A Conversation with Ian Friday

A Conversation with Ian Friday

Ian Friday is an audio/visual curator who explores and exhibits cultural traditions and histories of people from the African diaspora. Founder of Global Soul Music, Ian produces music that archive and uncover ongoing black musical cultures connecting house, soul, Afro beat, jazz and world music. As Associate Director of The Colored Girls Museum Ian assists in developing programming and creates marketing for the museum's social media platforms. The histories of people from African descent have been passed down through the ages primarily through oral tradition. Music and art serve as conduits to deepening our understanding of those narratives.

I had a chance to chat with Ian Friday about his career, artistic endeavors and why community means so much to him.

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A Conversation with Jamie 3:26!!!

A Conversation with Jamie 3:26!!!

There is a reason they call him “The Beast”. 

Hailing from the Beverly area on the South Side of Chicago, Jamie 3:26 has garnered recognition in his own right as a master selector capable of lighting any dance floor on fire. Driven by the deep desire to make people to lose themselves in the dance and forget their problems, Jamie keeps his irons burning hot. He always seeks out new and fresh sounds. It could be an overlooked gem from 30 years ago or a new jam and as long as it has a great groove, he’s interested. Anyone who has seen Jamie 3:26 play, can testify to the effect he has on a dancefloor – he is a true force of nature.

I caught up with Jamie during a recent return to Chicago and chatted with him about his career, his future and his love of music and world experiences.

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Duane Powell

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation with Duane Powell

Thousands of people are glued to his social media pages for his updates on music, as well as his knowledgeable tributes to the greats in music history. (Courtesy of duanepowell.com) I had a chance to chat with Duane about his love of music and his appreciation of the culture of house music.

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Chicago Spotlight: The Tables Turn...Mike Dunn and Terry Hunter interview Black Widow!

Chicago Spotlight:  The Tables Turn...Mike Dunn and Terry Hunter interview Black Widow!

What happens when the tables are turned and the interviewer becomes the interviewee?  Check out the Chicago Spotlight with Spoken Word recording artist, Black Widow. Today she is interviewed by her producers, Grammy Nominated DJ Producer, Terry Hunter and Chosen Few DJ, Mike Dunn. 

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with DJ Lil John

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation with DJ Lil John

DJ LIL' JOHN™ is without question one of Chicago's most well-known DJs. Millions of listeners have heard his "hands do the talking", as he has mixed a variety of music on-the-air for almost three decades!! From the college radio station WKKC 89.3fm (1980's), summer guest spots on the Top 40 powerhouse WBBM 96.3fm (1990's), to the Midwest's #1 urban station WGCI 107.5fm (2001-2009), and syndication on the infamous CORE DJs™ Radio Show on 30-40 radio stations nationwide. He even had a mix-show slot on a station in Bermuda (Hott 107.5fm) for a couple of years!!  Nationally (and internationally), DJ LIL' JOHN™ has been blazing the airwaves and rocking the crowds in San Francisco, Phoenix, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and more. From spinning onstage with R&B legend Charlie Wilson to political events for 1st Lady Michelle Obama, from local high schools to the concert halls & sports stadiums, you've heard the signature sound of DJ LIL' JOHN™ !   I had a chance to talk to DJ Lil John about his career and maintaining his longevity in this scene.

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Russoul

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation with Russoul

Russell Pike Jr., also known as Russoul, discovered music production at the age of 13. After graduating Cum Laude in music from Clark Atlanta University, he realized that he was fortunate to be granted the opportunity to learn to play on all instruments. After receiving a publishing deal, Russoul took his advance and used it to purchase his own recording equipment. This multitalented student of music would stay up day and night creating, singing, and recording in an effort to bring to fruition different ideas.  I sat down with him to talk about his musical career, the lessons he’s learned, his many talents and future goals and plans.  Today I’m pleased to bring you my interview with the multi-talented artist known as Russoul.

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Chicago DJ, Torin Edmond

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation with Chicago DJ, Torin Edmond

Growing up in Chicago, Torin was influenced by the House music scene. Beginning as a DJ in the early eighties, Torin was introduced to House Music in its infancy, and has grown with it ever since. He’s held several different residencies around the city at clubs like, Red Dog, Sinibar, Subterranean, Dark Room, Chant and Bassline and successfully ran the legendary Deep House Page.  Today on the Chicago Spotlight, I talk to Torin about his career, DHP, his future and how he’s managed to maintain consistency in the house music scene. 

