LOUIE VEGA - Q n A

Thursday, 27 September 2012

As We Countdown To Groove Odyssey 3Rd Birthday Party Check This Interview From Our One Of Our Special Guest "LOUIE VEGA"



Q:
Was there much Latin music being played in the big clubs at the time you started DJing?

ANS: THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN LATIN RHYTHMS INTERTWINED INTO DANCE MUSIC. LOOK AT SALSOUL, ALL MUSIC FROM SALSOUL HAD THE LATIN RHYTHMS INFUSED WITHIN THE TRACKS. WHEN I DJ'D IT CARRIED ONTO MY SETS. ALTHOUGH I PLAYED ALL TYPES OF DANCE MUSIC, IT WAS ALWAYS THE LATIN RHYTHMS THAT GOT THE CROWD ON THE DANCE FLOOR SHAKIN!  

Q: Were you intimidated by being so young and playing at such well renowned clubs?

ANS: FOR SOME REASON WHEN I DJ'D I DIDN'T GET NERVOUS. FOR ME IT WAS MORE SPEAKING IN FRONT OF LARGE AUDIENCES, THEN I GOT OVER THAT. I WAS VERY YOUNG PLAYING AT ALL THE TOP CLUBS IN NYC FROM 84-90 BUT WHEN I STEPPED FOOT IN THE DJ BOOTH ALL THE NERVES WERE CALM, I WAS IN MY REALM WHERE I FELT MOST COMFORTABLE.

Q: Who was the best DJ you ever saw in your younger days on the NY club scene?

ANS: FOR ME THERE WAS NO BEST DJ, IT WAS ABOUT THE STYLE OF DJING THAT MADE THE DJ UNIQUE. THE WAY HE PLAYED THOSE RECORDS AND MADE THAT SYSTEM SOUND TAKING YOU ON THAT TRIP.  IN THOSE DAYS THERE WERE: LARRY LEVAN, TONY HUMPHRIES, BRUCE FOREST, JELLYBEAN BENITZ, KENNY CARPENTAR, LARRY PATERSON, TEE SCOTT, DJ RAUL, THESE ARE ONLY A FEW THAT I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THEM.  

Q: You’re playing with Kerri Chandler for the first time in London. How you feeling about that? When did you first become aware Kerri back in the day?

ANS: ITS GOING TO BE FUN TO PLAY THE SAME EVENT WITH KERRI CHANDLER. WE'VE ONLY PLAYED THE SAME ROOM ONCE BEFORE AND IT WAS A SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER EVENT YEARS AGO. THIS IS OUR FIRST IN LONDON, EVER. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT, FOR ME KERRI IS ONE OF OUR LEADERS IN UNDERGROUND DEEP MUSIC AND AS A DJ HE IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIMENTAL, ALWAYS TRYING NEW GADGETS AND  USING THE LIVE AT HIS GIGS. I FIRST BECAME AWARE OF KERRI WHEN HE DID THIS TRACK CALLED "GET IT OFF" BY GENERATIONS. THE TRACK WAS THE BIGGEST THING IN NY AND NJ. I'D HEARD HE PLAYED IN A CLUB IN NJ CALLED CLUB AMERICA, WHOM I ALSO HEARD JOHNNY DANGEROUS PLAYED AT. NEW JERSEY HAS A LOT OF HISTORY WITH UNDERGROUND DEEP HOUSE MUSIC AND KERRI IS ONE OF THE PIONEERS!!!

Q: What’s the most valuable record in your collection?

ANS: MY RECORD COLLECTION IS WHATS MOST VALUABLE. I THINK THERE WILL BE SOMEONE WHO WOULD WANT TO BUY THE RECORD COLLECTION OF LITTLE LOUIE VEGA (MASTERS AT WORK). I HAVE SO MUCH IN THERE I'D  HAVE TO LOOK. I DO HAVE A 12'' OF "WOMAN' BY BARRABAS WHICH IS KNOW IS WORTH SOMETHING DECENT.

