DJ Spen celebrates Quantize Recordings’ 200th release | Features | MN2S

We spoke to DJ Spen about his label’s major milestone, and the journey up until its release.

DJ Spen has been behind the decks for many years, but he’s by no means past his prime. Not even close. The DJ, producer, remixer and label head found major success last year when ‘Hot Stuff 2018’, his remake of the Donna Summer classic, hit number one on the Billboard dance chart.

When he’s not in the booth, DJ Spen is the head of his label, Quantize Recordings, and its cousin Unquantize. Upon release, Sebb Junior & Tasha LaRae’s “Never Be Alone” will mark a major milestone for DJ Spen, as it is Quantize’s 200th release.

We caught up with DJ Spen to talk about the new track, running the label, and life as a Billboard chart-topper.

MN2S: Could you tell us a bit about your label, and yourself?

DJ SPEN: Well, I started my career as a DJ at the age of 13 doing mixes for a radio station in Baltimore, MD, USA. I was apart of a hop-hop group called the Numarx that ended up writing “Girl You Know It’s True,” a hit that was covered by Milli Vanilli. That led me into writing songs and doing pre-production work with Basement Boys Productions, who were responsible for records like “Gypsy Woman” by Crystal Waters and “Lift Every Voice” by Mass Order. I eventually produced my first full production in 1995 — “A Feelin’” by Jasper Street Company — on the newly formed Basement Boys Records.

Since then I’ve been involved with writing and producing 300 songs and remixing somewhere close to the 150 tracks. Quantize Recordings was formed in January of 2012 by myself and long time friend and partner Thommy Davis as a platform for us to create and release dance music of all kinds without any handcuffs. Since then, we’ve been blessed with 200 Quantize Releases and over 100 UNQUANTIZE releases. We also distribute Reelsoul Music and Poji Records.

MN2S: What would you say are some of the milestones of the label and your career as a whole?

DJ SPEN: I’d have to say that the remixes to tracks like Diana Ross’ “Take Me Higher,” Michael Jackson’s “Stranger in Moscow,” Everything but the Girl’s “Temperamental,” and Toni Braxton’s “Make My Heart” are all big DJ Spen-related projects. I also had a recent Billboard #1 dance track that I did with Michele Chiavarini on Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” that I’m still excited about.

Milestones for Quantize include a Billboard #1 single by Barbara Tucker called “Think (About It),” a Louie Vega production by Sheila Ford called “Why Can’t You See,” “Never Too Much” by Tracy Hamlin,” our 100th record by Joycelyn Brown called “Be A Believer,” and now our 200th release by Sebb Junior and Tasha LaRae “Never Be Alone.”

MN2S: Making it to number one on the Billboard chart in 2017 is a huge achievement How was that period for you and your label?

DJ SPEN: It was an exciting time! Just watching our first Quantize record climb the Billboard Chart was like children waiting for presents from Santa Claus on Christmas Day. Do we get lump of coal, or do we get the present of a lifetime? We were blessed with the present of a lifetime. We knew that Barbara’s rendition of “Think” would do well, but a Billboard #1 was an unexpected surprise.

MN2S: Sebb Junior & Tasha LaRae’s “Never Be Alone” is the label’s 200th release, was this an easy or hard song to compose?

DJ SPEN: Producer Sebb Junior sent us a track that he wanted a vocalist for. Tasha, being a new artist and songwriter with us at the time, was a pretty easy choice. She has a natural knack for writing songs to tracks that may be less melodic, but drive energetically. Sure enough, she delivered a song that we loved immediately. It’s a song that’s packed with emotion and delivered with expert precision.

The 200th release is comprised of remixes of “Never Be Alone” from a remix contest that we did earlier this year that had 95 submissions. The winner was SoulLab from South Africa who had their version released in June and QTZ200 features the other four of the top five entries from the contest by AVA (IT), Seb Skalski, Koolstyle, and Eric Ericksson & Johan Olsson.

MN2S: What can we expect next from your musical journey?

DJ SPEN: Quite a bit. Quantize is soon gonna be releasing the single remake of the classic ”Love Sensation” reinterpreted by Susu Bobien, and full length LP projects from the legendary Terrance Parker, Thommy Davis, Tasha LaRae, Gary Hudgins, and DJ Beloved are on the way. Unquantize will be busy with several underground releases from the likes of Sahib Muhammad, HIMWOL, and Jay Kutz. Lastly, on the DJ Spen front, there’ll be remixes coming for David Morales on a song called “Just Believe,” a mix for Terry Hunter’s label T’s Box Records on a song called “I Found Love,” and a remix for Tamia on a song called “Leave It Smokin’”.

QTZ200 will be released on 3rd August, available via Beatport and other platforms.

Book DJ Spen to bring the chart topper and Quantize Recordings head to your venue.

MN2S represents DJ Spen and 366 other DJs. View artist bio

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