S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
JP: I dig for Fresh, energetic, groovy, bouncy dirty bass-driven gems. You know, I get my buzz, my energy, from the crowd and live remixing – maybe a well-known acapella with an older classic beat or something like that – is the ultimate hit of energy – when I’m doing this I’m not thinking, the crowd is thinking, I’m reacting… but its happening in milliseconds.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
JP: Could only be Erick Morillo!! The 1st time I witnessed him playing live was an 8hr set @ MOS. He inspired me to take my art form to the next level… The vibe he brings, the consistency and commitment is insatiable. I saw him last week at Ministry for the re-launch of Subliminal Records and he was in top form. Consistency is the key and he delivers it very well. I’ve also got love for Carl Cox, Danny Tenagliia & Laurent Garnier to name a few.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
JP: I listen to the details – and I’ve got a great memory! I might hear a new sound, and you might see me zone out, its because I am honing in on one or two element of the sound, I’m thinking what that sound would work with, its like I’m immediately looking through my DJ box, except my DJ box is in my head and it has every track from every genre EVER in it – and its not just records in my box, there’s all types of sounds in there too – maybe something I’ve heard sitting in traffic or on the tube… And then I’m assessing if I need to speed it up, slow it down, take out the mid-range etc… I am just creative like that, that’s how I am – I couldn’t do a normal 9-5… Music is in my bones… it’s my passion, that’s what I love to do… I don’t want to talk in clichés, but I do what I love and I make my living from it, so I am always grateful.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
JP: Of course I’m a DJ, so I play to my crowd, but I bring them stuff – I work on my mixes, I put the hours in away from the crowds, but I only plan the sets 24-48 hours in advance – all the other time I spend working on individual mixes, combinations. Let’s take any track of the moment… I play it, I don’t shy away from it, but I’ll try and get an exclusive version and then there’ll be a variety of tracks that I can mix it with and ways I can play with it. I’ll do this with lots of tracks so that my arsenal is big, then I’ll make adaptations during the set and before the set based on all things. But because my options are so many, planning the set is easy.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
JP: I put a lot of work in which involves listening to my own genre, but when I’m really not working, I listen to classical music and orchestrated music – which again goes back to my love of picking out the elements & I find it massively relaxing. Am I allowed to plug HelpMeChill.com – a digital radio station I listen to a lot!
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
JP: Christmas & New Year parties back in Bombay were just one big gathering of family & friends and it was pretty much any excuse to go to a party… There wasn’t a birthday, wedding, or christening that went by without a party
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
JP: Positivity is my secret and as much as this keeps me motivated, I like to inspire others too. I keep fit on a regular basis too.
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
JP: I am currently working on my JezBelieve project. The project talks to young people inspiring them to have a positive creative outlook on their future, avoid excuses and it aims to promote a sense of self-belief and fearless attitude towards life’s challenges. I’ve also on the cusp of creating a unique charity, which we are currently calling the Smile Fund, where we are making a donation from every gig we play and encouraging our clients to do the same too. At certain funding points the panel chooses a worthy cause – again relating to young people – with the end outcome to be to put some more smiles on faces.
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
JP: I wish NASA would ask me to come and fly in one of their space-crafts for a day 😉 That’s something I dig outside my music world. There is something out there lol
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
JP: One question that is repeated over & over again is, “How come you don’t play on Vinyl?” I do understand where they’re coming from but mixing live on CDJ’s is still a skill (it’s worth noting that I don’t use the Sync button). To this day I still love playing vinyl but it’s something, which is not practical anymore. There’s so much more to mixing on CDJs with USBs. I use the RMX1000 or even use Midi controllers for effects & loops etc. – but even so, seamlessly mixing and selecting to maintain the vibe for up to 11 hours is an art in itself.
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
JP: I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work on Jamie Principle’s – ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ single, which actually came through my connection to S&S. Also, Steve Silk Hurley’s number one hit ‘Jack Your Body’ was something incredible that I worked on. Currently I am uber-excited to be working with an upcoming 19 year old talented vocalist who goes by the name of Beau Lyons. His amazing voice has contributed to some fresh sounding House collaborations we have worked on recently – due for release later this year or early next year.
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on collaboration?
JP: Every producer would want to dream of working with a label or Artist they look up to, for me it would be Subliminal Records. Erick Morillo is back and the new upcoming releases that he sent me are incredibly amazing. I also want to work with the new generation of new talent and want to explore their creative input as many of them have been exposed to all sorts of genres from the word go – Radio plays a very important role today and the rise of EDM has made it more of an interesting quest to find unique and genuine talent.
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
JP: I have been working on some new material since the start of this year and it’s taking time but I want to get it right, so expect lots of feel-good House music.
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
JP: If I can be remembered for entertaining with my music and via Jez Believe and the Smile fund, if I can inspire any number of young people to travel a better path than they would have done otherwise, I’d be happy with that legacy.
- GRAMMY® Nominated DJ Steve “Silk” Hurley “Remixes Live” on the new NS6ii - November 3, 2017
- Ralph & Louie – “Our Fans Are What Most Drives Us” - September 29, 2017
- The 4th Annual House Music Block Party Recap - August 31, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley & Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas at SAE Cultural Impact Awards - August 28, 2017
- 11th Annual Global Mixx Game Changer Award Recipients Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas & Steve “Silk”Hurley - August 24, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley Live @ CFP Chicago - August 18, 2017
- Ralph Tresvant – Inside The Ride Radio Show - August 2, 2017
- Various Artist – Ain’t That A Beach Vol.2 - July 18, 2017
- City of Chicago :: Millennium Park – Chicago House Music Party - June 3, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley & Cece Peniston Live @ Chosen Few Music Festival 2017 (Chicago) - May 24, 2017