Q: Did you put the musicians together for Elements of Life yourself? If so, where did you assemble them from?

ANS: I ASSEMBLED THE BAND ELEMENTS OF LIFE FROM MANY OF THE MUSICIANS I'VE RECORDED IN THE STUDIO OVER THE YEARS. WE HAVE A FAMILY AND TIGHT RELATIONSHIP, THEY REALLY UNDERSTAND MY LANGUAGE IN THE STUDIO OR ON STAGE. HERE IS A GLIMPSE OF THE PLAYERS:
GENE PEREZ (ELECTRIC BASS) - HAS BEEN WORKING WITH ME SINCE 1993 WHEN I RECORDED THE LIVE BASS ON "SOUFFLE" MONDO GROSSO (LOUIE VEGA REMIX). WE'VE BEEN FRIENDS EVER SINCE AND HAVE RECORDED HUNDREDS OF RECORDS TOGETHER.

LUISITO QUINTERO - (TIMBALES, CONGAS, PERCUSSION) MET HIM THRU INDIA IN THE LATE 90s. I USED HIM ON THE NUYORICAN SOUL PROJECT AND HE'S BEEN WITH ME SINCE. I'VE RECORDED TWO SOLO ALBUMS FOR HIM "PERCUSSION MADDNESS" AND PERCUSSION MADDNESS REVISITED" AND HE'S PLAYED ON ALL ELEMENTS OF LIFE ALBUMS.

JERARD SNELL - (DRUMMER) MET HIM THROUGH LUISITO QUINTERO, I NEEDED A DRUMMER FOR ELEMENTS OF LIFE TOUR AND QUINTERO BROUGHT HIM IN. HE HAD AN AMAZING FEEL FOR HOUSE AND R&B, WE NEEDED THAT BACKBONE TO LAY ALL ON. HE'S GOT A GREAT SPIRIT AS WELL AND ENERGY!

SELAN - (KEYBOARDS) MET HIM DURING THE NUYORICAN SOUL TIMES. HE STARTED TOURING WITH US AND ALSO DOING SESSIONS. HE LATER BECAME A PART OF ELEMENTS OF LIFE. VERY TALENTED AND SOULFUL!!!!

JUNITO DAVILA - (KEYBOARDS) HAS A WONDERFUL TOUCH ON THE KEYBOARDS, AND CAN WRITE MUSIC AS WELL FROM SCRATCH ON PAPER. HE WAS VERY HELPFUL WHEN I WAS ASKED TO COMPOSE A SONG FOR CIRQUE DE SOLEIL FOR THE SUPERBOWL IN 2007 WHICH I CO-WROTE WITH BLAZE AND ANANE SANG LEAD. WE HAD TO PUT ALL THIS MUSIC AND BEAT BY BEAT ON PAPER. JUNITO DID ALL AND IT WAS A HUGE SUCESS!!! WE HAD TO HAVE MUSIC WRITTEN (OF THE BEAT) FOR THE MARCHING BAND TO PLAY FROM AT THE STADIUM. JUNITO IS A SPECIAL TALENT!

AXEL TOSCA - OUR NEW KEYBOARD PLAYER. HE'S YOUNG, FROM CUBA, VERY WELL TRAINED AND SCHOOLED SINCE A CHILD IN MUSIC. HE'S PLAYED ON MANY PRODUCTIONS AND REMIXES IN THE PAST YEAR AND IS THE NEW MEMBER OF ELEMENTS OF LIFE. LUISITO QUINTERO INTRODUCED ME TO HIM AND KNEW HIM THREE YEARS ALREADY BEFORE BRINGING HIM TO ME. HE WAS WAITING TIL HE WAS READY TO BE BROUGHT TO MY SESSION. ONCE I HEARD HIM AND WE WORKED IT WAS A MATCH!!!


