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It's vibes and vinyl for DJ Gene King Print E-mail
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Sunday, 16 August 2009 09:21

DJ Gene KingUHM: Gene you have a distinct sound in my opinion even though your style varies. I find you make good music that sneaks up on you but you enjoy it for awhile. Other songs tend to hit you like a brick and fade. Is their a method to your madness?

GK: I just go in to the studio and do what actually comes out at the moment, I have ideas but those ideas always change into something else while I am working on a project. Best thing I find to do is, let the project write itself and go with the flow, people will feel that you are not trying to do something that is not you. After all its art. And your supposed to be expressing yourself.

UHM: You made a comment to me that in Toronto, your city base, promoters don’t promote their local dj’s. This is a problem in every city, but have you noticed a difference now with the recent international attention?

GK:           Yes this is a problem in every city, usually one gets more attention outside of where they live, as for me I have noticed a little difference  since the international attention, but right now I am working on following through with gig requests from outside of T.O.I have been getting that a lot lately.

UHM:      tell me as the music scene is changing do you feel or want to try different forms of music?

GK: Not necessarily try different forms of music but I find myself being more influenced by new things and styles that are happening and I find myself trying a new approach to whatever I am doing. If I do a different style its usually by accident,, for instance the original mix of “Vincy Soul” is categorized as Broken Beat because its not a four on the floor feel. But that wasn’t necessarily my intention. To be honest a lot of the new sounds I hear sound more like a rehash of something old. Only that it’s interpreted in different ways by a newer generation of people. For example the electro thing….its not new just new perspective on analogue type sounds that have been around for decades…


UHM: Many people say house music is dead or dying, what is your opinion on the matter?

GK: Dying in the sense that it’s being lost on a younger generation, but I would not say dead. It needs to placed in pop culture somehow, whenever people hear it, they like it and they wonder what it is. And that’s good thing because to them it’s new. Anything can sell as long as it rammed down your throat on the airwaves or television and/or good marketing. Another thing is the segregation; all the different styles of house are now their own entities that can be confusing to non DJ or the Non producer. So people flock to the sub genres that are promoted and marketed well i.e. (techno and trance or commercial dance).The lack of demand for vinyl is another reason that its not as alive as it used to be, be cause the music used to thrive on DJ culture, with technology and software now, and music so disposable now, its not as exciting as it used to be. Looking for that record you have to get does not really exist anymore .I guess its more like the industry is changing …too fast for many already in it to grasp. But it’s not dead.

UHM: please share with us, are there any producers/singers out there that you would love to work with in any form of music?

GK :There are tons of singers and producers that I like, I can’t even think ONE off the top of my head, however I think nick holder and I are due to work together, we both have been at producing for the same amount of time and we have both started at around the same time. I just finished a tune called Fly with Stephanie Cook and it should be out soon on the Consortium Muzik label in Chicago. So that’s one artist that I have had the honor of collaborating with that I have always wanted to work with….there are so many more

UHM:  Gene how did you get started in music?

GK : Oh man, well I started Djing in my teens, in the late 70s, before that I had been learning to play the piano and I took up the saxophone in high school, in the eighties I saw so many people doing electronic music and making records, with not much of a studio. So I started experimenting with it myself, renting reel to reels and recording equipment and making tracks. This led to meeting up with a high school friend in 1990 who happened to be doing the same thing. So the first record I ever worked on was a tune called Freedom by Carl E ft .Lifetime on my friends label. is was in 1990

it was just a natural transition from Djing to producing, playing records to making records.


UHM: is there any songs that you would be interested in re-doing or do you prefer solely original material?

GK: Hahaha! every day I hear a song that I would love to remake, and from different genres of music….In the past I have redone “You’ll never find another love like mine” which was originally recorded by Lou Rawls, and we got a vocalist(Falcaner Abrams) with a comparable baritone voice to do the vocals. That release actually came out on Quality Records in 1996. And I just finished a remix of The Look Of love by Miss Yvonne, it was a Burt Bacharach tune, that Dian Krall covered recently and Sergio Mendes covered it too back in the 70s I am toying with the idea of a Kleer song but I won’t say which one…hahahahah..I gotta keep that on the DL…..I can program all of the instrument parts but I need bunch of singers to do the vocals.


UHM:   tell me, any suggestions on how we can keep this music underground but flourishing?

GK :  Promote the hell out of the music, don’t just buy it and play it on your internet radio show one week or at some one off gig once and never play it again, keep repeating the shit so that PEOPLE CAN GET TO KNOW THE MUSIC THE SONG& THE ARTIST,!!! let not keep it for ourselves, lets expose it to the masses. The more you push something the more popular it gets. Let’s put some fashion in there too to sell it. We used to have fashion with this music….why can’t we have it again??? Huh? Marketing….promotion…….exposure to people who don’t know about it, you will be surprised how many open minded people that are out there like to hear other things besides “Superman that Ho”

UHM : By this time next year what can we say about Gene King?

GK: Let’s see…..oh yeah…..hey did you hear? Gene King is Djing in Paris tomorrow!!!!..we gotta fly over there QUICK!!!!!!!! EN Rapide!!!


UHM : When you want to hit the floor where do you go and what do you listen to

GK :   I listen to everything really except country, and I do mean everything, sometimes I will check out a prog metal show on one of the local radio stations. Every time I go  out of town I need to go to a place that plays good house music, like the shelter But I haven’t been out in a while, I have just been working on mixes and tunes and Djing locally.

UHM: Your music is getting rave reviews in different parts of the world. Where are they and why do you think that is?

GK: I  seem to be getting great response from places like Africa especially south Africa and Asia and some parts of Europe, I am noticing interest from Greece and Italy right now too and I have licensed some releases to some compilations in Japan .

as well they are very enthusiastic about the music why do I think that is?….I believe this type of music on the whole is appreciated everywhere else but North America Not everyone understands House Music … one has to be there and experience it in order to get it…

UHM : p.s. you once said that I (ManClaudy) was the god of house music any comments?

Much love Gene, and always a pleasure.

GK:  Haha! just one comment, I do trust your taste in the music……


Interview by:

ManClaudy For UHM

Feb . 2009