One night at a JoJo Flores session and you will be hooked. The man is really that good! Playing now for over 25 years, JoJo is from the school of the mixed tapes (remember when DJs used to make mixed tapes?!). That rare brand of DJs that had to make it the hard way: with talent and lots of it. Doing it when the audience had no real idea what “it” was and still was rocking the house. JoJo Flores is KA Magazine’s 2010 Best of Canada (soulful house music) now, that’s cool.
KA — How do you keep fresh with your music and DJing?
JF — I maintain a fresh sound by communicating with other touring djs; asking them what they’re banging at the moment or what tracks they’re feeling. When I play with djs who open or co-headline, I take notes on what and how they play; the crowd’s reaction to certain songs. On nights off I check out club nights, or international djs who are in town playing. I’m also fortunate enough to be on many record label promo lists. And a few A-list producers send me tracks to test out for sound quality and dance floor reaction.
KA — With so many choices in music, do you find it more difficult to choose the good stuff?
JF — Yes, it is a very long process to filter through all the promos. There are tons of bad music being made by djs who try to produce. Out of 10 tracks I’ll probably find 1 I can rock. Online record or MP3 shops should definitely focus on quality not quantity.
KA — With the amount of influence that DJ’s have on the music that people listen to, how do you recon- cile your personal taste with hearing a talented musician that should be out there?
JF — Good music is good music. Most djs, when we hear a song that we like, even if it’s not in our genre or personal taste, we’ll remix it. e.g. Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, and Broken Social Scene. My bias will always be towards good music.
KA — When traveling, does being from Canada create a positive response from the people you meet?
JF — Very positive! People love & respect Canadians. But, it’s also because fans of Deep Soulful House are very passionate. And I’m lucky to be one of the few artists in this niche that gets to travel to as many countries as I do. So yes they like Canadians, but they love House music too. I just happen to cover both areas.
KA — How does it feel to be called out by KA Magazine as the Best of Canada on such a short list?
JF — I appreciate any recognition, especially coming from a hometown magazine. Sometimes people are so familiar with you locally as a person that you don’t get the recognition as an artist until you travel internationally. The real value coming from any award is recognition for the whole Soulful House genre. Even though MY name is on the award, I see it as acknowledgement of the work done by all the pioneers and current artists: Osunlade, Kerri Chandler, Nick Holder, Dennis Ferrer, Louie Vega, all the way back to Larry Heard. That’s why I proudly list these awards on my websites and blogs.
KA — What project are you currently working on that is not public yet?
JF — I’m busy working on a Therapy compilation, and in the spring I expect to begin production on my first studio album featuring new original music in collaboration with renowned artists including legends that I have admired all my life. Also, My partner Rom and I just released a Jamsteady remix of Broken Social Scene’s “All To All.” I’m looking forward to possibly completing at least one John Legend remix before the holiday season (fingers crossed). In addition my partners and I are really trying to strengthen the Therapy & Gotsoul brand worldwide through merchandise and really well executed events. Straight up, our goal is to make Gotsoul/Therapy two of the strongest brand in electronic music.
KA — Who is Jojo?
JF — Jojo is: Family man, Music lover, Hockey fan, Workaholic, Very detailed, Somewhat stylish, Lacking sleep..