Joey Negro is the most well-known pseudonym of master British DJ/producer/remixer Dave Lee. Under a plethora of other monikers including Jakatta, Akabu, Doug Willis, Raven Maize, The Sunburst Band, Sessomatto, and Z Factor, Dave was one of the first artists to incorporate disco samples in house music when he began his production career in 1990. Indeed, he was in the studio making credible and outstanding British House music when many luminaries around him were still busy getting to grips with their decks. In 2010 little has changed and Dave is widely regarded as one of the most commercially successful and in-demand artists on the global scene.
A producer first and foremost, Dave uses his DJ'ing talents as a sound-bed for tweaking his musical creations to perfection. His work ethic is legendry, having been involved in well over 200 productions, countless albums and a healthy stack of hit singles. Through releasing tracks such as ‘Must Be The Music', ‘Make A Move On Me', ‘Can't Get High Without You' and Jakatta's ‘American Dream' and ‘My Vision', Dave has established himself as a true professional who keeps getting better. Widely considered an expert in all things funk, soul and disco-related, Dave is also a helpful ‘consultant' depended on by radio and TV producers worldwide.
Born on the Isle of Wright, Dave grew up on the south coast of England during the late 70's and early 80's listening to local radio stations and the sounds of Earth Wind & Fire, Heatwave, Shalamar and The Jacksons. A lack of good quality music at the time encouraged Dave to seek inspiration in the record shops of London. This soon led to a job at London vinyl store Smithers & Leigh where he first heard the revered house classics ‘Jack Your Body' and ‘I Can Feel It', sounds that were major inspirations for him to produce his own records.
Following the closure of Smithers & Leigh, Dave joined Rough Trade Distribution where he was charged with setting up its dance music arm, Demix. It was here where Dave started working with the Rhythm King label, which had had a number of hits with acts like Bomb The Bass, S-Express, Cookie Crew and Beatmasters.
His experience in advising other labels led to Dave establishing his own imprint, Republic Records, in 1988. Now defunct, Republic is today remembered as the UK's first soulful house label releasing classics such as Phase II "Reachin" and Turntable Orchestra "You're Gonna Miss Me". This was also home the first Dave Lee production, M.D.E.M.M.'s ‘Get Busy', which reached #88 in the UK charts and #18 in the club charts. His most successful work during this time, according to Dave himself, was ‘Forever Together', released under his Raven Maize alter ego. Dave created hype by licensing the song to NY label Quark and created a story of an ex-convict who played in a steel band in Disney Land, even using a computer-enhanced image of a friend sporting an afro as a press shot.
The name Joey Negro came about in 1990 when Dave released "Do It Believe It' on uber cool US cult house label Nu Groove. Not being able to think of an act name and being pressed for label copy Dave took the name from two records in a pile next to his desk - one by Pal Joey and another by J Walter Negro. "I certainly never expected that I'd still be addressed as Joey 20 years later" smiles Dave. The track was a breakthrough success and was followed by ‘Do What You Feel', which Dave released on his second label and successor to Republic, Z Records. Virgin eventually released ‘Do What You Feel' and the song became both a club hit and top 40 pop hit. Another Top 40 "Love Fantasy" and an album "Universe of Love" followed soon after.
Throughout the 90's and 00's Dave continued to release a stream of his own productions on his label Z Records (as well as other choice indies JBO, Azuli and NRK). Z continues to release a single per month and draft in the best remixers to work on Dave's music with Dennis Ferrer, Henrik Schwarz, Ame and Jimpster all having recently contributed.
Dave's reputation as a highly-skilled producer and remixer has…
No stations playing Joey Negro now
Make a move on me
Sitting On Top Of The World