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My first musical influences came from my Mother; she would play Nat King Cole, Fats Domino, & Ray Charles on 78's. I would play the records when she threw a house party which gave me my first taste of DJing. From 1976 my journey had began,
I started buying records and attending the local disco's which led me to play a small soul selection with a few reggae sound systems at clubs and in house parties. As the 70's progressed, a group of friends and I started our own soul sound system/mobile disco called "The Phoenix Roadshow" playing at Weddings, Birthdays, House Party's and arranging our own functions in the local youth centres and at various other events. When I first started clubbing, I visited venues such as Americas, Crackers, Billy's /Gossips, Cheeky Petes, Horse Shoe, Electric Ballroom, Jean Pieres, Spats,Barracuda Club and also various weekenders and all-dayers. My first concert was Parliment/Funkadelic at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1978. After this I knew what the "Funk" was all about!...I listened to radio shows like Tony Prince on Radio Luxembourg, Robbie Vincent Saturday morning show on radio London and soul pirate station "Radio Invicta" at the weekends. Through Invicta I found out about Bluebird Records a shop in Paddington that was a specialist shop where I began to purchase my records which eventually led to my first legitimate job in the music industry.
1980-1988: I worked at Bluebird for just over eight years...After a year I was made shop manager and in my third year made Managing Director, which required me to run the whole shop on a daily basis. With all my contributions towards the shop, I was able to help establish Bluebird records as a renowned "Black Music Specialist" here in the u.k. These are some of my fondest memories that I can remember during this time... As bluebird was the sponsor for "Radio Invicta" at the time, this led to my first venture on the radio as a co presenter for the "Bluebird top ten" with the late "Steve Walsh. This experience was ideal as I was also able to compile my favourite personal top five records with CJ Carlos on "Horizon Radio". Travelling to New York City regularly each year allowed me to buy new releases directly from numerous labels also record stores including 'Vinyl Mania'. This was very beneficial for Bluebird as a whole, reason being that we had lots of exclusives and unreleased music keeping us one step ahead of the competition also on my travels discovering some very rare grooves which lead on to the opening of a Bluebird deletions store, which was located next to the original shop in Church St. Attending the New York Seminars each year helped me meet some influencail people in the business. During my first visit to the Paradise Garage I was lucky enough to meet the great DJ Larry Levan. Whilst in New York I discovered clubs including The Funhouse, The Roxy, The Tunnel, Better Days, The Loft and Tony Humphries at The Zanzibar in New Jersey. I spent a lot of time with Paul Oakenfold who was living in New York at the time, who was engaging with big named music pioneers such as Afrika Bambaata & the Zulu Nation, Run Dmc, Cory Robbins (at Profile Records), Russell Simmons, and a DJ called “The Whiz Kid” who we signed to the Bluebird record label and went on to do a soundtrack with Paul Hardcastle and Herbie Mastermind for the Zero One hip hop video. The Bluebird label went from strength to strength, as we began to release re-issued classic records including 'Lonnie Liston Smith’ – Expansions', 'Manfredo Fest – Jungle Kitten', & 'Francine McGee’ – Delirium', which led to the Bluebird record label signing a pressing and distribution deal with Virgin/10 along with Juliet Roberts, who had already been signed to the Bluebird label. We also signed the following: Paul Hardcastle (Rainforest), Paris (I Choose You), Yasuka Agawa (LA Nights), War (Groovin), Dante (Freak In Me), Kreamcicle (No News is News) Magnum Force (Album), Walter Jackson (Album), Barbara Mason (Album) our biggest hit was Washington DC’s Go-Go outfit 'Little Benny' and the Masters 'Who Comes to Boogie' was the only Go-Go record to get in to the National Charts Top 40 at No.34. I also consulted with Morgan Khan’s Streetwave and Streetsound labels, recommending records to be included on the compilations,The Electro, Jazz Juice, series and the Streetsounds volumes. I also assisted with the Streetsounds U.K. Fresh 86 hip hop show at Wembley Arena featuring: Afrika Bambaata, Roxanne Shante, The Aleem Bros, and Leroy Burgess, which led to a regular Hip Hop column in “Streetsounds Magazine”, a Monthly Music publication. Through meeting Russell Simmons on previous trips to New York, it led me to co-promote with Rick Rubin "The Def Jam Recordings u.k" launch party at the Embassy Club, Old Bond St. in 1986 that featured "L.L.Cool J" & "The Beastie Boys" appearing live in the u.k. for the first time. During this time my DJing duties took me to places like; "The Clarendon" (Hammersmith), "Kensington Roof Gardens", "Limelight", "Gullivers", The Embassy Club", "Legends", "Starlight Club" and "Peoples Club" in Paddington, Loads of House & Warehouse Parties and just generally hanging out with Herbie & The Mastermind Roadshow Crew.
