Lime interview - Clubs & Nightlife
Lime Caught up with DJ Spinna to talk to him about his inspirations, his motivations and the Scottish Soulful Weekender.
Is this your first time at SSW3 and what's have your heard about the Weekender?
This is my first time actually but I've only heard that it's a great.
What kind of a set will you be playing and do you have any secret weapons you can share with us?
I never reveal my sets, but let's just say I've been busy working on new music. I will be up to my usual no good self!
Is there anyone you are looking forward to catching at SSW3 and why?
I definitely want to see Jocelyn Brown, I haven't watched her perform in years and she's always stellar. I also always enjoy Martin Atjazz's sets as well as Motor City playing vinyl. Oliver Cheatham would be great to check out too, he's a soul legend.
How does playing in Scotland compare to other countries? and is this the first time that you have played Scotland?
I have played Scotland quite a few times but it's definitely been ages. My good old friend Stevie Sole from Tronicsole Records used to bring me out in my years of venturing to the UK and I noticed the more north in you go, the deeper it gets. I've had really good memorable experiences in Glasgow as a DJ and as a party goer. People go crazy for good music.
How does it feel to have been working at the top of your game for so many years now?
It's a blessing. That's all I can really say. I feel like my job is far from done though. I have so much music in me.
Do you think House is having a renaissance right now and that the music is so strong it's never really gone away?
In some ways yes. It's festivals like this one, Southport and ADE that definitely help to keep things alive.If you had to judge from the industry side you would think differently, but then again the whole music industry is suffering, not just dance music. Technology hampered it to the point of no return. Luckily there's a younger generation embracing the music from South Africa to England, and that also helps. That's the only way it will survive. Otherwise it will get old with the people that it birthed.
And how do you manage to keep it fresh, new and I guess, vital. Is it a case of pressure as a legendary DJ/Producer to always be one step ahead in the house scene?
I concentrate on sound. I think my vibe has always been ahead of itself. Embracing old ideas with new sounds, keeping things edgy. I don't feel much pressure because I'm in my own little world in my head anyway, lol :-)
Recording & Producing must keep you busy. Do you have your own label and is there anyone or track that you’re particularly proud of any and are you psyched about any new stuff upcoming?
My label is Wonderwax Music. I have about 13 releases so far. My most proud accomplishment was the Ovasoul 7 track "You Should Be Loving Me." That track was 6 years in the making as the original session was lost. I originally recorded it in London with Mark De-Clive Lowe, Kaidi Tatham, Finn Peters on flute and a percussionist who's name escapes me at the moment. The original session was lost due to the engineer's errors. The demo got leaked and I ended up having to piece it back together over a 4 year period. It was released finally released in 2009 with a Dennis Ferrer remix and shot to Number One on Traxsource really quickly. It was a rewarding moment for me after all the drama.
As for new stuff, I'm working on a new full length house album at the moment. It's long overdue and I'm very excited about that.
What do you see as your greatest musical career highlights so far? Do you have an unforgettable memory during your musical career?
After a decade plus of doing Stevie Wonder tribute parties called 'Wonder-FULL' I was invited to spend a few days with Stevie in Los Angeles last summer. I ended up in his recording studio and at one point I found myself having a conversation with him on his living room couch. It wasn't my first encounter with him but it was the best interaction and definitely the craziest thing that ever happened to me in my entire life! Things came full circle for me. He showed me gratitude for celebrating his body of work.
What was your first break in music and first big record? Did it set you on your path?
My first big break in the music industry came fresh out of college. I cut a record called 'Everybody Bounce' under my old DJ crew name Rude Rydims Experiment in 1994. It became a huge party anthem. The label that released it, Freeze, was actually run by Todd Terry, and from that point on I have been non stop.
How and when were you first infected by dance music? What was the first record you ever brought? Or earliest musical memory that springs to mind.?
I grew up in the disco era, and had loads of early disco hits in my home as a kid. Salsoul releases, records by Crown Heights Affair, Patrick Adams, El Coco, Chic etc. Dance music was always there. As soon as house music made it's way to the New York clubs and radio I was in the record stores going crazy. We're talking 1986 when it was fresh. I went to the Paradise Garage the year that it closed it's doors. That was enough to keep that bug in my body forever.
Who is the most inspirational and influential person in your life and why?
Stevie Wonder is my biggest hero. His music speaks for itself but on the humanistic side he makes you realise how important unbiased universal love is. Being a blind person having never seen anything before.. all that he feels externally and internally is what he sees. He can grab your arm and read you, you can be silent in a room and he knows where you're standing. He's an amazing human being. His work ethic is insane. We may not hear anything from him for years but he's always in the studio recording. He makes me feel lazy!
So after over twenty years, what does the future hold for you?
Only god knows that answer, lol. But if it's up to me, releasing great music, more gigs, and hopefully the opportunity to work with some more legends.
And before you leave us, can you tell us something you think we should all be listening to before we head out the door to SSW3?
Let's take it back to the old school and pull out that Fingers Inc. 'Another Side' album", Now that's foundation house!
DJ Spinna headlines both SSW3's The Blue Room and Pressure Point on November 1st-3rd alongside DJ Pierre, Motor City Drum Ensemble, LTJ Xperience, Bob Jeffries and more at The Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries, Scotland. The legendaryJocelyn Brown and Oliver Cheatham are Live and International DJ headliners Fish Go Deep, Nicky Siano, Atjazz, Lovebirds, Groove Assassin, Luke Howard - Horse Meat Disco, Soul Sam, Amir and over 40 DJ’s and Artists.
Check out www.scottishsoulfulweekender.com
interview with vocal duo Hanlei
BuyMyWardrobe to fill yours
Soul Singer SEL and Fugi Rock