Jamie Lewis: Q&A
After 25 successful years in the music business, the Swiss born Cem Berter AKA Jamie Lewis, is recognized worldwide as one of the pioneers of house music and one of the premier DJs in his scene. He is also the man behind the Purple Music recording label – with over 460 releases since 1997. We recently caught up with him to chat about his imprint, the recent Purple Music 2015 WMC Sampler – which is out now on Traxsource.
Purple Music 2015 WMC Miami Sampler out on Traxsource.
1. Hey Jamie, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us where you are and how you are feeling right now.
It’s a pleasure, I am sitting on my Purple chair in our office in Winterthur, a nice city in Switzerland – feeling very well and breathing fresh Spring Air.
2. We’re here to talk about the new Purple Music 2015 WMC Miami Sampler – tell us in your words a little bit about it…
Well every year when the “Miami fever” takes over, it is a must to prepare a Purple WMC sampler. After so many years, it has still his magic, and the DJs and music lovers from around the world are waiting for it. Somehow everybody feels Spring coming and people are ready for another hot summer with a lot of parties and new music and it’s just a perfect time to release the [hot] tracks.
3. What goes into creating a compilation?
When it comes to choosing or selecting tracks for the sampler, we want to offer different directions but remain 100% committed to the sound of Purple Music. A musical journey from deep, soulful and uplifting house music that is timeless…
4. Any personal favorite cuts on the compilation?
Every track on this sampler is a favorite to me. After playing them in my sets in different countries and cities, there is always one to choose for the right moment, so I recommend you buy the full sampler! :)
4. What’s it like running a your label for so many years and what do you want to accomplish as an imprint?
After many years, I’m still very excited each and every day with my job. We have a big family of great producers and we discover new talent every day… our aim is to keep timeless house music alive and with every release on Purple Music, we try to grant of quality.
5. I got to ask, I heard you’ve worked with Prince as his engineer and even producer?
Yes, Prince contacted me in 2011 for a collaboration, and we’ve released 4 singles for him. It was amazing for us to have such an Icon putting music out on Purple Music. In 2013, I had the honor of mixing and mastering all the songs for his new Album “Plectrum Electrum”, which was released last October with Warner Music. It’s a 100% live band recording Album with his new girl band ‘3rd EYE GIRL’. I was invited several times to play at his Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN where we all worked together on the music. It was such a great time and adventure!
6. Tell us about your 18+ years in the game, you’ve must’ve seen a lot of changes?
Oh yes, many changes and almost every step is different both positive and negative – but I think it’s very important that we know how it was back then and do the best we can today. The passion and the love for House Music still pushes us forward. I’m a lucky guy as I had a record store for 18 years – from 1988 to 2006, and I am happy that I was able to see the business behind a record store & trying to sell records. Now we can look back at those fantastic 18 years and be proud of our catalog, which today counts over 400 releases.
We’ve became an Adult Label now, so we’re full of energy and ready for the next Game :)
7. Was it better then or now? …Or somewhere in between?
That’s a difficult question – as I am happy with how and what we do now but if I was to answer this question on a personal level, as I know how it was back then… without a doubt, back then.
8. What’s your opinion on the current state of house music?
Every style has its ups, downs & challenging moments. House Music reached the peak in the 90’s, and it’s back and we feel that hype again. But today it’s become more difficult to differentiate the music styles, and for some people the same track can be Deep House and for another person, it is Soulful or Tech House. It depends on how the track gets promoted and sometimes, i think it would be better if there was just one genre: HOUSE.
9. Where does a music media store like Traxsource fit into your musical agenda?
Traxsource was the first digital store that Purple Music was onboard with from the very first day, and our long & fantastic relationship is very important to us. There are many positive changes in the current and new era today which Traxsource is without a doubt part of… and when I buy music, I buy it from Traxsource!
10. What’s next for you?
In the pipeline, I have a track entitled “Welcome to the Jungle” which is produced by myself, and this will be available on March 23,2015 – Exclusively on Traxsource.
All the single releases from the sampler will have a full package of mixes. There’s also new releases from Franco Moiraghi, Seb Skalski, Kim Cooper, Mario Marques, Darryl D’Bonneau, Andrea Love, Nino Carlo, Walterino, Peter Macaluso, Sergio D’Angelo, Mirko Paolini and many more.
And if that’s not enough, there’s two new artist albums from Two Kings Feat the Queen-Say Yes & Seb Skalski – Purpleized. Plus two important compilations “The Master Collection 10” 18 years edition & Deep House Vol.2 by Jamie Lewis! :)
11. And finally, what would be your short list of dream collaborations, past or present – dead or alive
With Quincy Jones & Brian Tappert.