SOUL ELECTRIC: Indie Label Creation Founded By House Music Legend DJ Roy Davis Jr. and Talented L.A. Producer Juan Hoerni


soul electricLegendary House Music producer Roy Davis, Jr. and long-time ally Los Angeles area club promoter and producer Juan Hoerni (pronounced Her-nee) have joined forces to create Soul Electric Records. Soul Electric, with offices based in Chicago and Los Angeles, will feature R&B, house, hip-hop and rap artists, along with special mix tape and dance remix projects. Soul Electric’s first release is Young, Gifted & Black by Chicago native J. Noize, who has a direct personal relationship with Davis and Hoerni.

Soul Electric Records is a logical extension of a 10-year professional and personal friendship between Davis and Hoerni. Davis is a highly respected house music producer and DJ hailing from Chicago, with an extensive production and dance remix track record involving virtually every key artist in urban music since the early 90’s. Hoerni is known for putting on innumerable concerts and parties throughout the greater Los Angeles region, as well as creator of Cha Cha Project Recordings.

“I had been doing work for a lot of different artists, and I reached a point where I wanted to do something different, more commercial…when it came to starting Soul Electric, I was looking for a partner. When I brought it up to Juan, he was anxious to be a part of it and said, ‘Whenever you’re ready to start, I’m ready’,” explains Davis about the creation of Soul Electric.

Davis and Hoerni pored over the details of their vision of Soul Electric Records and found a convenient first artist in Davis’ own brother, 24-year-old producer and rapper J. Noize. J. Noize (Jason Davis) had his own buzz in Chicago by virtue of winning various beat battles, including the influential Dynamic Producers 2005. The project, Young, Gifted & Black, is scheduled to hit retail and most major music download services in fall 2009.

Young, Gifted & Black bucks trendy “me-first” fare and offers insightful messages that emphasize family, community and a way out from a seemingly endless cycle of poverty, crime and corruption. The first single “Find Him” revolves around finding a positive direction in life and features the vocal strength of veteran R&B diva Terry Dexter. Prior to the release of “Find Him,” a remix tape is planned to help create a street buzz and awareness of Soul Electric Records and its roster, including J. Noize, hip-hop/R&B vocalist Manny and songwriter and artist D-Illa.

Davis admits to the luxury of having his younger brother J. Noize as the first artist on Soul Electric.

“The best first artist to work with was J. I worked with other artists – and there will be more artists to come – but since he was right there in my face and also putting out consistently good music, I felt he was a solid choice.”

Davis and Hoerni are Executive Producers of Young, Gifted & Black, as well as producers of several songs on the CD, while allowing J. Noize enough space to develop his musical dream. To that end, even more family is involved, including another brother, songwriter/artist D-Illa—whose soon to be released solo project is titled Products & Goods—and nephew Yung Nef (also a producer) who also contributed to the project.

Roy Davis, Jr. began his career as a DJ at the tender age of 12, and was influenced by local hometown Chicago house music spinners DJ Pierre, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Lil’ Louis and Marshall Jefferson. Davis quickly picked up the nuances of working a crowd and honed his craft to the point where he surpassed the aforementioned and rapidly became the go-to house and dance-remix producer/DJ in Chicago. Davis’ reputation spread around the world and he is now in demand in such places as Dubai, Tokyo, England, Australia and France. As his reputation grew, Davis was approached by numerous acts for his incendiary dance remixes, which have heightened visibility for the likes of Seal, Daft Punk, Jill Scott, Eric Benet, Terry Dexter, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Patti LaBelle,  and Christina Milian. In the summer of 2009, Davis released a well-received solo album, God, Life, Music, on the Chicago-based label Largetek. The experimental effort features R&B, Electronic dance, spacey hip-hop and more, with input by Chicago area artists Dexter, J. Noize, Yung Nef, XL, Manny and Erin Martin.

Juan Hoerni began his career as a publicist for a high-tech firm in Silicon Valley after graduating in 1998 from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Communications. The Mountain View, California native gravitated to music PR and concert promotion when he discovered that the high-tech field left him unchallenged.

“I used to produce radio shows at KMEL-FM and college radio stations. I took all that I learned and started DJ-ing in clubs in the area.”

A one-off house music concert booking turned into a full-time entrepreneurial adventure when Hoerni’s reputation grew as a major club event specialist. Hoerni is also the creator of Cha-Cha Project Recordings, an eclectic collection of experimental music that he wrote, produced and collaborated with several DJs, including DJ Spinna and Davis.

“I called Roy’s manager for an event I was throwing in 1999, and then I began using him all the time, because Roy knows how to get a crowd started,” Hoerni explains on how he and Davis met.

Davis elaborates, “Juan used to fly me out for weeks at a time, and I’d play at boat parties and huge warehouses that he would rent out. Our friendship grew throughout time, and then we eventually started producing records. We realized we had the same goals in common and liked the same broad range of music. So, we decided to go ahead, push the button and make it happen. It was always in the back of my head, when I was shopping J-Noize’s project around, to start a label.”

The idea of Soul Electric Records became reality in January 2009, and accelerated once J-Noize finished his solo effort.

“Soul Electric- the name itself- is not limited to hip-hop. It could be house, soul and other avenues, as long as it has substance and soul within it,” Hoerni concludes.

Author: Losillë
Mother, wife and kinda old.

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