Cevin Fisher- The Freak Comes Out Again
Sunday, 12 August 2001His 1998 house anthem The Freaks Come Out remains a defining Ibiza anthem but the New Jersey born producer who first partied with Whitney Houston in the early 80s, remains an industry acclaimed, rather than household, name. Cevin (pronounced 'seven') paid his production dues engineering alongside Arthur Baker and Quincy Jones and unsurprisingly these days ranks at the top end of Manhattan's production elite. His new single Loving You is a simple yet highly effective house anthem that looks set for crossover success when it comes out on Subversive this September. Skrufff's Benedetta Ferraro chatted to a fairly reticent sounding Cevin over the phone from New York.
Skrufff: Your new track 'Loving You', sounds very easy and accessible, what sparked off the idea for this tune-
Cevin Fisher: "I was very much inspired by "Love To Love You Baby" by Donna Summer and I built the track around it."
Skrufff: The track is out on Subversive, what made you decide to sign up with them again-
Cevin Fisher: "I've been on Subversive for years now, and I consider them pretty much my home base in the UK. I would probably have more exposure if I was signed to a major, but I'll step on to bigger things when the time is right. Maybe I'd go via Subversive, anyway."
Skrufff: "The Freaks Come Out" was a massive tune back in 1999, how much did you write it with Ibiza in mind-
Cevin Fisher: "Actually I didn't have Ibiza in mind at all, but I always wanted to play there so the thought must have been somewhere in my head. You know I had images of the place in my head from what I have seen on magazines…"
Skrufff: What did inspire the track then-
Cevin Fisher: "Aah (pausing), that track represents a period I was going through, I guess. Also Chic had huge success using the same word, so if they could do it, well…"
Skrufff: Americans use this 'Freak' word a lot; what does the term mean-
Cevin Fisher: "You can look at it in a sexual way, meaning that you enjoy your sexuality and you're 'kind of' open to everything. There are also musical freaks, obsessed with something or another. There are all kinds of freaks…"
Skrufff: Do you consider yourself one-
Cevin Fisher: "I would have to say, yes I do. Once you're a freak you can't go back and change it."
Skrufff: Back in the '80's New Yorkers generally looked down on people from New Jersey, which is where you're from; how much did you encounter such an attitude-
Cevin Fisher: "I didn't at all, because although I originally come from New Jersey, I am a New Yorker in my heart. I did everything I could to be over here, I slept on people's couches, and did whatever I had to do to stay in New York. I'll always be a New Yorker."
Skrufff: I believe you used to hang out at parties attended by Whitney Houston in the early 80s..
Cevin Fisher: "True, but at the time she wasn't the superstar she is today. She was just modelling and her career hadn't even started yet, nevertheless she was already really beautiful, friendly and really unique as a person. At the time I was DJing and was going out with the sister of one of her best friends; that's how I got to know her."
Skrufff: How hardcore was she at the time-
Cevin Fisher: "At the time I didn't even see her with a drink! It seemed to me that she was deeply into the church more than anything else. Then again I haven't seen her since, so I couldn't comment on the rumours surrounding her right now."
Skrufff: You worked in the studio of legendary producer Arthur Baker, what did you learn from him particularly-
Cevin Fisher: "First and foremost, that you definitely need to put the hours into your work, if you want to succeed. Arthur showed me how to arrange and borrow stuff from the past, technical mastery, and so on. I only had to look at him working so hard, to understand that is what's needed to become successful. He was a real hustler."
Skrufff: You are less famous than contemporaries such as Roger Sanchez and Dav Tags