Photographer and Beat Maker, Fabian Blache a.k.a. Sohlobeats, Mastering Chill Style of Sound and Imagery
by Lazarus Lynch
A few weeks ago, the New Orleans based photographer and beat-maker, Fabian Blache (also known by his Instagram handle, @sohlobeats) took his first trip to New York City. I caught up with him venturing some of the city's culture hubs: Chinatown, Little Italy, and K-Town. Despite the fact that we had only met virtually through Instagram, it wasn't long before he pulled out his camera and started to capture every and anything he found to be interesting, including me. His curiosity and keenness to capture the interconnectedness of life around him fascinated me. I sat down with Sohlobeats to learn more about his process, this is what he told me:
LL How would you describe your artistic aesthetic?
SOHLOBEATS You know, when I first started photography, I played around with different styles. I took a photography class, and I used friends as models; I was just trying to figure out my style. But I always knew I wanted to capture the every day moments — things people don’t really notice. I like the more modern look of photography and I also like taking pictures of people, whether they realize it or don’t realize it. I like getting people in their environment. I prefer doing it [photography] in the urban environment. Growing up in kind of a city, Baton Rouge… I’ve always wanted to capture people in that.
My style is more so minimal. It has minimal characteristics of people in the urban environment.
LL On your feed you have portraits, landscape, drone photography, and now food photography. What are the stories you love to tell the most through your photography?
SOHLOBEATS The most, I would say people living their every day life. I don’t want to take pictures of famous people, or wealthy and rich people… I’m not really big on taking pictures of fancy cars [they’re nice], but my essential is catching a person [persons] experiencing something. I like catching day-to-day normal moments.
Recently, I put up a picture of a spot in Chinatown. It’s a window shot and I’m standing outside and you can see me snapping the picture in the shot, which I do like. You could see these ladies behind the window working. One of them looks tired [the younger girl]. and the older lady looks more energetic and happy. It’s kinda funny because here you have this younger person in a traditional environment, but she doesn’t look excited whereas the older lady does. I love showing things of that nature. If I can snap a shot and it shows some kind of social challenge, then that’s what I really want to show. I’m not trying to throw it in your face, but if you look hard enough, you’ll be like, “Wait a minute. Look at this.”
I’m more so concerned with: did you see it and really think about it, or did you just double-tap and scroll past?
LL I’m just curious, how important is it to you to have people leave comments or like your work on social media?
SOHLOBEATS I never expected the amount of feedback and connections that I do get, currently. I would like to get more, yes, but I’m still on the journey getting there, it’s growing every month so that’s good. I really do appreciate comments, but I’m not really searching for comments. I’m more so concerned with: did you see it and really think about it, or did you just double-tap and scroll past? Are you really seeing what I’m showing you here? I’m really about the mood. I want you to feel it and pick up on the mood of my pictures and tones on the page, rather than saying, “Oh this is great.” There are times when people have said, “Your work is amazing,” or “I love your tonal player.” That stuff stands out to me so much because it’s like wow, you got it. You saw what I’m doing here and it resonated with you. I really appreciate that.
But at least I’ve found my style of sound and imagery. The ultimate goal is for them to come together, for them to compliment each other.
LL Who inspires you?
SOHLOBEATS I definitely would say my biggest influencer on my photography is a guy that goes by TAKU, who also does photography and beat-making. I like how he takes these simple moments, whether it be people in transit, taxi drivers, people walking the streets. He’s the ultimate street photographer and just shows you the world with a unique tone set, and minimal way.
LL As an artist, what do you hope to do through your work?
SOHLOBEATS The ultimate goal, I do go by the name Sohlobeats… I’ve been working more and more on mastering my chill style. I have found my style, now it’s just about enhancing it and getting it better and better. It’s still like that with pictures; there’s always room to improve. But at least I’ve found my style of sound and imagery. The ultimate goal is for them to come together, for them to compliment each other. I want you to not only hear my sounds and chill beats, but I want you to see and feel that mood. It’s all about creating that chill mood, and even though it’s chill, it’s still showing you the world through people… I’m just taking my time and trying to master the craft.
LL Favorite fried chicken spot in NOLA?
SOHLOBEATS We Dat Chicken & Shrimp!!
You can follow Sohlobeats on Instagram.