We’re here to talk about the industry man, the DJ, the producer, the tastemaker: Junior Sanchez. He’s been a part of the dance music circuit for well over two decades, where his hard work has opened the doors to working alongside dance music’s most iconic idols, such as Felix da Housecat in his ‘Kittenz and Thee Glitz’ LP. Junior Sanchez has an upcoming album entitled, ‘Under the Influence’, which will be a major classic house album that pays respects and dues to the influencers, who shaped dance music today.
“The album encompasses all my influence from my culture in house music and my piers , I really centered on channeling my friends and let them influence the art in my mind and ears, so the album you hear will evoke the same feelings and emotions that I had when I was influenced by my peers such as Masters At Work , Mood 2 Swing , Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, Daft Punk, Kerri Chandler, MK, the list go on and on I wanted to make a house album and pay homage to all the influencers who paved the way for what we have today and preserve the art in our culture.” – Junior Sanchez
Although the album will not be out until August 25th, we’re delighted to present the premiere of ‘Levee’ written by Jake Troth and Junior Sanchez and features groovy vocals by Eric Hassle. ‘Levee’ is a stellar, standout track with a mean, hip-swaying bassline complemented gracefully with Eric Hassle’s silky voice. It incorporates elements of funk with real instrumentations and percussion that keep the track lively to make your body jack all night long. We’ve managed to grab a quick interview with man himself, who reveals some details around the song, album, and current happenings in his career.
[GDE]: ‘Under The Influence’ is an album that pays respect to a lot of the influencers in dance music history, what were your reasons for this approach in making the album?
Junior Sanchez: I decided to make an album and really center it around my influences from my culture in house music and my peers and friends. The album really reflects the feelings and emotions that I had when I first started listing to the likes of Masters At Work, Mood 2 Swing, Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, Daft Punk, Kerri Chandler, MK, Roger Sanchez, Dj Sneak, and Dennis Ferrer. I can go on and on. I wanted to pay homage to all the influencers who paved the way for what we have today in House Music.
[GDE]: Since we’re premiering your song, ‘Levee’, can you shed some light on the creative process of making this track with Erick Hassle and Jake Troth. Did the song come first before the vocals, or did everything fall in place naturally?
Junior Sanchez: Absolutely. Levee was written and co-produced by Jake Troth who works a lot with Jesse Rose which is how I met Jake. He is such a talented songwriter and producer. We wanted to evoke the funk and have real instrumentation, and still be house and jacky! Jake had the vocals already there and I constructed around it so it was very organic and it didn’t feel rushed or forced at all, it came together smoothly.
[GDE]: SoShy is featured a lot on this album, as well as few other productions of yours not on ‘Under The Influence’, how did the two of you link up and what do you enjoy most working with her?
Junior Sanchez: SoShy is a super talented singer/songwriter I was introduced to by a mutual friend of ours Bryce Wilson (Groove Theory Mantronix). It actually took us a while to really connect, she hit me on instagram and we spoke for a long time before we decided to be creative, and I think that really help us get to know one another and it became really easy for us to vibe out. I’m also about to work on her album very soon.
[GDE]: Not only are you a musician, but you’re very much involved with a lot of the happenings in the music industry, what are some of your small victories that make your career fulfilling? What are some of the small defeats that remind you that you can’t always win them all?
Junior Sanchez: That’s a great question as I still feel like I’m going and fulfilling them. I would say one moment that stands out to me was when Roger Sanchez, DJ Sneak and I did our first S-Men (6decks) show in London for TribalGathering in 1997 and we literally opened for Kraftwerk – that would be a moment for me that I will never forget. Later on while putting together a collective of DJs called DaMongoloids which consisted of myself, Armand Van Helden, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, DJ Sneak, Roger Sanchez, Harry Romero, Ian Pooley, Rhythm Masters and Bear Who, we literally were like the Wu-Tang of house music; either working, collaborating or remixing each other. For instance, a lot of people don’t know I did a few vocals on Basement Jaxx’s first album ‘Remedy,’ including “Where’s Your Head At.” Everything else I have accomplished or am accomplishing stands equal thus far, I cant pick favorites, it’s not fair to the universe who gave me all these opportunities.