You recorded the hip hop album ‘Sonic Smash’ last year, which was fantastic. How much of your time in the studio is devoted to Hip Hop these days?
It’s hard to balance the two but I would say I’m doing more dance records these days as it pays the bills and there’s also less politics involved in that scene. I also enjoy the end result much more, from the studio straight to the dance floor. With hip hop it’s just not the same.
Hip hop has changed a lot over the last few years with a very different sound making it through to the mainstream, what are your thoughts on the genre right now?
As for the mainstream it’s pretty bad, not much innovation there. I’ve always remained underground because of this. With that said I feel like the realness is dead in the mainstream world. There’s still good hip hop out here but most of it remains underground as usual. I miss the early 90′s when quality hip hop like Gangstar or Tribe were mainstream. Those days are over. The genre has made too much money and the soul is gone.
We enjoyed your ‘Soul Slam’ Prince v Michael Jackson party in NYC this year, where you fought the MJ corner in style – what is your favourite record by the great man and why?
One of my favourite tunes of all time is “I Can’t Help It” from the Off The Wall album, probably because I get Stevie, Michael and Quincy in one song. They are all my musical heroes. I get chills every time I hear this song. I’ll never tire of it.
J Dilla or Michael Jackson?
No comparison. Two different kinds of legends for their own reasons. Michael being the greatest entertainer of all time and J Dilla being the most innovative and progressive thinking producer of this generation. There will never be icons like these again in this lifetime.
Your style always seems to cover a lot of genre’s, from Stevie Wonder to Sade through to Hip Hop to Techno etc……. what music don’t you like?
I don’t like Death Metal, makes me want to slit my wrist and it gives me a stomach ache.
Tell us about Stevie and what he means to you?
Stevie is the ultimate humanitarian artist. His music reflects love and peace, and his voice is golden. But in the 70′s he was super funky and his production was innovative and way ahead of it’s time for that era. If you listen closely to some of his recordings you can hear everything from the talk box, to Hare Krishna choirs, apregiating moogs, sick drum programming and sampling before the general listener knew what these things were. The water drops instead of finger snaps on “Overjoyed” for example, who thinks of this? And that was 1986!
Tell us something we probably don’t know about you…
I am a home body. Don’t go out much these days. I’m not impressed by much and I prefer to be home working or chilling with the fam. Sometimes my wife has to give me a swift kick in the butt (figuratively speaking) to get out and live a little.
New York seems to have lost a lot of record stores over the last few years, where are your favorite digging spots in your home town and what is the most treasured 12″ in your vast and highly respected collection?
My two favourite spots to dig are Academy Records and Big City Records. One of my most treasured 12″‘s is Stevie Wonder’s As. It was only legitimately pressed as a German Motown Promo with a picture sleeve. It was never commercially released as a 12″ in the States or any where else in the world and it’s stupid rare and expensive.
Last time you played in Manchester you played an emphatic house set for us at Spektrum, who are your favourite house producers at the moment?
Too many! Right now I’m loving Henrik Schwarz, Atjazz, Jose Carretas, Reelsoul, Karizma, Bopstar, Vic Lavendar, Zepherin Saint, Fred P, Manoo and Ian Friday. That kid Floating Points is completely out of his young mind! “A People’s Potential” completely blew me away when I heard it.
You’re a regular dj in our city of Manchester, having played Development many times and Friends & Family prior… what does the city mean to you musically/culturally?
I love Manchester. It’s the first city in the UK that I considered home away from home. The Fat City guys were the first ones to bring me out back in 98′. I always felt like people in Manchester had more soul and were deeper into the music. It’s also a great place to dine and shop, especially for records!
Your sets are some of the most eclectic we’ve seen, they can go anywhere and turn a corner at any time. How do you plan what you’re going to play?
I don’t usually plan too much. I try to go off the energy in the room. I like to be spontaneous and unpredictable and you can’t plan that. Of course there would be songs I think about playing before I start out but most of the time it doesn’t work that way.
Which DJs are you rating at the moment?
My favorite dj is Theo Parrish. We’re friends but I’m a huge fan. He slays me everytime. And my all time favourite is Timmy Regisford. These two guys put their full body and soul into their craft. You can tell they’re playing from the depth of their guts and they take risks. It’s not always what you play but how you play it. I’ve witness the annihilation of crowds when these guys play. That motivates me.
Which DJs do you think are the best at playing and mixing disco?
I’ve seen Craig Alexander do a wicked disco set in Miami during WMC years back. I hardly knew any of the records he played. Chicago dj’s are so deep with it. I also enjoy disco sets from Dimitri from Paris, Timmy Regisford, Tony Humphries, Danny Krivit, Louie Vega and David Mancuso (although he doesn’t mix the records).
You’re playing alongside Osunlade – What can we expect from you this time around?
Who knows, I don’t even know!
We’ve had you over 3 times before now, what are your thoughts on Development – you seem to like coming back here as much as we like having you, any particular reason?
You guys know how to have fun, you let loose, you appreciate and understand the music. Makes me feel appreciated. Manchester rocks!
DJ SPINNA DEVELOPMENT 4th BIRTHDAY PROMO MIX
to download below.
DJ SPINNA DEVELOPMENT PROMO MIX <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103222989899&s=6175&e=001wEDKSvH0__AlA6Tdy4GbSr8BjrhBkwt91fDimrysC1avsanBshQ_l_uJd6pqRGK_ix2McMB4E4CZYxhVlAhYcJOdPQlHgbnbt5CxwPDBOmHzU4CXpIULZBCggMKB0q6gUjK7x86fJqSjyOH1L4gyyC_5eML8fcMQtXFIOUH60vt-Gn9JaJnzSA==>