LE BAIN: It seems you are busier than ever, releasing new tracks with George Clinton and Kendrick Lamar, Adeva, Masters At Work… Is 2015 Louie Vega’s year or is it just a teaser for 2016?
Louie Vega: Oh, this is a teaser, get ready, plenty to come! My new and first ever Louie Vega album, titled Louie Vega Starring is coming February 2016. Also Master At Work's new music is coming next year...monthly releases on Vega records: Anane Vega's Best Of album, a Hardrive EP, and some Louie Vega productions with artists you love!
I read your new album’s concept is to gather 28 songs featuring 28 artists…
I've reached out to many friends, recording them at my studio, Daddy's Workshop, to create an album that contains 28 songs with over 28 artists. We've released a few singles so far: "Dance" by 3 Winans Brothers featuring The Clark sisters, "I Deserve to Breathe" by Louie Vega starring Adeva, and also the album cut, "Ain't that Funkin' Kinda Hard On You" by Funkadelic, which features Kendrick Lamar. Lots of releases coming up this fall and winter with live shows to follow in spring 2016!
Funkadelic Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard On You (Louie Vega Remix)
It seems today’s music industry is wondering if the album format is still relevant. How do you plan to make it work with your new LP?
I feel like my audience loves albums with songs, and personally, I feel that the story I want to tell comes to fruition with an album. As long as I have a good song or melody or something that catches me, I can thump a remix, and take it to the club. I don't follow any standard industry rules in putting out an album, but we have a strong team at Vega Records - it's still about a strategic plan.
Speaking of the ‘album’ format, I believe your project Nuyorican Soul could be released today and be huge. Everything is in place: the music, the packaging, the story behind it. Would this kind of release be possible today?
So you're saying albums are relevant. I'm glad we're on the same page (laughs). Nuyorican Soul was way ahead of its time and we inspired many with that album and helped pave the way in various genres of music. I believe it would be possible today - people expect something special. I went to some stores and I'm shocked at all the vinyl being sold in stores that never sold vinyl back then. Even in clothing stores, you might find some small record players! I'm happy to see that there is an audience that wants to hold a nice album with cover art and cool packaging. What I'm getting at is that the time is now.
Nuyorican Soul feat. India Runaway (1996)
Looking back at your discography, you have many many reasons to be proud, but is there a project that has special meaning for you?
One particular project for me was being able to compose a song for Cirque Du Soleil titled "One Dream" by Elements Of Life featuring Anane. I was commissioned to do it in 2007 and I called my friends Blaze. Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge of Blaze came in and we put together a wonderful piece for the Superbowl that year. They also requested Anane to sing the lead, and to top it off, we were asked to perform it live at the stadium for 70,000 people and on TV worldwide in front of 145 million people. It was surreal and a dream for Elements of Life, Anane Vega, and I. From the recording process to the performance, it was something to remember forever.
We are thrilled to have you playing all night for Halloween, a Saturday night on top of NYC...
I'm excited, as well, to be playing in New York City for Halloween! I've been on the road for years on that weekend and now I get to play for my NYC peeps! This will be an amazing night I'm looking forward to it.
Any wild Halloween memory you would share with us?
Wow, many! Anane and I have dressed up for many years and the costumes were out of this world. We've had some great times at many parties, lovely extravagant events we've played in NYC. One that comes to mind is Patricia Field's Halloween event, one of my fav'! Can't wait 'til October 31st to see New York in full effect! Get ready for some LV sounds coming your way!
Saturday October 31st, Le Bain celebrates Halloween with Louie Vega all night. Doors 10pm. The Standard, High Line.