60 seconds with...Joey Negro | DJMag.com Skip to main content

60 seconds with...Joey Negro

With a new mix CD due for release on the 28th January we caught up with dj/producer Joey Negro.

Chances are, if you're down with dance music and you're down with the funk, you know Joey Negro. The man also known as Dave Lee has amassed a vast body of house and jazz funk productions under such aliases as Sunburst Band, Jakatta, Akabu, Raven Maize and many more.
He's also no slouch in the DJ department, which he ably demonstrates on his new mix CD 'Lust – Art & Soul a Personal Collection by Joey Negro' out 28th January on suSU. We shot the breeze and found out his feelings on da funk, TV ads, and new music...

You've just mixed the latest 'Lust' collection. What kind of vibe did you want to create?
"I suppose it's a mixture of old house, new house, some African stuff like Fela Kuti, even some chill-out. House music is too genre-obsessed. When I DJ I play some minimal, some electro, some old garage, and I think a lot of people like stuff being mixed up, not just the same thing for three hours."

You've included Larry Heard presents Mr White 'The Sun Can't Compare' in your own edited version here. Are you getting inspired by the new wave of soulful techno?
"That's a record that could have come out at any time in the last twenty years. To me it's a house record, like a lot of the Chicago stuff, the things that Kerri Chandler makes. I think sometimes with the post-minimal era, a lot of guys are playing records like that or instrumental versions, but I think they've always been straight-up house records anyway. That could have been a track from 1990, 1998 or 1987."

You've recorded under many pseudonyms – what have you got lined up production-wise at the moment?
"I've just finished a new album as Sunburst Band, sort of a live, jazz funk thing, and there's a new Akabu record, called 'Heatwave On Mars'. I might do an Akabu album. There's also a new Doug Willis record which is a kind of afro-funk thing on one side and a Philly disco thing on the other. So keeping busy, I'm working here four days a week doing stuff."

Your track 'American Dream' as Jakatta is probably one of the most used sync licenses on TV ever – why do you think it's been so popular?
"The actual music comes from the American Beauty soundtrack. My track probably made the music a little more well-known even though people maybe already knew the music. The American Beauty soundtrack is probably one of the most mimicked soundtracks of modern times, I guess it's quite seminal. Because it's quite soundtracky it works well as a backdrop."

Is it safe to say that funk is the uniting factor in everything you do?
"I don't know if everything's funky. It depends on what you mean by funk. House can be funky, but the term funky house is just terrible. I like the Beach Boys and they're not particularly funky, but it is nice to have a bit of groove in the music."