Full Support : Release Date 21th July 2014
SoulFunktion feat. Mike City : Hold The Key
2014 – SoulFunktion Records
Mike City – Born Michael Flowers but professionally known as “Mike City” this musician/songwriter/arranger is the definitive difference between a producer and a beat maker. Ushering in a generational sound of music introduced through the likes of Carl Thomas, Jimmy Cozier and Sunshine Anderson immediately elevated “City” to the upper echelon of music makers, and his extensive catalog has been growing ever since. Currently setting the stage for lightening to strike twice, Mike City’s new wave of R&B dance music is a feel good movement rooted in traditional R&B infused with dance.
A Philly native, his gift of music was passed down through a long line of talented singers including his mother and grandmother, and his father who sang with the Highway QC’s; he also had a brother who played with the legendary gospel group, “The Mighty Clouds of Joy”. Growing up in Philly and Jersey at a time when Hip-Hop and House music were just jumping off, “City” as he is called, absorbed the cultures and has always had a penchant for dance music. The one time barber attended North Carolina Central University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration on music voice, and set out for a career as an artist. In the early 90’s he began singing as a part of a group known as Choyce, but it was the blind faith and initiative of sending in a demo of his work to an A&R that garnered his first solo deal with Intersound records.
An early believer in his innate musical ability and star power was then Uptown Records head Heavy D. “Before even hearing any of my music, Heavy D told me I was going to be a star,” recalls the seasoned producer. However, it wasn’t until coming to the attention of Sean “P-Diddy” Combs that things began to change for him. “When my childhood friend Tuffy, who was in the group Channel Live, took me to “Daddy’s House”, Diddy had already had his stable full with his Hitmen (producers) so when he walked in and Puff didn’t know who I was he kicked me out in a roundabout way.” he laughingly remembers. As fate would have it, a week later when Diddy listened to the track for “I Wish” he was immediately hooked and a week later, Mike City was in the biggest recording studio at The Hit Factory, and the buzz was ignited.
Mike City’s music created a new feeling in R&B music and crafting signature sounds for new talent under the helm of Bad Boy’s roster catapulted the producer virtually overnight. Engrossed in emotion when he writes a song, his ability for instrumentation is like a harmonious love affair between the music and the lyrics allowing the right talent to breathe their own voice into the life of the music making it timeless, and relevant. Whether it’s Pop, Gospel, Hip-Hop or R&B it’s all about the emotion behind the music for the transformative music maker who has created feel good hits for artists including: Babyface, El Debarge, Faith Evans, Usher, Dave Hollister, Gerald Levert, Brandy, Rihanna, Lalah Hathaway, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, Nappy Roots, Kelly Price, Jamie Foxx and more.
These days the happily married family man is all about getting back to the root of it all and is spearheading a feel good movement that’s been over 5 years in the making. “Back in ‘05 I realized that dance music is where the landscape of music was going, because dance went to London in ‘88 and just kind of stayed there. When I took a trip back in 09 and stayed there for about a month I saw that yes, in fact, London is the hub for dance music; in London kids grew up on dance and now thanks to EDM its starting to get back to that but I just don’t think EDM should cancel out R&B it should be enhanced by it. However, I can’t just tell someone that they should be on this sound right here because they have to hear it done first and who better to do it than me?”
With an arsenal of friends in tow for his project, and under the umbrella of his company Unsung Records, Mike City, the artist has compiled a feel good musical series of albums that celebrate dance and R&B. The soul purpose of the 80’s inspired feel good music is to make the listener dance and “City” has his sights set on changing the face of international music the same way he has contributed to the scope of music in the states.
SoulFunktion is a collaboration between long standing London based DJ Wally Walton and the legendary UK House producer Brian Keys Tharme. First having worked together in the 90s on releases for a variety of labels including Sweat, Narcotic and Catch Records (in which Brian was a partner with Gavin Face Mills of Copyright fame), the boys are now back together with their 25 years of experience at the top of the UK club scene to bring you their new productions. In the intervening years, the boys have worked on remixes for some of the biggest names in House Music including Tuff Jam, En Vogue, Kristine Blonde, Usher, Tina Moore, CeCe Peniston, Juliet Roberts and Craig David to name a few. Brian has also played keyboards in the studio for the likes of Dave Lee (aka Joey Negro), Bobby & Steve and Booker T. During the same period DJ Wally could be found playing at the best clubs and parties on the London scene, including being resident at the notorious Roller Express rave venue throughout the 90s and more recently The Pirate Club and Black & White, and presenting a show on Pressure Radio and guesting on London’s Passion FM.
Wouaahhh… c’est ce que je me suis dit en écoutant l’Original Mix:star::star: de ce nouvel opus des SoulFunktion.
Ce mix est vraiment parmi les meilleurs sortis sur leur label… La voix chaude R&B de Mike City et le travail sur les chœurs y sont probablement pour beaucoup. Les arrangements et autres effets pumpin’ du morceau vous feront rapidement taper du pied… J’adore !
Pour ceux qui comprennent la langue de Shakespeare, je vous invite d’ailleurs à lire la bio détaillée de Mike dans la description donnée plus haut par le label.
Comme d’habitude Wally Walton & Brian « Keys » Tharme nous proposent un mix plus dur, idéal pour les clubs européens, mais au lieu de leur traditionnel dub Speed Garage, nous avons droit cette fois-ci à un vocal baptisé Detroit Mix qui n’est pas sans me rappeler la techno du groupe Inner City des années 88-89.
Pour finir, le remixer anglais Danny J Lewis apporte sa touche expérimentée sur une version UK Garage où la partie vocale reste très présente. Excellent également.
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