Article: Musical Grant
Author: Timmy Loop
Reference: March 25-31, 1998/Week 13
Chicago, the birthplace of house music and one of its fiercest champions, Mark Grant.
Twelve years involved in the industry
Production/remixing credits for homies Ralphi Rosario, Donna Blakely & Cajmere
His own hit, Dancin’, with the Chicago Connection,
Possesses a signature sound – sultry live instrumentations wrapped around a skillfully blended programming style that’s silenced even the nastiest of critics
Still DJs four nights a week
Life’s lookin’ pretty bright for this one
LOOP: what got you interested in spinning records?
GRANT: well my older brother kinda of started it off. I was about 13 when he was starting to learn. He had a tape that a friend of his had made that I would just sit and over and over again. I was so overwhelmed by his tape that it really piqued an interest in me to start spinning.
So… your older brother… does he spin too?
No, he’s done a few parties in the past but he never really took it any further.
So now we know that there’s only room for one DJ in this family. Can you remember what your first playing gig was?
I think it was when I was 13. I brought all my equipment out to do this grammar school party… that paid me fifteen dollars. The funny thing is, when I was playing, nobody danced… they just crowded around me… watching me spin.
How nerve racking!
And I was terribly nervous… and then I blew the speakers…
You’ve come a long way from 15 dollar gigs. What’s your current schedule of the week for spinning?
Well right now I’m at red dog (boom boom room) mad bar, and the funky Buddha bar.
What’s it like making the transition from one club to the next… does it ever get boring?
No, not at all. I really enjoy what I do and I consider myself very blessed to have the work. I think a lot of times a DJ can grow out of a club, and that’s ok, because you have to have a progressive attitude in this business. If I didn’t feel comfortable spinning anymore I would just move on to the next thing.
When did producing and remixing become a part of your world?
I started working on stuff when I was about 15 or 16.
Yeah, people just didn’t know I was out there.
They do now, what have been your favorite projects, and where do you get your inspirations?
My favorites would either have to be the project I did on Cajual called house music will never die with Glenn Underground, or the thing I did on guidance records called spirit of the black ghost. As far as where my ideas… they come from things I’ve been dying to get out for a long time… now I have the opportunity to express them. All my projects are a reflection of my personality.
Do people treat you differently now with all the success you’re having?
Oh yes… I think there’s a definite difference.
Lots of those who weren’t your friends before, but are now calling you their main man now?
There are some… but I think I’m a pretty good judge of character to know who’s real and who’s not.
The taste of Cajual cd, which is great, was your first cd compilation project, right?
This is my first mixed cd… I really enjoyed doing it, but there were some hard aspects to doing it too. I really love it when a crowd feeds off of what I’m playing, which is very different while mixing in a studio to not to get a reaction.
What projects are coming up next for you?
Well things are a little slow right now but there are a few remixes that I’m hoping to finish soon.
Drop some names.
Well not just yet, I’d like to complete what I’m doing first.
Off the music subject… what do you do when you’re not working?
I’m busy most of the time… I don’t get a lot of free time at once. But when I do, I catch either a movie or go out to eat…
Any love interests right now?
No, not at the present. There was someone for a while, but it’s over.
Was there anything this past year you were hoping to get that you didn’t.
Yeah, a designer wardrobe and large sums of money.
Yeah? You too? So answer this cliché: ‘where do you see yourself ten years from now?’
I hopefully see myself doing what I’m doing now, only better.