A/N: I stumbled across a rare treasure, an interview I did for Wrestle-Zone.Co.UK with the legendary hip-hop spellcaster, the Jewish, White, Gay M.C., Soce the Elemental Wizard, way back in September, 2006, nearly 15 years ago. Soce, better known to the world as Mr. Andrew Singer, was and is a truly amazing individual, very talented, and yes, he is a nice guy as well. Reading this brought back a lot of pleasant memories for me and I want to share it again, one more time. It’s Doug. It’s Soce. It’s wrestling, music, and just a great conversation with an incredible talent. Check it out and enjoy. Comments, thoughts, and any questions are, as always, very welcome and appreciated. Ubuntu!
Interview With Soce the Elemental Wizard (September, 2006)
Interview with Soce the Elemental Wizard
by: Doug Maynard
The following is an interview with Rapper / Hip-Hop Spellcaster Soce the Elemental Wizard that I recently conducted. Soce is a popular independent musician / entertainer on the NYC Indy scene and also a huge fan of professional wrestling. He’s the Jewish, white, gay M.C. – And he’s a heck of a character! Check it out!
Soce the Elemental Wizard – He’s Not Your Usual Rap Star…
Doug: A lot of people might not know who “soce the elemental wizard” is. How would you describe yourself?
Soce: I make independent hip hop music that is actually fun to listen to. You will be able to understand everything I say, and hopefully you will enjoy the melodies I’ve composed and even start dancing and singing along.
D: You’ve released 3 CD’s so far. How would you describe your music?
S: It’s an exploration of various thoughts and values.. Certain issues keep happening, and I find that instead of trying to confront them, it’s easiest to write a song about them and break it down in two or three verses. Thus the music often sounds very silly and quite serious at the same time.. I’m dealing with real problems, but I’m trying to laugh them off too.. I realize that in the greater picture, there is plenty to smile about.
D: Who are your musical influences?
S: I grew up playing violin– I started when I was four. So I’ve listened to a lot of classical music and played in orchestras, chamber ensembles and solo. My brother listened to a lot of blues, so some of that has rubbed off on me too. I also played in the stage band in Junior high and sang in a chorus, an a capella group and performed in various musical theater shows throughout high school and college, so it’s all added up to create a delicious, musical soce stew.
D: Some might call your music a bit “over the top”. How do you respond to these people?
S: I would say that it’s things that everyone thinks about.. they’re just too afraid to say it out loud!!! Many of the hit songs on the radio these days have the same graphical content, but because it’s about heterosexual romance, nobody bats an eye. I’m just speaking my mind, and if I’m alienating certain listeners, then that means that I’m at least causing a reaction!
D: Let’s talk about the songs. “I Am (So Gay)” is like a gay anthem for 2006. It’s a must hear for every gay man out there. Was that your intentions when you wrote the song?
S: Thanks, man!! I wrote it in response to all of the hip hop shows I went to.. I was sick of all the anti-female, anti-homosexual lyrics and vibes being thrown out, and I figured this was my way to fight back.. but just describing myself as everything they hated and ridiculed. At first, I wasn’t even into the track that much, but audience response was quite positive, so I ended up making it one of my big singles.
D: Another favorite of mine is “Sad & Lonely”. Are you still sad & lonely?
S: In a spiritual way, I may ALWAYS be sad and lonely. As people, we all have so much, but we never really appreciate it enough. I also wrote this track in response to many other rap tracks.. I’ve heard people rap about how tough their lives are, and I wanted to have a track about how tough MY life has been. Even though I’ve basically had the world handed to me on a silver spoon, I wanted people out there to feel MY pain. What pain, you ask? Listen and find out.
D: And what about your friend, Dave? I know from talking to you that he’s a real person. How did he feel about being imortalized in one of your songs?
S: Dave feels very honored!! He is such a great guy. I don’t write whole songs about just anyone. I love it too, because he has become a bit of a celebrity as well.. people get very excited when they meet him.. they say, “Is that… Your Friend Dave (TM)?? Wow!!!”
D: Another favorite of mine anyhow is “Work/Play”. I think this one has a lot of mainstream appeal and could be a breakthrough song for you if just the right person would hear it.
