Tony Rodriguez with a selection of neo soul, house and old skool.
Club DJ & Radio Presenter: All good things soulful and funky including Neo Soul, House, Soul, Jazz, Funk, Boogie and Rare Groove. Check out NU SOUL CENTRAL on Solar Radio TUESDAYS 22:00 – Midnight GMT solar radio.com/ Sky Ch 0129 or on the usual Apps.
1. What attracted you to soul music in the first place, and does this still apply today?
I was introduced to soul music at a young age through friends at primary school, the rhythms, beats, baselines and hooks; basically the sound just blew me away. I really loved it and remember thinking ”this is definitely for me!”. The same energy and love around soul music still keeps me hooked today. Music does evolve and swing in cycles but at the end of the day a tune is still a tune.
2. What are your top five favourite soul tracks?
Too hard to pick, I’ll take anything from my favourite five artists. Teena Marie – you make love like spring time, Roy Ayers – Poo Poo La La and Maze – Before I let go, have to be up there
3. Who are your favourite five artists?
4. What are your favourite three record labels?
Sorry, can’t pin it down to three. Going back to the seventies and eighties I love Salsoul, Motown/ Gordy and of course Philly. In the nineties Bad Boy, MCA/ Uptown and anything similar was just red hot. Over the last few years BBE, Dome and Expansion are the obvious choices, other than that Reel People Music and anything from the MAW and Blaze stables are doing it for me.
5. What are your top three soul clubs of all time?
I’ll start off by being really bias and say SOUL NETWORK and MOVE ON UP, only because after being involved for 17 and 6 years respectively, both club nights are still going strong. I really enjoy playing at both and catching up with friends.
Third choice is not so much as a club night but more of ‘an experience’. SOUL IN THE ALGARVE can’t be explained in a few words… You just have to be there. One final club night that must get a mention and always sticks in my mind is Club Yo Yo, for me along with the Spot Bar it defined the 90s.
6. What radio experience did you have before you joined Solar?
My early experiences on radio were during the mid to late 90s when each summer I spent a few weeks in Rhodes DJing in bars and clubs. I hosted guest shows on Kool fm (usually while nursing a hangover!!). I initially joined Solar in 2003 broadcasting my NU SOUL CENTRAL show for 10 years. I then took the format to other radio stations (internet based and DAB) and recently returned to Solar in 2014/15 with the MOVE ON UP Show. I’m pleased to have been given the opportunity to bring NU SOUL CENTRAL back to it’s spiritual home for another term.
7. What is/are your main criteria in choosing records for airplay?
Anything that falls under the umbrella of Soul, Jazz and House gets on the play list. There is a lot of new music that goes unnoticed and hopefully my show provides a platform. I try and showcase quality new soul music and promote new artists, there is also scope on the show for music from the last 10 years which still sounds fresh and people may have missed first time around.
As much as I love my new music I still look forward to the end of the month ‘Ol’Skool Show’ as the emphasis is on 70s, 80s and 90s. I love my jazz, funk and boogie too!
8. Why would you recommend Solar to a listener?
FM doesn’t do it for me like it used to and with a great spread of DJs, presenters and connoisseurs on Solar, there is a superb mixture of black music available touching on all genres. The shows are produced with care and love by all the presenters and without any restrictions, so we really get the freedom to express our love for soul music and share our tunes with like minded people.
9. Which other DJs do you admire and why?
It wouldn’t be fair to mention any single person, I have had the pleasure and privilege to have worked with so many djs in clubland and on the radio over the last 30 years so it would be too difficult to pick anybody out. These guys have been at the top of their game for years and continue to do so. However, if I had to build a team of ‘Avengers’ then it would have to be DJ Jazzy Jeff, Masters at Work, Blaze, John Morales, Jazzy B and Robbie Vincent. They’re all legends and pretty much cover the music I play. Totally inspirational and they always blow me away.
10. How would you like to be remembered by a listener?
If I played a part in their love of soul music or maybe they think of me when they hear a particular tune then that would do it for me.
11. What do you do to relax?
Apart from the obvious (listening to music), I like eating good food at good restaurants with my lovely and better half. We are usually spoilt for choice as she manages a top restaurant in central London and is well connected on the gastro circuit. Sometimes though you can’t beat a quality night in, my girl is an awesome cook and to be fair I can hold my own so a cook off and chill out always work well. When I’m not stuffing my face I follow the Arsenal and attend every home game. I also enjoy catching a film or two when possible and of course live music gigs are a must.