From becoming a world champion DMC scratch DJ to releasing twelve albums and getting on hundreds of thousands of yoga playlists on Spotify, Sol Rising has risen to prominence as one of the top yoga music and ecstatic dance DJs. This is an independent artist success story we think you need to know about.
After discovering meditation, traveling through India, and becoming an accountant, Sol Rising came to Pyramind to further develop his production, DJ, and instrumentation skills, which helped launch his career in the yoga music scene.
Sol Rising has since received millions of streams, earns a living producing and performing, and travels the world as an independent artist. We were lucky enough to have him stop by Pyramind to discuss his expansive career and how he does what he does. So be sure to read to the end, and watch our full video interview.
Discovering Transcendental Meditation and Traveling India
During our interview, we started out by learning of Sol’s humble roots growing up in Iowa with a single mother. With the stress of motherhood she was lucky to find solace in Transcendental Meditation or TM.
This was Sol’s first introduction into the yoga and mindfulness space and later in life took it a step further, finding himself traveling India, sleeping in Ashrams and discovering who he was.
Influences & Introduction To the Yoga Music Scene
After getting interested in, and becoming a world class dj scratch artist, he ended up connecting with MC Yogi, a prominent yoga DJ in the very early days of the North American yoga movement.
With this connection came many opportunities including a chance to perform for thousands around the U.S. at the Wanderlust Yoga Festival.
Thriving as an Independent Artist using Spotify Playlists
After releasing his first album The Chillout Sessions Sol Rising watched as his streaming numbers began to rise. Two hundred monthly listeners became ten thousand and he was inspired to release more music.
Listed below are a few of the great tips for independent music success he shared.
- Establish yourself in one niche before branching out
- Releasing 3 albums a year seems like a lot, but it has allowed his streaming numbers to grow exponentially year after year.
- Yoga music is functional because yoga teachers need music for their classes every single day, and this can get you placed on thousands of Spotify yoga playlists.
- You can definitely earn a living with streaming royalties. Contrary to those who claim otherwise, he’s been able to earn real money to pay the bills.
- Distro Kid is his distributor of choice and allows him to easily manage and update his library of music.
Performing Ecstatic Dance Music
Ecstatic dance is a free form movement and dance experience without the drugs or alcohol.
This type of music and dance session has grown along with the yoga movement and allows people to fully express themselves in an immersive experience that leaves you sweating, empty, and ecstatic.
Even though he’s been deep into the chill yoga music scene, he also still has a passion for dance music so performing for these events has allowed him to fulfill both the calm and exciting sides of his personal expression.
To learn more about ecstatic dance just do a quick google search and you’ll find them being hosted at yoga studios and event spaces in your area.
Home Studio Setup & Sonarworks
Because Sol Rising is his own boss, owns his masters and has no label to answer to, he gets to spend his time however he sees fit. I asked him to walk us through his day and explain a little bit about his studio setup.
After some light meditation and exercise in the morning, he gets into the studio and works on music most of the day, spends time practicing an instrument and then ends the day with a yoga class to get out and about.
When asked about his studio setup he said he still uses the mac tower he had back when he was at Pyramind and he uses one of our favorite softwares, Sonarworks for his monitoring environment.
I wrote an in-depth post about Sonarworks and how we use it in all our Pyramind studios so check out that post if you feel like your monitoring environment could use some help.
Sol Rising’s Future Projects
When asked about where he sees his career headed, he mentioned possibly starting a new artist brand and releasing music more fit for the festival and club scene which he has a passion for.
As with all of our alumni, we love to stay in touch and see where their careers are headed and how we can support them long after they leave Pyramind and our work with Sol Rising is a good example of that.
If you’re interested in developing your own success story similar to his, make sure you check out all of our program offerings both in San Francisco and online at our programs page here.
To watch the full interview please check out the video below and if you have other questions for Sol Rising that we could help get answered, please leave them in the comments below.
Stay creative my friends.
More About the Sol Rising:
Sol Rising’s original soundscapes evoke feelings of inspiration and bliss through an eclectic mix of electronic music, mid-tempo house, chill-trap, ambient and hip-hop.
Born in Vancouver BC, raised in Fairfield Iowa, Sol Rising began meditating at age four with a walking mantra technique. His mother took him to visit numerous spiritual teachers, who inspired him on the spiritual path he walks today. As a teenager, he became a hip hop fanatic. His rooted interest in hip hop led him to learning the art of scratching — using turntables as musical instruments. Sol Rising soon became one of America’s top scratch DJs, winning second place at the DMC, the world’s most prestigious DJ competition.
After graduating in the top 5% of his accounting class at University of Iowa, he realized accounting was not his path. A journey to India with Sai Maa illuminated his true calling — to light up people’s awareness of their true nature through music. This lead him to study audio engineering and production at Pyramind Studios in San Francisco, CA.
Now a successful Producer with over 10 albums released, Sol Rising has licensed music for brands such as Apple, Clarks Shoes and US Polo as well as a placement in Academy Award winning director Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film “Loro.” Sol Rising has been featured in major media outlets including The Washington Post and Yoga Journal, and has also been streamed over 10 million times on Spotify. Sol Rising has toured in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia at festivals such as Wanderlust, Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle.