Article: DJ Mark Grant brings Chicago House to Tokyo
Author: Richard Columbo
Reference: www.accesseonline.com/March, 2004
TOKYO - Access E recently caught up with DJ Mark Grant during a visit to Tokyo where he played at Space Lab Yellow. In an exclusive interview the renowned DJ talk to us about how his love for house music started at a very young age.
"I started when I was twelve years old. My oldest brother was DJing with a friend and his friend made this tape that I listened to over and over again and after that I asked my mom I want to mix, I want turntables and a mixer, and she spread it out over my birthday; it began with a mixer in June and then turntables in December and I've been doing it ever since."
He talked to us a little bit about what house music was like when he was growing up.
"I started with house music, at that time too the radio was really ... they had the thing called the HOT MIX 5 in Chicago so they were playing house music. It was more European kind of house music mixed with Chicago house music and kind of mixed with disco classics so it was that kind of mix that was going on at the time."
House music wasn't all the DJ to. He explained how other music also has an effect on his style today.
"I like a lot of different things, but I love like the soul music, the Marvin Gayes, the Isley Brothers and stuff like that; classic jazz music of course Miles Davis and Coltrane and stuff and I was a big Prince fan. So I kind of graft from all these different experiences."
His name his now synonymous with Chicago house but the DJ told Access E's Adamu Chan that it is sometimes hard to realize how popular Chicago house has become.
"Going to different places a lot of people have respect for Chicago house and the great thing about it you know ...t's very different, there a lot of DJs and a lot of different styles but it is something I think the style of music and the technique as far as DJing is definitely what makes it Chicago but I'm very happy that it is (popular), but it's hard to define it a lot of times when you are in it."
It was a packed house at Club Yellow that Friday night with over a thousand fans turning out to watch DJ Mark Grant perform. Grant said it has been fun coming to DJ in Japan but no matter where he plays in the world he will always maintain his own unique style.
"For the most part for house music you know, I just do what I do because you don't want to be just all over the place."
The DJ said that knowing that people love and appreciate house music is what matters the most, even if it means the origins are not always recognized.
"When you listen to a lot of different types of music for instance like Jazz or Blues, the original people who supported the music and initially made it bigger, they don's support the music. And as far as I'm concerned anybody who loves the music and appreciates it, wherever they're from and whoever they are, I'm down with that."
Mr.Sasaki, one of the event organizers credited Mark Grant for the night's large turnout which in Japan is usually reserved for other genres of music.
"He was very great. It was amazing. Usually in Japan people like techno and very trancy music but this music is very groovy and very housy and that's why me and Josh (fellow organizer) wanted to invite him to Japan."