How did you develop an interest in music?
I believe we?re all born this way and that Music is a part of our DNA. So it?s just in me, it?s in all of us.
What were your own early musical influences?
My early musical influences were blues, soul, some country and rock music until the 80?s when I discovered electronic music. Then my life changed forever??.
You were born and lived in Chicago as house music became popular there. What was the Chicago scene like back then, did you go to any particular clubs, and did you have any favourite DJ?s from those early days?
My experience is different, as I grew up on the West side of Chicago. The West side listened to a different style of house music than, let?s say, the South or North sides.
The West side scene was more energetic because we liked to Jack and dance to ?beat house? music (meaning house tracks mainly consisting of a beat with maybe one sampled phrase).
I didn?t actually go to many clubs because I got in the business at the very young age of 15-16, so I could only do school parties and actual house parties inside someone?s home or basement. Which were the best parties at the time!
My favorite DJ?s were the ?Hotmix 5? and that was my era?.
How did you get into music production and DJing, and which came first?
I?m a DJ before anything else!!!
I got into Music Production is because it seemed like that was the next phase after DJing.
?Jack the house? was your first own release, how did that track come into being?
It was a track I made to play something different from what everyone else was playing on the radio. They were digging the track!
I actually wanted to be able to scratch my DJ name in my sets, but you needed to have it pressed on vinyl in order to do it at that time. So I produced the track??but didn?t get the chance to say my name on it! I was somewhat disappointed as although I'd got my first record, I still couldn?t scratch my name in my sets!
Your collaborations with Kenny ?Jammin? Jason at a very young age, one of the tracks you made together in 1986 became a benchmark in house music and one of the genres most popular tracks in history. Can you tell us how ?Can U Dance? came to life?
?Jack The House? made a little noise in Chicago, so Kenny Jammin Jason thought it would be a cool idea to do a track/song together and approached me. I agreed because I liked his 1985 release ?Jam Tracks?. I actually went into his studio with ?Can U Dance? pretty much complete. He heard the track and was instantly happy with it, although he added it to it by playing different chords and strings etc.... At the end of that one and only session, we had completed the song at his studio. He took the master and the rest is house music history!
You were instrumental in creating the Hip House genre which made a real lasting legacy that?s still very popular today. What gave you the inspiration to fuse hip hop lyrics over house music?
I went into a ?Hip Hip only? phase because of all the lies and thievery I had been subjected to. So I wanted to try my hand in rap music and I tuned out of house music, or at least I tried to. However the label wasn?t into rap music because it?s known as a house music label and they had no idea where to start with hip hop music. So it didn?t work out as I wanted it to. At the same time, I couldn?t stay away from house music because of my roots I have and the feeling house music gives me?..so that?s where the infusion comes in, because I love hip hop too. Don?t get it twisted!
You were also instrumental in popularising acid house via your productions, and in particular ?Acid Thunder? from 1988 is widely revered as one of the genres standout tracks. How did that track come into being, and what inspired you to create acid house?
Dj Pierre is King!!! - I absolutely love ?Acid Tracks?!
That?s how ?Acid Thunder? came into play, from that inspiration - I never tried to imitate Pierre but I just respected his vision and I saw it too. I?m a tweaker!
Since the late eighties, you have had countless releases and collaborations (for example ?Booty call? with DJ Sneak). Any favourite personal experiences from those times?
Those were some of the best times and Sneak was my brother, so much fun was had and I learned a lot working with him.
How do you feel about todays house music and scenes?
House Music and the scene is going to evolve no matter how long and how hard we hold on to our era - I?m excited about that because House ain?t gonna stop so, I feel really good about it?s present and the future.
What does the future hold in store for you musically?
I can?t stop so there will be more music, - House and Hip House!
We thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, and can?t wait to see you at Heritage!
All the best, Eddie
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