Q n A with Louie Vega

Monday, 14 April 2014

London's undisputed biggest soulful house night Groove Odyssey catches up with House legend Louie Vega who is a firm favourite with london clubbers. "

Q: We have supported your sound for many years, what do you think the future holds for GO and Soulful House scene as the trend swings back towards house?

Ans: I think there are good things in the future for Groove Odyssey, now is the time to spread your wings. you should have a room in festivals (re: southport, croatia, etc), you should be in ibiza as well, the sound is in everyone's ears now and you are leaders from the uk with the deep sound. its gone beyond the underground house crowd we all know, which is fine but now there are also new kids that are curious and want more of the deep sound. lets gooooo!!!

Q: As we said london has always held you dear in their hearts, and how do you think the scene in london has evolved?

Ans: I really appreciate those words, because london has always been in my heart, as it is the first place i went to on this side of the waters and the first crowd that embraced my sound and my style of djing. i'm glad london is coming back around to the deep sound, with groups like Disclosure writing their songs with tracks that have elements of all our sounds is really a good thing. there was also Mk who had a #1 hit and he comes from the same world. and there are more and more new artists and djs that are inspired by it all, so there is lots out and coming and its become fresh now! london has always been ahead of the curb with music, but now more than ever, since the 90s, the deep sound is back on charts and the kids want to know where this music came from, you will see various documentaries from icons in the dance music industry and knowledge/education/knowing the roots is important for the generation today. look out for docs from lil louis, maw anthology, nicky siano, hedi's back in the house, and more....

Q: One of the original NYC pioneers of dance music with your partner, K Dope, and what do you think is the appeal of your sound and your dj sets over the past 20 years ?

Ans: The appeal of my sound. i'd say most of all when i play music you can tell i'm giving you a piece of my soul, i really transcend emotions through my djing and i connect with the crowd, we become one and even the people in the booth connect in the same way. my sound is really just what i like. you can't really say i'm a latin sound, or a soul sound, or a gospel house sound, or a classic sound, or a techy sound, i play what i'm feeling at that time and it can pretty much go anywhere in time. music from today or yesterday, it's much deeper than just playing music. when you are with me in a room and i'm djing it's an experience. lots of times people go through many emotions while i'm djing from crying to smiling to singing out loud, i've had many people say i've saved their life, seriously speaking.

Q: How do you keep the mix experience and studio fresh and vital ?

Ans: I keep the mix experience fresh by trying new gadgets and things. my mixing style is always the same as in blending records, cutting them, but what i do with them keeps it fresh. i have isolators which allows me to speak to the audience and create dynamic effects that really bring out reaction in people on the dancefloor. there is also the rmx 1000 pioneer which is a wonderful new toy i use as well.

As far as the studio i'm always getting a new keyboard or plug-in or new piece of gear which excites me and brings out new vibes in my keyboard playing. i can write an entire new song and come up with tracks just by hearing a new keyboard sound or plug in.
i get inspired in many ways so its never ending for me. but its all based on passion, i have a super strong passion for this music so it keeps me going like a mojo or power source.

Q: You are playing at Groove Odyssey alongside the legendary Josh Milan, who works with you on your elements of life project and can you tell us how that came about in the beginning?

Ans: Josh Milan is a very close friend, a brother to me. i've known him and kevin hedge for many years. we started working on elements of life in 1999 when we first created the original song "elements of life". it was blaze and i in the studio, i had a track and they had these amazing lyrics that fit perfect with the track i had. but the track was different than other music i had created before. it had more a jazz, world, house, african, latin, soul feel all combined. this opened a whole new door and sound for us. once blaze was aboard i was just at the start of my relationship with anane, and once i heard she could sing and write we went in the studio and to my surprise she wrote in her native tongue which is cape verdian. from there it grew and the elements of life family was born. since nuyorican soul my dream was to have a full band, i didn't expect to be on stage conducting it til my musicians asked me to be on stage. elements of life orchestra rhythm section is made up of many musicians i've worked with in the studio over the years. eol are: josh milan, anane vega, luisito quintero (percussion), gene perez (bass), jerard snell (drums), axel tosca (keyboards), selan (keyboards on occasions), sherrod barnes (guitar). we are a family and and have grown with more amazing talent that join us on occasional shows: cindy mizelle, lisa fischer, ursula rucker, oveous maximus. here we are 10 years this year since the release of elements of life the original album.

