Working my way up Collins, I was hearing great music from every hotel along the way. I stopped in at the Clevelander and caught the Red Line party at the seeming peak. Anthony Lamont was his usual fabulous spectacle - looks and personality, he's got it all. Peter Bailey was spinning and dropped "Mind Control," a new track by Richie Santana that is coming out on Stereo Productions and the crowd went insane. I smell a major hit here.
Next up was Starkillers. A hike up Collins brought me to the Mercury where Nick Terranova and Austin Leeds were enjoying a breather from their busy schedule to do some press. Seriously, these guys had the WMC 2006 hit with "Diskoteka" and now they were booked at what seemed like every major event. Its often a challenge to interview two people at the same time - but the working relationship of Nick and Austin made it quite natural. An artist album is due for release soon and you can see the interview here shortly.
I ran back to the hotel where I had the honor of introducing UK popdance producer Steve Rodway (aka Motiv8) and Debbie Loeb. Motiv8 seems to have a major succession of hits every three years or so in the UK so timing was about right for a major smash. Singer/songwriter Debbie Loeb seems to be perfectly for the European market with her hooky songwriting, playful personality, strong vocal skills and girl next door sex appeal. The two clicked and come to find out, spent the whole weekend working on new tracks. This is music I truly cannot wait to hear.
A quick change and I was ready for dinner at China Grille with the Promo Only crew. Promo Only Promotions is responsible for promoting many of the big dance radio hits in the US. If you look at the Billboard Dance Radio charts, it seems like most of the top 10 each week is promoted by Mr. Dance (oops Cary Vance.) The dinner was delicious and I enjoyed a conversation with Big Management's Gary Salzman and DJ Keri. In attendance were label heads from Artemis, esNtion, Tone 1, AudioOne, and Beguile as well as their fabulous artists Chris Willis, Jenna Drey, Sarah Atereth, Russ Harris, Trixie Reiss, Screamin Rachel and Mon-A-Q. It's always nice to get to know the artists behind great dance records - it makes playing their records that much more fun.
After dinner, I walked up Collins and met up with sitewriter Dewight Barkeley at the Delano to catch a set from Atlanta discohouse artists - Madison Park. I had met producer James Cool before but this was my first time to meet the singer Deanna. It must be odd to perform in a lobby - especially when used to performing in nightclubs. It makes you work a lot harder to get passerbys into the music. Deanna knew what she was doing, performing clubhits such as "I'm Listening" and building an audience.
A few buildings down, it was a return to the Setai for the Erika Jayne party. Hosted by Suzanne Bartsch, the extravagant event was probably the best produced party I had ever attended in Miami. Entering the courtyard and you are greeted by Amanda Lepore applying sun tanlotion in a bathtub floating in a pool. Also in the pool is a massive inflatable dinosaur being used as a projection screen and hundred of flashing rubber duckies. The dancefloor was full with a mixed party crowd enjoying the music of DJ Sammy Jo (tour DJ for the Scissor Sisters.) His upbeat and fun set featured everything from remixes of 80s classics to hot tech house. The crowd was feeling him. A second pool showcased a huge set with multiple circus freaks (aka club kids) posing, inflating musical instruments, throwing toys at the crowd and engaging in other, erm, deacadant behavior. Random performances including a nearly nude dancer emerging from a lifesize balloon and a transgendered midget stropping made the night even more special. DJ Eric Kupper closed the party making it the second event that I stayed at until close.
Walking up Lincoln, I heard Tracy Young spinning her trademark tribal sound at Score - and as much as I love her - I was in the mood to dance to soulful house music. A few blocks further, I found Funktion that was hosting the BMC/Slaag party. Though I had missed performances by Dawn Tallman and Cece Peniston they were hanging around and enjoying the party. Ron Carroll was on the decks playing fun music for a lively crowd. This was probably the most I danced all week - a good hour on the floor sweating my butt of to funky house and vocal tracks. Ron Caroll's set was a highlight of the Defected party in Amstedam and a definite highlight of WMC 2007. Usually when I am dancing, I keep my eyes closed to really get into it that much more. I opened my eyes and saw I was dancing with Ultra Nate. So let's think about this - she can sang, she can DJ and Miss Ultra can certainly dance. I left, exhausted about 5am and ran into Lady Kier and various other people outside the club. Seems like everyone was in the mood for some soul on Friday night.
Richie Santana "Mindcontrol"
Chris Willis "Freedom" (Beatfreakz mix with Public Enemy)
Starchasers "West End Girls" (Instrumental)
Tila Tequila "I Love U" (Zeomix)
Brittaney Star "I Wanna F**k the DJ" (Worthington Keats Mix)