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Chicago Spotlight: Angel-A

Chicago Spotlight: Angel-A

Angel-A delivers an extensive package of soul-stirring, heart pounding liberated music.  A native Detroiter, currently residing in Chicago, she is a musical force to be reckoned with.  Few producers, songwriters or vocalists in this time dare to embrace pure form and express messages of substance to a wider audience. Angel-A creates a cool space for listeners to experience.  These days Angel-A continues her journey as a producer performing with a jazz band or teaming up with DJ/artist/ producers like Tony Humphries, Vick Lavender,  Roy Davis Jr., Stephanie Cooke, Tony Loreto, Jose Carretas to name a few.  I recently chatted with Angel-A to talk about her career, new music, and 2018 goals.

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Chicago Spotlight: The Love & Lust Live DJs

Chicago Spotlight:  The Love & Lust Live DJs

Dee Jay Alicia decided to bring her mixes to life and called some of the best DJs known for their soulful and sexy style to serve as the musical conductors for the evening, D’Vine One DJs, Mz. Nicky D’Vine and Kris “Jus” Denson and Arise Radio and Rhythm Factory’s own, Steve Maxwell, each handpicked by Dee Jay Alicia because of the passion and emotion they express through their music.   Together, they set the tone for a love filled evening full of sensual sounds. 

The event was so successful they decided to do it again.  I recently joined them for an evening of laughter, music and cocktails to talk to them about this event and their incredible musical chemistry.

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Tortured Soul

Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Tortured Soul

Before DJs evolved into global superstars, musicians carried the baton. The Brooklyn-based dance trio Tortured Soul isn't trying to intently rewrite the logic of today's EDM with the sweat of their own musicianship, but they are living proof that the very same music can be freed from the DJ booth. Influenced by the classic song craft of Prince, Heatwave and Kool & the Gang, the members of Tortured Soul are three distinctive guys with three different backgrounds, united under a groove-centered rhythm. The band's front man and principal songwriter, John-Christian Urich, can be seen simultaneously drumming and singing with effortless mastery, while the rest of the collective, made up of keyboardist Isamu MacGregor and bassist Jordan Scannella, virtuosically generate the pulsating accompaniment. I was able to chat with the band's front man and principal songwriter, John-Christian Urich via phone from Los Angeles about the groups’ history, their creative process and his love for Chicago.

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Gene Hunt!

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation with Gene Hunt!

I had a chance to speak with Gene Hunt about starting in the business at such a young age, what it was like to be mentored by legends, and what the future holds for him now.  I hope you enjoy this insightful and in-depth interview full of house history.

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with DJ Ceez & Niki Gee

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation with DJ Ceez & Niki Gee

I recently had a chance to speak with Producer/ DJ Ceez and Spoken Word Recording Artist, Niki Gee about their newest single, Be Her, their other collaborations and what makes them such a great team!

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Sean Ali

Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Sean Ali

DeShawn Ali, better known as DJ Sean Ali in the world of House Music, is a DJ/Producer and Label Owner.   He is also highly respected by his peers as well because he has taken his craft to new heights and he is constantly expanding and giving back the way others gave to him. 

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Julius the Mad Thinker

Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with Julius the Mad Thinker

Julius the Mad Thinker is a dynamic producer and International DJ talent. Since the age of 17, Julius has worn many hats while distinguishing himself in the dance music industry. He is a true visionary with infectious energy and amazing music. His reputation for uniting music communities and launching premiere DJ music events has attracted worldwide acceptance and respect. Julius’ most recent production to gain international awareness is Mi Casa Holiday (MCH). In 2009, Julius and business partner Jenn Hurst bridged DJ entertainment with unique travel concepts to co-found and form MCH. In 2012, MCH achieved sold-out status. Approaching its 10th season, MCH is a destination event of choice for international travel, leisure, and music enthusiasts in the know.  In March of 2017, He released his debut album, “Perspective.  I recently had a chance to speak with him about his career, Mi Casa Holiday, his Album and upcoming projects. 

