A Sit Down With DJ Phil Weeks
Phil Weeks is a house music purist. Whether DJing or producing, the Parisian with the huge personality delivers raw beats influenced in equal measure by classic Chicago house and nu-school French flair, underpinned with a hip-hop attitude. His long running Robsoul Recordings also defines him as one of the most skilled label heads in underground house music.
Phil has also fully embraced the relationship with his fans and house music fans in general whether through his popular Underground Chronicles video diaries on Youtube or his personal relationships on Facebook.
Despite his success Phil isnt one to brag. To him its all about keeping proper house music alive. Which just goes to prove Phil Weeks is a house music purist.
When did your love affair with music begin?
I got into House music when I was 17, I started going to clubs at the age. Before that I was generally into Hip Hop. I got some turntables and a sampler in 1993, but I really didnt get into DJing until 1995/6.
Paris is the centre of the fashion world. Have you always had an interest in fashion?
I cant really say that. When I was younger I didnt really care but in the last 10 years for sure.I take influences from everywhere, from anything I see that I like. Its almost a daily thing. Its exactly the same with my artistic inspiration.
Can you tell us about the scene in Paris your favourite clubs/ bars?
I love Paris, the scene is pretty big and large, from House to Techno but mostly quality. Im doing my Get Underground parties at Rex Club, with my partner Didier Allyne, and I have to say Rex is my favorite spot.
This club has a lot of soul, been there for so long time & still going strong. Easily one of the top European clubs.
But we have also a lot of other amazing clubs in Paris, the Showcase, Cirque Bonheur, some super hype boat parties & more.
Besides your gigs you produce a lot of music. How is your workflow in the studio?
The way Im working really changed over the years. Before, I was rather slow to work, finishing one track in a week or two sometimes. I needed to listen the same loop over and over again. Now I can make a track I love in two hours, I have a better understanding of music and I have more confidence from a creative point of view. For example when I DJ, I dont prepare my set, I just take a bunch of music that I like and when Im live I just create something with it. In the studio I do the same, I work with samples that I like, cut them into pieces and just play around with them. Eventually it always comes to something and usually its pretty quick. Then I keep about 70% of the music I make to maybe release it and the rest I just throw it away.
What and who are some of your influences?
I get inspired by a lot of things around me, outside of music also. About electronic music, I would say of course all the early Chicago/Detroit House & Techno a lot of the West Coast sound from the end of 90s, early 2000s Then my main influences will be Hip Hop, Soul, Funk.
"The key thing is that I love the same music year after year, so its pretty easy to keep a line. I like to stay true to my taste. But also I work hard for it."
What do you use to DJ on?
I mostly used CDs these days but still love to bring and play vinyl on special occasions. I will stick to that and dont feel the need to go to the laptop or USB key. I also spend some time to encode some of my record collection before each gig.
Do you get inspired by other producers?
Nowadays I dont think Im getting much inspiration from others sampling producers but if I had to mention one it would be J Dilla. He is the only one in this part of the world of music that blew my mind away. Even when I knew which sample he was using, listening to the way he would use it was incredible. He feels the music on another level compared to any other beat makers.
Why is your record label called Robsoul?
I was in love with the skills of the legendary Bass player Robbie Shakespeare and I made the name Robsoul based on this artist.
You are largely described as a house purist, what does being a purist mean to you?
Im just a House Lover, still not and wont ever get bored with it anytime soon. I dont need any new styles or trends to keep on loving it the same as on day one. And I do things for House music all day every day.
How do you stay on top of all the releases, DJing and producing?
I have a very good team. Maya is working full time on everything label related, that I cant stay on top off and so I can stay more creative. She takes care of the YouTube channel, uploading digital with Finetunes & Beatport, Robsoul Shop, Robsoul Facebook, and Podcast. Then my partners Pascal (TW Management) for my bookings, the Robsoul parties. Diego Dentico (DNZ) for Italy. Vincent Quittard (Finetunes) my digital distributor.
Didier Allyne (Syncrophone) to distribute the vinyl. Carson Carr for the video (Underground Chronicles). Shinzu Shinzoo for the design & graphics. Alexandre (Atal Music) for the publishing. Defensive Music for the Neighboring Rights. A great team. I work a lot personally, I have no choice if I want to stay on top of everything. But I love it. I love it when I have no time. Saying that, Im now in a position where I can take some days off whenever I want to.
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