Q: Your new EOL album is out and what tracks you are releasing off the album?

Ans: My new elements of life album is entitled eclipse. we are now preparing 5 eps to be released throughout this year. each ep will focus on the artists: anane, josh milan, lisa fischer, cindy mizelle, elements of life band. the first releases are:

Anane eol eclipse ep remixes

Sodade & you came into my life with remixes by djeff, josh milan, ralf gum, sean mccabe, boddhi satva, & louie vega

I will be playing some of the remixes at Groove Odyssey on april 20.  The rest of eps to follow with an array of all star remixers.

Q: You must have been a blaze productions fan, what's your favourite Blaze tracks.

Ans: My favorite Blaze track? i have too man.
I will name a few:

* Found love
* Lovely one
* How deep is your love
* If you should need a friend

I can go on and on!!!

Q: something of a workaholic, what's coming out from you soon and what are you working ow with on now? the return of maw productions?

Ans: it's more passion why i make music. working on a new album now just about done.

Louie vega album

*Duane harden


*Byron stingly


*Jesse jackson

*Axel tosca

and more..... will be out in july

Q: On the back of Miami's wmc, you will be playing some hot new music at the go party and can you tell us what your 3 hot tips or tunes are from the conference and who's got the power production wise for you right now?

Ans: Here are three i will definitely play:

"ain't no stoppin' love"
louie vega starring byron stingley

"just like love" (louie vega remix)
josh milan & chieko

"sample your soul"
nick monaco

Power production, you will hear them on night of!!!! Vega records, Nick monaco, Nulu, Soul clap, Tribe, Dope wax, Sole channel, Spen, Karizma, Todd, Harry choo choo, Oscar p and co., Manoo, Black coffee, Black motion, Uhuru, Honeycomb music, Spiritual life, Mahogany, Groove Odyssey and more... !!! lets gooooooo

Q: Groove Odyssey is London's undisputed biggest Soulful House night, and have been attracting large numbers Venues such as Ministry Of Sound, Pacha, Great Suffolk street Warehouse & Proud2 @ the 02 do you think it’s important that soulful house is heard at the Ministry?

Ans: Yes Groove Odyssey is, its wonderful that you can throw events at venues as large as Ministry of Sound. its important our music is heard for the masses and most importantly heard on a sound as massive as MOS'.

Q: With the news of the legendary Frankie Knuckles passing, can we ask how and when you met frankie and do you have a favourite story regarding spinning/ meeting him?

Ans: I met Frankie in the late 80s at a club called the world, that's the first time we shook hands and were introduced. it went right into a hug, he's just that type of person. very genuine, down to earth, humble, i mean he was very special. you don't get any more real than fk, as well a super talented dj, producer, artist, he taught us all and will still be teaching forever. he is the blue print of a true DJ who stood true to himself and his music.

My favorite story, hmmm there are many, but here's one. for David Morales birthday we all played together in Myconos at Cavo Paradiso. at one point the three of us were all in the dj booth each working a piece of equipment, i felt there like i'd done it all, just to be next to his presence in a dj booth working together was huge for me, and the feeling in the music that morning was magical!!!!

Frankie Knuckles to me was my friend, my big brother, my musical hero, an icon to us all!!!

Q: What's your favourite Frankie record also please?

Ans: I love lots of his music, but "the Whistle song" and "The Pressure" really brings out emotions in me. now i can't hear the songs without getting a knot in my throat.

Q: Always a pleasure and before you leave us can you tell us what we should be listening to as we head out the door to "Groove"

Ans: As you head out the door play the Whistle Song!!!!!

Louie Vega flies in Exclusively for Groove Odyssey House Legends Party  All info on www.grooveodyssey.com or facebook event link :