Joey Negro is the most well-known pseudonym of master British DJ/producer/remixer Dave Lee. Under a plethora of other monikers including Akabu, Doug Willis,The Sunburst Band, Sessomatto, and Z Factor, Dave was one of the first artists to incorporate disco samples in house music when he began his production career in 1988. Indeed, he was in the studio making credible and outstanding British House music when many luminaries around him were still busy getting to grips with their decks. Little has changed since then and Dave is still widely regarded as one of the most credible and in-demand artists on the global scene.
Intrinsically linked with the birth of disco house in the UK, Dave Lee set up the dance music division of Rough Trade, Demix and through this experience and with other leading house labels led to establishing his own imprint Republic Records in 1988. Republic was one of the UK’s first soulful house labels releasing classics such as Phase II “Reachin” and Turntable Orchestra “You’re Gonna Miss Me”. Republic also put out Dave’s most widely received work during this time was ‘Forever Together’, released under his Raven Maize alter ego.
Joey Negro, as an entity, was born in 1990 with the release of “Do It Believe It’ on US cult house label Nu Groove. The track was a breakthrough success and was followed by ‘Do What You Feel’, which was released on his second label and successor to Republic, Z Records. ‘Do What You Feel’ eventually crossed from a club hit to a top 40 pop hit. Another Top 40 track followed with “Love Fantasy” and an album “Universe of Love” soon after that. Throughout the 90’s and milenia, a continual stream of remixes and releases followed with artists such as Diana Ross, Kelly Rowland and Empire of the Sun getting the JN touch. Dave conitued to put out music on Z Records as well as other choice indies JBO, Azuli and NRK. In 2017 ZR continues to release both singles and albums and draft in the highest quality remixers such as Hot Toddy, Crackazat, Opolopo and Sean Mccabe.
Dave has produced 4 albums of nu school boogie disco under the name Sunburst Band, containing much loved tracks Everyday, Garden of Love, Rough Times and Secret Life of Us. His remixes of Erro “Change For Me”, MAW “Backfired” and Reese Project “Direct Me” as considered classics of the house genre
Not content with producing music Mr Lee is also a big collector and compiler with many a compilation under his belt ‘Joey Negro In The House’ released on Defected, ‘Disco Spectrum’ 1 – 3 (BBE), Kings of Disco (with Dimitri from Paris) ‘Jumpin’ 1 & 2, “Disco (Not Disco)” 1 & 2, Southport Weekender Volume 1, ‘Nite:Life’ and ‘Back In The Box’ releases on NRK plus his ‘The Trip’ and ‘Lust: Art & Soul’. He has also compiled a number of highly regarded genre specific compilations on the Z Records label, sometimes put together with long time digger friend Sean P. ‘Destination Boogie’, ‘Supafunkanova (Vol 1&2)’ the ‘Soul of Disco’ (Vol.1-3) albums, ‘Back Street Brit Funk’, ‘GoGo Get Down’ Italo house, 90’s House & Garage, Electro, Le Freak – all of which continue to further cement him as one of the foremost authorities on this music old and new.
His discography is undoubtedly impressive and his deep understanding as a selector of all things disco and house on the dancefloor have ensured his status on the global DJ circuit worldwide to this day. Joey Negro’s sets reflect his extensive love of music ranging from rare disco through to vocal and classic house often into more deep, electronic and techy areas, his sets littered with exclusives, old and new.
In 2016 things continued apace with Remixed with Love Vol. 2 which included exclusive reworks of Robert Palmer, Grace Jones and Christopher Cross all from the original tapes. Things are looking like they’ll be busy in 2017 with a brand new JN artist LP and RWL 3 not far behind.
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