For many years, Melissa Weber, higher often known as DJ Soul Sister, has been spinning uncommon soul, funk and disco information round city and on WWOZ. Her gigs have been canceled due to the coronavirus, however Soul Sister continues to be preserving the dance occasion going. Throughout quarantine, the analog deejay has remodeled 50 digital combine tapes to attach along with her followers.
Betsy Shepherd: Is your vinyl assortment a comforting presence on this time of quarantine?
DJ Soul Sister: Sure, I’ve a whole report emporium at my house that I can get pleasure from. I’ve truly spent a few of my time attempting to prepare my vinyl as a result of it is not in alphabetical order. So I am truly rediscovering information that I have never come throughout in years as a result of I’ve that many.
What’s the factor that you just miss probably the most about with the ability to share music in actual life?
The factor I most miss about with the ability to carry out stay is experiencing that human vitality within the second, that alternate, the individuals on the dance flooring having fun with or dancing or simply being current there. I miss creating within the presence of others. However I suppose on this new approach as a consequence of expertise and social media, we will try this, too. It is only a matter of adjusting.
Throughout these unusual occasions, have your listening tastes modified?
No, no, my listening tastes haven’t modified. I’m all the time drawn to pleased songs, however particularly now. Perhaps the expectation is to deal with unhappy and somber songs, however I refuse to do this. I’ll solely characteristic songs that make individuals really feel good, songs that make me really feel good. I can’t change my mission, particularly throughout this time.
However one thing fascinating that I began doing was creating Spotify playlists. I by no means was a Spotify person earlier than these occasions. However as a option to maintain sane, create some content material and share music, I’ve created a lot of playlists. They’re every no less than 60 minutes and the amount of my playlists is now 50.
And every of them has a distinct theme. One night time (properly, it has been a couple of nights) I actually could not go to sleep, so I created one referred to as “Insomniac Boogie.” One other playlist I created known as “I Want I used to be Curler Skating.” And there’s “House Cookin’: Funky Soul & Funky Funk from New Orleans, My House.” The final one I did known as “What Day is Right now Once more?” And so they’re all impressed by the temper that I’m in.
It is such an fascinating option to categorical your emotion. In the way in which that you have named these playlists, they nearly learn like…
Yeah, diary entries.
They are surely, and you will by no means get uninterested in them. I am going to share one other playlist that I did. It’s referred to as “If You Assume You are Lonely Now, Single Life Corona Model.” That one’s self-explanatory. It is named after a music by Bobby Womack from 1982, and the songs included in that playlist slot in with precisely how I used to be feeling at that second.
I’ve heard that lots of people throughout this time are drawn to stuff that they listened to once they have been youngsters, that there is simply one thing actually comforting about that as a result of you could have so many reminiscences connected to it.
Oh, completely. I’ve one which’s referred to as “Melissa’s Center/Excessive Faculty Hip Hop Crate.” And it options rap music that I purchased after I was in center college and highschool within the mid to late ’80s and early ’90s.
After which there’s one referred to as “17th Ward Sizzling Woman: My OG NOLA Bounce Reminiscences.” It options numerous music from the early 1990s, and I used to be impressed to do this after a good friend of mine, D.J. Black and Gentle, handed away from COVID-19. And I actually created that in tribute to him as a result of he specialised in New Orleans bounce music.
Thanks for speaking to me, and thanks for making all these playlists!
Yeah. That is been my story throughout this quarantine. This has been a tough time for everyone, nevertheless it actually evokes me when individuals ship me messages saying how a lot they benefit from the playlists, or they clear the home or cook dinner to them. In that sense, I am nonetheless getting the non-public connection by sharing the music as I might have if I used to be performing stay.
You’ll be able to hearken to DJ Soul Sister’s playlists on Spotify. And you’ll hear her present SOUL POWER on WWOZ each Saturday 8-10 p.m.