After eight years in the drum and bass scene, SOLAH is joining Hospital Records’ roster for the next stage of her career.
She’s a vocalist many know as a voice excelling in the deeper end of the D&B spectrum (you only have to check out her work with Halogenix and Spectrasoul to see this), but over the last couple of years, we haven’t heard as much from SOLAH as we would of liked.
There are many good reasons for this – from travelling to taking time to reflect on her goals, working out what her direction should be, and how to get there. But Hospital Records have made the decision a tiny bit easier by signing her to their roster as the label’s first female vocalist. It’s a big moment for the artist, but also a major one for D&B in general, as we see another talented female find some much-deserved recognition.
To celebrate the signing, Hospital will be releasing a debut SOLAH EP in the coming months, with the first two singles dropping this week. UKF caught up with SOLAH to uncover exclusive details about the signing and her progression into a fully-fledged music artist.
So it’s been revealed today that you’re signing to Hospital. You must be ecstatic.
It’s a bit surreal… I feel like I’ve been building towards something like this for a long time. There have been times when I didn’t think it was going to happen, so it’s exciting to be announcing this. Everyone at Hospital has been so welcoming.
You’ve been around for a while now, so it must be a great feeling getting recognition as a standalone artist.
Definitely. I’ve been working in drum and bass for about eight years. The signing has come at a time in my life where I feel ready to dedicate my time to this. Because I’ve been in the scene for a while, I feel less anxious about releases as I’ve already had the time to figure out who I am as an artist, so it’s good timing.
How did it come about?
It was back in 2020 just after I had my little boy, Jesse. I messaged BCee asking if he fancied doing anything like he did with Charlotte Haining on Life As We Know It, but with me. He came back asking me if I wanted to do an EP and sent over some tracks to work on. Two of those tracks are coming out this week – Everything Is Possible and Fly. Because he uses Dan Nu:Tone to master his tracks, it quickly filtered through to Hospital and they wanted it.
So Hospital said they wanted the release, and you, on their roster?
From what I gather, there was space on their roster for a female vocalist, and they were aware of the need to promote females in the industry and make sure they’re as visible as possible. Thankfully, those tracks led them to say I’m the person they’re looking for!
You’re the first female vocalist to sign to the label. That’s a mega accomplishment.
Haha, I have to keep asking myself – am I? It’s nerve wracking because it’s a slightly different sound for SOLAH. It’s actually more natural for me, but because it’s new, you never know how it’s going to be received.
True. Most people know you for your work in the deeper end of D&B, but joining Hospital gives you flexibility to see where things could go next.
Totally. Because these tracks were initially meant to be part of an EP with BCee, it meant I wasn’t trying to fit any boxes or sound. It’s natural. It feels great being signed on my own merit. I still love a darker vibe though, so it’s not something I’ll be stopping. Going forward, SOLAH will be a bit of everything. It’s not a case of actively changing my style or sound though, it’s embracing a different part of me – the soulful, jazzy vocal-led one – but making sure it’s stripped-back and sounds organic.
So tell us more about the new single. Everything Is Possible is a fitting title for what’s happening in your life.
It is! That track was recorded in 2020 just after I had my baby. I was feeling positive about things. It was just before the second Covid wave, so I was feeling like we were coming out of what was a scary early 2020. I wanted to write something to reflect the mood of the time with the message that everything is going to be okay. The EP is all about love.
With the pandemic and having a baby, I imagine it was a good time for you to reflect on life and your music direction, as you weren’t very active with releases at the time.
Definitely. Growing a family puts everything into perspective. It’s great to be able to tie the EP to that positive time in my life. Teaming up with Hospital feels like a natural fit in terms of how I like to write. Not that it wasn’t natural before, but there was a point where things weren’t gelling as much, and the time away helped me to evaluate what I should write and who I should write for.
Does it feel like a new chapter?
Absolutely. Being booked onto Hospitality gigs has been particularly refreshing. It’s so nice getting to sing my tracks out loud again. Not being booked to sing at gigs makes you question your direction at times. Performing is half the reason most of us vocalists do it. I think moments like this are important when looking at where the industry is going in terms of making sure women are on rosters and line-ups so that they’re visible to other aspiring females.
There’s definitely an element of luck to music, but there’s also an element of sticking around long enough through the hard times until things align the right way.
SOLAH – Everything Is Possible / Fly is out February 2