Red Records 1988-1990: In the late 80’s after leaving Bluebird and a brief spell in Distribution I was offered a position and eventually became manager of the new Soho branch of Red Records alongside "Trevor Nelson" and Lloyd “Daddy Bug” Brown and later on and have now become notable DJ’s such as "Ricky Morrison", "Jeremy Newall", & "Seamus Haji". In that summer of 1988, myself and "Paul Oakenfold" collaborated and brought over "David Morales" for one of his first sessions in the U.K. He played at a Raindance Event in the Essex countryside to an audience of 5,000, which was completely Mad!... I also had a hand helping to bring over Phase II, Vicki Martin and La Chandra from the New Jersey based label "Movin Records," showcased here Live at the Brixton Academy, and arranging PA's at Red Records. I launched a record label called "Jumpin & Pumpin" with it's first release "Just a Little Bit" By The Brooklyn based Group Total Science. My one and only record remix came in 1990 "Maxi Priests" "Peace Throughout The World" (Abbey's Treaty Remix) for Virgin.
Catch A Groove 91-94: In 1991, I felt it was the right time to establish my own record shop and implement my ideas and experiences gained over the last decade, together with Ricky Morrison and Jeremy Newall "Catch –A- Groove" Records was born. Staff included "Matt White", "David (Destiny) Marguerite" & "Daz Saund". A two floored shop that catered for all genres of dance music upstairs and soul, rap & hip hop in the basement. What more can I say, the shop turned out to be one of the best in the world, well...that's what most people told me and still tell me today. DJing Duties: I deejayed regularly with Bobby & Steve's at Club Zoo and Garage City from its launch in 1991 In 1992 I started with "Ray Anderson" a weekly club night called "Funky Attitude" at the Circa Bar in Berkeley Sq that featured guest dj's such as "Norman Jay", "Matt White", "Tee Harris", "Daddy Bug" and now brother In law Basil "Black 2 Basics" Live Band which led to "Spontaneous Construction" at Bar Cuba & Jimmy's in Kensington with "Basil Black 2 Basics" Live & DjSoul Provyder. In 1994 My good friend "Keith Hill" Launched a weekly club night called "JazBah®" first located at the Tatty Bogle Club and Then at the Square Rooms (under The Equinox Leicester Square) I was a resident deejay for 5 years with guest dj's including "Aitch B", "Seamus Haji", "Kcc Sound System", "Clive Johns" & "Dave Morrison".
1995 - 1998 Release The Groove: Along with "Gary Dillon" who ran a DJ agency/ label, and the highly successful long running club night “Release The Pressure” at The Café De Paris in the heart of London’s West End, together we launched “Release The Groove” record store with "Jeremy Newall" & "Dave (Destiny) Marguerite" from “Catch a Groove” along with "Paul Warren", "Shortee Blitz", & "Jean Claude Thompson" and continued to supply top quality products to the public and DJ’s alike.
1998-2005: Disco Piu Record Shop/Discoid Magazine Rimini Italy. I was the U.K. product record buyer dealing directly with distributors, labels and sourcing exclusive promo's for the shop. I took care of Discoid magazine distribution & adverting, also wrote a record review column, attending music conferences around the world as their European Representative such as the WMC in Miami, Midem in Cannes France, ADM in Amsterdam and The Italian Music Conference in Rimini.
2005-2007: Audiogroove was part of Quickpress a South London based vinyl pressing plant. I started a department to deal directly with independent labels offering P&D deals (Pressing and Distribution Deals) Some notable labels we handled which included, Look at You, Zoo Groove Stereo, Odyssey Records, Liquid Deep Recordings, Audiowhores, Groove Assassin, MOD, Redsoul, Kinky Malinki, Soul-Tonic, Healthy Records, Ospina Digital, Velvet Disco, Delecto Recordings, Reelhouse, Mutated Music, Steal Vybe Music & Tempogroove.
2011: Funk Therapy: After not playing a record for almost five years....with friends "Billy Cameron" and "Akin Shenbanjo jr" we organised a one off party just an excuse to play some records. We invited close friends and family which we held in a pub called The Prince of Wales in Camberwell, the night was called "Funk Therapy" we had such a good response everyone wanted us to arrange another night. So we moved upstairs at "The Recreation Ground Bar" also in Camberwell and remained there for 15 months. Now we do one off party's, guest appearances and a weekly show on Likwid.