023: David Morales
Interview: David Morales on DJing, House Music and Technology
It’s time to talk house music and disco with a Grammy Award-winning DJ and record producer. Producing and remixing over 500 releases including the club mix for Jamiroquai Space Cowboy, collaboration with Frankie Knuckles on ‘Where Love Lives’ and hit classic "Needin’ U”, we welcome Legend and house music visionary, David Morales to the podcast!
So what will you learn in this podcast episode of Your Music Industry?
1 - The growth and story of how David Morales became a successful and well-known DJ in New York
2 - An insight into working with the likes of Frankie Knuckles and the whole journey of the growth of House Music
3 - David Morales thoughts on DJing including how the technology has changed and impacted on the likes of warm-up sets.
A little bit about David...
“I am creating a place for people to forget their troubles for a while. It is important in the world we are living in today.” – David Morales
Dance music in the second decade of 2000 is about one word – BIG. The tracks and remixes are big, the new breed of big room DJs are akin to demigods and live events have reached a scale never before seen. However, the global sensation and penetration of dance music into top 40 radio would not have been possible without a foundation built by David Morales – one of the first true superstar DJs.
A native New Yorker, David Morales grew up during dance music’s most influential era and frequented its legendary clubs. Whilst the music in such famed establishments as the Loft and the Paradise Garage was inspiring and new, there was also a large social element to what made these clubs unique. There were few clubs in New York City in the 1970’s and 1980’s that catered to everyone – black, white, Hispanic, gay – but The Loft and Paradise Garage welcomed everyone with open arms. These clubs represented the only places where you could truly “let go” and “be yourself” during a racially tense period in the city’s history. At the controls in the clubs, the DJ, who was more of an educator and less someone who came to play the hits as is prevalent in today’s scene. “The entire concept of DJing has changed so much over the years. Back in them day’s, the DJ was not the focal point; the DJ was someone off to the side or in a corner and people just danced throughout the night. Having experienced that, I get the greatest appreciation when people dance, not when they stare at me like I’m a god. People don’t dance as much anymore which is sad,” Morales says.
After honing his skills at New York City’s most popular clubs David Morales embarked on a remixing career in the mid- 80’s – right when the art really started taking off. With opportunities starting to fly in Morales teamed with Chicago house music legend Frankie Knuckles and For The Record DJ Pool founder/NYC nightlife impresario Judy Weinstein for the creation of Def Mix Productions to help manage remix requests and handle artist business affairs.
David Morales has remixed and produced over 500 releases for artists including Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Eric Clapton, Pet Shop Boys, U2, Whitney Houston, and Jamiroquai. Morales was nominated for his first Grammy Award in 1996 as a Producer on Mariah Carey’s album “Daydream” for the song “Fantasy”. He was nominated again the following year and ultimately winning the 1998 Grammy Award for “Remixer of the Year”.
David Morales made his solo production debut in 1993 with the Mercury Records album “David Morales & The Bad Yard Club”, “The Program”. In 1998 Morales released “Needin’ U” on the Def Mix label, DMI Records, under the alias “The Face.” The track licensed to Mercury Records UK soon became a #1 Dance Record and video which is still being licensed and covered around the world. Ultra Records released Morales’ second album entitled “Two Worlds Collide” in 2005. The first single, “How Would U Feel,” proved successful on the dance floor while “Here I Am” performed by UK artist Tamra Keenan is prominently featured in the smash 2006 film, “The Devil Wears Prada”. “Feels Good,” performed by Angela Hunte landed a major position in the end credits of 2008 film “Don’t Mess with the Zohan”.
In 2011 Ultra Records released Morales’ third album “Changes” featuring the vocals of Roisin Murphy formerly known as “Moloko”. As “Blind Colors” project he produced tracks featuring the vocals of Leroy Burgess, Melonie Daniels, CC Rogers just to name a few. “Father” a spiritual salute to the powers that features strong vocals from co-writer Janice Robinson along with guest appearances from Kenny Bobien, Nicki Richards, South African chanteuse Toshi and Keith Anthony Fluitt. David has also joined forces with Luciano/Cadenza Records producing “Esperanza” track. Though continuing to DJ around the world David has embraced the new technology which allows him to create and remix music on the road. His experience and knowledge has not gone unnoticed. David was also recruited to serve as a judge on “Top DJ” a national television show broadcast on Italia 1. He shared the panel with two popular entertainers where they judge the skills and talent of 10 aspiring DJ/Producers. David found himself on a new journey exploring, learning and experiencing a different segment of the entertainment business.
David Morales is considered by many to be one of the first true superstar DJ’s and is also known as one of the most versatile DJ’s currently on the scene. Whether it is playing a pool party in Miami as one of the “Kings of House” alongside Louie Vega or DJ’ing in an edgy European club or an event geared to a predominately gay crowd, Morales feels comfortable adapting to each situation. “I like to be part of creating a trend as opposed to following a trend. My identity is my culture in music. I’m into my fourth decade and all that influence adds into the mix. “I take what I experience and create my own thing.” Morales says. “You expand people’s minds by being able to expose them to different things”. David is tireless: he just launched his brand new campaign/project standing along from others: DIRIDIM is the new musical project for all tastes, targeting to listeners rather than followers, going back to essential “the rhythm”.
The first release Back Home by David Morales feat Alex Uhlmann is the manifesto of the project itself, being part of the album FREEDOM to be released in several “episodes”, the record label will produce music no matter which kind.
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