1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspires you musically?
I’m Andy Grant, founder of DC House Grooves
. I’m originally from the UK, but have been here in Washington DC for about 13 years. I got into house music and started collecting records when house music first invaded the UK around 1987 / 1988, and I started DJing around 1993. I’m an avid record collector, and my preferred format for DJing is spinning vinyl…I’m a creature of habit, and I tend to stick to what I enjoy. I’m inspired by music that catches my interest, that makes me want to dance… music with rough edges, with depth, that doesn’t sound like it was freshly bounced out of Ableton. My favorite era of house music was deep house from around 1992 / 1993, when everything was hardware based, but I’m always looking for something new. Right now, I’m loving the minimal stuff coming out of Romania and France… not for everyone, I know, but I just love using the tracks as building blocks, layering them to create something new. I’m also inspired by the quality deep house coming out of Spain from vinyl labels like Minendo, Deep Explorer, Batti Batti, Troubled Kids, Hizou etc. Proper deep house for the heads. To find the good stuff, you’ve got to look beyond the charts in the online music stores and dig real deep. So much great stuff out there… you’ve just got to go out and find it.
2. What do you like the most about the underground scene?
We’ve got a great little underground scene here in DC. On the more visible side, we’ve got great clubs like U Street Music Hall, Flash and Eighteenth Street Lounge, who are killing it with the bookings, each bringing the best underground talent to DC, while also supporting local DJs. Then we’ve got the afters / warehouse scene, with crews like Prescription, Deep Secrets / MidnightProject, Sticky Fingers Collective, ROAM, Void Archive, Technofist, Kowli Records, Slope Traxx etc. throwing amazing events in some fantastic venues featuring our amazing local talent. There’s just a really positive vibe to what’s happening in this city, and I genuinely love documenting it each week on DC House Grooves.
3. Where do you see yourself and DC House Grooves in the future?
To honest with you, I’m not really looking to the future… I’m kind of caught up in the now! The DC House Grooves blog is basically my hobby, and allows me hopefully to make a positive contribution to the underground scene here in DC. Between my day job and raising my kids, I can’t make it out to support every event I feel deserves support, so DC House Grooves provides a channel to support those promoters and DJs in a different way, support, which I hope everyone finds useful. Dchousegrooves.com gets over 500 unique visitors each week, and with #1 or #2 placement for most Google searches relating to house and techno in DC, it helps people new to the city find their way into the underground scene quickly. I have been toying with the idea of starting a DC House Grooves vinyl record label… that may well happen in the near future. It’s all about finding the time, and between the blog, discovering new music and listening to it, I don’t have a lot of free time! I’d also like to get our locals party Body Werk off the ground again. As for DJing, I’m content with playing out locally. I have a residency at Flash, and you can catch me playing regularly at events such as Midnight Project, Sundays Rooftop and Playlist. I’ve been DJing for nearly 25 years now, but I just want to keep improving my skills and being the best I can be. There’s nothing I love more that spinning to an audience lost in the music, and as long as I can keep doing that, I’m a happy man.
4. In regards to the years you’ve been in the music scene, if you could give advice to someone who is just starting out, what would you tell them?
I get a lot of people reaching out to me either asking for gigs or asking how to get gigs, and my answer to them is always the same: hustle! These days everyone is a DJ, and no one cares if you’re any good. If you want to play out you’ve got to get out there and network. Check my picks on DC House Grooves, go out and introduce yourself to the DJs, to the promoters, get yourself known and make new connections. At the same time, hone your skills. Take the time to dig deep for new music, and don’t just play the same as every other DJ in town. Develop your own distinctive style… preferably not just limited to tracks of the same sub-genre. Keep it interesting, and practice, practice, practice! There’s some seriously good DJs on the local circuit, and if you want to be a contender, you’ll need to prove yourself. If you’re a producer, then focus on something more than generic dance floor tracks. I mentioned above that everyone is a DJ; well these days, everyone is a producer too. The barriers to entry are low, so focus on improving your skills and invest the time in producing music that stands out from the crowd. I’d also recommend going to Chadwick’s monthly Headroom
event at Flash, network with other local producers, make connections, and hear your productions on Flash’s Funktion One sound system. It’s a great way to get to know what other local producers are up to and make new connections. At the end of the day, if you really want to succeed locally and beyond, put the work in, make a positive contribution, and soon enough you’ll be on your way.
Having been called the “House Queen of Baltimore,” Confetti lays down House, Electro, & Trance music like it’s encoded in her DNA. Her high-energy, fun sets light up the dancefloor and will leave you a hot mess begging for more! Quickly becoming a household name in the EDM scene in the greater DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, Confetti brings the beats that will make you dance all night long.
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