Interview

Rachid Chellak

‘The youth is our future,’ says Rachid Chellak from SoulSupply. ‘So why don’t we help them put their ideas into action?’ Rachid is working on a solution for this. He came up with a plan to guide young creatives of all kinds in the right direction, taking up his role as a shepherd. Experienced as a musician himself, he believes is this key ingredient to nurturing artists in the making. By 2019, young creatives in Antwerp should be able to create without boundaries in a community, a creative hub where they have access to all equipment and assistance they need. There’s something for everybody in Rachid’s little world, it has the power to become something beautiful.

Interview by Laura-Andréa Callewaert
Photo shot by Joey Heriman

First things first. What is SoulSupply exactly?

We’re a collective, a project under Skillzlab; our non-profit association and mothership. Like every great story it started with a group of friends, consisting of all sorts of young creatives like DJ’s, producers, graphic designers, serigraphers, photographers, video editors and so on. We organise a lot events, so our DJ’s can work on their skills and we can fund the rest of our ideas. Our monthly event is called Suave; we also have Steez, which is an annual festival bringing all our talents together; and then there’s Soulclap, a monthly funky concept on Thursdays with local hip-hop and neosoul bands.

How to get from A to B when you have a great concept in mind but don’t have the know how?

I see myself as the father of this project. We’ve been growing a lot lately, the list of collaborating people keeps on adding up and I’m really excited about it. The main goal is to make young people discover their qualities, professionalise them and help them in their process. How to get from A to B when you have a great concept in mind but don’t have the know how? We guide them through this struggle and reach out solutions. We want to support everything that goes from a creative process to entrepreneurship and in the meantime connect all these creatives in a community where everybody can help one another. But we have way more going on at Skillzlab; there are also initiatives like VetGedrukt, a silk-screen project, and Studio TikNik, a graphic design studio.

What are your plans for the future?

The future is looking very bright for SoulSupply. We are now planning a creative hub in Antwerp, a place that’s always open for young creatives where they can get professional assistance and all the equipment they need 24/7. There are studio spaces to record, DJ equipment, a screenprint studio, editing rooms and way more. Sounds good, no? I would like to work with some form of co-ownership to enforce our community. For example, if we need extra equipment, we would all have to DJ or organise parties together to get the money, which will be very satisfying afterwards and enforce that community spirit. In Belgium, it’s very hard for beginners to get started: there are almost no cheap studio spaces or equipment rent services, which is a big barrier for young people. That’s why I decided to start this initiative; creatives need to be able to create without barriers.

Creatives need to be able to create without barriers

Are you happy with what you’ve achieved until now?

I’m very proud of the fact that I started all of this myself without any financial help. I never received any funds or anything; I invested all of my own money into this because I’m 100% confident about this concept. In a couple of months I will be obligated to ask for funds, otherwise it would be impossible to obtain my main goal. But I only wanted to do that after I could present a plan that is solid. The true feeling of satisfaction will present itself when I’ve accomplished everything I wanted, but I’ll never stop pushing forward.

 

Soulclap Thursdays at DE Studio, Antwerp
29 November and 20 December
free for all

www.destudio.com

www.facebook.com/soulsupplyantwerp
www.facebook.com/suaveantwerp
www.facebook.com/steezfestival