Since 2009, Groove Odyssey’s contribution to the soulful house scene has been unparalleled.
Inspired by the soulful and uplifting sound coming out of the Paradise Garage nights in New York in the 80s, Groove Odyssey was founded by DJ & promotion duo Bobby & Steve and fellow promoter Michael Hughes in 2009.
Since then, their parties have featured names such as Louie Vega, Kerri Chandler, Dimitri from Paris, Joe Claussell, David Morales and Masters at Work, to name but a few, as they continue to curate some of the best musical showcases around.
During the past eight years, the brand has grown to encompass its own record label, merchandise and weekend festival in Ibiza.
Ahead of Groove Odyssey’s eighth birthday party at Ministry of Sound on 11 November, we caught up with Bobby & Steve to find out more about GO’s infamous parties.
Bobby & Steve, how have you been?
We are very well and enjoying this beautiful life we’ve been given.
You have been running Groove Odyssey for a massive 8 years now – congratulations! What gave you the idea behind the brand, when was it born and where, what inspired or influenced it initially?
Groove Odyssey was born with us joining forces with Michael Hughes, with the total focus and vision to bring our soulful house sound back to the bigger venues, with the biggest, best and up and coming djs & artistes from around the world.
In one sentence can you tell us what Groove Odyssey stands for?
Groove Odyssey stands for a musical journey and beyond; it’s a family of love, where entertainment comes first.
For me, one thing that really sets the Groove Odyssey parties out from the rest is their inclusivity – they really are for people of all ages, backgrounds, races, and it’s something that definitely stands out at the events – was this intentional?
It definitely wasn’t intentional; we’ve been promoting since 1984 and have always had an open door policy, with no discrimination. We welcome all who want to experience the real vibe, we always look after our crowd and organically make them feel part of our family, because once they feel it, they always come back.
You’ve had artists such as Masters At Work, Kerri chandler, Jocelyn Brown, Joe Claussell, Tony Humphies, Terry Hunter and Barbara Tucker all perform on the Groove Odyssey stage. Is there anyone who has not yet played at an event that you’d like to get down?
Throughout the years we have had all the top players from our genre grace our stage. Artists we’d like to get down include the likes of Areatha Franlin and Chaka Khan, etc., but there are some great new DJs that we’re also looking forward to adding to our line-up – don’t want to mention any names as we would like it to be a surprise when we reach out to them – 😉
So last May saw Groove Odyssey take the white isle by storm with GO Ibiza – the first ever Ibiza weekender. Whose idea was it to set it up?
We were all instrumental in GO Ibiza, the plan had been on the table since 2015.
And what was your highlight of the weekend?
Every single day was a highlight; it was truly an amazing experience.
As well as Ibiza, you’ve recently hosted events in Italy and Amsterdam – where’s next?
We fly out to Venice, Italy straight after the Ministry gig on Sunday 12th November, then Madrid on Friday November 17th and an Australian/Asia tour in January, with some more great plans for 2018 that are still to be announced.
What are the key ingredients to get a party right in your experience? What is most important when you are planning an event?
The key factors are: the venue, getting the right date, the line-up, and having a great sound system.
And what do you think are the biggest problems that promoters face today?
There are so many events out there, the competition is high, so getting a good venue, and a good crowd and keeping the crowd is key.
What are you most proud of having been a part of Groove Odyssey for the past 8 years?
Watching it grow and grow without any compromise and the success of GO Ibiza and Groove Odyssey hosting the main stage at this year’s 51st State Festival.
And do you feel like you’ve accomplished something important in the London music scene?
Most definitely, there’s a lot of entertainment choice in this great city of ours, so it’s great to be a top choice. We’ve flown the flag for soulful house since 1987 after returning from a trip to New York and visiting the Paradise Garage and hearing the late Larry Levan play – and we have kept it moving in London ever since.
Finally, after the 8th birthday party, what’s up next for Groove Odyssey?
We’ve got major plans for Groove Odyssey in 2018, including tours, more artist albums for the label and pushing the brand to another level.