American House legend Todd Terry is set to return to London for the second time this year with a show at the ever emerging Proud2, presented by Space on Saturday 10th September.
Famed for his domineering influence on house music, Todd will be expected to mix some of the finest talent that modern house can provide as well as playing the older, classic anthems that changed house music forever. Widely acclaimed as being an icon of dance music, Todd is a true legend whose influence is unchallenged. He started off in the '80s producing tracks for Strictly Rhythm as well as his own Freeze Records imprint and then fast gained popularity, in the process winning Grammys for remixing pop acts. Best known for the hits 'Keep on Jumping' and'Something Goin’ On', he has almost two decades of domination to his name.
We caught up with him over the phone from NY to hear his thoughts on the upcoming gig...
So Todd, how has 2011 been for you so far?
"Really cool. Some interesting music out there. I think the crowd is coming back to the real house thing, I think that kids are interested in the culture and the way the thing started. Things are picking up the right way."
Are you excited about your forthcoming show at Proud2 in London?
'Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out!"
How did your last show in London – Legends of House – turn out?
"Good. I would just bang out old school house and get crazy with it!"
Up until recently you’ve been out of the spotlight, what has inspired this sudden comeback?
"I really wasn’t nowhere, just doing my DJ thing and putting out records. I was just going in and out really. There’s a new age of kids so I just try to follow through."
What can we expect you to play at Proud2 and how will you adapt your set for a London crowd?
"I’m gonna go with some old school and some new stuff that I’ve got that I’m gonna work on the dancefloor. I’m just feeding into that thing. Not working the DJ but working the crowd."
Following this comeback, can fans be expecting any new productions in the near future?
"Yeah I’m doing alot of collaborations and putting out alot of stuff on InHouse Records and lots of experimental stuff, doing what I want to do and it's getting really appreciated. I’m doing collaborations with various artists, people are sending me a lot of stuff and I’m just mixing it and editing it."
What artists do you currently rate right now and what new forms of dance music are you feeling?
"There are so many good records out there. I don’t know where to start! Simian Mobile Disco, some of their stuff is interesting. I also found a guy called Ja Rule, not the rap artist, an old reggae artist who has some stuff that's interesting, that i’m gonna try and mix some stuff out of. I like his old vintage records, I get pieces from that and put it into my records. Just like I do with some old folk records, that type of feel I think people appreciate it with a house beat under it. Make it sound like I feel, party or rejoice!"
How do British clubbers compare to those across the world?
"I think you guys are a little more ahead of the game maybe even more than what we are. It’s kind of like we have to catch up to you guys, it’s the other way around now. I’m still back in my old school thing in Italy where they just want to hear songs and peak beats all night. It’s a little different way to look at it, it’s like i’ve got to catch up to you guys now."
We heard you once played a set with four live turntables. Is this true?
"Basically, I think three is enough. I could never turn four records. That’s a big lie! I don’t know anybody who could really do that! Two or three, you can play around and throw in some beats in much better."
You’ve been around the music scene for a long time, as such have you changed the technology you use at all?
"As far as technology comes, I’m still using CDs and stuff like that I want to get into the whole track of the thing and everything successful to it. Computers takes a bit of fun out of it, I like to move around and grab CDs and move stuff like that. I’m using the USB stuff with the 2000s, I’m getting into that a little bit too. When you're scrolling through a little screen you could go fucking blind! I’m checking it out, but the main thing is I like to move around. If i’m going to use a computer I may as well put my hands in the air and play a mixtape! I don’t know what skill it takes to really play on a computer. That’s just me, like I say, I just like to move around a bit."
What does the future hold?
"I just get into a thing where I’m doing what I want to do, just not keep worrying about what everyone else is doing. If i’m gonna do a commercial record, I’m gonna do a commercial record. If I want to do a jazz record, I’m gonna do a jazz record. I’m trying to formulate myself where I’m doing something different all the time. It’s going to be planet rock beat or it’s gonna be a totally rap record. I’m trying to keep that style going for me. My goal is so people say ‘Oh he did some Inhouse or some other different record’, that’s who I want to be. I don’t think people are as interested in that now, they just want to put a house record out all the time. There’s a lot more music out there that we can do. Let's just do it. I don’t know why anyone’s holding back. Now we have the power to do what we really want to do, so lets do it!"
As well as Todd, the line-up will feature Femi B and So Called Scumbags presenting Read the Crowd alongside artists such as CK in Room Two and Lee Game in Room Three presenting Rollover and Passion respectively.
For more information, please visit the Proud website.
Words: Dave Rivers