INTERVIEW: Soul Rebels

Pic by Louis Browne

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

MARCUS HUBBARD: Not one event in particular. It’s basically talking about dealing with life and doing what ever you to do to bring your dreams to reality and not allowing anyone or anything to stop you. The song is talking about having a dream and bringing it to Real Life. A lot of times people have dreams, and we believe we’re unable to reach those dreams and goals. We also let outside influences stop ourselves from reaching our highest potential . Real Life is a song about believing in your dream, and dealings with ups and downs in life, Real Life circumstances and having to make decisions to keep pushing forward and fighting for what you believe in. Sometimes we’re faced with hard times, challenges and moments that test our strength. The song is about dealing with hardship and coming out strong on the other side. It’s a reflective song.

JULIAN GOSIN: Real Life is about real life situations and trying to over come adversities. My verse specifically was written while my mother was ill in the hospital. I was back and forth from the hospital to the studio everyday for over two months. My verses reflect that challenge.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

MARCUS HUBBARD:  The video addressed two of the band member’s real life situations. 

1. A relationship issue as portrayed in the first verses of the video.

2. A tough family situation with an ill parent, and how the situation tested the band member’s faith. Real Life is a song to tell you to keep pushing no matter what.

JULIAN GOSIN: The video has a very nostalgic and organic feel, located in Bedstuy, Brooklyn.

The single comes off your new album Poetry In Motion – what’s the story behind the title?

MARCUS HUBBARD:  I feel like this record is giving a snap shot in the lives of The Soul Rebels band members. We’re always moving, always in motion. Always reaching our next challenge and breaking barriers and boundaries, both musically and culturally.  We feel like the different emotions you are going to feel with this record is going to make you feel like you are watching a movie. Travel with us to different place with us on our journey. 

JULIAN GOSIN: Poetry in motion can mean a lot of things for this record. We wanted to express all of our abilities musically, and how motion is our partner. Music is poetry so we wanted to portray or paint what we do everyday and how we are always moving forward, moving up and embodying motion and poetic expression through all.

How was the recording and writing process?

MARCUS HUBBARD:  We wanted to take a true hip hop approach to creating the hip hop track on the record. What you hear on the album is pure, honest and true to our instrumentation and style. The album is heavily produced which is unique for us. We wanted to use horn samples but we didn’t want use other people’s music. We decided to create a bunch of horn loops and treat them like samples. Every sample you hear on this record is The Soul Rebels. 

JULIAN GOSIN: The recording and writing process was a big task.  We pulled out all the stops and just let the music speak.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?

MARCUS HUBBARD: Anyone that has followed us can hear the maturation and development. Ever record we have done has built us to this point from a writing and production stand point. We have been through a lot, and we have learned a lot. The collaborations we have done has inspired a lot of the music on this record too. 

JULIAN GOSIN: It’s definitely a big jump from a production standpoint but it’s something the band has always wanted to strive for.

What role does NOLA play in your music?

MARCUS HUBBARD: Growing up in New Orleans, music is something you can’t hide from. Music and soul is all around. You might only hear about jazz, but to survive in New Orleans as a musician you have to be able to play all kinds of music and styles. If you are a one trick pony you won’t make it. We pride ourselves on being able to navigate around all different genres and musical landscapes. Our response to anybody that asks how do we play with different artist ranging Metallica to Nas, DMX to Marilyn Manson to Bob Weir, Macy Gray to major pop and rap artists, is always “It’s Just Music”. Our focus is to try to have fun and learn something along the way.

JULIAN GOSIN:  New Orleans is who we are. I love the city wholeheartedly but I also don’t want it to define me. It gave me my roots and wings so that they can grow and fly.

You brought some special guests into the record – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

MARCUS HUBBARD: When we started, the plan was to have special guest on this record. We created the songs 1st. Then we decided what guest to put on it. 

JULIAN GOSIN: The guest were handpicked and fortunately they were all able and excited to be apart of the project.

What did they bring to the table?

MARCUS HUBBARD: The guests were selected based on the genre of the track. We picked guests that would give us a true and authentic feel for the sound we were going for. We also wanted the guest’s input on tracks. Collaboration is very important to us. We wanted fans of the artists on our album, to feel the songs feel authentic to the guest artist. We want to draw in fans from outside of our musical landscape.  We don’t ever want to put out something we feel is not true to the sound we are going for on a particular track.

JULIAN GOSIN: The guest definitely added another level of swag and dynamic.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

MARCUS HUBBARD: For us, collaborating with different artists is fun and a learning experience for us. We love to pick their brains on their approach to writing and performance, and figure out how their approach can mix with ours.

JULIAN GOSIN: Our approach is usually the same at the end of the day, it’s all just music. Once the idea is put in place we build on it and welcome all suggestions.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

MARCUS HUBBARD: This record was almost six years in the making. The songs for this record came to us at different times. That’s why we have such a variety of different feels and styles. The songs were written about what was going on in our lives.

JULIAN GOSIN: Inspiration comes from real life experiences. Personally, I take inspiration from anywhere. The Latin song was actually inspired by The Netflix series Narcos.

Any plans to hit the road?

MARCUS HUBBARD: We have been taking it easy during the process of recording this record. Once the record comes out the plan is to hit the road. 

JULIAN GOSIN: Yes, in 2020 but we have some nice shows leading up to the new year as well.

What is happening next in The Soul Rebels’ world?

MARCUS HUBBARD: Hopefully we are bless to travel to our fans and meet many more. 

JULIAN GOSIN: We have more very cool collaborations in the works, touring, our album release show in New Orleans and engaging in as much support for the album as possible. Also, a few surprises that our fans will definitely enjoy hearing about…

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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