From the UK, Brian Power had his first DJ gig in 2013 when he was 50 years old. Five years later he not only has a successful run as a DJ but also has an impressive label where he releases his and other noteworthy producers’ music. If that isn’t a kick in the butt for some of you I don’t know what is, but it goes to show you that sometimes musical output can flourish at any time in one’s life!
Brian Power: A 5 Mag Mix
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Brian Power: The 5 Mag Interview
So Brian, tell us what led up to you deciding to finally DJ and how long had you been working on it prior to that first gig? Was it hard to get your foot in the door?
I don’t think it was a conscious decision as such, it was just a music passion to start with. I was playing 12″ vinyl in my loft for a couple of years, not mixing, just buying and playing music I loved like ’80s soul. Then I started to buy soulful house and curiously wanted to know how mix, so I went to the local record store and paid the owner to teach me when the shop was closed. Then an advert appeared on Facebook by Freekfm, who were looking for DJs, so I applied and got the breakfast show slot (I was winging it really!) The owner was at my first show and when I finished he basically said I had a lot to learn, however he thought my selection was spot on. So that was when that I decided to give it my best shot to DJ… went from bedroom to radio DJ.
My first gig was at a small cafe in Brick Lane called Vintage Bean for about 40/50 people. I was playing vinyl for 2 1/2 hours and that’s when I knew I would be doing this as a profession. Then I ran some club nights with Sartorial in West Norwood and Brixton at the Market House called Soul House. A highlight was playing at the Mi-Soul Sunday series at the Southbank and O2 in London – really great open air events. I also got to play the main room at Ministry of Sound at the Mi-Soul Christmas party. This year I will be back at the Liverpool Disco Festival (March 31), Southport Weekender Festival (June 9), Suncebeat, Croatia (July 19) and also Margate Soul Festival (August 3, 4, 5).
Being somewhat a latecomer to the music scene, what is your musical background, were you trained in instruments and who are your musical inspirations?
My musical background is virtually non-existent, both my parents worked hard and I really tried to learn violin, piano and guitar whilst I was at school, but I never lasted as I have always struggled concentrating or doing homework study. Having said that from the age of 8-9 I loved music! Listening to radio was always a good escape and an inspiration for me. I have an eclectic mix of musical inspirations including Rod Stewart, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Commodores, George Benson, Jeffery Osborne, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. I grew up loving Soul Music, then when House music came along I was blown away by the likes of MAW, Louie Vega and Kenny Dope, Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson and Robin S, etc.
So what made you finally start producing? At the age of 54 you’re releasing your debut album, did you ever think back years ago you’d be doing this, what have you gained from the experience (was it difficult/ easy) and are you happy with how it sounds?
Well, I told my wife 20 years ago that maybe one day I would be making music and it’s amazing to finally have arrived here with a full album coming out. My first adventure in the studio came about as I wanted to make a House version of Jeffery Osborne’s “I Really Don’t Need No Light,” which was really well received and that spurred me on to start creating and writing my own material. Having ran various businesses, organizing and managing people and getting the right people for the task are my strengths, so I managed to pull in an amazing team of musicians including Mike Patto & Toni Economides. Then a selection of hand picked international artists including Marc Avon Evans, Lifford, Michelle John, Sartorial, Lloyd Wade, Ronnie Herel, Mike Delgado to name a few. Then on the 2nd CD there are all the remixers including Richard Earnshaw, Eric Kupper, DJ Spen and Gary Hudgins and a few others. Overall the making the album was a real joy as all the people involved were amazing to work with and all delivered and then some! We are all very proud of the album as so much love and hard work went into it and simply can’t wait to get it out there and see the response from everyone!
So tell us about your label SoulHouse Music. I was very impressed with the site and the people that are affiliated with it!
SoulHouse Music is a real team effort with Mike Patto, Toni Economides and myself at the core of making the music. Musically we’ve had some great artists collaborate with us on the label including Rebecca Scales, Lloyd Wade, Lifford, Shiv, Michelle John, Ali Tennant, Ronnie Herel and Amber. As a label we’re focused on creating good quality soulful music, showcasing international talent and working with live musicians.
Tell us about this mix! Also what are your future plans for yourself and the label?
I’ve picked some of my own favorite tracks, along with some tasty soulful groovers. There are a few gems from DJ Spen’s Quantize label from Sahib Muhammad and David Anthony feat Stephanie Cook. There’s also Mousse T’s fantastic club mix of Randy Crawford’s “Give Me The Night” and Daryl Hall/John Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That” (Hoax Vocal Remix). Some of my own tracks include “I Wanted Your Love” (DJ Spen Gary Hudgins Mix) a collaboration with Ronnie Herel feat Ali Tennent and “You Win” with Sartorial featuring Michelle John. It’s a bit of an insight into the music and styles that I love, so I hope everyone enjoys the mix! Moving forward with SoulHouse, we are currently working on more tracks with Marc Evans, Michelle John and Mike Delgado, then Jeannie Sol, Soulful Emma Louise and Kathy Kosins and plan to get back in the studio very soon with Lifford and Shiv.
Brian Power Presents SoulHouse Vol. 1 is out now on CD and download.
1 Brian Power / Sartorial Feat Michelle John – You Win (Original mix) – SoulHouse Records
2 DJ Spen The MuthaFunkaz feat Ann Nesby -Its So Easy (Kiko Navarro Ocho Re-Edit) – Clubstar
3 Sahib Muhammad – I Feel (Original Mix) – Quantize
4 David Anthony feat Stephanie Cooke – I Live For You (DJ Spen &Gary Hudgins Mix) – Quantize
5 Randy Crawford – Give Me The Night Mousse T¹s (Classic Club Mix) – Peppermint Jam
6 Andrea Mendez – Bring Me Love (Classic Frankie) – Azuli Records
7 Fredrico d’Alessio feat Mike Blak – Cold Blooded (Mark Di Meo vocal mix) – King Street Sounds
8 Corduroy Mavericks – Everything Girl (Original mix) – Emby
9 Brian power / Ronnie Herel feat Ali Tennent – I Wanted Your Love (DJ Spen Gary Hudgins Mix) – SoulHouse Records
10 Daryl Hall John Oats – I Cant Go For That (Hoax Vocal Remix) – RCA
11 95 North Phillip Ramirez – See The Light (Richard Earnshaws Vocal Mix) – 95 North Records
12 Madj¹k – Forceful Rhythm ( T²chida) (Mike Delgado Dub) – Dopewax
13 Jasper Street Co. – Till I Found You (Original Mix) – Basement Boys
14 Teddy Douglas feat Margaret Grace – Woman – Groove Odyssey
15 Funkbox – Paradise – DF Records
16 DJ Able Feat Simpson – Get Up – Quantize
17 Soul Avengerz – Can You Handle It – Kings Groove
18 Brian Power Feat Marc Evans – You Mean The World To Me – SoulHouse Records