True House Stories® Youtube & Spotify Video Podcast
TRUE HOUSE STORIES W/ JOHNNY “D” DE MAIRO (HENRY STREET MUSIC)
Johnny “D” De Mairo (Henry Street Music) interviewed by Lenny Fontana for True House Stories # 070
Johnny “D” De Mairo in part 1 speaks about his start from his older sister introducing him to disco music and then in 1979 walking into a roller rink and hearing this music as well at the teen disco. At that moment he knew his life changed and wanted to be part of this music thing. He finds Disco and it becomes everything.
His young professional career starts as a mobile DJ and it so happens that he asked to DJ at a Sweet 16 for the sister of DJ Danny Cole. That is the big door opener to his first night club Plaza Suite in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. He begins as Danny’s Light man. One night Danny steps away from the booth at 12am and gives Johnny his first professional break spinning at the club for two hours and everything from that moment changes instantly.
Johnny “D” De Mairo in this part speaks about his professional music life, the beginnings of Henry Street Music, his promotions duties at SIN Promotions, and to eventually being hired to work at Atlantic Records in Crossover A&R Promotion. He shares with us what the responsibilities are expected when you are working to hold down these positions.
He signed one of the most incredible songs in dance music The Bucketheads “The Bomb” to his label Henry Street and was an A&R consultant on all the remixes that he managed to put under his belt working with the best in the game from Armand Van Helden, Louie Vega and Kenny Dope, E-Smoove, MK and so many others.
He explains the story of Everything But The Girl “Missing” with Todd Terry and tells us the behind the scenes of how Tori Amos “Professional Widow” and Armand Van Helden Mix went to the stratosphere. One of the best shows to date.
Johnny “D” De Mairo YouTube Video Part 1
Johnny “D” De Mairo YouTube Video Part 2
Biography Johnny “D” De Mairo (Henry Street Music)
Hindsight will prove that of all the dance music labels with a retrospective bent, Henry Street Music was not only the most innovative, but also one of the most successful. A large part of that fact is due to its owner and creater, one Johnny “D” De Mairo.
Born and raised in Brooklyn (Henry Street), of Italian parentage, Johnny D possesses that nation’s infamous tenacity. Allied to that is business acumen and a sharp musical mind honed by his days, months and years growing up in the tough multicultural streets of New York.
Never one to wait for tomorrow his career to date is littered with gold-star achievements born out of a determination and a will to win. He was DJing by the age of twelve and a few years later was playing out regularly at clubs, venues and some of the biggest parties in town. He has now played all over the world including Ministry Of Sound and Hard Times in the UK to name a few.
A member of the independent promotion company (SIN), he promoted extensively, making his name as a leading player in the field. He broke records by no less a performer than Janet Jackson, along with hundreds of others including Dr. Dre, Wu-Tang Clan and gave the world the first ever Funkmaster Flex mixed cd – only a few projects to receive Johnny D’s Midas touch.
Apart from the undoubted success of his label, Johnny D was A & R and promotion man for Atlantic Records and Rhino. During this time, he has further enhanced his already considerable reputation with his role in records such as “Missing” by Everything But The Girl, “Professional Widow” by Tori Amos and “The Boss” by The Braxtons which he put together and have had global success.
To put it quite simply, the man is a one in a million. When you consider the mighty array of talent that he has surrounded himself with – the likes of Armand Van Helden, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, Tommy Musto, 95 North, Robbie Rivera, Todd Terry, “Little” Louie Vega”, it is easy to see why Henry Street Music has been such a resounding success.
It is also easy to hear. Take the famous Bucketheads anthem “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)”, which blew up all over the world, reaching number four on the UK Pop Chart. In addition, it was a monster hit internationally particularly in countries such as Spain, Canada, France and Germany.
Much the same can be said for the output of one Armand Van Helden for the label. The man they say invented speed garage also gave credence to the nu-skool “The Funk Phenomena” shortly after. Ironically enough, it was Johnny “D” along with studio partner Nicky Palermo (under the guise of Johnick) who inspired Van Helden’s ’99 anthem “You Don’t Know Me”, which sampled their track “The Captain”.
Johnny “D” is now celebrating the 25th Anniversary for his label Henry Street Music, and recently launched his internet radio station,
The Johnny D Experience.