Keeping it fresh
ONE half of the legendary Masters At Work, Little Louie Vega answers a few questions before the Groove Odyssey LP Launch
House don ... One half of Masters At Work and legendary producer, Little Louie Vega
LUIS Fernando Vega better known as "Little" Louie Vega, is an American musician of Puerto Rican ancestry and has been DJ-ing since the age of 13. He is one half of the Masters At Work musical production team.
By 1985, Louie who is cousin to Eric Vega, popular event creator and promoter in New York City began playing house and block parties in his local Bronx neighborhood of New York, as well as engineering and mixing (Erasure's The Two Ring Circus features his earliest dabblings in the studio.)
His first nightclub residency was at the Devil's Nest, in the Bronx, and later he moved to Roseland, Studio 54 and the Palladium in Manhattan. During the 1990s, Vega was playing at one of the most influential nightclubs for house music, The Sound Factory Bar. By the mid 1990s, the Masters At Work team had Vega spending less time behind the turntables and more time in the studio as part of the team's remixers.
We caught up with him for a quick chat ahead of the Groove Odyssey album launch at Ministry Of Sound ...
Q: What can party people expect from your set, styles and sounds at the Groove Odyssey LP Launch ?
ANS: People can expect some hot music! after Miami - I will have so much to play and it's perfect timing when I come to london.
I will also be playing a few of the songs from the Groove Odyssey Sessions Vol 1 album and new music coming from labels that are releasing lots of consistently good quality music!
Of course I tend to go through some of the great eras of our music too, but it will be a fun and spontaneous set.
Q: Do you have any secret weapons you can share with us?
ANS: I recorded a lovely song "Angels" with Bucie, written by yours truly and Josh Milan, which will be released on Vega records this month.
Another great tune is "You Came Into My Life" by Elements Of Life featuring Anane, which is a super dope cover of the Roy Ayers classic. Anane hit it right on the head with her interpretation and people will be surprised by this recording.
I also have a new track called "Respect Is You", a collaboration with Uhuru, these young fiya producers from South Africa. I went in the studio in December while on tour with Elements Of Life, Josh Milan and Anane and with Uhuru we cut about 8 tracks and this is one of them.
There also gonna be some amazing Masters At Work Remixes of "Children Of The World", which is my first Elements Of Life single this year. Plus some exclusive Masters At Work tracks which I will play at the Groove Odyssey party but I'm not giving any names!
Q: Can you tell us about the track 'Fabulous' which is a new Exclusive produced by yourself and starring Sarah Divine on the Groove Odyssey LP
ANS: I wrote this track a while back and never had anyone specific in mind to write something to go on it.
Speaking with Sara, she said she'd love to write to it, and she came with this amazing song called "Fabulous".
Sara is a gem, and she writes these really special songs that can last forever and she has a beautiful sound. We've been working together for many years and every year I have to do one Sara Divine song.
When Mikey and Bobby Zoo called me about collaborating with some artists they had in mind, I was in my studio and said wait a minute, I have this great song with Sara, and all I needed to do was mix it.
I know Sara has always been a favourite of the Groove Odyssey family so it was the perfect fit. Sara Divine, Louie Vega and Groove Odyssey.
Groove Odyssey Sessions Vol 1 - Mixed by Groove Assassin
Q: How does playing in London, especially at the Groove Odyssey Sessions Album Launch party at Ministry Of Sound, compare to other cities or countries, and do you count London as one of your favourite spots?
ANS: London is a wonderful place, and I've been coming out to London town since 1989 and I've always come back.
It feels like a second home and I have so many good friends there. It's never a boring city and there is always something interesting you can do at any time of the day or night!
Groove Odyssey I've been with for many years and Mike, and Bobby and before that I've worked with Bobby and the crew on their other events and parties such as Garage City etc.
Since I have a history with London, I have a huge musical library I can go through when I play music, so its always a journey and we all have fun with together. I mean my sets usually finish at 7am or even 8am! And yes it is for sure, one of my favourite spots!!!
Q: How do you manage to keep it fresh, new and vital? Is it a case of pressure as DJ/Producer to always be one step ahead in the house/techno scene?
ANS: Keeping it fresh! Yes, I make music that comes from the heart and you can feel it.
I like good music, so it doesn't have to be from just one genre, if I hear it, I like it, I play it and you feel it - thats the way it works with me. Inspiration for me comes from my travels, being with my family, my wife and son, listening to other musicians, dh's, singers, my vast record collection, collaborating with other producers, musicians, singers, songwriters.
An example is my new Elements Of Life 'Eclipse' album, which I've worked on for 4 and a half years. I had a vision but working with so many talents the album went through its changes and formed this beautiful sculpture, that we all keep chipping at.
I always try checking out other dh's and clubs as well when I can, and collect lots of music. If I feel it, you will feel it when I play it!
Q: What was your first break? where and when??
My first break was when hip hop pioneer Jazzy Jay recognised my talent in 1981-1982.
Q: Finish the sentence. A good set starts with....?
ANS: A good set starts with a great crowd in front of you, who knows who is playing and what they're about. Then you need good sound in the booth and on floor. The lights for the atmosphere, a great lighting jay!!
I have those elements and I will take it there. You can't say what song you will play because there is always another DJ before you, so let's say a good set starts with a good opening DJ! That's it.
Q: And ends with...?
It ends with a song or track for everyone to go home with a smile on their face!
Q: And what track should we be listening to as we heard out the door to Groove Odyssey?
ANS: Louie Vega and Sara Divine's track "Fabulous"! Sure to set you up for the great evening ahead :-)
Louie Vega headlines the Groove Odyssey Sessions Vol 1 Album Launch party on Easter Sunday March 31st at the Ministry of Sound, alongside Barbara Tucker, Groove Assassin, Joey Negro, CJ Mackintosh, Bobby & Steve, House FM, and many more. All info on www.grooveodysssey.com or Facebook.com/grooveodyssey