Skip to main content

Legendary Chicago house label DJ International Records relaunches

The imprint was originally launched in 1985 by Rocky Jones and the late Benji Espinoza

Chicago house label, DJ International Records, has relaunched. 

DJ International, the legendary Chicago imprint oringally launched in 1985 by Rocky Jones and the late Benji Espinoza, has dived into a brand new chapter in 2021, releasing a new version of Joe Smooth and Anthony Thomas' '1987 hit 'Promised Land' as the first in a new string of releases.

Born out of the Black and LGBTQ+ music scenes in the U.S., and home to records from the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Fingers Inc, Steve "Silk” Hurley, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, and Marshall Jefferson, DJ international is still considered one of the most influential imprints of its time.

Speaking to DJ Mag about the history of the label, and its importance in the early Chicago scene, Jones said that "DJ international was originally a record pool, a place where all the DJs shop, a professional organisation and a way for record companies to get product to the DJs to help expose their music.

"So, DJs had to come to the record pool to get the latest stuff. Every DJ in Chicago that was working got records through us... we would give advice to record companies on how to get their music played by the DJs.”

You can check out 'Promised Land' below, which features brand new vocals from Anthony Thomas, below, and find out more about DJ International Records here.