Cajmere Talks Drug-Induced Religious Conversion: "Somebody Spiked My Drink, I Prayed to God to Spare My Life"
House music has had strong spiritual undercurrents since its inception. Do you find a closer connection to the music after your religious conversion?
I was brought up Christian and my songs, from the beginning, were influenced by that. My first Green Velvet song was "Preacher Man," and the first song on my Cajual label was "Brighter Days." But after renewing my vows to God, I have a deeper appreciation for music. There are some days where listening to some good music gets me through the day. Also, I'm more in tune with how to move others on a deeper level with music.
What was the concept behind Cajual when you first launched the label and how has that concept evolved over the years?
The original plan with Cajual was to basically continue the Chicago house music tradition. That part of it remains true to this day.
What can you tell us about the new Only 4 U label compilation? What was your criteria for selecting material spanning two decades? How do you think some of the older records stand up today?
The Only 4 U compilation is definitely a part of history concerning house music. The music was selected by Quentin [Scott] at Strut Records. I wanted someone else's perspective on the most valued tracks. Some of the older tracks hold their own next to the newer ones, and at the same time you can see the evolution of the music.
What's next for Cajual? Can we expect another 20 years?
I plan on developing a lot more younger artists, as well as working with the veterans. You can definitely expect another 20 years if the Man Upstairs has it in his iCal.
What have been the highlights of 2012 for you so far and what do you have going on for the rest of the year?
The highlights of 2012 have been working with Jamie Jones, reconnecting with a lot of artists, and celebrating 20 years of Cajual. For the rest of the year, I plan on staying busy in the studio as well as traveling.
What else does the future have in store for Curtis Jones?
Spreading more love to more people.
And what can Miami expect during your performance at the Electric Pickle? Cajmere, Green Velvet, or both?
It's a Cajmere set, and I'll definitely be bringing the funk.
Cajmere. With Will Renuart. Saturday, November 24. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $15 to $20 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.
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