Hi Peter AKA Opolopo
You were born in Hungary, and spent a lot of time as a kid on tour with your keyboardist father. What sort of music did your father play, and how did itinfluence you growing up?
My dad was mainly into jazz but ran a cover band that would play "good" popular music as well. I was heavily influenced by the musical environment I grew up in. My mom was also a (classical) piano player and they were both into jazz so my jazz roots definitely come from there.
Did that mean that there were plenty of opportunities to make music while you were a kid?
Yes, my parents were always very supportive. Even though taking piano lessons and learn to write and read music never worked out for me. I was way too impatient and was always tinkering with the piano in my own way, playing my own silly melodies instead of doing the assigned homework properly.
Can you tell us a little bit about what got you into playing soulful house – what was it about the genre that drew you in?
The musicality of it. In soulful house there's a place for nice chords arrangements and melodies. It's very rewarding producing and writing that kind of music as it has the elements of proper songwriting together with dance floor aesthetics. So there's something for the mind as well as the butt, haha!
Your name is from the Yoruba language, (one of the four languages of Nigeria) and means “Plenty”, so, firstly, why did you choose Yoruba name? And, secondly, what’s behind it?
Many years ago I needed a new artist name for an album project. Since all of my music is basically of black origin I started to look at the language of the African slaves that were brought to America. I found this word "opolopo" that could mean "plenty", "plentiful" or "variety". Since that album was a bit all over the place with many styles, it seemed like a good fit. It also looked good graphically and happened to be a palindrome.
Your recently dropped a remix of Leroy Burgess’s “Barely Breaking Even” that reached number one on the Traxsource soulful house chart (congrats!) – why that track?
It's always a great challenge to tackle a classic, trying to make it your own without butchering it. When asked by Michael Hughes from Groove Odyssey records to remix it I jumped at the opportunity.
Can you tell us a little bit about your ideas and influences behind the remix?
I wanted to preserve the atmosphere of the original, replicating some of the percussive elements and sticking with the boogie and disco feel while re harmonising and reinventing the track.
So you’re playing for us at Ministry of Sound on 12th November. Name one track that you have lined up for us?
I'm working on a tweak of Sylvia St. James' magical Motherland track. I'll definitely play that if finish it in time.
And, finally, what do you have in store for us for the rest of 2016?
Apart from cracking on with remixes I have new EPs for both Mahouse and Z Records in the works.
Catch Opolopo @ Groove Odyssey’s 7th Birthday Sat 12th November at the Ministry of Sound!