When you hear my name, you're probably going to think of house music. Well, I don't know how to break this to you, but there's more than a little bit more to me than four to the floor! True - I did the house mix on Everything But The Girl's 'Missing' a few years back. The critical acclaim around that track meant that some people think I am representative of mainstream house music. Sorry to disappoint you; here's the other side to the story.
I'm from Brooklyn, New York - a city that has risen to fame as the biggest melting pot of different styles of music in the world. My first dance cut ever, "Flight 16", came out on Cutting Records, which I co-owned at the time. When I made it, it didn't really have any kind of genre. People tried to call it different things, but it was pretty much in the middle of everything. It had elements of hip-hop, elements of house and elements of jungle. Basically, it was breakbeat - but not in any form that you'd know now.
DJs should be playing hip-hop, reggae - everything. We shouldn't let people put us into pigeonholes or genres. That makes us too narrow-minded. After all, we should be playing for the people. They pay our wages. We should be playing stuff that the people can't get their hands on. When you see my DJ sets, you'll hear everything from Public Enemy to Armand Van Helden to Photek. And just when you think you've heard it all, I'll drop something totally fresh and new and leaving the dancefloor will be the last thing on your mind.
It's not just my live sets but also my production that I like to use as a tool to cross boundaries and break preconceptions. Take a look at one of my albums - "Resolutions". Throughout the EP, you can hear me drawing from both my latter-day hip-hop influences and the more up-to-date technology-driven sounds I use. If you look hard, chances are you'll even hear a little drum and bass.
However, 'Resolutions' was only a microcosm of my sound. I have a lot more, but not all of it is going to work. I want to continue breaking new ground. I want to take on projects that don't just pay the bills, but which motivate and inspire me. I proved the point of doing dance hits with the 'Missing' remix. Now I might as well go out and do whatever else inspires me."
I don't tend to moan about the one-dimensionality of the music industry. I don't criticize other artists for playing it safe. Instead, I am trying to enact change. Instead of sitting around on my ass, I'm opening myself up to more music to stir my soul. There's no more artistry out there; artists get stuck in one category. Often, they're just catering to a sound. Everybody has his or her own sound - a P-Diddy sound or a Timbaland sound for example. The disadvantage with that is that artists tend to get stuck.
To get out of that rut, you have to keep your finger on the pulse, even if that means going out to clubs twice a week and all weekend. The dance scene is really nomadic; each year it all hangs around a few songs that just lift you up when you walk into a club, and everyone's always looking out for one of those hot songs. It's my business to find these tracks first.
Evolution is big in my life. I try to reinvent myself with every release I have. Why should I wait around for the right time to release something? I might as well just do it put it out on a white or whatever. You never know - down the line someone might sample one of my productions and it'll be huge. I will take that chance.
Right now, I'm doing my thing with my Sound Design and In House imprints. I've just signed several high-profile acts to UK labels; we're doing the underground thing the way we used to do it. We're getting out there, promoting our artists and making the old school new again.
Recreatieschap Spaarnwoude, Velsen Zuid