Artist to Artist: P.Leone & Sebastian Voigt
There’s been a wave of talented dj’s and producers to emerge as of late playing no holds barred breaks, techno and beyond. They are unphased by the weight of the music and have one very clear cut goal in mind, to break down the big room barriers and blast the sounds of the underground loud and proud in the darkest, grungiest basements the world over.
P.Leone is an artist very much in demand, his music speaks for itself. Relentless, fast paced energy intersperced with moments of euphoria and light. As the founder of the label E-Missions, an imprint which has released music by the likes of Tred, False Witness and Cyd, he has built a remit within electronic music which is very much his own.
Sebastian Voigt is the latest artist to release on the label.
The Berlin based producer and dj is a resident at Renate/ Else and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes of the German capitals underground. His appearance on the label is a perfect pairing and symbolises the shared ethos that the pair have towards dance music.
We invited them to interview one another…
P.Leone to Sebastian Voigt
1. At what point in your life did you choose to pursue music full time and why?
I was 20 and studying philosophy and economics at that time. I had been a hip hop DJ since I was 15 or 16 and had a nice home studio where I was making beats and recording local rappers during my spare time. I was already quite obsessed with records and studio technology. One day I realised that I should quit university and dedicate my life to music, so I went to Berlin to study sound engineering. Since then I have worked in a lot of different fields within the music industry: as a recording and mixing engineer, sound designer, publishing and licensing administrator, label manager, promoter, booker and of course DJ and producer.
2. Which current or past artist have you always felt deserves more attention and what attachment do you have to their music?
It’s hard to pick one particular artist, there are so many. Sadly our business is driven by hype and media content. There are tons of incredible artists out there who will never get the attention they deserve, usually because they don’t play the media game so well.
3. You seem to float a fine stylistic line of originality – if you could compare your music to someone else’s who would it be?
Oh thanks, that’s the best compliment. When I was younger I was often frustrated because I felt that I couldn’t get my music to sound like everyone else’s. It took me a long time to embrace that and become more confident about my music. I don’t like to compare my music to anyone else’s, I like it to stand for itself. Of course i’m influenced by the music I like, but i’m not interested in copying a particular style, my music is all about self expression. Sometimes it’s a very long and tedious process, sometimes very fast, but I always make it for myself first and foremost. Only much later do I think about releases etc.
4. Which city/ club or event is your favourite to play?
I love to play Renate and Else of course, both are like an extension of my living room. Then i’m also a resident for Capslock in Sao Paulo, which is without a doubt one of the best parties in the world. I play there twice a year and it never fails to amaze. Generally I love to play in Latin America – i’ve been many times and it’s always great.
Sebastian Voigt to P.Leone
1. I grew up in a small city in the south of Germany, listening to rap from New York, I only got into techno later when I moved to Berlin. You grew up in New York, what was your musical journey like?
I grew up on the Southside of Brooklyn, New York, roughly 5 minutes away from Coney Island. The earliest influences for me were Hip hop, freestyle, House, and Techno followed later. When I started sneaking out to go to parties with friends when I first started DJing in Manhattan, the format was open, so I would have to play multiple genres, mainly I would play Oldschool 90’s Hip Hop. If everything was going well throughout the night, and the crowd wasn’t corny. I could always sneak in some House records, and it brought me a newfound joy!
2. When did you decide to start E-Missions and why?
I was at work in the family Pizzeria, and one night like usual, I popped out for a cigarette. I found myself frustrated with a lot of the inner workings about my releases that I couldn’t control. So I gave my best friend a call and said we’re starting a record label so we can release records whenever we want and find new exciting talent to put forward – after that E-MISSIONS was born and I had a secondary purpose in music.
3. Why did you move to Berlin?
One of the main focuses on moving to Berlin was for music and to sort of find some much needed personal growth. It was at a time in my life in New York when I wasn’t feeling comfortable. I felt frustrated with my environment and wanted to be freer towards experiences that everyone in life deserves. It’s hard to imagine being 25 going into your 26th year and feeling the amount of unknown that I felt about life. Through its ups and downs for me, Berlin was a place of growth, a place where I began to learn who I wanted to be. I needed an escape. Berlin will always be that place for me.
4. What inspires your creative process in the studio?
I think my last record (Raw Emotion) suggests I’m a pretty emotional person. That’s always been my cornerstone in producing, and I like to live my truth. I don’t wrestle with fragility as I used to when I was younger. My healing has always come from expression. The louder I say my pain, the more I’m safe from it. So before I start a project I’ll ask myself some tough questions. I’ll start with my environment and work on how I can be a better architect. When I take this approach, everything that ends up coming forward feels more real. I don’t have to try too hard. It seems effortless. I want whoever is listening to my stuff to explore that process and hopefully feel a bit more in tune with their emotions and letting them go wild a bit.
5. What’s your favourite city / club to play?
This one is tough! Berlin is always a special place to play. Over the years, I have been fortunate to play some wild ones there. Including a few that you’ve booked me for! I find the Berlin crowd always to be willing if you’re decent at your job. However, my home will still be in Brooklyn. It’s where my heart has always thrived. I don’t have to pick a specific club because anytime I have the opportunity to play in New York, it means so much it doesn’t matter where it’s at.
Buy the new EP HERE.