THOSE ARE A FEW OF THE EOL FAMILY. THESE MUSICIANS ARE ALL GEMS JUST AS OUR SINGERS ARE AS WELL. ANANE, JOSH MILAN, LISA FISCHER AND CINDY MIZELLE ARE ALL INCREDIBLY TALENTED AND BRING SOMETHING SPECIAL AND DIFFERENT TO THE ELEMENTS OF LIFE. ITS A MELTING POT OF SINGERS AND MUSICIANS COMING FROM: CAPE VERDE, VENEZUELA, AFRICA, CUBA, PUERTO RICO, BROOKLYN, AND SEVERAL OTHER PLACES.

Q: How important is it for you to still have that output for live music as well as electronic/digital stuff?

ANS: I'VE ALWAYS BEEN INTO BOTH ORGANIC AND ELECTRONIC SOUNDS. WHEN I PRODUCE I USE THEM DEPENDING ON THE ATIST, SONG AND PROJECT. WHAT DOES IT CALL FOR? WHAT DO I FEEL WHEN HEARING IT OR CREATING IT? WHERE AM I AT IN LIFE NOW? ITS ALL PART OF ME EXPRESSING MYSELF AND WITH THESE SOUNDS IT BRINGS THAT VISION TOGETHER SONICALLY. SO ITS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO HAVE VARIATION.

Q: How important is musical diversity in clubs? Is that something which you feel is lacking these days with DJs travelling to play shorter sets and less residencies?

ANS: WELL DJS' PLAYING SHORTER SETS YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT. THERE IS ONLY A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME THAT THE CROWD IS THERE, SO PROMOTERS WANT THE HEADLINERS TO PLAY AT THE RIGHT TIME. MY SETS ARE USUALLY 3-5 HOURS, SO I'M LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A NICE AMOUNT OF TIME TO TAKE THEM ON A TRIP. BUT IN SOME CASES THERE MAY ONLY BE TWO HOURS SO YOU HAVE TO ROCK THAT CROWD IN THOSE TWO HOURS. THEN THE NEXT THING IS WHAT TYPE OF CROWD IS IN THAT AUDIENCE. WHAT I DO IS I TAKE THEM ON THAT TRIP WITH MY MUSIC AND SOUNDS. I DON'T CHANGE MY SOUND AND PLAY WHAT I WOULD NOT PLAY TO PLEASE THAT AUDIENCE, I WILL PLEASE THEM WITH MY MUSIC AND HOPEFULLY CONVERT A FEW THAT HAVE NOT HAD THIS EXPERIENCE. MUSICAL DIVERSITY IS VERY IMPORTANT, WHEN I DJ I PLAY DIFFERENT STYLES OF HOUSE MUSIC, TAKING YOU ON A JOURNEY WITH THOSE SOUNDS WITHIN THE TIME I HAVE. ITS CHALLENGING WHEN ITS 2 HOURS BUT I DO LOVE LONG SETS!!!

Q: What other projects are you working on at the moment?

ANS: ELEMENTS OF LIFE: ECLIPSE EP NOV 2012 RELEASE
ELEMENTS OF LIFE: THE ECLIPSE JAN 2012 RELEASE
ROCK THE CRADLE   ANANE SINGLE    NOV 2012 RELEASE
VEGA & LUCIANO  SINGLE RELEASE
MASTERS AT WORK: MAW EP
ONE SINGLE A MONTH RELEASES ON VEGARECORDS.NET
(EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)
PEACE LOVE AND MUSICA ANANE NEW ALBUM (WORKING ON NOW)
INVOCATION BODDHI SATVA       ALBUM OUT NOW ON BBE LICENSED BY VEGA RECORDS
NGNARI KONON   OUMOU SANGARE    OCT 2012 RELEASE
LOVERY LOUIE VEGA REMIXES (OUT NOW) ON KING STREET
THINKING ABOUT YOUR BODY (LOUIE VEGA REMIXES) OUT NOW ON VR
LOUIE VEGA & BUCIE  NEW SONG CO-WRITTEN BY VEGA AND BUCIE
FABULOUS SARA DIVINE PRODUCED BY LOUIE VEGA