Hi how are you. The Jack The Box Project came about some 10 years ago when Bobby Starrr had the idea to do our own events in Berlin while that whole Minimal scene. We thought because at that time while NO ONE was really fuckin with House Music we could do something about it and that’s when it began and making records came shortly after that…
(Photograph by Marie Staggat)
Love your remix of Ricardo Baez’s – SA-2. Can you tell about how the remix came about, plus talk us through the production process involved in creating it?
Thank You very much for diggin my remix. Well, when I heard the track I thought immediately that my mix should be “Classic Sounding” because of Ricardo’s love for Chicago House and House in general. So I kinda put myself back in those times when life was rough and shit was fucked up, socially and economically but we had House Music in its purest moment, and that’s where my focus went..
You were present at the birth of House Music in Chicago. What for you were the key elements of the music, and why do you think they have stood the test of time?
Yes I was at the very beginning of House Music Culture and I am Grateful to have made my contribution to the culture, as well as admiring the fuck outta it. There are far too many factors that play into any one key element because it was always dimensional, so I can’t really say that this or that was actual key element of the music. If anything the key element should be that we were mostly black people trying to do something that nobody else was fuckin with and we pull it off with a freekin boom… And why it still has withstood the test of time, because out an oppressed society something creative can happen and revolutionize the planet, so we were all hungry and thirsty to make our mark on the world, by making some of the hottest shit to play in Chicago. Then the rest of the world caught on in a roundabout way..
What are your memories of working with the seminal DJ International label? And how would you compare the process of making music back them with today?
At DJ International I had great times and bad times, just to keep it 100. But that experience I would not change it for nothing, because I got the opportunity of a lifetime to witness the music business up close and how it REALLY works. I’ve met so many talented engineers, producers, singers, and of course MC’s. The difference in recording music today then yesteryear, it’s much easier because it’s all laid out for you in your DAW system.
What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?
My favorite instruments are: Drums, Bass, Woodwinds, and Sax… And no I don’t those instruments anymore, those were my High School Days..
How would you contrast life in Berlin with Chicago? And why the move?
There’s a lotta difference in contrast between the cities, but my move to Berlin was about being where my job was, sorta speak. Meaning, I was playing more in Europe then in America so it just made sense to me to just move. There are other more personal reason that I will not disclose at this time, and fuck no i was not running away from any persecution of any kind…
From your perspective I was wondering how much of an influence European Dance music (and other forms) had on the Chicago scene in the early days of House? Or was Disco the most significant factor? And who for you were the most important DJ’s from that time?
I put it to you like this, if you lived on the Southside and in a certain areas of the Southside then disco would be your influence. If you lived in the Suburbs then more than likely Italo Disco was probably your influence. If you lived on the Westside then more than likely you like everything, because of the tricks you could do with two copies. If you lived on the Northside then you were probably influenced more by Italo Disco. Chicago was one of the most segregated cities in America at one time, so here’s a taste of that division of people that created that sound called Chicago House.
And finally. Can you tell us about what you are working on at the moment plus your forthcoming plans for the future?
At the moment I’m about to release my seventh release on my label Chicago Vinyl Records. It’s a Hip House song I did with my friend Pure G.O.D. and it’s called “Back Home”. After that I have song that Adonis and have collaborated on from back in 86, and a song just finished as of July 9 2017 with Harry Dennis. Also I will be releasing my greatest hits album volume 1 with a couple of new tracks on there as well. So I’m just staying on hustle and taking care of my family, that’s it….