Jeremy Sylvester - deephouse.com podcast/interview #004
This week, we welcome producer/DJ Jeremy Sylvester from the UK, a very well known talent who's tracks have been supported by big acts such as Disclosure and Basement Jaxx as well as many others over the globe. His sound which ranges from Garage to straight up house always gets people dancing. We're honored to have Jeremy on the show this week.
How did you get started with DJing and/or getting into the underground scene?
I first started out producing music and then DJ’ing came a little later on. It all started in the early 90s when my dad and I had a recording studio in Birmingham UK called CREAM RECORDINGS based at the Custard Factory and it was the beginning of the Jungle/Dnb scene. I recorded under the name DUBTRONIX and made a few hits including a track called ‘Screwface’ which borrowed samples from a Steven Seagal film called ‘Marked for Death’
Me and my dad had a couple of labels called ‘Dubtronic Recordings and S.A.S Recordings and I recorded a string of 12” vinyl releases which were very successful in the early 90s in the UK. ‘Screwface’ went on to sell well over 25,000 copies which was unheard of as an independent record label such as ourselves.. The likes of Grooverider, Fabio, Hype, Dilinga + many others were heavy supporters of our music.
When I decided to leave Birmingham and move to London, it was the beginning of the House & Garage scene and I hooked up with pioneering label at the time Nice n Ripe Recordings as their in-house producer making records under various alias’s including Deep Cover inc, 3-Play, G.O.D, Strickly Dubz, Sylvester, Jeremy Sylvester and many more and then eventually teaming up with Paul Emmanuel under the name infamous ‘Club Asylum’ which produced a number of hits and remixes. Club Asylum remixed some of the biggest artists in the world including Jodeci, KC & Jojo, Shola Ama, Genuwine, All Saints, Another Level, Kristine Blonde, Cleopatra, Eddie Grant plus many many more. Around this time I hooked up with Azuli Records where I recorded under my own name but also under alias including Electronica and Class A with Paul Emmanuel.
My first DJ gig was most probably in my hometown of Birmingham somewhere and I played mainly underground NYC style house music from the likes of Masters at Work, Roger Sanchez & Todd Terry. Anything bumby, grooving, bass driven with nice melodic hooks and riffs were my thing.
Who were your biggest influences growing up?
My biggest influences were my dad growing up, he was in a very popular UK disco Soul/Funk bank called the J.A.L.N Band which had a string of hits that hit the UK top 10 and a number of performances on the UK’s biggest music TV show of the time ‘Top of the Pops. The band was also very popular all over Europe especially Germany and France.
In addition to may dads major influence, I was heavily into Prince, Michael Jackson, Shalamah, Earth Wind & Fire and other artist to that nature. Because of my Carribean heritage, I was also influenced by Soca/Calypso music.
The more modern artists that had a massive influence on my sound today are people like Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry, Kerri Chandler, Eric Morillio, Ron Trent, Chez Damier, Romananthony, Arthur Baker, Masters at Work, 95 North, Todd Edwards, Grant Nelson, Tuff Jam and many others.
I was influenced by anything sounding super fresh, different and stood out from the rest of the crowd. When I used to buy records in the shops, I always used to flip to the B’side track 2,3+, as these where a little different from the A-side tracks. Some were a little more experimental which I loved.
I didn’t like playing stuff that everyone else was playing so I guess this is why I liked making my own exclusive tracks and playing them out on Dubplates in the clubs up and down the country. I still do this to this day.
Being originally from a diverse spot as the UK, how has it helped your upbringing as a DJ/Producer?
Being brought up in the second city of Birmingham UK, a very multi-cultural population, with a large Afro Caribbean community, so I was brought up and surrounded by many types of music including Reggae, Dancehall, Soul, Funk, Disco and of course House music. As a DJ/producer this had a profound effect on me especially as Birmingham is known as Bassline city, with heavy influences from reggae dub which massively influenced my sound today. You can hear that with my early Jungle/dnb tracks right through to my early UK Garage/Speed Garage releases where my sound had heavy sub basslines and tones which set the tone for my overall sound.
This influx of diverse sounds has shaped my style of DJ’ing and production and will always be the background to whatever I do in the future. This will never go away. I still like to think of myself as an underground music producer staying true to my underground roots, and never really pigeon-holing myself in any category because I listen to and can make many different styles of music from underground to mainstream. I love making and playing music, it’s what gets me up every morning. Music is my passion and my life.
You've played alongside many big names over the years, which ones were your favorite?
I’ve been involved with remixing some of the biggest artists on the planet as mentioned earlier and I’ve also collaborated with some top producers and songwriters too including Basement Jaxx, Stanton Warriors, Tuff Jam, Victoria Horne who is one of the best songwriters in the UK with her credits including Kylie Minogue & Mariah Carey. In addition, I’ve also worked on remixes for Amira, Ray Ruffin, Barbara Tucker, Marvin & Tamara, Next Phase, Restless Natives, Romina Johnson, Dionne Rakeem, Warren Stacey, De Nada, Kenny Thomas, Rashaan Paterson, Busta Rhymes and others.
Knowing that you're from Birmingham, which parties would you recommend checking out? I would highly recommend my Record Box (RECBOX) events where we focus on true underground House & Garage old & new, we’ve had people like Groove Chronicles, Industry Standard and myself spinning with some top line DJs in the coming months.
Birmingham underground clubs are centered around the Digbeth area of the city were they have some of the biggest Djs and perfoermers in world every week throughout the year. Notable nights include Soul Fusion, Heritage, NICE, SOUP, Bushwackers and many others.
Can you tell us a bit about your mix?
With this DJ mix I’ve tried to mix it up a little with old & new styles, but still keeping it true to that old skool 90s deep house feel as much as possible. I’ve also thrown in some exclusive mash-ups starting with the first track. You will hear a track from my forthcoming EP dropping on my label Urban Dubz Music near the end of the mix alongside some other fresh new releases.
What is your "go-to" tracks these days when you're playing?
I always seem to first veer towards some of my current favorite producers at the moment with guys such as Kerri Chandler, Ron Trent, Grant Nelson, Danny J Lewis, Golf Clap & others then go from there. There’s so many new good producers at the moment its hard to keep up. I tend to shop at Traxsource, Beatport and Juno Download.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
I’m a keen cyclist and regularly go on long trips up and down the country and abroad. I love mountain bikes, so im usually cylcling off-road or I do the canal routes around the UK. This is a great passion of mine. Also keeping fit at the gym, cooking and travelling. Another great passion of mine is vintage cars, especially vintage German cars. I love classic BMW cars.
Podcast Track Listing
- Jeremy Sylvester - Turn Around (Dubplate Special)
- Russ Gabriel - The Bored Hound EP
- Alex Garcia - Behind Your Dark (Love House Records)
- The Murder Track - Mike Delgado
- Janet Rushmore - Joy (Choice Mix)
- Kerri Chandler - Love Will Find a Way (Players Mix)
- River Ocean feat India - Love & Happiness
- Ron Trent - Sometimes I feel Like
- 24 Hour Experience - Into the Night (Scat Dub)
- Bing Bing Boom - Socafrica Salsa Hot Remix
- Danny J Lewis - Organic
- Amira - My Desire (Blazes Klubhead Vocal)
- Jeremy Sylvester - I Love You
- Jeremy Sylvester - Touch Me (Vocal Mix)
- Danny J Lewis - It’s Alright
- Jeremy Sylvester - Beautiful (Dubplate Special)
- Danny J Lewis - Never Your Love (Original Mix)
- Macao Plex - Love Somebody Else (Original Mix)