Josh Deep has only begun to scratch the surface of all he has in store for his label Deeper Soul. At just over a year in existence it has six releases under its belt including original work and remixes from Osunlade, Henrik Schwarz, Alton Miller's G Culture and Chicago jazz musician Kahil El Zabar. Already, Deeper Soul is fulfilling its mission: to release genre-defying music that is not only heard but, more importantly, felt.
Josh says that growing up in Chicago has had a heavy influence on his ideology. "Chicago has all these types of music: blues, jazz, house, hip-hop, soul. These experiences [all] incorporated [into] a music I could feel–it was all soulful music to me and I saw an ability to learn from those experiences and create a new sound." This new sound marries modern production to a live jazz aesthetic, as Josh aims "to create a greater synergy between live musicians and studio producers." "The response that we get from that experience needs to happen, and goes beyond articulation," he avows.
As it happens, Deeper Soul is really starting to cook. A slew of releases centered around El Zabar are up next, including a double CD of original material and remixes and an accompanying 12" sampler featuring unreleased tracks. Kahil and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble are also touring Europe this month, leading up to the Nova Arts Festival in Bordeaux, France. The three-day festival will find the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble performing live with IG Culture and Josh Deep, plus turns by Archie Shepp, Henrik Schwarz, Charles Webster, Djinji Brown and a live painting exhibition from HVW8.
Josh says Chicago has been a necessary catalyst for all these projects, as has his friendship with El Zabar. "When he and I started working together it became very clear that for a period in time this was going to be our future: to have this [relationship] as a vehicle to get music which [Kahil] and I feel has a strong cultural value to more people and to bring groups of like-minded people together."