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Todd Terry
in Interview
Galerie   Video
16. November 2013
Pacha · London
In house music the name “Todd Terry” speaks for itself. Terry not only contributed with his uncountable Remixes for various international artists to house music, but was actively involved in shaping it. Being part of the experienced generation of DJs who acclaimed a respectable status in the music industry he gave his debut performance at Pacha, London catering a big fan audience.
Organiser Vanessa Horca added: It is a pleasure having the House legend come all the way from USA to perform for us. The crowd enjos it as much as we do, all for the love of cherries (Pacha).

Events & Trends had the chance to talk to the master himself, before he entered the main stage.

BBG: Todd, which was is your own favourite record upto now?
TT: (Laughs.) Black Riot!

BBG: You have been to London several times before, but it is your first time at this particular PACHA venue here today. How is London compared to your birthplace New York?
TT: You know, London is my crowd. Everything happened for me over here…I always keep it going over here.

BBG: What’s the difference in music?
TT: New York is more into different types of music, more from the radio. This is more of an underground type of thing over here, so makes more sense to play here.

E&TBBG: Where do have most pleasure in performing on stage, here in London or still in your own “hood”?
TT: Sometimes, playing over there is really good, when it is a big venue type of thing. But I’m keepin’ the people over here, they are more enthused into house music.

BBG: Meeting you is a real pleasure, as you were and are a big part of the old school generation who contributed to making house music what it is today and has been in the past. You started with HipHop elements and Italo Dance music and then progressed to House music. Where do you see yourself right now, coming along this path? Are there any eras you are not very proud of?

E&TTT: You know, music is always gonna evolve and change and I just try to flow right through it. But I’m glad it has come back to real house music, ‘cause that’s a better feel for the dancefloor and it’s more funky, you know. And I think people appreciate it much more, the kids are really getting into it for where it really came from…so that’s kind of cool.

BBG: Speaking of kids, what do you think about these young DJs who copy a few samples together and mix it with some nice vocals, in best case they become famous with one song and then charge a quarter of a million bucks for playing a 2 hour set live?!
TT: You know, that’s a commercial thing. You can make half a movie these days and become famous in only a day. This is exposure…they are on commercial radio, this is different to what we do. We cater to real club crowd, and we keep it that way. I do pop records too, but I am more underground.

E&TBBG: Do you prefer kids listening to the commercial pop House or them to go back to the roots of real house music?
TT: No, I think that’s cool. Some kids like pop stuff, some like to be a bit more on the cooler side and give it to the underground stuff. It’s what you feel on the dancefloor…sometimes everybody just wants to pump their fists all night, who knows. (Laughs.) It’s a different style of music.

BBG: Obviously you have travelled the world. Which one of is one of your favourite venues coming to Europe?
TT: Definitely London or Italy, those are my two biggest markets. So I definitely enjoy being here… cater to the crowd.

BBG: Do you think other countries have to catch up playing your music more frequently?
TT: It’s kind of who you are. Sometimes you can come up learning the funkiest stuff, from James Brown to Quincy Jones to everything like that. If you are brought up listening to radio and that’s how you first found music, I don’t blame you for not knowing me…it’s all good (laughs). It’s just who you are, friends you hang around with, styles you are into…some people like HipHop who don’t like House and vice versa.

BBG: Evidently, you have worked together with many international artists in your career. Which were the one you admire most?
TT: Doing Remixes for Cher…Janet Jackson…whoever it is, you don’t always meet those artists but I get on the phone with them, and try to see what they like, you know. Remixing is a different kind of life. (Laughs.) It’s more of a label driven thing on who is hot out there…they just want a remix from a person that is hot, they don’t care about anything else. (Laughs.)

BBG: One of your works was remixing “Stranger in Moscow” for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Did you get to meet him?
TT: I never met him. I tried to get him on the phone, go through some different ideas…but you know, he is busy all the time. It could have happened later, but unfortunately we didn’t get the opportunity again.

E&TBBG: Was he one of those people who you admire for being an artist?
TT: Definitely Michael was one of them. I wish I had the chance to meet James Brown…get a little bit of his dance and music. I mean, I’m in the studio remixing their tracks, that’s a different life.

BBG: Coming from Hanover (Germany), a city you may have not heard about, our local hero is Mousse T., who has achieved international fame for a long time. Have you ever worked together with him or any other German artist?
TT: Of course, I know Hanover. Mousse T. does a lot remixes for me as well, for a couple of my records.

BBG: So are there any other artists you’d like to work with?
TT: Mousse is dope! Definitely would work with Mousse anytime. And there are so many different new kids out there… I need a list and more time to pick out names and everything. (Laughs.) There are a lot of new cats out there I work with…Bailey Smalls, DJ Eclipse, Nemo…some of the old cats Kenny Dope, Little Louie, Dean Ramirez…I work with everybody.

BBG: When are we gonna finally hear something new from the Todd Terry All Stars again?
TT: We have something in the works…me, Terry Hunter, all of us…you know, we just…gotta get all of us together you know…so it’s kind of a hard act. (Laughs.)

BBG: Is it still the same crew working together?
TT: Yeah, they all wanna come back into the studio and hang out for a whole weekend, to get it together. We’re thinking about beginning of January. That’s when everybody is back, so that would make sense.

BBG: You’ve been in the music business for many years. Given the upcoming festive season, if you get a booking from somewhere to perform a live set at Christmas or NYE, would you still do it or enjoy with your family rather than “working”?
TT: Yeah, I mean it’s hard…it’s what it is. It depends on the timing and how it is set up, but most of the time I’m out for New Years. This year I will perform in London. But Christmas is traditionally celebrated at home.

BBG: Speaking of your home, Brooklyn…the place of Gospel, HipHop, Funk and everything else…are there some music elements you would like to bring back from the good old days to the current state of house music?
TT: Funky House, that’s the key. Just keep that vibe going. That’s what we really need now. We need more songs, and we need more funky house…that’s it!

BBG: That’s it. Thank you very much Todd!
TT: Take care!