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Roy Davis Jr
Related: American music - Chicago house music - house music - Phuture - DJ Pierre - deep house
Roy Davis Jr is IMHO the best soulful house producer of the nineties. Tracks which belong in every crate are 'Watch Them Come' on Undaground Therapy records and the 1996 'Gabriel' on Large Records, both voiced by jazz vocalist Peven Everett. "Gabriel" is often cited as a defining moment in the development of speed garage.
He made me reconsider Stevie Wonder.
Roy Davis Jr. is a professional recording artist specializing in house music on the Ubiquity record label.
Davis grew up in Chicago, Illinois. Davis was turned on to house music at an early age by house pioneer Lil' Louis. Davis began his own production company named Phuture in the late 1980s. In the 1990s Davis teamed with Chicago vocalist Peven Everett and recorded the hit song, "Gabrielle"(Large /XL). The track garnered large amounts of airplay in radios and clubs all around the world. The single sold over 250,000 copies, and has appeared on dozens of compilations including the seminal Desert Island Mix from Gilles Peterson. The song drove Davis into his current artistic direction of soulful & spiritual house music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Davis_Jr.
Added on board the Chicago house production team Phuture as a replacement for DJ Pierre, Roy Davis, Jr. later followed his mentor to New York and worked at Strictly Rhythm, recording his own singles for Force Inc., Big Big Trax and Power Music. Originally born in California, Davis moved to Chicago's south side early in his childhood. After being turned on by legendary acid-house pioneers like Phuture and Lil' Louis, he became a DJ and began recording as well with his first single, "20 Below," recorded for the Jack Trax label.
When DJ Pierre began producing for New York-based labels like Jive and Strictly Rhythm during the late '80s, he decided to leave both Chicago and Phuture. Davis spent a year in New York as well, working A&R and production for Strictly Rhythm before moving back to Chicago and stepping into DJ Pierre's place. Davis debuted with 1992-93 Phuture singles like "Rise from Your Grave" and "Inside Out," both of which were recorded for Strictly Rhythm. While Phuture was temporarily on hold in 1994, Davis began concentrating on his own productions again. He released People from Mars for Power Music, and recorded singles for Large and Big Big Trax as well. The Big Big Trax Compilation was collected in 1996, and Roy Davis, Jr. & DJ Mix appeared in 1998. A Phuture reunion (as Phuture 303) resulted in the 1998 album Alpha & Omega, after which Davis left the group once again.
-- John Bush, All-Music Guide
Jeff Craven of Large records has Roy Davis Jr. in his all-time top ten:
Roy Davis Jr. featuring Peven Everett "Gabriel"
"The record that allowed me to make peace with God. Perhaps one of the most creative dance records of all time?"
In his own words
Roy describes the music that he makes as "soul electrica"; soul music mixed with electronics. His style has changed and grown up through the years as he has been going back to his spiritual roots in house music, away from the sound that he once was associated with - Phuture’s acid and wild pitch. The sound he is working on is expanding more on the soulful side combining an unmistakable deep funk sound of Chicago.
Born in Van Nuys, CA and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago he started off listening to DJ Pierre, Farley Jackmaster Funk and Lil Louis which got him inspired to produce his own music. His influences include Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder and uncle Bernard Boykins who played with Roberta Flack and his mother who used to sing back-up for the Dells, a Chicago soul band from the 70s.
Notably favorite venues that Roy has played at, and they vary from a few hundred to many thousands of people, include the Sub Club in Scotland, the Kitchen and Stereo in Canada. Artists that he would love to work with or is in the process of working with presently include Faith Evans, Lauryn Hill, Tribe Called Quest, Stevie wonder, Prince and the list can go on and on.
Presently he is working on numerous projects for labels such as Underground Construction, King Street, Peacefrog and Nite Life Collective. His latest remix for Eric Benet and Faith Evans’ "Georgy Porgy" out on Warner Bros. is gearing up with great responses.
Roy would like to fill this world with as much love as possible and to focus for ’99 on bringing more artists to the battle and make sure that Undaground Therapy, his own label, fills that lonely spot in the heart with good music.
As a child of the seventies, Roy was born into an artistic and musical family. His mother played gospel music for the church and father played the trumpet as a child. Roy has been writing songs since the inspiring age of 15.
He produced his first record with DJ Pierre and Phuture, he has also worked with some of houses all time greats such as, Marshall Jefferson, Lil' Louis, Ron Trent, Steve Poindexter, Byron Stingley, and Daft Punk.
In 1991, Roy got together with Jay Juniel and Sheena Mahome and started the group Umosia on Polydor/Big Beat. "We are Unity" was the first single. Roy then went to Strictly Rhythm, where he brought his talent and skills to develop into great forms of art with the Believers "Who Dares To Believe In Me?", Underworld "Angels Calling", Phuture "Rise From Your Grave", "Inside Out" and also the famous Roy Davis Projects 1-3.
Roy has also been the man to carry the Chicago House sound to Power Music with DJ Duke with "People From Mars", "The Secret Mission Album" and "The Wildlife Experience 1 and 2".
He then moved on to Large Records to produce "The Dance Tune Of The Year" (said the critics of Europe) "Gabriel" featuring Peven Everett.
Roy is not only a pioneer of House music, but he also serves as CEO for his own label "Undaground Therapy", located in Chicago where Roy and Smoov D reside and continue to put out the best of the new cutting edge of Dance Music/ Soul and Hip Hop while continuing to be a legend in true Chicago House.
"Undaground Therapy" has featured such artists as "Men From The Nile", with Peven Everett, "Earth Boys", Paul Johnson, Jay Juniel, Louie Maldonado, DJ Tekno Step, Brian Harden and DJ Skull.
- Roy Davis, Jr. in the mix [Amazon US]
Transitions - Roy Davis Jr. & Jay Juniel | Galactic Soul - Roy Davis Jr. | Ladbroke Groove - Kerri Chandler | Jay's Love Vibration Mix - Freedom Group 'Red Hot' | Green Tea - Freemen | Gabriel - Roy Davis Jr. | Bless It - Paul Johnson Club Land | The Rock Shock - Roy Davis Jr. | Beautiful One - Roy Davis Jr. | Watch Them Come - Men From The Nile | Home - Mateo & Matos | Fixation - Johnny Fiasco | Reprezent - Louie Maldonado | Dancin' Revisited - Jordan Fields | Pieces Of Funk - Risque De Funk Electrique
Five of Roy's own material on this comp CD: Watch Them Come (!), The Rock Shock, Galactic Soul, Transitions, Beautiful One. All of this is superbly mixed with other people's material, best of which is Jordan Fields 'Dancin' Revisited'. Five of Roy's own material on this comp CD: Whatch Them Come (!), The Rock Shock, Galactic Soul, Transitions, Beautiful One. All of this is superbly mixed with other people's material, best of which is Jordan Fields 'Dancin' Revisited'.
- Roy Davis, Jr. - Traxx from the Nile [Amazon US]
While it's usually Europeans like Basement Jaxx who are lauded for "saving" house music from its often formulaic 4/4 rhythm confines, the American Roy Davis Jr. has been keeping the beats most pliable for years now. His 1996 single "Gabriel" almost single-handedly evolved the Armand Van Helden-inspired British "speed garage" sound into two-step with its stuttered groove and heavenly vocals. [...] Scott Sterling for URB Magazine
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