Jonn Hawley lives and breathes house music. He's been rocking the turntables since 1991, the production studio since 2000, and his own record label since 2003. Now, with releases coming out on legendary Large Music as well as his own Soul Fuel imprint, and appearances playing around the country, it seems 2011 may be the year that Hawley crushed. We sat down with the man from Milwaukee during his recent east-coast tour to talk music, food, and the green and gold:
This past Saturday the ForQuarters guys brought you out to Baltimore to play. Impressions of Charm City?
Baltimore definitely gets "IT" when it comes to house music and what it's all about! The vibe in that room was so thick you could have cut it with a knife. I have mad love for the 410 and the ForQuarters crew! This last party ranks in the top 5 nights for me.
Good to hear Baltimore representing! Now your "Back At It" EP dropped on your label Soul Fuel yesterday, the first release in a while. I take it the title is a reference to this? What got you back to concentrating on the label?
The label and its direction kind of strayed for a while because my involvement dropped off due to working on other projects. Now I have the time to devote to it fully. 2011 is gonna be fun!
How would you describe the "Soul Fuel Sound"?
To put it plain and simple the name explains it all. Fuel for your soul. We are not trying to shoot for one specific sound, just soul moving goodness!
In a couple of weeks you'll be playing at the Large Records party in Miami for the Winter Music Conference (WMC). How did that relationship start?
For years I had been playing Large records in my sets, so my respect for the label was already high. I had heard that Jeff Craven (the owner of Large) was playing a gig in my hometown Milwaukee, so I decided to go out and see the show. From the moment I walked in Jeff was playing cuts that touched my soul! Later that night I was playing an after set at a party that Jeff happened to be at. I dropped a few of my cuts and Jeff was really feeling them. He asked if they were available and I nearly shit myself! I was like "whoa, the owner of Large is asking about my music!" Mind you I have been playing Large records since 93. We exchanged numbers after smashing tracks until 7am and ending with "sunshine people", EPIC! Later that week Jeff asked if I would be interested in doing an EP for him and the rest is history!
Speaking of the conference, you have a lot of history with the WMC. You started your label there back in 2003, and this year I count 9 appearances on the list. What's your take on the whole Ultra-WMC separation?
Personally I was kind of worried at first but as we have gotten closer to WMC I have realized that this year is going to be one of the most real yet. HOUSE MUSIC is gonna be king again! Thank you uLOLtra hahaha
What can we expect from Mr. Hawley in 2011?
2011 is gonna be an exciting year in music for me. So far I have my next EP coming out on Large, also EP's on Lingo and Soul Fuel. Remixes on Alphabet, Union, Soul Fuel, Guesthouse, and Golden State. I have a few podcasts in the making too. Deejay gigs are rolling in for the spring and summer. Life is good!
Best thing about being from Wisconsin?
People underestimate us!
Do I even need to ask your favorite sports team?
Haha! Ill give you a hint: that Green and Gold runs thru my veins.
Last thing you had for dinner?
Qdoba - Chicken Burrito
Hands down a beer brewed in New Glarus, Wisconsin called Spotted Cow. When it comes to spirits I'm a vodka/tequila guy!
Favorite thing to do on your day off?
I have a few favorite things to do outside all depending on the weather but the top of them all is just relaxing with my wife in front of the fire!
Anything else you want to say to the people?