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Leroy Burgess : a legend amongst experts

Leroy Burgess : a legend amongst experts

Leroy Burgess is Pablo Valentino‘s guest this saturday @ Le Sucre.

Since almost 50 straight years, the legendary singer and producer is part of dancefloors and turntables worldwide. From the Black Ivory band to his solo career, his music already crossed five decades and has paved a wide and solid road to various genres. His works had been played, remixed and sampled on all sides, being in every party people unconscious collective.

This upcoming show is the opportunity for Pablo to gather a dream team of DJs and diggers for asking some questions to the « Boogie God » :

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MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE (MCDE Recordings) : Could you share with us your favorite Paradise Garage story ? ?

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Paradise Garage was one of my favorite places to perform.. back in the 80s. What was cool was that the shows always started very early in the morning.. around 4 or 5am. By that time, the crowds were already in ‘frenzy’ mode.. and very receptive to the performers. So, the interaction between the audience and the performers was always at a special peak. And though it was always daylight by the time we left, everybody left happy !

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PABLO VALENTINO (Faces & MCDE Recordings) : How does religion & spirituality influences your music and daily life ? ?

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I come from a very spiritually grounded family.. though the various religions may differ between us. GOD was always the center of our existence.. and HE continues to be. So, it’s only natural that elements of positivity play a major part in my creativity.. from the composition stage, throughout the production. I feel it’s important to impart positive, up-lifting messages within my work.. to thus, inspire and lift the listener to a more positive place. My spirituality is a Central Component to my creativity.

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LEFTO (Brownswood, Worldwide FM, Brussels FM) : Looking back at your extended career, is there anything you regret or anything you wish you’d have done differently ? ?

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Not really. The ‘ups-and-downs’ of the path I’ve been on.. all have their place in my learning and growth. And changing anything might have a profound impact on everything else. I wish I hadn’t developing a cigarette smoking habit from a young age. Yeah.. that’s something I regret.

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BRUNO « PATCHWORKS » HOVART  : « Old & New school » : from my 40-years-old point of view, tunes like « Mainline – Black Ivory » seems to represent some kind of golden age.

Did that « golden age » really existed for dancefloor soulful music or is it just my generation’s fantasy ? Did we lose something on the way ?

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The 70s and 80s can indeed be described as a ‘Golden Age’.. particularly where dance music is concerned. There was so much creativity and ingenuity in those days.. musically. And the musicians and vocalists did all the talking.. relying much less on technology and more on musicianship. It’s why that music stood out then.. and why it’s revered now. It was resistant to trends and formulas.. and relied on raw creativity. And there was always something ‘NEW’ to hear.. something genuinely fresh. Not ‘re-hashed’ from previously existent sources. Distinct differences between the Philly sound, The New York sound, the London sound and the Euro sound.. which always challenged the listener.. and musical artisans of the time.

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DJ WAXIST (Sol Discos, Favorite Recordings) : Leroy, how do you feel about the fact that your music is still played out by deejays in clubs nowadays, by the fact that 20 years old kids are exposed to it & dance to it? What does this situation brings to you ?

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Longevity is something every musician desires. To create work that transcends the constraints of time and reaches into the future. I never really expected my work to be so well received as it is now. When I performed in Stockholm, Sweden for the first time in 2001.. the entire sold-out audience was comprised of people 30 years (or more) younger than me. I thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen !

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JAMES STEWART (Palmwine Records, Black Atlantic Club) : If it had one, what role Africa has in your songwriting ?

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My dad, Morgan L. Burgess Sr., was a pretty nice conga player.. before he became one of the leading Orthotics experts in America. He always played records by Olatunji, Candido The Volcanic and many other African/Latino artists.. that contained many heavy African pulses and vibes. This was juxtaposed by the Classical and Jazz music my mother always played.. along with every Johnny Mathis record ever made. Put ’em together.. throw in some of Grandma’s Gospel.. shake ’em up.. and you end up with ME.

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G’BOÏ & JEAN MI (La Chinerie) : You will play with a full Iive band at 1:00am in a club in front of a crowd mainly composed of 20 years old kids, when machine and dj set up widely dominate the club’s stages of this generation. Do you think that music produced with real instruments will still have a place on club stage in the future ?

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There is absolutely NOTHING that compares to REAL LIVE musicians and REAL LIVE vocalists.. interacting to create a musical moment. The spontaneity is something that can’t be duplicated.. or arrived at through technology alone. New and unexpected things occur all the time.. and you can’t FAKE that kind of randomness. The younger generation has lost appreciation of this important dynamic.. or deemed it unnecessary. That, in itself, is tragic.

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JULIEN (Programmateur de Nova Lyon) : From early Disco to modern House, what is, for you, the thing which do the link ?

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Boogie.. House.. Disco.. Techno.. are all members of the same ‘Feel-Good’ family. All harbingers of HAPPINESS. The link is YOU.

RTU

novembre 10th, 2017

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