UK DJ and producer Dave Lee – known by a dozen aliases but best known as “Joey Negro” – is dropping the name.
The move comes a day after a petition begun by DJ/producer Monty Luke and supported by a wide array of Black electronic music artists lead to Marea Stamper dropping her “Black Madonna” moniker.
In a Facebook post this morning, Lee outlined the history of the moniker (a combination of Pal Joey and J Walter Negro‘s names) and why he now considers it problematic. “I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable and people find it out of place in 2020,” he wrote, “and I agree.”
As quite a few people have ditched Facebook, we’re producing it here in full:
“Back in 1990 I’d produced my first solo release and I wasn’t sure if it was any good or what to do with it,” he recounts. “I was running a label called Republic (owned by Rough Trade) at the time and had licensed material from the NYC label Nu Groove on several occasions. They were a super cool label, so I sent my song to Frank and Karen there and they said they liked it and had a gap in the schedule so would be prepared to release it. Normally I’m ok at thinking of names but I just couldn’t come up with anything and the label said they really needed all the credits by the end of the week. I had a pile of records next to my desk at work, amongst them was Pal Joey ‘Reach Up To Mars’ and J Walter Negro ‘Shoot The Pump.’ I wrote down a few of the names off the vinyl and put them next to each other.
“The one time I’d heard a J Walter Negro record on the radio as a new release the DJ announced it as ‘Negro,’ the Spanish pronunciation, and that’s how I heard the name as I used it.
“Why didn’t I use Dave Lee? In retrospect, I should have done, but to be completely honest it just seemed boring compared to the likes of Junior Vasquez, David Morales or Frankie Knuckles who were making some of my favourite records at the time. The Spanish house label Blanco Y Negro had a big record with Real Wild House and there was another song Piano Negro, I felt Joey Negro gave it a Latin American feel so it would fit in peoples record boxes. Many of the disco records I bought in the late 70s/early 80s were producers under pseudonyms, there didn’t seem anything odd about not using my birth name. Back then I never ever imagined the name as a longterm thing that I’d ever DJ under or be addressed as face to face. It was just for the label of a record…
Read the original article on 5 Mag: House Music and Electronic Music News