S: Thanks a lot, man!! I may be filming a video for it soon.. we’ll see!! I first wrote that song in college after a long night of–you guessed it– playing videogames. It was 4am in the morning, and I was lying in bed, totally depressed about how much of a waste my life had become. And lo and behold, the chorus just kind of hit me, and I decided to make a whole track making fun of myself for being so lazy. And now the world is telling me that they are lazy too. I created The Bar Mitzvah Remix in order to bring out the yiddish vibe of the music a bit more. I always love breaking out the violin to put a little more soul into my music.
D: Another favorite of mine is “SD (Sucking D***)”. I’ve even managed to get some of my redneck friends hooked on this one. Depsite the over-the-top title, what is the song really about?
S: Heh heh, this song is ALSO in reaction to many rap songs I’ve heard at shows in NYC!!! As you can see, moving to NYC really had an impact on me. A lot of MCs claim that they made it to the top “without sucking dick”. And I feel that that’s just silly. Because many of them certainly DO suck dick. I suck dick all the time at every show I go to.. always trying to meet the performers and get them to book me for their shows, attend my shows, buy my CDs, etc etc. It’s always work for me, and hard work at that.
I mean I do have a fun time seeing all these awesome shows, but in the back of my mind, I’m definitely thinking “If only I could perform at this show, in front of all these people!!!” What can I say.. I feel that I have a lot to offer.. and you gotta get yourself out there as many ways as possible, no matter the cost.
D: “Robotics” is another song that has a great mainstream appeal, in my opinion. So does “Smother”. Does it ever bother you that you’re making these great songs, but then you see people with less natural talent, the new “flavor of the month” getting the attention and making the big money?
S: Thanks again. I figure that what matters the most is that I keep hitting the lab, writing and recording new music. If I work hard enough, then eventually success will come. Not necessarily huge success, but some sort of recognition. I can’t compete with people who have bigger budgets, better promotion and more influential friends, but I can always spend more time honing my craft.
D: One of the big stereotypes about rap & hip-hop is a strong homophobic presence as well as a lack of respect, in general, for women. Do you find this to be true and have you had any personal experiences dealing with this problem?
S: I just find it difficult to attend many hip hop shows, when people are dissing gay people all the time. In fact, when I am there, I often make jokes which maybe make the performers uncomfortable.
For instance, I was recently at a hip hop show, and the host said something to the effect of, “What did you think of the last guy’s set?? Cheer if you liked it.” So people cheered. And then he said, “Actually, I said ‘Cheer if you like dick’. So at that point, I started yelling and screaming wildly like a teenage girl. The host saw me in the audience and was like, “Stop it, soce!” But he was laughing, so it was all good.
D: What do you think about rappers like Eminem & 50 Cents, for example, who seem to put across this negative vibe towards the gay lifestyle? Do you think that’s how they really feel or are they just saying the things they say to get across to their audience?
S: Eminem says it because he knows it will boost record sales. When other rappers like Busta or 50 say it, I think they really mean it and are homophobic in real life, which is too bad, because I have bought albums from all three artists, and it makes me feel sad to find out that I’m giving money to people who actively hate me and promote violence toward gays.
D: If given the chance to work with someone like Eminem or Dr. Dre or 50 Cents on music or a video, would you do it?
S: Oh hell yeah!!!
D: And do you think the whole gay/straight thing would be an issue or would it be about what really matters… the music?
S: Ayo I would hit on Eminem every day. Actually, that’s not true.. Well we’d see. I worked with this super hot straight guy a few years ago, and I did not hit on him, because in the end, it really IS about the music. I can hit on hot gay guys whenever I want to, but it’s very difficult to schedule studio time with other musicians!!
In the past, I used to be in the closet about my sexuality when I produced tracks for other rappers. But these days, it’s much nicer and easier for me to be up front about it. We don’t even have to talk about my homosexuality when we work together, but I also won’t have to worry about pretending that I’m straight.
D: When you were younger, did you envision yourself as a entertainer when you got older, or did you expect to be doing something else in your life?
S: I’ve always wanted to be a rapper.. ever since Junior High school. I never thought I would be performing sex anthems.. I thought I was going to be doing more “pop”-style hip hop like The Fresh Prince or Puff Daddy. But my mantra has always been “[computer] programming by day, hip hop by night”.
D: What does your family think of your career and music? Are they supportive or do they just sort of roll their eyes and wonder when you’re going to “grow up”?
