Justin Michael’s new album “Everything” and the two dates he has in Hungary (27th and 28th July) were the 2 reasons why we asked him some serious and not so serious questions.

DH.HU: You live in Hermosa Beach near Los Angeles. Please tell me about this place. If I know well there is a beautiful view to the ocean from your studio.

JM: Hermosa Beach is one of the nicest beach communites located in Los Angeles. I am so grateful to be able to wake up to the sounds of the waves every morning and create music.

DH.HU: Do you like to surf or do you have any other hobbies? Are those lifeguard girls really that hot we saw in Baywatch? ?
JM: Surfing is a great outlet for relaxing as well as inspiring my creative senses. I hope to surf more but I often struggle with finding time because I love being in the studio. As to your Baywatch question, yes, all that you have heard is true!

DH.HU: How and when did you get in connection with house music? Who were the artists who inspired you?

JM: Music has been a driving force in my life since I was very young. I recall being in high school and djing at raves when I was only 15 years old. Some of the biggest musical influences have come from groups like Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx,

DH.HU:In Hungary the people like harder music like proggie, techno and they think that tech house is deep house. Soulful house is very very unknown!. What is the situation in your place?

JM: Soulful house does not have the mainstream history as compared to the other genres you mentioned but I have witnessed the growing community of people who dig the energy of soul. Today, there are a number of Los Angeles clubs that do a great job of promoting soulful house such as Marques Wyatt’s Deep and Sue Dred’s Balance in Hollywood.

 

DH.HU: I think soulful house surge the joy, love and happiness – this is the reason why a like it.
What’s your opinion about this? What do you want to express with your music?

JM: The emotions you describe are the reasons why I feel so passionately about soulful house. It’s an undescribable energy that I feel when I am in the studio creating and producing music. People often describe getting lost in the music and I would have to agree with this statement.

DH.HU: At your record company you are working with a Hungarian guy , Balage. How did you get in touch with him?

JM: Hermosa Recordings is a very soulful label that I created to encourage the amplification of the house music genre. Balage was introduced to me by a good friend of mine, Kemal, who is also a very skilled dj/producer. I could not resist the opportunity to sign an EP from Balage entitled “love we left behind ep”. Balage is a very accomplished guitarist and his producing skills have been a great asset to his peers.

DH.HU: What is your opinion about the WMC? Did you play there? Did you have an own party in Miami?

JM: The Winter Music Conference in Miami is an awe-inspiring week where the whole
dance community from all over the globe meets to discuss and exchange their ideas
and passions. Miami is a wonderful setting for the WMC and I cannot imagine a more perfect union of dance and culture. I played at 4 parties this past year including the Swank Recordings’ Party and the DAE Deep Party, both with all-star lineups.

I threw a Hermosa Recordings’ Party at the 2006 WMC with an amazing lineup of Jamie Lewis, Grant Nelson, Jay-J, Christian Alvarez, Deepswing and myself.

DH.HU: You had many gigs during your career. Which ones were the most outstanding ones?

JM: Traveling through the house music scene in Asia was truly amazing. The energy there matches the exuberance I have felt during gigs in Europe and the United States. If you have an opportunity, I highly recommend the Luxy in Taipei, Taiwan and “Vanilla” or “Yellow” in Tokyo, Japan.

DH.HU: If you had to choose: djing or producing?

JM: Good question! In all honesty I would not be able to decide. Djing and producing are both significant to my life and each component provides with different avenues for expressing my musical state.

DH.HU: What kind of instruments, softwares do you use in your studio?

JM: For the past 6 years I have been able to create a studio that encompasses all of my equipment I need to continue making the music I enjoy. In addition to the high end gear I possess, I also own a number of vintage gear that is sonically pristine!

Primarily, I use logic pro with a new Quad Power Mac 2.66 ghz. Interestingly, I own Genelec 1032 monitors which I purchased from Mariah Carey’s producer – an added benefit of living near Hollywood. In addition, I own Apogee Rosetta 200 converters which allow me to capture vocals and instruments at their best sonic state. Not to mention, I have many outboard synths – analog and digital and let’s not forget the high end vocal mic I am fond of.

DH.HU: Your debut album „Everything” is to be released on Swank Records soon. Tell me about it: what’s the concept, for how much time did it take to finish?
Any people you were working with? Why not released on Hermosa Records?

JM: My album, “Everything”, has been the culmination of 7 months of passion and extreme devotion to my music. It would be unfair to categorize this album as strictly soul because I believe it ranges from funk to jazz to rock to pop; it is definitely an amalgam of my musical influences with the common theme being dance.

Working on this album has given me some wonderful opportunities to work with others in the dance genre. Gina Rene from Soulstice was such an inspiration in the studio, others like Jason Lent, Blake Reary, Donnie Romello, and Tre Hardson (formerly from the hip hop group – “the pharcyde”) only bolstered my faith in music.

DH.HU: Any exact plans for the near future?

JM: Just recently I had the opportunity to work on a remix for Miguel Migs’ label Salted.
The actual track is an original from Lisa Shaw entitled “All Night”, I believe this will be released sometime in the fall. As for my own label, Hermosa, I am currently working on a number of projects that will be released in the near future.