True House Stories® Youtube & Spotify Video Podcast
TRUE HOUSE STORIES W/ E-SMOOVE
E-Smoove interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories® # 016
In this show, Lenny Fontana is joined by Chicago’s House Legend – E-Smoove for a no holds barred interview on becoming a successful DJ and Producer in the heart of the House Capital – Chicago. He tells it all from the humble beginnings to his rise to fame and the artist pseudo names like “Thick Dick” on Subliminal Records. Listen to him tell the stories of working on remixes for Michael Jackson and many other countless pop artists.
Expect the shocking truth about record deals, the competitive world of dance music in Chicago and how to make a name for yourself in the music industry. Warning: This is a very raw, honest and open interview that will blow your mind!!
E-Smoove YouTube Video
Eric Miller aka E-Smoove two time Grammy nominated DJ and producer e smoove is a self appointed champion of House Music culture. Having cut his teeth as a DJ in Chicago in the post Disco years before House Music’s birth, he is a connoisseur of dance music and it’s many expressions. As a DJ on Chicago’s Southside since 1981 e smoove learned the craft by mimicking pioneers such as WBMX Hot Mix 5’s Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, The Chosen Few’s Wayne Williams and Jesse Saunders, Frankie Knuckles indirectly and Steve “Silk” Hurley.
In addition to the countless neighborhood teen parties Chicago is known for, e smoove was a regular DJ at his high school Mendel’s BiLevel Disco, a staple in the birth of House Music. In this cultural incubator he learned programming and the art of dance music, skills that would carry him throughout his career.
As many of his peers turned to production e smoove followed suit with early productions for Candy J, Terry “Housemaster” Baldwin and Mike “Hitman” Wilson. It was his breakout production of MC Krash Addicted To Bass on Hitman’s label that caught the attention of Steve “Silk” Hurley who encouraged e to join his newly formed production company as an intern. Many long nights along with then collaborator Jere Mcallister of Night Writers/Mr Ali fame resulted in e smoove first major label signing “Night By Night” with his discovery Alanda Drake. After scoring a Billboard Top Twenty with this release and favor with DJ’s across the country,
E-Ssmoove’s Late Nite Mix became in demand along with ID production’s team of Steve “Silk Hurley” and Maurice Joshua. The trio would dominate the early 90’s with remixes for Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Jocelyn Brown, Simply Red, Jamie Principal and more. e smoove also developed both as writer and A&R, co-penning Ce Ce Peniston’s ‘We Got A Love Thang” and multiple tracks on Kym Sims debut album whom he discovered buried in the ID publishing catalog.
His early ear for talent brought forth Chantay Savage and his production for her first single “Believe In Me”. During this time at ID he also cemented his place in House Music underground with classic remixes for Donell Rush “Symphony” and Cookie Watkins “I’m Attracted To You”.
Growth was inevitable and e smoove left ID Productions with Hurley’s blessing to form his own company Focus Music Group. Early support came from Craig Kallman, Rich Christina and Johnny D in the form of a slew of projects from Atlantic Records. e smoove remixes graced the top of the Billboard charts weekly with projects from Jomanda, Deborah Cox, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, INXS, M People, Sounds of Blackness, Mary J Blige, and countless others.
E-Smoove also stayed true to his underground House roots with records for Dajae, Kim English and The Outhere Brothers. The biggest compliment was being asked to remix records for his peers at the top of their game which included MAW and C&C Music Factory. During this time in the mid 90’s e smoove continued to discover talent signing the group Love Tribe featuring Latanza Waters to A&M with their classic “Stand Up” and discovering a young Kanye West, giving him his first album deal and major label release.
It was at the peak of remixing boom that e smoove was encouraged by Frankie Knuckles himself to join international House Music powerhouse Def Mix Productions under the management of famed Judy Winestein.
Always evolving the Def Mix connection birthed a clean start and new production company for e smoove called True Visionary Productions where he focused on developing artist projects for himself. Here the moniker’s Thick Dick, Praise Cats and House Avengers were born launching the career of Andrea Love and reconnecting him to Latanza Waters with underground classic De Ja Vu and the trend setting Welcome To The Jungle. During this time he formed a partnership with Erick Morillo RIP and his sizzling hot Subliminal Records.
Always a team player e smoove would fly the Subliminal flag all around the world DJing in the top clubs and festivals across the globe. Always in demand as a remixer e smoove continued his knack at serving up super star artists to the underground with remixes for charting remixes for Kelis, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston, Brandy and many more. It was his remix for Sunshine Anderson’s Heard It All Before that landed his first Grammy nomination and then it was repeated again with his remix of Bob Sinclair’s World Hold On.
The dance music business began to take a turn when the world fell in love with the less soulful sounds of EDM and e smoove decided to shift his focus to another love, film production. Never one to back down from a challenge, he taught himself the craft of cinematography and directing.
He began producing music videos for indie artists and commercials for various brands. This work led to creating a media production and marketing company which he still runs today with various clients such as Illinois Lottery, Comcast, Burger King, Common, Gilead Pharmaceuticals and many more.
Music never too far in the background, e smoove is returning to his first love with the launch of his new record label Super Fresh Recordings and upcoming releases featuring Barbara Tucker, Jay Williams, Julie Mcknight and longtime collaborators Latanza Waters, Andrea Love and Michael White. He is looking to bring his heat back to the dancefloors of the world and touring as a DJ will be his top priority.