101 with Lonely C

Lonely C is the brainchild of Charles Levine an emotive psycho-naught who came of age during the 90’s rave days and is currently splitting a time share on planet Earth. With 20 years of DJ experience he is most at home in the DJ booth, but that has not stopped him from taking it to the stage to sing, play keys/synths and beyond. From House music, to electro, disco, funk, soul, R&B and dub, musical eclecticism is his key to moving bodies and shaping minds.

Typically associated for his work as one half of the DJ/Production duo Soul Clap who spent the past decade touring the world (collaborating with legends such as George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic), Nona Hendryx, Louie Vega and Midnight Magic to name a few) and are founding members of the Brooklyn based musical collective Crew Love; however Lonely C is Charles’ latest solo endeavor and with a recently finished full length album titled "Lonely C - Charles & Tribulations" (which you can buy here) 2018 is looking to be a very exciting year for new growth.

What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?

I love it when people come up and ask for the artist that's playing. that always gives me a laugh…  I mean really tho it's 2018, who still makes requests? Just stay at home and listen to Spotify or Youtube.

Can you describe your studio setup for us? 

Well, to start I'm a big supporter of Ableton but that being said I'm deeply "Out of the box".I love the old analogue synths like the Jupiter 8 or Arp Odessey and Arp Solina but there are so many exciting new synths that connect to the internet and have entire communities who create patches, it's really cool!  I love my new Dave Smith OB6, I love the Korg Minilogue. I don't own the Prologue but it's on my hit list.  For drums, I use the Nord Drum and Roland Handsonic among other bits and pieces.  

Also, the newest piece of gear which is at the centre of the Soul Clap live show and the Lonely C live show is Pioneers collaboration with Dave Smith called the SP16.  It is a BEAST!  you can do so much.  Its basically the studio version of their DJS-1000, which is going to completely change the way DJs perform, I'm totally convinced!

Could you tell us the story about your first gig?

Wow, my first gig EVER? Well, I got my first pair of turntables in ’96, they were Gemini belt-driven and total pieces of shit. I would play around but it wasn’t until I got a pair of technics in ’98 that I was like "ok we’re on to something". I think my first ever gig was at a high school party my junior or senior year. It probably sounded like a long mess of drunk high school kids bumping the turntables and me feeling nervous…

A much better story was the first Soul Clap gig. We opened for Joey Beltram in DC at my friend Adam Friedbergs club night. We played a mix of House, Disco House, Speed Garage and 2-step, then after the party, we recorded the first ever Soul Clap mixtape which you can get here.

Name three artists that currently inspire you. 

R+R=Now, Midnight Magic, Nick Monaco.

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club.

I mean, I can be a really selfish DJ because I'm often more interested in expressing myself and broadcasting my message in my music, so sometimes I won’t read a crowd at all and the dance floor will clear out a bit. But you know its always during those moments when the music will really resonate with a few particular people and then they’ll approach to let me know how strongly they “Got It”! I guess I really connect with those types.

What do you do before and after your set? 

When the stars have all aligned, before I'm resting and prepping, then a nice dinner to get things started with dear friends, then after it's time to let loose and celebrate! But it's not always like that, sometimes I just want to chill.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I'm lucky that I've never had the worst job, but sometimes when the music gig is bad, it's REALLY bad hahaha.

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine what song would you play?

Barry White, Playing Your Game, Baby.

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received?

My girlfriend's father is famous for saying "no expectations, no disappointments". There is a real rational wisdom there!

You can find more music, links and gig dates on his website.

By Blaz, edited on 13 November 2018