Sho Mag: When did you notice that you had ‘passion for music’ and out of all the ‘music genres’ one can pick from, why choose ‘house music’?
UPZ: When I started producing, I didn’t necessarily produce house exclusively but I did electronic music for example ‘downtempo, R&B, house’. At that time I started following ‘Defected’ and was inspired by ‘The Lazy Dog Compilation Series’. I also attended the ‘Winter Music Conference In Miami’ and met up with ‘Soulfuric who later established Traxsource’. One thing led to another and I realized I connect to house music the most out of all the genres and in particular it was the more ‘soulful, vocal spectrum’ of the genre that drew me in at the time.
Sho Mag: Having stayed in Israel, travelled to some African states and now finding a home South Africa. How does that influence your sound?
UPZ: Yeah as I mentioned that I grew up in South Africa, and then moved back to Tel-Aviv and since then have been back and forth (this year may be spending more time in Tel-Aviv and possibly London). Growing up in South Africa definitely affected my sound as I was influenced by ‘Afro-grooves, Soul & Jazz’.
Sho Mag: You have been silent since dropping your last album ‘Pioneers of House: UPZ” (Soul Candi)’, that was until your latest ‘amazing offering’ we might add titled ‘Drop It’. How did the album come about and what was the inspiration behind ‘Drop It’?
UPZ: Oh thanks! Yes I was silent for a bit as I was busy developing some new music project, but was eventually ‘sucked back’ into working on ‘UPZ’ and the eventual result was “Drop It”. It all started when I did a remix for ‘Mariechan who is an ex Jamali vocalist with DJ Ganyani’, and then I worked on a single from another project which than I decided fits UPZ better and so on. Eventually I realized I have enough tracks that would actually make an album so, I then decided to put them all together as the ‘third UPZ album’.
In in the interim I also helped put together under my label ‘soWHAT Records’ and a really nice compilation called ‘033 Lifestyle Sessions’ in collaboration with ‘033 Lifestyle in Pietermaritzburg’.
Sho Mag: We love the overall feel of ‘Drop It’ especially the ‘vocal elements’, on the album who did you work with why did opt for working with them?
UPZ: Thank you. Yes it’s very vocal influenced project as I love vocal tracks and find it inspiring working with different vocalists. Vocalists I worked with on ‘Drop It’ include ‘Sio, Mariechan, Proverb, Lifford, Jocelyn Mathieu, Thantaswa, Pearl, Chris Rouse and more’. I am always fascinated by the ability to marry a unique vocal style with my production.