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Ian Carey interview: Rising High

Author: Stuart Evans
Monday, 19 September 2005
Ian Carey is a key player in both the US and European house scene. Stuart Evans finds out more.

"I make music that I like and what I think works. It's then up to the crowd and their reaction. It drives me to make records," says Ian Carey.

His name may not ring an immediate bell but his crowd friendly remixes and recordings do.

Having featured on labels such as Defected, Universal, Ministry of Sound, and Slip N Slide, his name has graced many of the world's foremost vinyl pushers.

He's probably most recognised for his catchy anthem Rise, recorded with Jason Papillon under the moniker of Soul Providers.

Rise became a huge international hit, appealing to those who like the cross-over genres but the success of the single caught Carey and Papillion off guard, seeing as it was his first venture into vocal production.

Both Carey and Papillon favour the soulful side of house, and both have further collaborated with underground anthems Let the Sunshine and Try My Love proving to be anything but a one hit wonder.

Carey says that, despite electro's surge to the front of people's listening tastes, his musical sound will never be compromised.

"I've progressed a fair bit from soulful house. My sound is funky but I'm not afraid to have electro in my sets."

He feels that, although electro may be a passing fad, more musical tandems are good for the industry.

"It's good for house music as we need these new trends to keep house strong and to keep friends within."

Despite his affiliation with Europe, Carey was born near Maryland USA and was introduced to music from an early age, mainly thanks to his father.

"My dad was a live sound engineer and ran a sound reinforcement company," explains Carey.

Moreover, his mother played guitar and between both of them, exposed Carey to a wide array of sounds.

During summer vacations he would travel with his father, making tour stops and travelling the states from East to West.

In fact, travelling with his father proved to be his first eye opener to the maligned music industry.

"You learn what music is about and what mistakes people make in the music industry," he laments.

"It kept me level headed, and I knew that the industry had been the demise of some people."

Although music was being sewed into him, it wasn't until he studied at the University of Maryland in Baltimore that he discovered dance music.

Having progressed through the esteemed graffiti writing movement in Baltimore, he started to meet with some of the city's premier hip hop djs.

Before he knew it, he put down his spray can and opted for a set of turntables.

Originally playing hip hop for the inaugural year of his vocation, he ended up hosting a hip hop party in Baltimore's Club Midnight.

He says that working with Club Midnight proved to be a turning point.

"I started to become introduced to house music," he says.

"I felt that I belonged to house. It was something new and I saw more immediate opportunity (with house)."

He explains that at the same time hip hop was becoming mainstream and attracting pop/commercial interest.

He craved the underground vibrancy, and, with hip hop losing his concentration, he started to crawl through the basement bins, looking for new and unheard of records.

"It's then that I really discovered house music," he says.

But in 2003 he became frustrated with the American house music scene and decided to shift towards Europe.

"In Europe, house music is thriving, and it continues to do so."

He's still based in Europe and doesn't have any regrets about leaving America. In fact, why should he-

House music is his passion and with the American house issue still overtaken by the urban soundscape, Europe will be his destination for a while.

And with his latest Saturated Soul project (collaborated with Eddie Amador) in the wings, things look to keep on rising.