DeeperSoul Blog - Deep & Soulful House Music

Non-commercial and independent music blog. Strictly 4 the love of House...

Thursday, July 21

DeeperSoul Interview - DJ SPEN

Vinil!
--- DJ SPEN ---
.....Interview

....DeeperSoul


"I think deep soulful house is like jazz to a certain extent. It’s underground and more of specialty music"
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PART I
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Could you tell us how you got into Djing / producing and about your early career?
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I have been DJ’ing since I was about 13 years old. I was heavily influenced by my parents’ gospel music and my older brothers’ rock and soul music. From age 13, I was DJ’ing at a local radio station doing “master mixes” for them. I started a local hip-hop group called Numarx and at that time I began to produce and write songs and started becoming very interested in studio equipment. During that time, some of us from the Nurmax wrote the hit record “Girl You Know it’s True”.

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What’s your music background?
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My music background is wide – of course, my family and early roots are in gospel. My career began with hip-hop and I eventually got into dance music which was an easy transition as I always loved disco music and the early dance music was very soulful and was an extension of disco and even some funk. I’ve dabbled in playing the piano a bit and even took classes but I never really got serious. I like Dj’ing too much.
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Quincy Jones is probably the biggest influence. Others are Gamble & Huff, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Funk Brothers, Jazzy Jeff, Marley Marl, and the list goes on…
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You were at Basement Boys, then you formed the Jasper Street Company and then, last year, you created your own label – Code Red. Is there a different concept / target behind your label?
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The target of Code Red is younger than anything I’ve done in the past. What you’ll hear from Code Red is a lot of hard, tough rhythms but always with the soulful element. My attempt is really to do a lot of experimental of genres and see what comes out.
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The number of files illegally shared on the Internet don’t stop to grow. As a producer, how is this affecting you? And as a DJ? What could be the solution?
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At this point, I don’t see a solution. File sharing is ridiculously easy. It affects me because it takes money out of my pocket from the people who used to buy the records and CD’s. Until there is some type of Internet regulation that can minimize this, it will continue to be a serious problem. What I do it try to make the best records possible that can transcend past Internet sales – which is what we are trying to do with Code Red…more of a mass marketing operation rather than an underground situation.
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What do you think of the deep/soulful house scene at the moment and how do you think it will be in the future?
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I think deep soulful house is like jazz to a certain extent. It’s underground and more of specialty music. The problem is that music changes constantly so I really believe that eventually the soulful sound will come back strong – the question is when! Needless to say, I love underground house music and will continue to do those records as well.
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Nowadays, we see Electro and 80’s sound influencing many House productions. Do you think that, in order to move on in house music, producers have to always look back?
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I think that it’s good to know the history of the music. I have said before that there’s nothing new under the sun…just like the disco sound came back in the mid to late 90’s, so it seems the electro 80’s sound has come back today.
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PART II
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Wich producing equipment are you using? Do you use software only?
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No I do not use software only. I am a little old-school when it comes to using keyboards and sound modules in case of software problems. Nuendo 3 is what we use as our main program, accompanied by some various secondary programs.
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What is your own favourite track, the one that you are most proud of?
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It’s hard to decide between “Another Day” and “Til I Found You”. I was going through a lot at the time I wrote those songs and really poured my heart into writing the lyrics and arranging the musical accompaniment.
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What records are you currently spinning every time you play?
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Kerri Chandler “Barathym”. The Harness & Spencer remix of Fantasia. “ Arabian Nightmare”, “The Way You Love Me”, “For the Love”, DJ Gregory :Head Talking”, and DJ Technic “Gabryelle”.
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I have notice that you are a voice talent too, is that true? Tell us, tell us everything!
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No – whoever told you that is lying! ;-) Yes I dabble a little but nothing that I would call serious.
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What can we expect to hear more from you in the future?
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We have a Code Red EP on Defected coming out which will include “For the Love” remixes and a new track by KW Griff produced by Thommy Davis and myself called “Arabian Nightmare”, a lot of remixes also will be coming out at the end of the year. Also a Vonita White (formerly of JSC) album – at some point in the near future.
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You are a much respected producer / dj with a career span of more than 20 years, do you have any advice for those who are starting?
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Just do what’s in your heart to the best of your ability and work hard at it. Eventuall you will see results.
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