steps
Bad Manners – Ska ‘N’ B
Q: Being an instrumental artist, I’m curious about your history of music, and the saxophone in particular. Do you remember what first made you fall in love with music?
SABOLIOUS: My mother was a big inspiration because I saw her strumming the guitar a lot when I was a kid. She wasn’t a great musician, but she definitely inspired me. Also, when I was a little boy, I saw a concert on TV where a super-cool saxophonist stood in front of thousands of spectators and performed a solo. From then on I knew that one day I wanted to experience something like this. After all, I actually had 2-3 concerts in front of a few thousand people. Music has always accompanied me, in addition to pop music and jazz, there has always been subculture music since my early youth: punk, ska, reggae, hip-hop etc.
In my current projects, I mix all these styles into a chilled soundscape. My great love for music was really set in stone when my grandmother bought me my first tenor saxophone at the age of 13. With this instrument I manage to express my inner voice.
Q: What was your favorite part in creating, “Joseph”?
SABOLIOUS: It’s always best when the finished mastering file comes and you can look back on the whole project with peace of mind. But of course I also enjoyed finding the right drums, for example, or carefully embedding the audio sample and sax lines.
Q: Tell everyone what’s coming next for you on your journey!
SABOLIOUS: There are actually a few more releases and projects to come soon. On the one hand with other Lofi/Chillhop artists from Austria, such as Mr. Freed or Lofi Sax. On the other hand, some reggae releases on my own label, Anaves Music, as well as on other labels. I’ve also recently gotten in touch with the American producer J Fletch. It will be interesting to see what else is developing here.
Photo credits: Zoran Beronja
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano