Getting to Know… Groove Junkies
f: What came first for you, DJing or making music?
Groove Junkies: DJ’ing. I started back in 1979. I didn’t really get into producing until the early 90’s.
f: Were you trained as a musician?
Groove Junkies: No. I can bang out rough ideas on the keyboard, program drums, write and arrange, but I usually bring in ‘real’ musicians to put the finishing touches on my productions and to take things to the next level.
f: What was the first dance record you bought ?
Groove Junkies: El Coco – ‘Let’s Get It Together.’
f: How would you describe your sound?
Groove Junkies: A hybrid form of House which incorporates elements of deep, afro, Latin & jazz and a healthy dose of soul.
f: What was your first single release?
Groove Junkies: Groove Junkies featuring Ajani ‘Everybody Needs To Be Loved’ in 1997 on Virgin Underground.
f: What was your breakthrough record?
Groove Junkies: I’d have to say ‘Inside My Soul.’ It was the first release on our label MoreHouse Records in 2002 from yours truly and it featured Solomon Henderson on vocals.
f: What’s your current production or remix?
Groove Junkies: I’m working on a very cool cover of the Ashford & Simpson classic ‘It Seems To Hang On’ with my boys Reelsoul & David Harness. It features the talented Tertulien Thomas & Mijan on vocals. I also have a fairly new remix out on Richard Earnshaw’s imprint One51 called ‘Si Weka’ which is getting a lot of play.
f: You produce a variation of sounds from Disco, Soulful & Deep House and Latin, who are your influences and what do you get the most joy out of producing?
Groove Junkies: I get inspiration from lots of producers and artists, but if I had to name a few they would be Quincy Jones, Gamble & Huff, Stevie Wonder, Jam & Lewis & Louie Vega. I love all styles so I really don’t have a favourite, but at the end of the day it has to have soul!
f: Your co-own MoreHouse Records with your wife Solara, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, congratulations! Which are the 3 most precious label releases for you over the years and why?
Groove Junkies: There are many, but if I had to narrow it down to three they would be ‘Inside My Soul’ feat. Solomon Henederson because it was the first. ‘Sunshine’ feat. Solara because it was a tribute to her dad who had passed away shortly before we wrote it and DJ Meme’s remix of ‘Dr Feelgood’ feat. Diane Carter. His mix of that song always puts a smile on my face.
f: You’ve worked with a lot of singers and collaborators over the years, aside of Solara who appears on many Groove Junkies singles, who else is involved in the MoreHouse family?
Groove Junkies: I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best in the biz. On the singers’ side of the fence and in no particular order – Lisa Shaw, Joi Cardwell, Indeya, Diane Carter, TC Moses, Nichelle Monroe, MissFly, Carolyn Harding, Alexander Sky, Mijan and Tertulien Thomas. As for producers – I’ve collaborated with the likes of Reelsoul, Richard Earnshaw, Brian Tappert, DJ Spen, Opolopo, DJ Meme, Michele Chiavarini, David Harness and Deep Soul Syndicate to name a few.
f: You’re also releasing a massive 2 part compilation to celebrate the label’s anniversary. Tell us about that and what we can we expect to hear?
Groove Junkies: ’20 Years Of MoreHouse Records’ Vol 1 & 2 features over 55+ tracks in all and showcases some of our finest musical moments. Volume 1 focuses on the first 10 years (2002 – 2012) and features remastered classics from the MoHo vault. Volume 2 spotlights the last 10 years (2013 – 2023) and includes fan favourites, chart-topping hits, along with previously unreleased remixes and a new single. The compilations are in DJ friendly, un-mixed formats and also include continuous mixes from Richard Earnshaw and Reelsoul. A little something for everyone!
f: You’re based in Los Angeles, how is the House music scene over there at the moment?
Groove Junkies: Lots of big name brands call LA their home. There are tons of festivals and the venues are packed. There’s still plenty of smaller, more intimate venues and parties as well. I’d say the scene is doing quite well.
f: You’ve seen the music scene change a lot over the years since you first started out, looking back what precious advice would you give to yourself?
Groove Junkies: I’ve been pretty good at recognizing who my true friends are, but I may be a little too trusting at times and tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. If I could give my younger self some advice it would be to stay away from shady people who don’t have your best interests at heart.
f: What do you do to chill out?
Groove Junkies: I enjoy listening to all genres of music and love watching movies (particularly the classics).
f: What else are you working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Groove Junkies: My better half Solara and I are working on a long overdue follow up to her last big tune ‘I Am.’ The song is called ‘Shine’ and it’s gonna be worth the wait. 😉 Stay tuned…
‘20 Years of MoreHouse Records’ Vol 1 is out now on Traxsource promo.
‘20 Years of MoreHouse Records’ Vol 2 will be available on Traxsource exclusive promo March 24th 2023.
Full release: ‘20 Years of MoreHouse Records’ Volumes 1 & 2 will be available on all platforms April 10th 2023.