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with DJ Val

Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation with DJ Val

DJ VAL has been recognized an honored by the Architects of House as one of the 100 most influential DJs in the Chicago House Music scene between 1975 and 1995. Val plays a wide variety of genres to include EDM, house and whatever it takes to move a crowd. She is most likely the only DJ in the world to have held three consecutive 16 plus years Club residencies. Cadillac Jacks 16 years, Marianna’s 17 years & Studio 31 17 years. Along with her successful DJ career, she has owned her own Internet Radio Station. (courtesy of DJVal.com) She's a legend with a career that spans over 40 years.  I was thrilled to speak with her about her incredible career in house music.

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Chicago Spotlight: The Young Guns

Chicago Spotlight: The Young Guns

Thanksgiving night holds a special treat for Chicago.  The Chosen Few DJ’s present, “The Giving “with special guests, Young Guns.  This is a special event as it features two rising stars in the house music scene; 11 year old DJ Marcellus from Chicago and 16 year old DJ Ameer from New Jersey. 

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Dawn Tallman: Ministering Through The Music

Dawn Tallman: Ministering Through The Music

Known as the Queen of Gospel Energy, Recording Artist and Song Writer, Dawn Tallman is a gifted singer with an anointed voice.  Her voice has been heard across dance floors around the world.  Full of love, high energy, and positivity, she is able to uplift and encourage while making you dance.  I was thrilled to be able to chat with Dawn about the messages in her music, her career and her impact on the House and Dance Music Scene. 

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Chicago Spotlight: A Conversation With Steve "Miggedy" Maestro

Chicago Spotlight:  A Conversation With Steve "Miggedy" Maestro

Born & raised in Chicago through two Belizean parents, Steve’s musical journey started at birth through osmosis. His journey marks are with vinyl, instruments and action. His humble musical beginnings included guitar & piano lessons & choirs until the Hot Mix 5 and Prince came into his life. Striving to do both produce & DJ, he started his professional DJ career spinning in Army base clubs on and off post while serving. He also played guitar, bass, keys & drums in many bands during his military career until he came back to Chicago. Steve landed a mix show jock position in the fall of 1993 on Chicago’s #1 station, WGCI. By mixing smooth blends of House, Old School, Hip Hop, R&B & Reggae, Steve quickly became a household name. Since then he has gone on to mixing for syndicated powerhouse Super Radio, Tom Joyner & Doug Banks, doing production & remixes for Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, Joe Smooth, DJ Kool, Janet Jackson, Erick Sermon, Tyrese, George Clinton and Faith Evans.  He started his record label, MMP Records, through another Chicago DJ Raphael, by selling his instrumental downtempo R&B tracks on CD for local dancers. Since then he has produced U.K. soul siren Julie Dexter’s full-length album, “New Again” on Ketch-A-Vibe Records, released the “Bop Padow” EP on Unified Records, “Happy Place” EP on House4Life Records and the Julie Dexter “Make You Dance” EP with Vick Lavender’s Sophisticado Records. It wasn’t until he released “Tribe Deep” on Void Digital Music when he met & partnered with Jerry C. King; CEO of Kingdom Music Digital Group.  I recently had a chance to talk to Steve about his career as a DJ, Producer, Remixer, Radio personality and Label Owner.  We had a chance to talk about his longevity, his thoughts on the music and the Chicago House Scene.

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Chicago Spotlight: Chic and Soulful... A Conversation with Sheree Hicks

Chicago Spotlight: Chic and Soulful... A Conversation with Sheree Hicks

Sheree Hicks is known for her vocal ability, arrangements, and writing skills. She has been in the industry professionally for over 17 years. Her personal sound is smooth, soulful, and soothing to the ear.  Sheree likes working with producers and writers who ride the same wavelength and If the chemistry is right, it makes for some beautiful and memorable music. I recently had a chance to talk with Sheree about her career and her newest release and venture into the owner of ChicSoulMusic, her record label.

Sheree Hicks is known for her vocal ability, arrangements, and writing skills. She has been in the industry professionally for over 17 years. Her personal sound is smooth, soulful, and soothing to the ear.  Sheree likes working with producers and writers who ride the same wavelength and If the chemistry is right, it makes for some beautiful and memorable music. I recently had a chance to talk with Sheree about her career and her newest release and venture into the owner of ChicSoulMusic, her record label.

 

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