DJ Spen & Teddy Douglas
As the beat of house music blossomed below the mainstream’s radar in warehouses and clubs in Chicago, New York and London in the ’80s, Basement Boys were defining their own indelible sound in Baltimore. They presented their soulful ethos on groundbreaking albums in the early ’90s for Ultra Naté and Crystal Waters as well as remixes galore.
Thirty years on Basement Boys have stood their musical ground, and they’ve clung to their positive, uplifting sound, never wavering in the face of fleeting fads and fashion http://newsflash.bigshotmag.com/features/39238/
Baltimore’s finest and International House headliner, DJ Spen joins forces with his mentor and Basement Boys founder, Teddy Douglas, to set Deep Into Soul alight with their keyboard-charged flying vocal house anthems and bumping underground beats. DJ Spen’s recent releases include ‘Can’t Give You Up’ featuring Michael Robinson and the off-kilter mix on Todd Terry’s ‘Stranger’ on his respected Quantize Records, and sure to be airing his latest Exclusives on the night. From producing Ultra Nate’s breakthrough song, “It’s Over Now’ to Crystal Waters classic chart smash ‘Gypsy Woman (La Dee Dee, La Dee Di)’ to creating ‘Praisin Your Name’ for Anne Nesby, Teddy Douglas continues to wow house music lovers around the world, as well as hosting his legendary Salvation party at the Paradox club in Baltimore, now 14 years strong.
After their stellar Southport Weekender 50th appearance, the legendary gospel-orientated house music group, Jasper Street Company make a rare Live appearance in London. With classics such as “A Feeling’, ‘Solid Ground’ and their recent and first track in 10 years, ‘Reach’, tonight promises an incredibly special show full of classic church organ and rhythm guitar riffs creating that ole’ foot stompin’, good time in the basement feel.
Farley & Heller Remix of Jasper Street Company “A Feeling’
BASEMENT BOYS Back To Back with DJ Spen & Teddy Douglas
1. What’s the best gig you’ve ever played and what made it so special?
Easter Monday 2001. I was in Melbourne, Australia playing a party called Freak-a-Zoid. It was the first daytime party I did in a night club and you would never have known it wasn’t 12pm midnight! People were freakin’ and I didn’t want to get off 🙂
2. After all these years Djing and producing how do you still motivate yourself to keep on top of your game?
It’s a part of my God given gift. It’s hard, but because I know that I’m supposed to be doing this, it makes it just that much easier for me to do.
3. Who are your favorite producers around at the moment and what makes them stand out to you?
I’ve got quite a few favourites right now… Atjazz, Sean McCabe, DJ Romain, Rhemi Music and Mike Dunn just to name a few. They all have a unique quality that belongs to them and they rarely stray far from the roots of what they do.
4. What do you think makes a great Dj and do you think you have those attributes?
I believe at the end of the day a great DJ is a player that’s willing to do what it takes to get the crowd jumpin!!!! End of story. You haven’t done your job if this isn’t the case and it doesn’t matter if there are 5 or 5000 people on the floor. Guess I’m ok 🙂
5. Knowing what you know now what piece of advice would you have given yourself 30 years ago?
Don’t get too comfortable because everything changes!!!
6. Do you still see yourself producing music and Dj’ing in 20 years time?
Yup… probably until the day I die in some capacity.
1. Who would you say is the biggest inspiration of your career and why?
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff have to be the biggest inspirations of my career as a producer and as a DJ. As a teenager I loved all The Sound of Philadelphia records, and they still sound amazing today and I play them out when I feel it’s right.
2. Who is the best vocalist you’ve ever worked with and what made them so special?
Believe it or not the vocalist that impressed me the most wasn’t a lead singer – it’s 2 background singers – Cindy Mizelle and Audrey Wheeler. They were one take, professional and great to work with. They did vocals on Crystal Waters second album, ‘Storyteller’. Both are still working in music and Cindy sings for Louie Vega’s label.
3. What’s been your biggest highlight or your career and what has been the biggest low point?
HAHAHA!! OK…. The biggest high point was being at the Grammy’s sitting behind Luther Vandross and Chaka Khan as we were nominated for Best Dance record for Crystal Water’s ‘Gypsy Woman’ smash. The lowest point was selling my million dollar facility( studio) known as Jasper Street as the music business was changing but I’m always going forward.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out in music what would that be?
Don’t! hahaha! 🙂 Just kidding! My advice is to never follow trends. Do what you feel is authentic to you and stay the course. Many people said when I was young, ’Son you should go to college and get a real job’…But I stayed with my passion and it’s worked out fine.
5. If you could choose any artist in the world to work with who would that be?
That would be Patti Labelle .. Hands down
6. What can the crowd at Deep Into Soul expect from you on Saturday April 9th at the Prince Of Wales?
Expect tons of good music..:-) I like all kinds of music and my set is often laced with Disco, Basement Boys classics, a lil Gospel and some new joints comin this summer from my new album Retro Soul feat Marcell.
Basement Boys DJ Spen & Teddy Douglas headline Deep Into Soul’s Baltimore House Special this Saturday April 9th with the Jasper Street Company making a rare UK Live appearance plus DJs Remi Music’s Neil Pierce and Ziggy Funk, Pablo Martinez, David Bailey, DJ Fiddla & Shaun Ashby at the POW, Brixton. All info www.facebook.com/DeepIntoSoul, @deepintosoul
DJ Spen https://soundcloud.com/djspen