Kürzlich hatte ich das Vergnügen mit einem wahren Multitasking-Talent über seine Arbeit zu sprechen. Die Rede ist von Greg Kobe aka Robot Needs Oil, aka My Neighbour Is. Der Producer und DJ stammt ursprünglich aus Polen, lebt aber inzwischen mit Frau und Kind in Manchester, wo er erste größere Gigs als DJ hatte. So vielfältig wie seine Künstlernamen sind auch seine Musikprojekte. Als DJ ist er für Deep Tech House Sounds genauso offen wie für Raw House und Minimal. Er trennt nicht streng nach Genres oder lässt sich durch Kategorisierungen einschüchtern oder gar einschränken. Er vereint einfach alles so miteinander, wie es ihm gefällt – und offensichtlich auch seiner Fangemeinde. Nachdem er als DJ bei diversen Plattenlabels veröffentlicht wurde, enschloss er sich dazu, sein eigenes Label ins Leben zu rufen. Unter dem Namen Neighbour Jam veröffentlicht er unterschiedlichste Aufnahmen von verschiedenen Künstlern. Seine Priorität sind dabei nicht Profite sondern neuen, jungen, unabhängigen Musikern eine Plattform und ein Sprungbrett zu schaffen. Wie er Familienalltag und Musikerdasein bzw. den Spagat zwischen House und Reggae schafft, erklärt uns der DJ und Produzent im Interview:
www.music-news.at: Hello, Greg! How are you today?
Kobe: I’m fine. I just spent a really nice and warm Christmas time with my wife and son.
www.music-news.at: Could you introduce yourself for our readers and tell them who you are and what you’re doing?
Kobe: Of course! I’m a music producer/ DJ/ musician for 15 years now. I’m from Poland, but based in Manchester, UK, for a while now. At the moment I do three music projects: My Neighbour Is (Funk / Reggae), Robot Needs Oil (Deep Tech House) and Leão (Raw House / Minimal Dub Techno).
www.music-news.at: What did you do today and how can we imagine a regular day in the life of Greg Kobe?
Kobe: Well, most of my day I focus on music and my family and I just swap between day time and night time.
www.music-news.at: You recently started your own record label Neighbour Jam. Was this a longtime dream of yours or something that become the next logical step in your career?
Kobe: Yes. Neighbour Jam is my first ever label focusing on good music. The music I choose is the one that I feel like is good for me, the listeners and DJs. And I think, yes, it was my dream for some time, but also a logical step as you mentioned. After so many years of releasing on other labels, and I think there was about more than a hundred of them. It’s the right time to go forward with my own one.
www.music-news.at: Neighbour Jam focuses on Funk & Reggae. What kind of artists are you signing or planning to sign?
Kobe: Right. The main genres on my label are Funk & Reggae (Instrumental & Live Bands) but I don’t reduce it only on those 2 styles. I’m releasing what’s good and in my musical taste. Like now the second release is from ukraininan duo Halfscissors. Those guys did a great job on their Trip Hop & Electronica Album. The release date is set up for 19th of January 2015. We already get great feedback from many good radio stations and DJs worldwide, so if you have any free tunes and would like to share demos for Neighbour Jam do not hesitate send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org – all demos will be checked and I will email back.
How did you start working in the music industry?
Kobe: It was at least 19 years ago when I was a kid. Back then I had my first grunge rock band called MELANZ and at the same time I started to produce my first Chill Out & Reggae tunes. In 2005 I started to produce Techno tunes as GREG KOBE. It was good time for me and I released masses of vinyls in respected techno labels. In between 2006 – 2009 I’ve started with the ROBOT NEEDS OIL. This was a breakthrough time in my music career. I did a hit track called VOLTA, which took me to first places on beatport and started to play a lot worldwide. I’m still producing with the Robot Needs Oil project. At the same time I had another rock band LAS VEGAS PARANO where we released our debut album. In 2012 I’ve decided to go back to funk and reggae music but this time using sampling. And here we go: MY NEIGHBOUR IS started. And the last project of 2014 is – Leão.
www.music-news.at: What do you love most about your work?
Kobe: I think the most amazing thing about is that I’m not limited and I can produce and realize my releases in the way I want to.
I think the most amazing thing about is that I’m not limited and I can produce and realize my releases in the way I want to.
www.music-news.at: What parts of your work do you find annoying or exhausting?
Kobe: For real there aren’t any parts. But sometimes when I play a lot some travels are really exhausting.
www.music-news.at: You are working under the aliases Robot Needs Oil & My Neighbour Is. How did you come up with these names?
Kobe: Robot Needs Oil is the name I had to take on in 2006 because I signed to Definitive Recordings as GREG KOBE for exclusive contract and another big label ART & CRAFT (DEFECTED) – wants to release one of my tunes. So at the end VOLTA was released on both and it was the biggest of my releases to date (5 VINYLS + 20+ cd compilations on big labels such a MInistry Of Sound / Pacha / Sony to name a few. And My Neighbour Is was spontaneous, but at the end it shows to be like a big project and my tunes hit top 10 of Funk and Reggae Betaport charts.
www.music-news.at: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Kobe: Well all ideas are in my head…I don’t really listen any new music at the moment to be inspired from somebody… in the past I had listened to a lot of Melodic Death Metal and electronic music from that time (90’s). I think all I do now is what stays in my head from that time…
www.music-news.at: Do you have any idols in the music industry?
Kobe: I don’t really have any specific idol, at the moment.
www.music-news.at: What kind of music do you listen to yourself now?
Kobe: I listen to a lot of minimalistic music form russian & rumanian labels where I think there are the best vinyl releases from last few months. Labels like Nervmusic, Growvinyl and many more. I cheer them on a lot … and inspire.
www.music-news.at: You focus on different kind of music: deep house, funk. How does this mixture fit together? Do they influence each other?
Kobe: Yes. Many, many styles… and I can say they fit together perfectly. I did a lot of tunes in use with Reggae themes in Robot Needs Oil tunes like: Ganja Tune & Little Leo released on Acker Records and many more. And I’m still doing it in my new and future tracks.
www.music-news.at: How Did you love for music start?
Kobe: Well it comes one day and it’s still in my heart until now, it’s my passion and way of life.
www.music-news.at: Do your friends and family support your music career and share your passion?
Kobe: I have many DJ and musician friends and yes they support it. They like what I’m doing and share every news how they can. It’s really good to have them. Hugs for you!
www.music-news.at: How do you enjoy to spend your time when you are not producing or on stage?
Kobe: The rest of my time I spend close to my family (my wife & son). This is the best way to enjoy my time when I’m not producing or DJing.
www.music-news.at: You are currently Manchester based. When and why did you decide to live there?
Kobe: Yes I moved to Manchester 6 years ago in 2009. There were some planned gigs in the UK and then I just decided to stay.
www.music-news.at: Are you coming to play in Austria anytime in the near future?
Kobe: Would be great to play in Austria in 2015. Looking forward to receive propos from clubs / promoters! Just give me a shout and I will be more than happy to play over there!
www.music-news.at: What are your plans for the new year, career-wise?
Kobe: Well, I already have big release schedule from all of my 3 projects for 2015… and next is to find a new booking agency and management.
www.music-news.at: Do you have any new years resolution for 2015?
Kobe: Be yourself and do what you want and like to do, take a purpose and realize it, don’t give up! And a happy new year for all the www.music-news.at team and readers! Best, Greg.
Fotos: Greg Kobe via FB