Sol: What he says

by Jared Curtis

When you think of Seattle hip-hop, Sol is one of the first names that come to mind. Flooding the local scene with various EPs, remixes and videos, Sol has put his face and talent at the forefront of the emerging emerald city hip-hop scene, but that’s nothing new for him, he knew he was going to be famous when he was 10-years-old.

“Of course, as a pre-teen my imagination was very high, so I set my sights on going as far as I could go,” Sol said. “But as you get older and continue working, you discover that making music is less of a dream and more of a goal. It’s a never ending process, and as I take it step by step, I hope to continue growing as an artist and making music my entire life.”

Heralded as the land of grunge, Seattle isn’t really known for its hip-hop scene, something Sol hopes to change.

“To spread the word, more and more Seattle artists have put out a body of work and hit the road for a bit and as we build that foundation, the music will spread to the right ears,” he said. “Once you release an album, it’s a statement about who you are — it’s your personal moment in musical history — so the more albums you present, the more an artist can build the legacy.”

One of the bigger highlights of Sol’s career so far, will be performing at Summer Meltdown, held this year Aug. 6-9, at the Whitehorse Mural Ampitheater in Darrington. This is the first Meltdown he has played and he couldn’t be more excited.

“I actually hit up the promoters about playing and they were excited to have me,” Sol said. “This year is a big year for me and I haven’t performed in that area for a while, so it was the perfect chance to head north and spread the music.”

Although he’ll be representing the northwest at Meltdown, he doesn’t feel the pressure of performing in front of his local fans.

“No pressure, more of a responsibility to help people have a good time and hold it down. It’s going to be like a hometown show, so we’re bringing out all the stops,” he said. “We’ll have some different things for the set, unfortunately they are going to be some really cool surprises. I want to make it special for the fans, so make sure you don’t miss this show.”

This will also be Sol’s first time playing outside under the lights.

“We’re definitely going to be taking advantage of the lighting, offering a full scale production of a show,” he said. “I’ll be performing with a live band and we’ll be debuting some new songs as well. It’s going to be a fun weekend.”

Although performing at Meltdown for the first time will be unique, Sol recently performed at another venue unlike anything he experience before — a barge. Sol was asked by protestors against an Alaskan Drilling rig anchored in the Puget Sound to perform on their protest barge.

“Playing on a barge was by far the weirdest place I had performed. It was very non-traditional show and we did guerilla style, so we loaded all of our equipment into a dingy and took it out to the barge,” he said. “We played for a bunch of boaters, protesters and sea birds. The sound carried really well over the water, so a few hundred people just hung out on the shore and listened. And at the end of the show I jumped into the water, which is the ultimate stage dive.”

Expect plenty of new material throughout the year as Sol hopes to finish his next album as well as working on various remixes and collaboration projects.

“As I’m working on new music, I’m really trying to work on more collaborations outside the hip-hop genre, pushing the boundaries and trying new things,” he said. “I’m really in the creative phase right now, so I’m just making lots of music and working on the best way to get it to the people.”

Expect some new tunes as well as plenty of your old favorites as Sol takes over the Summer Meltdown stage on Saturday night.

“I try to make it really hard not to have a good time at my live shows because performing for my fans is my favorite thing to do,” he said. “I work really hard at finding a way to relate to the audience so we can have a dope experience together. Regardless of the music you’re in to, you’ll find something you can connect with at my show, which is why I always have a great time and leave it all out there on the stage.

LIVE SHOW : See Sol perform at the Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 8. For more about him, see www.solsays.com. The full festival line-up is at summermeltdownfest.com. 

Published in the August 2015 issue of What’s Up!