Soft Glas: The Young Bed-Stuy Producer Has a Rich Musical Past and a Bright Future
‘The Questionnaire’ with Soft Glas
By: Brownie Marie
Brooklyn-based DJ and producer Soft Glas was born Joao Gonzalez 24 years ago. One listen to his productions and it’s clear that the Cuban-born artist is adept at various musical genres. His father is Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Soft Glas explored several styles before honing in on his current ambient, electronic sound. “It’s a genre where I can explore sounds in more ways than the norm,” he said of experimental and electronic music.
Soft Glas’ recently released remix of Tiffany Gia’s “Warpaint” is a hauntingly layered demonstration of his instincts as a producer, and is a great introduction for new listeners. Learn more about this talented artist in “The Questionnaire.”
What part of Brooklyn do you live in?
How did you get your stage name?
Honestly, I wish there was an interesting reason behind it. It just looks appealing when it’s written and it looks the way my music sounds. And the twitter handle wasn’t taken.
What was your first gig?
I’ve been performing (drums) since I was a kid but as a solo act, it was actually recently: I performed at Glasslands in BK (RIP) with Jesse Boykins III.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
My father (Gonzalo Rubalcaba), Claude Debussy, Pharrell Williams, Flying Lotus, and Erik Satie.
What has been your biggest professional challenge?
Finding and being confident in my creative identity / Not being overly influenced by current trends.
What do you like about the current state of experimental/electronic music?
The freedom it gives an artist. Anything goes, and any method is accepted. It’s a genre that prides itself in pushing forward and innovation. Very few “purists.”
What are you not feeling regarding the current state of experimental/electronic music?
SoundCloud culture. SoundCloud is a positive and powerful tool, but it’s led to producers making music for plays. Water droplets, bed squeaks, and R&B chords seem to be popular, so the field molds accordingly.
What do you love about New York?
The constant stimulation and inspiration. I’m creatively impacted every day. It has definitely not helped with my ADD, but I’ll definitely take it.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been writing my album for a bit now. I’m taking a break from everything else (music-wise). I’m also working on a photography portrait series.