Dj Soulpusher, aka Frank Conakry, took time out of his hectic schedule to partake in our humble questionnaire and audio. As discussed previously, he is in the funding stages of developing a film based on his record digging travels throughout West Africa. The featured mix includes music acquired primarily in Benin and Satos and is described as ritualistic Voodoo music and Folklore.
Dj Soulpusher (aka Frank Conakry) Q&A
Dj Soulpusher – Mede Woui / tracklist & background
Someone you look up to, dead or alive
Hard choice since I have a lot of respect for a lot of people from very different walks of life. I could come up with various obscure personal heros of mine but I guess I’m going to be very cliché today and go for Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Just because the more I learn about his personal history, the more I’m blown away. I don’t agree with most people’s belief about him being the “inventor” of Afrobeat, that’s just the ignorance of those who don’t know much other West African Funk. I admire the effect he had and still has on people’s mind. I think that he is having some sort of revival amongst modern day African youth, even in the french speaking countries of West Africa. His music always carried a strong political message which sadly still perfectly matches the reality in most of the region. It is very important that music is being seen as a medium that can transport a message, an attitude and ideas. Music should always have a revolutionary spirit and not be misused for juvenile bragging about expensive cars, cheap women and overrated beverages.
Someone you look down on
I’m a much too bad person myself to be looking down on anybody.
Other than music, what’s worth living for?
Good food, strong drinks and entertaining company.
You fasted all day, what are you dying to eat?
Funny, I lived like that almost every day for the past three years while digging for records all over West Africa. You have to understand that most houses don’t have a bathroom. There is no sewer system. Sometimes, there are open sewers that can even be cemented and wide and doubling as draining canals during rainy season. if you have to go, you just squat down on the edge and try to keep your balance while you do your business. I’ve seen whole neighborhoods where everybody shits into plastic bags which get discreetly dropped at the side of the road on the way to work or to the market. I always tried to avoid having to go by not eating anything all day. In the evening, I regularly was hungry like a wolf and the most satisfying meals I ever had on one of those occasions was antelope meat marinated with habanero peppers and other spices, sauteed in red palm oil and served with fried, sweet plantains. A close second was Grasscutter (some also call this
animal cane rat and it looks just like a nutria) simmered in palm oil, potato leaves and small, crunchy crabs that you can eat with the shell. This delicious meal was served with pate mais, a sort of pudding made out of fermented corn.
You’re at a party, what’s your drink?
My preferred party beverage is Tequilla, either Patron Silver or Cabo Wabo if I can afford it or Sauza Hornitos if I’m less flush. I also love Sodabi but you can’t find this stuff anywhere outside of Benin.
Name a song you can’t stand.
There is too much music that I passionately despise all on an equal level, I simply can’t mention one specific song. Even thinking about what shit music is out there makes me nauseous . I really hate all those fake ass wanna-be punk bands, spoilt little brats. I hate electronic dance music, that shit never sounded new in the first place and now it’s even staler than an old fart. I hate modern R&B and all this overproduced whiney shit. I hate corny testasterone frat-boy rock. I hate test tube generated talent show boy or girl bands. I hate country-pop. I hate smooth jazz. I hate Middle class SUV classic rock and I hate fucking Bono Vox from the darkest bottom of my heart.
In real life, I’m a lover by nature and not a hater, that’s why I don’t listen to the radio (besides non-commercial stations like WFMU). First thing I do when stepping into a cab is to tell the driver to turn off the radio. I never watch MTV.
You’re going to be deaf by morning, what do you ask to listen to?
I’d start getting used to not hearing and not listen to any music at all. I guess I’d start buying a ton of books.
Life after death? Yes/No
The idea of life after death for me is somehow ridiculous. How should this work? No-one who’s mentally sane has any recollection of his previous life so your conscious life definitely ends with death. So that’s it. When it’s over, it’s over. I guess some people believe such nonsense because their life sucks and they can’t get comfortable with the fact that once they die, they’re dead. They need the hope that there is more. If it makes them happy, let them have this silly little fantasy. I try to lead a life that is fulfilling enough so i could die any day without having the feeling I missed out on anything. Why even waste a thought on such things? Humans take themselves way too seriously. Why should they get reborn? There’s nothing that special about mankind for this to make any sense.
How do you hope to be remembered?
If my wife has some nice memories of our time together, that would be plenty enough for me to be at peace.
How do you hope you are not remembered?
My wife gave me the best years of her life. I don’t want her to have any regrets about that. I don’t care what anybody else remembers or if they remember anything at all for that matter.
Free verse, anything else on your mind?
To be really honest, right now I can hardly think about anything else but how to succeed convincing the owners of this hot, new NYC nightclub to give me Thursday nights to do my new party. This is the most risky and important time of my life. My last money will soon run out and the question is if I can afford to stay in NYC or not…
Much respect and admiration to Frank for his time and his work. Visit Voodoo Funk.