My first live performance while growing up in Toronto was at Ontario Place, a song recorded by Maurice Chevalier, Louise. So gees Louise, as Kismet would dictate in the kaleidoscope that is life, My Name is Khan kicks-off it’s music interview with Sophie Belluka Sparks who was born in France. Sophie Belluka Sparks is a friend, singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ. She can deliver you her lyric’s in a incredibly gripping, haunting manner in Italian, Spanish, English and naturally French in which the most vulgar of words or phrase sounds like a fine wine. Sophie loved learning languages while in school and University, and her favorite producer happens to be a fellow Canadian living in Toronto Deadmau5. Music is universal and only recently Mick Jagger recorded a track singing Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs) with a super group called Super Heavy which also features Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley and staring Oscar-winning Indian musician A R Rahman. When I first heard the Gypsy Kiss track from Sophie’s up-coming album my instant comment was “wow this would mix so well with a Bollywood tune!”. The song to this page is Katarina where Sophie has infused the kick drum from the library of sounds by Deadmau5, the Gypsy Kiss video was only recently done, and if you are about to get that bottle of vodka from the freezer and start a party then you can kick-start it with her Deadmau5 “Sofi needs a ladder” Sophie Belluka Sparks remix. Sophie Belluka Sparks makes the world dance so let’s get this party started on My Name is Khan. Here is the interview enjoy the music, peace, love and respect from My Name is Khan.
1.What inspired you or led you into your current field of being singer, songwriter, and DJ.
Well.. one led to the other in different stages: I have been writing songs and poetry since I was 13 and it has been my second activity all the way through my studies and jobs. When I came to London, I started recording with various producers in the quest to create my first album, and during these collaborations, I was proposed to write for house music producers. This is when I discovered house music as my back ground is originally from acoustic/pop/rock and blues. I found the discovery of this new up beat style of music interesting and fun, and in 2006 the first house song I penned and melodies on a producer’s grove was “Lush” it was circulated on myspace and got many good comments, few weeks later the song was voted song of the day 7 days in a raw by Music tech Magazine. We were then proposed to get the song performed at the 2006 Cannes film festival at the Playboys party, Hugh Hefner’s 80th birthday , and the following day for Ivana Trump party. Shortly followed a collaboration with Robert Owens who put his delightful vocals on another song I penned and modified on another groove of the same producer, it was called “Sunshine”. In London, We were invited to perform in Soho with a live radio show on Push FM , Robert came along and sang the song, and other of his repertoire, Stuart Love performed Lush, we co hosted the live show with presenter Stouch Pepsy, it was a big success. Few days later, we were proposed a radio show on Push FM, a house music radio, we called it Kaleidoscope. I was not a DJ then, I was co hosting the show, presenting and inviting guests DJ and we would interview them. I had the pleasure to interview Frankie Knuckles, Robert Owens, Danny Rampling, Sebastien Ingrosso, Little Louis Vega, Mark Knight, to name but a few…These legends telling me the details of their journeys got me interested in learning the DJ skills , so I took mixing lessons and listened to a lot of different styles of house music, selecting, and doing my education. This coincided perfectly with going through a difficult time in my life when I couldn’t go nowhere near down tempo emotional music, movies etc.. so the somewhat unemotional up beat of house music was perfect to keep me in a happy mood when I needed to cheer up. (being a DJ saved my life … I can say that! When I became ready to play, Push FM proposed me to have my own solo radio show , every Wednesdays 2-4pm and this is when I started to play for my first yet invisible audience! . So, as a DJ, I actually started playing on the radio! It was the other way around for me..its only one year later, which had left me more time to make progress and define my style, that I played my first gig in a club, I was so dam scared!! But it went well, then followed the gigs at Egg, Ibiza etc..
2. How would you define your musical style.
Considering where I come from as a song writer, and having discovered house music now, I can’t limit myself to just one style. So I am leading two creative musical career at the same time. One career as a singer song writer, working on my album “Looking for something” which is in acoustic/pop/rock and blues. I am also working on another album : “Gypsy Kiss” which are theremixes in house music of all the songs from my acoustic album, and one career as a DJ. I am actually more defined regarding to the style,I play, its happy tech house, happy techno, happy deep house/ progressive.
3. Who inspires you?
Everything with integrity can inspire me, great human beings of course, in the likes of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, the existentialist movement, authors like Jean Paul Sartres, artists like Picasso , Kandinsky, Poets like beaudelaire, Proust, film makers Poets like Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Almodovar, Mozart, Chopin, Pink Floyd , he doors, Janis Joplin, Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, producers like Deadmau5 whom I discovered in 2007 while continuing my house music education I was selecting his tracks all the time. He had created a new library of sounds which I thought was kind of grand! I used some sounds from his library for my productions. The visuals and concept he is putting in his shows is also very inspiring. A little mouse larger than life I would say!
4.What are you currently working on?
On he acoustic side, I am currently working on developing the production of a blues song I wrote called “Looking for something”, I had the chance to be accompanied on the guitar by Laine Hines, son of Deny Laine who ( founded the Wings with Paul McCartney.) Laine did a great job on the armories on he electric guitar, and since it is just a voice and a guitar at the moment, I really want to develop this beautiful song to its potential. I am also working on an upbeat song called Gypsy Kiss, we have just finished the video clip and I will release the track very soon on Beatport. On the DJ and performances front , I am working on a new concept which I am putting into place currently working with a team of people. I will have to update you with the progress next time!!
5.Where do get creative in or does this happen anywhere?
If a producer asks me to write on his grove then I focus in the studio and endeavour to come up with a good melody and lyrics to fit in. Sometimes I have to try hard to come up with something, and sometimes if I get inspired with the groove it comes pretty much instantaneously , like it happened with Blur song, Femi Fem aka Femi Williams (founder of The Young Disciples who won a Grammy award for “Ain’t about nothing” ) asked me to write on his groove originally for an add, he got me in his studio, put the groove in a loop and went to pick up his kids at school, by the time he came back, an hour after, the song was written, we recorded a first take straight away and Blur was born.
For my own songs, inspiration happens anywhere, in the street, in my bathsx, in my sleep, most of the time, they wake me up in the middle of the night, and when it happens I have to be quick singing it to my Dictaphone before I forget the melody.
6. what is that one thing that would make you feel like your dreams have come true?
Beyond the instant pleasure of performing my songs in front of an audience and witnessing the album being worldwide appreciated, the one thing that would make my dream come true, would be to have at least one of my songs convey its emotions to people around the world and becoming a classic that would survive for many decades and long after I will have left this world. That would be my legacy to this world! DEADMAU5 “Sofi needs a ladder” Sophie Belluka Sparks remix by SOPHIE BELLUKA SPARKS