Sean Smith – “It’s All About Different Experiences”
Sean is a skilled technician on the tables and known for leaving the crowd mesmerized with his mixing skills. He is ranked among Chicago’s top DJs and producers and has played at several of Chicago’s hottest nightclubs. Sean’s vision is to feed the airwaves and satisfy the appetite of fans everywhere who enjoy quality music.
S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
Sean Smith: House music. The house music I like to play as well as create is based on the style of house music that was played when I grew up. The music was played by Dj’s such as Farley Keith, Frankie Knuccles & Ron Hardy. I try to stay within the roots of yesterdays house music at the same time keeping it relevant for today’s dance floors.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
Sean Smith: The first time I heard house music was on the radio with Chicago’s hot mix 5, this was the seed that was planted. Sherman Rodger of Black Ice productions was the first Chicago house producer & dj I met in the early 80‘s. Sherman was instrumental in showing me my first bits of dance music production techniques. In the late 80’s as I was record shopping at Loop Records I met Jeff Sims a dj who played at the 2nd warehouse in Chicago. I consider him a mentor who introduced me to a lot of disco classics and songs played at the 1st warehouse and music box.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
Sean Smith: Doing something different every time.. This is from music production as well as being a dj. I like to mix different elements together with music production. I like to take different sounds or samples and make them into something totally different. It’s all about different experiences.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
Sean Smith: The audience is the key factor to my music selection. My job as a dj is to give a good experience to my audience. It’s all about what they respond to. I call it “putting myself on the dance floor as if I was part of the crowd“.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
Sean Smith: I love a vast mixture of music from jazz, R&B, reggae, hip hop & world music. In short music that has some funk, feeling & soul. My favorite artist are Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Prince, Jill Scott, Kem, Jazz Crusaders, Bob Marley, King Tubby as we can go on & on….
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
Sean Smith:I remember summer road trips with my family to Detroit, Wisconsin & down south. I also remember all of the holiday events that included our entire family from my grandmother to my cousins, aunts & uncles. Many of who are no longer with us.
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
Sean Smith: I would like people to know that I am very conscious of the music I play and create. I want to give the listeners a positive and uplifting experience. Music is not only something to dance to, I feel it can be very therapeutic.
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
Sean Smith: At this time I am not working with any charities but I would like to lend my services to organizations that help people with autism and breast cancer.
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
Sean Smith: Why I like to create and play music? The best thing to me is when you see people happy from music you created and / or played. If you were booked for an event would you play what I hear on the internet? What I play on the internet is what I am feeling at the moment. On the internet you are playing to yourself. At an event its about moving the crowd and taking that crowd on the right journey.
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
Sean Smith: Some people may feel that you are not a true supporter of the local music scene if you do not go out weekly. I feel that those who add to the music scene are those who are producing music that is enjoyed by people, those who run music labels that release music from different artists, those who purchase music and those who have thrown events for people to attend adds to the richness of the music scene and also keep it alive.
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
Sean Smith: I enjoyed working in the studio with Roy Davis Jr. Learned a lot there. Working with Richard Rodgers. Even though our project did not come out, I learned a lot of key things with working with vocals. It was a pleasure to work with & record with Carla Prather.
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on a collaboration?
Sean Smith: Would love to work with an artists such as Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, Louie Vega or Larry Heard.
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
Sean Smith:Up next we have the full release vocal project titled Speechless with D Lonzo. I have remixes for several artists on Smooth Agent. As well as having one of my tracks “Jackers Anthem” coming out on vinyl on Kingdom artist Chicago compilation #2 on Kingdom Records.
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
Sean Smith:I would like to have music that I have been apart of and music that was released on Smooth Agent to be able to be played and enjoyed by people decades from now if not thousands of years from now. Also to have the Smooth Agent label to survive many years. Who knows it may happen..
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