909originals catches up with Roland Clark

As a producer, songwriter, DJ and vocalist, Roland Clark is probably one of the busiest artists in dance music.

The New York native came to prominence with house cuts such as Who Keeps Changing Your Mind, under the alias South Street Player, as well as I Get Deep, released in 2000, while over the years he has loaned his iconic vocal talents to tracks from artists such as Fatboy Slim, Todd Terry,Armand Van Helden, Kenny Dope, Mark Knight, Bob Sinclair, and many others.

His latest release is the gospel-inspired The Walk To Church, alongside Jack Back (the house music alter ego of producer David Guetta) and Wh0, which was released in May on Spinnin’ Records. You can buy/stream it here.

909originals caught up with him.

Hi Roland, thanks for talking to us. Your most recent release is ‘The Walk To Church’ with Jack Back and Wh0. How would you describe it?

I describe this release as a record that embodies the foundation of house music, a spiritual release.

How did the collaboration come about?

The original vocal was meant for Hugel until one day I found myself on an email chain with Jack Back and Wh0 regarding the vocal. It took me aback for a second and I tried to make sense out of it – it seems there were some back room talks where I wasn’t in the room – but soon I caught up with everything and what they wanted to know. All’s well that ends well.

Last year saw you release the album Time Travel. Judging by the name, was it an autobiographical work?

Time Travel started off with me learning a few new plugins and sounds in my studio, and the next thing you know, I had written four tunes. I really didn’t promote it properly – it was a work of love for myself. Perhaps I will re-release it with new mastering and extra vocals, preferably female.

In recent years you have broadened the range of genres you work with, teaming up with artists in EDM, trance and techno as well as your traditional house music roots. How does your approach differ when working on a project in a different genre – EDM is quite different to deep house for example?

I do not approach music by genre, I approach it by the energy it puts out. I find myself in a unique situation of being able to work in all genres. I never wanted to call myself a ‘house DJ’, I’m just a DJ.

The last time 909originals spoke to you, it was in June 2020, at the height of the pandemic lockdown. Looking back, was that a productive period for you?

It was more productive than I have been in years, because there were no distractions.

As you told us back then, you believed that after COVID-19, dance music would “come back, but at a price”. Is there anything that you think has changed noticeably about the scene now that those days are being us?

I think the relationship between promoters, agents and DJs have changed – more DJ’s are being groomed by promoters as a means of making money, as opposed to that DJ putting in the years of work that we had to do.

Having appeared on so many records over the years, is there a particular lyric that you think was fundamental in the development of your career, and why?

I Get Deep says it all.

What does the rest of the year have in store for you?

Right now I’m in the market for an agent, and looking forward to taking a break from the studio. I think I have enough material out there that can stand the test of time.

Thanks Roland for talking to us. You can buy/stream The Walk To Church here.

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