I have been talking with Matt Warren…
about his role kickstarting House music and how he helped create this incredible scene in Chicago. Warren discusses the scene in Chicago now and artists/albums that have impacted him; what he has planned coming up and if there will be tour dates.
His album, Music Is My Life, is forthcoming and he discusses the themes that inspired the album; what his favourite musical memory is and which rising artists we need to watch out for – he ends the interview by selecting a classic track.
Hi, Matt. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been a whirlwind of activity…with my new disc out, interviews and other promo duties – but it’s been awesome.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Matt Warren from Chicago. I’ve been producing music since the inception of House music; I’ve had numerous releases over the years and have worked with the likes of J.M. Silk, Byron Stingly; Shawn Christopher and many others.
Music Is My Life is your new album. What can you reveal about it and how it came together?
The album came about from the suggestion of my Executive Producer, MyMy ‘Pepper’ Gomez. I’ve been engineering and producing for other artists for the past ten years and we thought it was time to bring a new fresh perspective on dance music. I wanted to go back to the days where you could put on a record and it would be entertaining from start to finish.
You are a legend of the House scene. Can you remember when you started and which artists inspired you?
I was making records before House was born, so I naturally wanted to know what this new genre was all about. I have to give credit to the late, great Frankie Knuckles who inspired me to write my song Bang the Box. From there, I was hooked!
How do you think House has changed since 1980s?
Well. I would say that there is some good House music still coming out, but I feel like a lot of it has ‘lost its soul’ and that’s why I recorded Music Is My Life – to remind everyone where the ‘soul’ of House music comes from. Real arrangements, real instruments and soulful vocals.
Chicago is, obviously, in your blood. Is there still a varied scene in the city?
There is still a scene in Chicago as far as musicians go; however, I feel like the ‘Club’ scene here has really changed since the heyday’s of the late-’80s and early-’90s. You’re hard pressed to find a House music club in Chicago nowadays.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
We are looking forward to getting out a doing D.J. sets all across Europe and the U.S. I’m also already working on the follow up disc to Music Is My Life.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I played a gig in Switzerland for the millennium New Year. There were sixteen-thousand-plus people in the crowd. It was amazing!
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
This album taught me what arrangements and music are all about.
Sade – Diamond Life
This album showed me what amazing vocals should sound like.
Heatwave – Too Hot to Handle
Perfect example of an album that you play from start to finish. Brilliant!
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
I would ask that all mankind could put away these hurtful political and nationalistic views and start to treat each other with humility and kindness.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I’m not sure what you’re asking about with the rider part of the question…do you mean my performance rider?
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Keep putting out new music. Don’t ever give up your dreams.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Nothing scheduled yet but dates will be forthcoming.
IN THIS PHOTO: Elena Andujar
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Elena Andujar, Sharkeyes and B.B.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
When I have time to chill, I’m spending it with my wife and two sons. I’m a huge fan of mixed martial arts = UFC!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music – I will do that).
I would request The Ones You Love by Frankie Knuckles (Shapeshifters Mix)
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