S: My family has been extremely supportive. I think it helps that I currently have a day job as well.. At the CD release party for The Lemonade Incident, not only did my brother and his wife come, but also my parents were there.. my mom was taking pictures (she’s a professional photographer) , and my dad was selling CDs at the merchandise table!
D: You’re also a big fan of pro wrestling. Who are your favorites and why?
S: My favorite wrestlers are Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Albert A-Train, Sergeant Slaughter (of the 80s), Bubba Ray Dudley and The Warlock. They are all so big and strong!!! I realize I couldn’t hurt them very much in real life, but in my pro-wrestling fantasies, they all fall victim to my punishing moves and go down for the 1-2-3 count!!!
D: Old time wrestlers?
S: Hulk Hogan back in the days was great.. also Bruno Sammartino, Big Van Vader, Henry Godwin, Kona Krush, Doink the Clown, Ravishing Rick Rude, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ted DiBiase, Repo Man, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
D: Newer wrestlers?
S: I am crazy for Scott D’Amore, The Abyss, Tyson Tomko, Kane (when he’s more filled-out), The Big Show, The Shane Twins and The Carnage Crew.
D: With your gimmick (the elemental wizard), you’d make a great wrestling character. Have you ever thought about attempting to get involved in the business in some manner?
S: The wrestling business is very, very difficult to break into.. But if the right opportunity ever came up.. who knows!
D: When I was writing my fantasy version of WCW, I used your character as a heel manager and had you managing such superstars as Tank Abbott, Hugh Morrus, Rico and Daniel Puder? Your thoughts?
S: I loved every second of it! Thanks for putting me in!!! I am super crazy about Hugh and Tank.. I would take them on any day if they ever turned on me ha ha ha! I liked when Tank was managing 3-Count.. that was about as close as it got to our situation, since 3-Count was a few of the smaller guys.
D: If the WWE called you up today and offered you an opportunity to work for the company in some sort of role, would you do it?
S: I would definitely be quite intrigued!
D: What kind role would you like to have if given the opportunity – something similar to your hip-hop spellcaster gimmick or something totally different?
S: I’ve always wanted to be some kind of gay masseuse.. so various wrestlers would drop by my office backstage, and as I rubbed them down, we’d talk about their plotlines.. it would be like an interview segment, but more intimate than just standing and talking.. and then when I finished massaging them, they would get up and have a big smile and be like, “Thanks, soce! I feel much better now.” And the audience would let out a big cheer.
D: That is something I would love to see! Kind of like a cross between the Rico and Simon Dean characters,but taken to the next level. You could definitely pull it off and get a segment like that over. Back to the questions. If you could have 1 match, against any wrestler, past or present, who would it be and why? And what kind of match would it be?
S: I would probably wrestle against Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, and we’d be wearing lots of clothes, and in order to win, you’d have to undress and ultimately have sex with your opponent!! Everybody wins that way 🙂
D: Or if you don’t want to get physical and wrestle, if you had the opportunity to manage any wrestler, past or present for one night, who would it be?
S: If I could manage any wrestler, I’d probably choose Albert, cuz he’d be like this big, crazy scary guy, and I’d be the only man who could tame him. I would sick him on all my foes!!
D: How about some word association? I’ll name a few names, wrestling and otherwise, and you can just say the first word that pops into your head?
D: Mick Foley?
D: Vince McMahon?
D: Eric Young?
D: Chris Jericho?
D: King Booker & Sharmell?
D: The Big Show?
D: Tyson Tomko?
D: Hulk Hogan?
D: Brooke Hogan?
D: Hogan Knows Best?
D: Ric Flair?
S: Talking heads…
D: The NYC Indy Music Scene?
D: Back to the music.. you’re mainly based in NYC, but you’re preparing to go international, to the UK for “Peace Out UK ” and to open a show for Gregg Weiss. What is “Peace Out UK” and how can the people come see you?
S: Peace Out is a gay hip hop festival. It originated in Oakland, CA, and it’s been such a success that additional festivals have popped up all over the US, inlcuding NYC, the SouthEast and the NorthWest. This will be the second Peace Out festival in the UK. You can learn more about it at peaceoutuk.com
As for my show with Gregg Weiss, he is a performer I met in NYC many years ago, and he’s throwing a great show where many solo artists form a band for that night only.. I’ll be one of the openning acts, and it’s taking place in Sheffield.. Please check my myspace page for details as the time approaches.
I may be doing some other shows in UK as well, including one at Club Motherfucker. . We’ll see!!
