Friday, January 11th - STEVE SMOOTH & JJ FLORES

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  1. LuckyShamrock

    LuckyShamrock New Member

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    Steve Smooth & JJ Flores

    Interview was conducted by Elena Vernagelli in conjunction with Suneel Grover at http://www.funkyhousemusic.com on September 8, 2005.

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    Chicago bred producers, JJ Flores and Steve Smooth, deliver their long anticipated debut album “The Collection” this September on Ménage Music. Some may know Steve as the prior opening DJ for Bad Boy Bill or JJ as the remixer behind high profile artists like Christina Milian or NSYNC. Regardless, the House Music community knows both artists as a production force to be reckoned with. Their music has created a frenzy on dance-floors worldwide and previously released singles like "Release", "Get Naked", and "B Like Me" became bonafide hits receiving play by the world's top DJ's, as well as play on the world's most respected mix show, Radio 1. "The Collection" features all of their past hit songs, as well as their latest chart worthy singles "Time For Love" and "Feels So Good". Eventvibe got to sit down with these two guys and found out what inspired them to release this album and what we can expect from them while on tour together this Fall…..

    How long have each of you been involved in the dance music scene and how did you begin working together?
    Steve: I found myself interested in electronic music in the early 90's. Then in the late 90's I started DJing the Chicago club circuit. But it wasn't until 2000 that I started to produce my own records.

    JJ: I started producing dance music in the early 90’s. In 2000 Steve & I were introduced by Bad Boy Bill, and soon we began making records together.


    How did your working relationship with Bad Boy Bill first develop?
    Steve: Being that I was playing all the Chicago clubs I would meet Bill whenever he would go guest spots back in the days. Plus I was also good friends with Michael Ryden who was the President of the company MCM that ran all of Bill's record labels.

    JJ: Bill and I first worked together on a couple of remixes in the mid 90’s. Then around 2000 I started producing & remixing with Bill regularly.


    How would you describe “The Collection” and what prompted you to put a project like this together?
    It was always one of our goals to do a full length album. Then when IHR & Moody quit pressing records & there was still a demand for our older releases it made since to package our past releases with a some new releases to make a full length album.


    It seems the two of you have predominantly worked together in the studio. Do you plan to do any live production while performing or do you see yourself continuing with traditional DJ sets only?
    We have been working in the Studio on some more produced electronic sounding music that does have the potential for a live performance. But when it comes to the House Music it will probably be DJ Sets only. (But Never Say Never!)


    Word on the street is you are launching a new label...could you provide further insight?
    Yes, Bill's new label is Called Menage Music. We just did the label launch party at Crobar (Chicago) on Sept 4. We will be releasing all of upcoming projects on this label domestically.


    What is your modus operandi to making a good house track? Can you give us a little taste of a studio session with Smooth & J?
    Well, it usually starts off waking up a bit late after the night before. Then we get to the studio and crack out the most important tool to making a good record. RED BULL. Then from there it just works. We don't have to work to much in the studio because we produce our records fast. We actually even produced "Release" & "Get Naked" in the same day.


    Do you feel the relationship you two have in the studio elevates each of you to higher levels of creativity working together, rather than individually?
    Working together is definitely helps our creativity. It constantly pushes us to create something new & better to impress the other person. Plus it could probably getting boring sitting in a studio by yourself everyday. It always helps to have an extra set of ears to hear outside the box.


    Listening to the tracks the two of you have put out in the last couple of years, you have certainly created a distinct sound for yourselves which makes your tracks instantaneously recognizable. When you enter the studio is this something that you aim for, or is this just a product of what you are feeling musically when you go in?? Do you ever see yourself venturing away from the sound you are known for - production wise?
    When we enter the studio we really don't have to much on our my mind. We basically just produce what we feel that particularly day. We will never stop making the house music. That's what we do. But as we mentioned early we are working on some different music in the studio to push the boundaries musically & creatively. It is always exciting to do something different & new. Oh yea and its comically when we can argue about if we need to bring in a professional tambourine player for a certain track.


    It has been awhile since your last release, and it seems that you have taken up an extremely busy touring schedule of late. With the release of “The Collection” and a World Tour starting at the end of this month, what can our readers expect from you in the future?
    We have been in the studio alot this summer though. So we do have some new tracks that we are sitting on. So we have the album dropping at the end of the month. Then there will be plenty singles to follow. Then the touring is always nonstop.


    Of the tracks that you have had production credits on, which have you seen has the most success on the dance floor, and why do you think that is?
    If you look at record sales "Release" has had the most success. But in our opinions we think "Get Naked" was the biggest success. We can still drop this record at a club anywhere in the world and they loose it. We even had one the biggest trance DJs in the world ask for this record to play and it's a house record.


    websites:
    Steve Smooth ( http://www.stevesmooth.com)
    JJ Flores ( http://www.jjflores.com)
     
  2. OutDaJungle

    OutDaJungle New Member

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    Good stuff, keep em coming.