If you have found your self here on this site there is only one reason: you love House music! Maybe you’re the Godfather of House parties. Maybe you’re an aspiring DJ. Maybe you are a DJ. Or maybe, you’ve just got really good taste! We love House music of all sounds, shapes, and sizes here on HouseSongs and we are committed to keeping you in the loop of all things great! Some days we bring you classics, some days the new, but today I’ve got something that really threw me for a loop when I first heard. For some this may not be a surprise, ‘I’ve known about this for years,’ you might say, and fair enough because this little gem has flown right under my radar!
However, for those may not know let me clue you in.
Amazing ‘New’ Deep House DJ
First of all, let me clarify that you know the British indie rock come post-punk revival band, Bloc Party (it kinda kills the whole surprise if you don’t, though not House, I would still highly recommend checking them out), I know, not House related at all, right? But that is exactly it, lead singer and guitarist, Kele Okereke, has made a fantastic transition into the world of House music!
Like I said, I am a few years behind on this, but that cannot take away this mans talent nor the importance of sharing this news with the blogsphere. Below you’ll find I’ve conveniently left you a link to check out Kele’s latest track ‘Candy Flip’ due for release the 14th of April (just a few days away!) and then I’m going to run you though a bit of information about this man and his awesome reincarnation into House!
Kele was born in 1981 in Liverpool, England, but grew up in London where he lives to this day. When he was 17 he met Russell Lissack and a year later the pair met at the Reading Festival where they formed the first incarnation of the band that would bring them to fame, known as ‘The Angel Range’. A few years later into the early 2000’s Kele met the next two members of his future band, Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong, and after a brief stint under the name Union, Bloc Party finally emerged.
The new bands debut album, Silent Alarm, was released way back in 2005 and became a massive success, reaching number three in the UK album charts – an incredible feat so early in their career. While this was being produced however, Kele was in the middle of University studying English Literature; the difficulty of balancing both I can assume is not lost on any of you. In 2007 Bloc Party’s second studio album, A Weekend in the City, was an even greater sensation reaching still higher in the UK charts and going on to the Billboard 200, debuting at number 12. The Prayer, the first track from this album is perhaps one of the bands most popular tracks, and remaining it’s highest placing, reached number 4 in the UK singles chart in the same year.
The next year, in 2008, Kele and the band released their third album, this time called Intimacy, which again charted very well on both sides of the Atlantic. Despite their success, the band went on Hiatus in 2009 and this is where I can start bringing this story back into House. Kele had this to say about the genre:
“I’ve always loved the inclusive and spiritual nature of House music.”
How could you not like a guy with such a high respect for House?
During his time away from the rest of the band, Kele began to spread his musical wings doing work with some of the biggest names in Electronic House Music such as Tiësto and Martin Solveig. In 2010 we heard Kele’s first solo album, titled The Boxer, an entire album of alternative dance/electro house, totally different from anything we had yet heard from him before. The name, The Boxer, was explained by Kele, saying:
“…as a boxer, you have to rely on nobody else but yourself to achieve what it is you want to achieve. Even though you take hits, you have to keep focus on your priorities and keep going. I thought that was an inspiring image.”
Since then, Bloc Party has reformed for one more Album, Four, and an EP but are now known to be on an indefinite hiatus. This has pretty much left our man to delve deeper into the House genre though he has released no more albums. Instead, in 2011, a follow up to The Boxer was released, an EP entitled The Hunter. This has since been followed by several minor releases where Kele has featured on a track, but no serious chart topping endeavours. This remained the case until 2012 when we heard from him again with yet another EP, this time called Heartbreaker, featuring three new tracks and one remix. Now we have just about caught up with the present and it seems that once again Mr Okereke is still marching onwards under the House banner with a brand spanking new A-side, Candy Flip!
To finish off I can only say that I am seriously looking forward to hearing what the rest of this new EP will sound like and I can’t wait to see where Kele is going to be going in the future. If you are enjoying what I’m giving you here then I can highly recommend checking out Top 100 Deep House Tracks Out Now in 2014 or his souncloud where you’ll find all kinds of sets he has mixed as well as a number of remixes: you don’t want to miss out on what this guy has to offer!