Jay Vegas is one of the leaders of the contemporary Disco House school, gaining global recognition for his instantly recognisable and in demand grooves.  In recent years, Jay has released solo productions and remixes for labels such as Toolroom, Guesthouse Music, Salted Music, Space Disco, Good For You and more and also runs his own imprint Hot Stuff Records, which is now celebrating its 10th Anniversary. As his fab new single ‘Feel The Beat’ drops on Fool’s Paradise, DMCWorld checks in with Jay Vegas.  

Hey Jay! Thanks very much for taking the time to sit down with us here at DMC World. How’s 2023 been for you?

Hey, thanks for having me!  2023 has been a really busy and productive year. So when Traxsource named me 13th top artist recently; it left me with a warm feeling knowing that all the hard work has paid off. To be acknowledged in such a way is really encouraging – as I always strive to be better and improve. You never stop learning.

Please can you introduce yourself to our DMC World readers.

I’m a UK producer and DJ who has been around for donkey’s years… approximately 30. I’ve released music on all the renowned labels such as: Subliminal, Ministry of Sound, Toolroom, Hed Kandi & Cream. I’ve worked under various aliases, but produce mainly under Jay Vegas now; since around 2010.

What is the best piece of new music you have heard recently?

I’m really feeling Mattei & Omich’s vocal rework of their tune Miura. They’re pushing boundaries and experimenting with their sound. Something more producers need to do. That’s how new exciting genres are found. Let’s not play it safe.

How would you describe your signature sound?

It’s a combination of all my influences, messed up into pieces and reorganised into something I can call my own. I’m not following trends or trying to sound like anyone else. I always try to have a classic but contemporary feel – in the hope that it gives the music longevity. I try and make records that can stand the test of time.

What’s been your most successful release so far?

I’m not sure, I’ve had a few. Possibly ‘Come Soon’. It’s a sentimental record with a strong and hopeful message… that’s what people are looking for in a world full of turmoil.

And your biggest release of 2023?

I’d say the update of my track ‘Can U Feel It’ on Hot Stuff and also my remix of Mattei & Omich – My Feelings.

Jay Vegas - Can U Feel It (2023 Remaster) [Hot Stuff]

Congratulations on your new release, ‘Feel The Beat’ on Fool’s Paradise, what can we expect to hear?

Thank you! It’s a full on disco house track that has all the bells and whistles. It’s lead by a catchy vocal hook that invites you to dance to it’s beat. It has live instrumentation throughout, but still has plenty of energy and toughness to slot into a peak time house set.

Jay Vegas - Feel The Beat [House/Disco]

Who or what inspires your music?

Musically, I’m still inspired by the same producers that I was listening to when I first got into house. US artists like MAW, Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, David Morales, Tommy Musto – the list goes on. Also UK artists like Full Intention, Grant Nelson, Mark Knight, Joey Negro etc.

And how do you typically go about putting a new track together?

Typically the idea comes first , then I put some beats to it and go from there. I tend to visualise everything in my head and then translate it into the computer. I’m lucky that I’m never short of ideas. My mind constantly wants to create.

You work a lot with samples, how do you go about sourcing those?

The internet has made it so easy to find samples. You have YouTube, blogs and whosampled. I’ll also go through music collection to see if I can find any gems.

You also run your own label, Hot Stuff, which is now in its 10th year, what have been the label’s highlight releases?

The first highlight would have to be my track ‘Say To Ya’. It was our 4th release and our 1st track to go number 1 on Traxsource.

Jay Vegas - Say To Ya (Original Mix)

The second one would have to be the Mark Knight Remix of my track ‘Break Ya Down’. To have a household name on the label, an A lister… was the perfect way to finish to our 10th year!

Jay Vegas - Break Ya Down (Mark Knight Remix) [Hot Stuff]

What has been your favourite DJ gig so far this year and where are you most looking forward to playing?

My favourite gigs are usually the smaller venues. I love the intimacy of being right there with the crowd. I’m a punter who just happens to be behind the decks. I try and experience it from the crowds perspective. That way, I feel you can deliver a better performance.  I’m most looking forward to the Fool’s Paradise nights when they materialise. It’ll be great to hook up with the other artists.

You’ve been making music for a long time, how has the industry changed since you first started out and what now needs to change for the better?

When I first started, you needed to find a record label to release music. Now you can set up your own label quite easily and release your own. The digital age has transformed how we do business. I think it’s better that artists have more control over their own music.

As streaming music becomes more popular. I think the streaming sites should pay artists more fairly. As the technology progresses, the need to buy and download music could fade away. Making it very difficult for artists to make an income.

How is the UK dance music scene at the moment, who is hot? 

I think the UK dance is still healthy. It’s not as prominent as it was back in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. It’s great to see the younger generation getting into house music. I just wish they’d embrace the moment more by dancing and putting their phones away. House music has always been about escapism and letting yourself go. Not reliving it through a lens. There’s plenty of talent in the UK and there’s still a lot of players killing it.

We come to raid your record collection, which embarrassing record do you chuck out the window before we arrive? 

Haha it’d probably be Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret. This confession is going to come back to haunt isn’t it haha!?

What record makes you say ‘damn, I wish I made that’?

Hmm, I think it’d have to be Hardrive – Deep Inside. A brilliantly simple tune, that’s so effective!

Finally, what new productions are you working on that you can tell us about?

I’ve recently finished a remix of Antoine Clamaran feat. Lulu Hughes – Feel It [HouseU], which will be my first release of 2024. I’ve also remixed Hatiras’ wicked tune Starlight [Spacedisco] which is coming out in February ’24. I’m currently working on my next releases for Hot Stuff – which I’m really excited about – they’re sounding hot! Next year I’ll also be working on a track with Mark Knight. He’s coming up to mine for that, so that will be fun. I think we should have time to squeeze in a cheeky bike ride in too!

Jay Vegas ‘Feel The Beat’ is out now on Fool’s Paradise.