Audeze interviews producer and songwriter Soulshock

June 14, 2021

Audeze interviews producer and songwriter Soulshock

Soulshock is a Grammy nominated producer and songwriter, and is one half of production duo Soulshock & Karlin, who've produced tons of hits starting from the early 1990s.

Soulshock's real name is Carsten Schack.

Producer and songwriter Soulshock with his LCD headphones
"After I'd been preaching for years you can not mix in headphones, you can now, thanks to your absolutely game changing headphones. I now can not live without them." - Soulshock
Here's our chat with Soulshock:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?

Yes indeed I can:
Tupac - Do for Love
Whitney Houston - Heartbreak Hotel
Tupac - I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto
Toni Braxton - I Love Me Some Him
Jojo - Leave (Get Out)

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

I'm still active in studio producing and writing, but also over-seeing new upcoming talent and appearing as a judge on X-Factor.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

I heard Grandmaster Flash - Wheels of Steel and I was hooked! I competed in scratching and mixing, became 3rd in the DMC World Championship, went on tour with Queen Latifah and Jungle Brothers as their DJ, starting doing beats and remixes and everything just took off. I was always a hip hop head, and I am just as big a fan of today's hip hop artists - Drake, Travis Scott, Future, etc, as I was of yesterday's legends. It is truly amazing to see hip hop still being the most popular music, after we were told back in the day it would never last.

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

Many - being part of hip hop as a DJ, with Red Alert spinning in NY hip hop clubs, coming from a small town in Denmark was surreal. Tupac calling me to say he would name his album after one of the songs I produced "Me against the world." Having the guts ( I didn't ) to tell Whitney Houston she had to sing "Heartbreak Hotel" which we wrote different, then getting a BMI award for that song. Watching Pitbull feat Chris Brown "International love" getting a billion views. I am overall thankful and humbled being accepted by the US music industry...

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

Well - being a little white boy from Denmark coming to America's hip hop scene in New York was not so easy. I had to learn how important hip hop was as a social statement in the society - I once wanted to quit because I felt I didn't have the right to be there, but Latifah on the tour bus told me to never let the color of my skin be a reason to make a decision; it meant the world to me.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

These days it's all about plug-ins - I prefer working in Pro Tools but I still sample off my Technics SL 1200 turntable.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

If you are not ready for 90 % NO and - maybe - 10 % YES, don't even think about entering the music business. It really is all about passion. Even if I worked in a bank I would not be able to stop making beats - it's part of who I am.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

As a DJ I used them a lot, and I always hated headphones honestly - until Manny Marroquin insisted on me trying your headphones... I never turned back. After I'd been preaching for years you can not mix in headphones, you can now, thanks to your absolutely game changing headphones. I now can not live without them.

I just mixed and recorded a whole EP with our new artist Maya B using Audeze MX4s. We wanted to record at my house in the Hollywood Hills due to the vibe, but I never got a chance to make a home studio (partly because I didn't want music once I got home), but I understood the value of the surroundings for her and all we needed was two pairs of your headphones and we could record on the patio if we felt like it - no words can explain how big a game changer your headphones are.