D: After the two shows in the UK, you’re going to Berlin, Germany for two shows, an HIV-AIDS charity event and a bonus show the next night. Any details so the German fans can come see you?
S: The charity event is at so36, which I believe is a pretty famous punk rock club. The poster for it is at http://pics. socetew.com/ so36.jpg. It’s called Nacht (“Naked”), and there will even be sign language translators covering it as well! I had to submit my setlist in advance so that they could practice signing to the music.
The bonus show is being thrown by the same promoters, and it will occur at Möbel Olfe, also in Berlin. Starting at 9pm, I’ll be DJ’ing some hot hip hop and also performing a few sets of my own material live. It’ll be a great way to end off the tour.
D: And after the European shows, you’ll be home for a couple of weeks and then it’s off to Brazil for the Sao Paolo Film Festival. I don’t know how many readers we have in Brazil, but for both of them, what is the Sao Paolo Film Festival and how can they come meet the man we call Soce?
S: It’s the Brazil MIX festival, and I’ve been invited by a friend who has played my music videos in many other film festivals throughout the US. They should be playing my videos there, and also I’ll be doing a live performance at the festival. For the rest of the time, I’ll enjoy Sao Paolo and hopefully drop by Rio as well!! You can google for “mix brazil festival” for more details..
D: You’ve got a great presence and charm about you? Any chances of seeing Soce on the movie screen or on national TV anytime in the near future?
S: Thanks! I hope so!! I’ve had a few seconds of fame thus far.. Five seconds in Pick Up the Mic (look it up on IMDB.com), a few seconds on various shows on MTV and VH1, a few seconds on a video on youtube that spoofs Mel Gibson’s recent anti-semitic tirades. I will get involved with pretty much any program that shows interest in me!! Although I did actually turn down an invitation to audition for a new dating reality show where I would’ve had to compete with 29 other guys to win a woman’s love.. that would’ve been kind of awkward..
D: I know you’ve got several websites up and running. Care to plug them?
S: http://www.greathiphop. com
http://www.phobos.apple. com/WebObjects/ MZStore.woa/ wa/viewArtist? id=19312390
http://www.socetew. livejournal. com
… and that’s just the beginning
D: And how can our readers find your music?
S: CD Baby:
http://phobos. apple.com/ WebObjects/ MZStore.woa/ wa/viewArtist? id=19312390
http://music. yahoo.com/ ar-12691754- discography- -Soce-The- Elemental- Wizard
http://music. msn.com/artist/ ?artist=40176872
Directly from me using paypal:
I’m on many other music download sites as well, such as rhapsody and music match.. search around, and you’re bound to find me somewhere!
D: You’ve been very successful in using such sites as MySpace and Friendster to help spread your name around? Any comments?
S: Thanks! It’s fun to use myspace, because it lets me connect with all sorts of people who I wouldn’t necessarily get to meet in real life.. For instance, they may live far away, or they may not even be gay men.. So I wouldn’t find them at a gay bar in NYC, but with the safety of the internet, we can just start talking about all sorts of things.. not just romantic topics. It’s much easier to go to someone’s myspace than to go to their actual website these days.
D: Any final thoughts for the folks reading this?
S: Please check out my tracks and buy my albums!!! I just know that you will love I Am (So Gay), Sucking Dick, Be Mine, Same 3 Spots, Sad and Lonely, Fast Forward, The Bar Mitzvah Remix, Smother and so much more!!!!
And don’t forget to check out my cartoon music videos!! They’re up on greathiphop. com and some are on youtube.com as well.
And that’s it! My thanks to Soce the Elemental Wizard for taking the time to sit down and answer these questions for me! Love ya, guy – it is much appreciated! Questions or comments – drop me a line at Doug28352@yahoo. com – or visit me at http://www.myspace. com/salt_ palace. Thanks for reading. Now go buy a CD or t-shirt from Soce (they’re great – I have 2) – and always stay a fan! Much thanks!
A/N: And there you have it. The only full interview I’ve ever done and with a very talented entertainer, musician, comedian, and just all-around cool dude. I hope you enjoyed it and looking back, maybe I should do it again, interview a few folks I mean. Or maybe a new interview with the Hip Hop Spellcaster again? That could be fun. Let me know what you think. Until the next time, I’m down and out of here. Take care. And here you go, some Soce music. Enjoy!