JOSE ZARAGOZA – DEEP HYPE SOUNDS 100TH RELEASE [PLAIN & SIMPLE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
DJ and producer Jose Zaragoza is a name hot on everyone’s lips in his home city of Chicago and is the mastermind for some of the scene’s hottest musical flavours, leading to many of the world’s A-List stars taking notice of his unique productions. As well as being the mind behind bombs such as: ‘My House’, ‘Future’s Coming’, ‘In The Balkans’, ‘Funky Tonic’ and ‘The March of the Ocean’, Jose is the spearhead of his very own imprint Deep Hype Sounds, establishing itself as one of the industry’s most exciting labels. We had the opportunity to sit down with Jose and chat about all things music and his label’s 100th release.
Hi Jose, thanks for taking time to answer these few questions. To get things started, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure, I’m from Chicago and I’ve been a DJ for over 20 something years. I feel so lucky that I’m still pushing music as hard as I do. I also produce, and I currently run a label called Deep Hype Sounds. The label started back in 2008 and we release everything under the House music genre. The label is about to reach it’s 100th release so I am working hard on that moment.
How did you first become involved in the music industry and why did you decide to follow the path of being a DJ and producer?
I think every Chicago DJ has the same story. Listening to 102.7 Wbmx on Saturday nights was my first taste of house music. I couldn’t’ figure out what the DJ’s where doing, but I really liked it. I wanted to learn, and I started buying records and I tried to teach myself what I would hear on the radio each week.
Also, two great guys took me under their wings around 1989. Tony Rodriguez and Burt Blanchard who was a resident at the legendary club in Chicago called Shelter really helped me when I first started to try and be a DJ. They taught me a lot about music. As I kept going, I just realized how much I loved the music, but also playing to people and seeing them smile and dance. I think the most rewarding moments of being in music, is when you see people just letting loose and having a great time. And when you can add them dancing to something that you made, it’s bliss! I just love it, and can never get enough!!
How does it feel when you get the news that DJs like Seth Troxler, Paco Osuna, Miguel Campbell and Ian Carey have thrown their support behind your productions?
I have to pinch myself sometimes with the support I receive from these incredible DJ and producers floods in. When I read comments about my music, I can’t believe they are speaking about something I made. I still feel like I’m not close to where I want to be in terms of production. I’m constantly learning, and want to get better. When I see great comments, it just makes me want to keep trying to get better. I truly appreciate the support, and I keep pushing and pushing to get better as well!
You are also the label head of Deep Hype Sounds, can you tell us why you decided to start your own label in 2008?
I have always been someone that likes to try different things, and running a label was the next step in my progress as a person in this music business. When I first started, it was only about djing, and then I started getting into producing music. I always thought it would be a great idea to start a label, and give others and myself a chance to push their music without thinking too much about genres. I really wanted to give artist that didn’t have an outlet, a place where they could push their music and trust I would do all I could to get their music to the right people. At times, it has worked, other times it hasn’t. But I go into each release with full speed, and put my heart into it. I treat each release even when it’s not my release, like it’s mine. These artists trust me to release their music so I want to do the best I can for them and hope we can get them the promotions they deserve! To this day, I still think the same way. I will always push everyone’s music to the fullest. I want to help people get their names out there and more!!
8 years later and you are approaching the label’s 100th release, did you ever think that that day would come?
Haha, I would be lying if I said yes. Of course we thought about it, but to be honest, we have had many up’s and down’s, and one of the label’s ownersd left and move on to other things,so that was a big change for me. There was a period I thought about moving on, and closing shop. But as I kept thinking about things, I kept getting music from artists that deserve to be push hard. So I decided to get going again, and now we are almost at our 100th release. I think once the 100th release is released, I might have a tear in my eye! Hehe, I’m just going to be super proud, that so many people trust me with their music! The 100th release is going be so good. I have over 20 artists that have given me their music. I can’t wait for it to come out. These are tunes I’m very blessed that I am able to release on deep hype sounds!!
Many labels in the industry do not reach this monumental milestone. What have been the reasons for the label’s success?
I think the reason we are able to reach this point, is because we care so much about the music. If it were about money, we would never get here. Of course everyone wants to make money, but lets be honest, some releases make money, many don’t. Despite this you want to keep pushing and pushing, and we keep trying to get better. But at the end of the day, we love music so much. If it wasn’t for the love, there is no way we would continue. Once it’s not fun anymore, it’s time to move on. The fun never seems to stop, and with the new help that I am getting from friends (Rob Treviss and House Meanz House). There is no way I can stop helping others as well!!
Can you tell us a bit about the release and do you have anything special planned to commemorate it?
We are lucky to have music from 23 incredible artists on this release. We have started a kick-starter campaign to help raise money to support this big release. With the kick-starter campaign, we have set up 10 great options, which anyone can choose from. We are releasing a limited vinyl release, which we are capping at 100 records. We are also releasing a mix compilation, and releasing the music on cd as well. We also have added a few other goodies, which you can find as you look through the options on the campaign. I am really excited; we are going all out with this release. It’s not often you can say you are about to release music by some great talented people, and also be able to say it’s the 100th release!
How important do you think it is to give upcoming talents support and a platform to express themselves and get their music heard?
I have always believed that we need to help each other. People talk about support, but sometimes it’s more lip service then real support. I know how hard it is to make it in this business and I still haven’t gotten to where I want to, but I am having so much fun with it. I know that I will keep pushing as hard as I can. I’ve been lucky that many people have helped me, and I always told myself, “if I ever get in a position to help anyone, I would”. I believe in karma so I hope that when I help an upcoming talent and they get a chance to help someone, they will help them. That’s the only way forward, if we don’t help each other. What’s the point in being in music? Without the help I’ve received from friends, I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in. I will always help, especially if someone asks me for help because I truly appreciate the help I’ve received!!
Finally, do you have anything exciting planned for the second half of year regarding the label and your own career?
Well I need to start planning for our 200th release! Haha. Honestly, I’m excited about the 2nd half of the year. I’ll be on tour in Europe; I’m playing at the Glastonbury Festival this year!! I can’t wait, and I’m starting to add more gigs as well. I am motivated like I’ve never been before, so I will continue to work more shows. As for the label, our main goal is to have a successful release of our 100th. Once we get there, it will be time to start pushing our backlog of release. We have so much good music that we have ready to push out. I hope that people will take the time and listen to our music. I also am working on releasing more of my own music. I had taken a break because I was putting together the kick-starter campaign for the 100th release. However, I know it’s time to start pushing out the backlog of tunes I have. I can’t wait! Thanks again guys, really appreciate time. Don’t forget to check out our kick-starter campaign, and support great music by great artist!!
Check out the campaign on Kickstarter
Check out the promo video on YouTube