House Music Superstar Todd Terry goes track crazy ahead of big Venus gig

House music purists hunt down the beats he records under guises including Orange Lemon, Royal House, Black Riot, Dredd Stock, and the Gypsymen, and popular culture has embraced him for creating (at least) two of house music’s biggest anthems, the Jungle Brothers’ I'll House You and Missing by Everything but the Girl. Todd Terry is undoubtedly one of house music’s super-heavyweights.

I spoke to him briefly late last week at his home in New York City just before he jumped on a flight to Europe. He’s heading to Manchester to display his genius at Venus on Friday 30th August; but not before plying his trade in Mallorca and Ibiza (for Sankey's) en route.

He’s checking out tracks when he picks up the phone.

I always go through a bunch of tracks before I leave, I like to listen to them on the plane.

House Jams all the way?

All kinds of music really, Rap, Trap, House, Funk, Soul, a bunch of everything.

Do you still get to use your Vinyl?

I do some Vinyl parties with Tommy Boy, those are very prestige stuff, Vinyl only party, I did that – I’ll be doing that again.

I pulled down my 45’s doing Mobile Monday with just 45’s, I’m just getting those cleaned up, trying to come up with an hour set.

It’s a lot harder than people think. You only have 2-3 minutes to think between each record, you know you’re not getting any more than that so you better be really on point and focused on what you gonna do.

You have to be very clear headed, you have to come up with a strong routine and that routine has to be practiced.

I’m not a collector like they are (Kenny Dope and Johnny D). I just get what I need and keep it moving.

You must have a shed load of Vinyl, how many do you have in your collection? Have you ever counted?

I have to say that I’m not the biggest Vinyl guy but we did a count recently because I’ve been moving around a lot and I had 17,000 records, something around there.

Kenny Dope and Johnny D you’re talking about 100,000 records, but that’s a different margin of records and a different margin of collecting. I’m not a collector like they are.

I just get what I need and keep it moving.

Sometimes you gotta get rid of shit. You gotta have a clean out, it’s just the way it is.

 

Consumable rather than collectable?

Exactly.

When you sit down to make a record does the process just happen easily for you or do you have to force it through?

Ah different days, different ways.

One day I can hear a record and it can create the idea of a record for me, often it doesn’t come out the way I thought it was going to come out, it comes out something different, it would still be good you know.

I’ve been really trying to come up with a House song, that’s loved again. That's my key right about now, a house song that’s loved.

What’s in the production pipeline right now?

I’m working on a freestyle album, Freestyle Forever and Todd Terry V’s Hip Hop Album Part 2 and just putting out a bunch of tracks in between all that.

I’m kinda going track crazy, the feel is back now, we’ve moved from the 122(bpm) to the 125 and for me it feels right, I’ve been mimicking that era you know, such as ‘I’ll be your friend’ I’ve been really trying to come up with a house song that’s loved again.

That's my key right about now, a house song that’s loved.

 

Do you think you have it? Can you share the proposed title(s) with us?

I have 2 contenders that are really good.

One with Michelle Rivera it’s called Living and another with me and Johnny Famous, one’s a Hip House thing and the other one's reminiscent of Inner City, I went for that type of feel, Kevin Saunderson style. I can't wait to share them at Venus and later - the world.

 

To be among the first to hear tracks from Todd’s Freestyle Forever project and to spend your time in the company of house music royalty, head to Venus Friday 30th August where Todd Terry headlines a very special Substance party. Press here for tickets.

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