Interview: Soko & Sev

Belgrade-based DJ and production duo Soko & Sev are at the forefront of a new generation of artists leading the notable surge of contemporary, cosmic techno. Launching their debut record label Eternal Lights in April 2023, the pair conceived the Chapter 1 initiative; releasing a collection of their most highly sought-after track IDs. Having delivered a fortnightly stream of heavy techno cuts in line with the project ever since, the duo continues their emphatic run of releases with the compilation’s seventh opus, A Second Chance.

Much like the label’s preceding offerings, A Second Chance displays a menacing web of melodic synth intricacies that ebb and flow between one another; a signature style that we’ve come to know and love from the fast-rising techno outfit. Founded on a slew of hard-hitting percussion, Soko & Sev‘s latest anthemic cut has already been tried and tested on the stages of some of dance music’s biggest festivals and events, serving as another stellar addition to their flourishing peak-time worthy discography.

It’s a pleasure to have you here with us Soko & Sev. Where are you answering this interview from?

We are currently answering from London, UK!

Please can you introduce yourself for our readers?

Hi everyone! We are Marko & Antonio aka Soko & Sev a techno duo based in London & Belgrade.

How did you guys meet?

We actually met through a friend of Marko who was driving taxis at the time. Antonio jumped in Marko’s friends taxi and immediately they started taking about music production and DJing. Whilst in the taxi, Marko’s friend decided to FaceTime him so that that the two could meet straight away. After briefly speaking during the taxi ride, we decided to meet up and have a mix on the decks. It seems as though everything clicked into place for us and the rest is history!

How has the first half of 2023 been for you? Any particular highlights?

It’s been amazing, we have been waiting for over 12 months for the right time to launch our new label and this launch has been the highlight of 2023 for us by far.

Congratulations on the release of your new single, ‘A Second Chance’ on your label ‘Eternal Lights’. Can you tell us more about the record? What has the initial reception been like?

Thank you! The track ‘A Second Chance’ for us is really a special one, trying to showcase as much of our originality as possible. It’s a combination of techno, acid, rave-vibes all in one. We feel like this track brings through a lot of energy as well as having a moment to breathe in the breakbeat buildup. It’s been amazing to see so much support, especially from artists such as Amelie Lens on this track as she is a true pioneer of the genre.

Going back to your formative years, who or what were your biggest musical influences and inspirations growing up?

Growing up we really didn’t look towards musicians as inspiration as we were heavily involved in our respective sports. Antonio was playing on a high level of football for Fulham and Marko was running 110m hurdles for Serbia. We drew a lot of inspiration from our parents for their constant hard work ethic throughout life and we always try to apply the same in our lives.

Can you talk about your introduction to electronic music and when you first started going out? What were some of the best clubs / events that you attended?

London is really a great city for electronic music, all types of music in general. Both of our introductions to electronic music came individually listening to inspiring tracks for training camps, competitions and matches.

We were both going out to more ‘underground’ clubs such as Village Underground or Fold to really see artists that maybe weren’t part of the mainstream culture at the time. We would both have to agree that in London Printworks has to be one of the more iconic venues we’ve ever been too, however Amsterdam’s Awakenings festival and the Gashouder is also up towards the top of our list.

Tell us more about your label ‘Eternal Lights’. Why did you decide to set this up?

We have been working so hard on our production over the last 3 years and felt that we really needed a platform of our own to showcase what we’ve been working on. With the amount of music that we have and the high level support we received with our unreleased music made it feel natural for this label to be our next step.

Why the name ‘Eternal Lights’?

Over the last few years it seems as though there has been a large shift and a lot more dark things happening around the world. With this on our minds, we felt as though if even to touch one person, we wished to share and spread some light with our music, hence the name Eternal Lights.

If you could collaborate with any artist in the scene right now, who would it be and why?

If we could collaborate with any artist it would have to be Joyhauser. We’ve loved watching their journey and seeing how far they have come with their amazing talent but especially their originality and really sculpting their sound.

What are the top 3 favourite records you love to play in your sets at the moment?

Our top 3 at the moment would have to be ‘Feel It’ by Amelie Lens, ‘Liberty’ by Joyhauser and our track ‘Depth Of Eternity’.

After the release of ‘A Second Chance’, what else have you got planned for 2023?

Release wise for 2023, ‘A Second Chance’ will be the 7th release on our label ETERNAL007 but we have another 10 more releases to go until the end of Chapter I of Eternal Lights. We are really looking forward to debuting in a few countries this year if all things go to plan and seeing what tracks come from our new studio.

What advice would you give to young artists looking to break into the music industry?

For us, originality has always been something we strive for. In order to achieve this we try to minimise the amount of electronic music we listen to these days. This may seem unorthodox but it also allows us to be creative without having ties or influence from something we listened to earlier. We have always been told that music isn’t a competition and it isn’t or shouldn’t be in some way, however we must acknowledge that there must be some element of competition, as with less and less room to be original and unique it becomes more difficult to create sounds and music that has not been done before. Our biggest advice would be that young artists should always follow their heart, more so than mind.

Do you have any final words for our Only Techno readers?

Thanks so much for having us we really appreciate it. Also a huge thank you to anyone supporting us and our music and we hope to play for you one day soon!

Soko & Sev – A Second Chance is out now via Eternal Lights

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