Just Us (Ronnie Ventura & La Trice)
Wednesday, 13 June 2001Just Us are highly rated US veteran house producers Ronnie Ventura and Angel Moraes and Sounds of Blackness, Grammy-winning vocalist La Trice. The trio recently signed to Todd Terry's new (UK) label Sound Design and release their first single 'What a Night' on June 18th .
Just Us: 2 New York House DJs & A Diva
80s New York DJs Angel Moraes and Ronnie Ventura recently teamed up with 90s diva La Trice (Sounds of Blackness) to create some four-four vocal-led New York house under the band name Just Us. Benedetta Ferraro chatted to La Trice and Ronnie Ventura in New York this week while Angel was out of town.
Skrufff: Yours is a slightly understated name for a band, given your past credentials; Why did you choose it-
Just Us (Ronnie Ventura): "Well, because that's just what it is: just us. Angel is on tour right now, but we generally sit around, write song and have a laugh and it's just us. What you see is what you get."
Skrufff: How did this project come together-
Just Us (La Trice): "We have known each other for nearly six years. When Ronnie and I met we were working on a different project together, nevertheless I took his number. Later I called him and went to the studio, started writing a track together and we immediately clicked. Him and Angel had been thinking about putting together a group with a female vocalist, who ideally would have been a diva without an attitude problem. They chose me."
Just Us (Ronnie Ventura): "I'd met Angel from DJing together. He was working on an album and was looking for a female vocalist and naturally I had the perfect person for him. From that, we went on to form this project. We're all equals and we all have our hands in the same pie, it's a collaborative effort and I think anyone can feel that from the sound we have produced."
Skrufff: How did the connection with Todd Terry come about and why did he sign you to his UK label, since you are all American-
Just Us (Ronnie Ventura): "I think Todd figured out that our sound would have been better perceived over there in Europe. Dance music, in its wider spectrum, has a lot more life on the other side of the Atlantic, and people embrace it easier there than they do here in America."
Just Us (La Trice): "It's not necessarily that it wouldn't have happened for us here, but it's just that the English public in general is so receptive to dance music that it makes sense to open up the way there first. It seems such a great idea."
Skrufff: It is funny though, since we think of New York (where you come from) as 'the' place for house music, with its legendary clubs and DJs… Especially for you Ronnie, having DJed there since the '80's…
Just Us (Ronnie Ventura): "As they say, the grass is always greener… But to tell you the truth, both Angel and I DJ mostly overseas and we have been doing so for a while now."
Skrufff: Ronnie, among the stars you've worked with, the name of Michael Jackson stands out; how close did you come to meet him-
Just Us (Ronnie Ventura): "I did actually met him. We were introduced at the launch party for his 'History' album at the Sony offices over here in New York. I worked on a re-mix on the album, and Michael is an artist who is always interested in meeting anyone who's involved in his projects. He's very polite, said 'Excellent job' to me and,.. that was it really."
Skrufff: Did you accept to work for him because of who he is-
Just Us (Ronnie Ventura): "Usually I only take on jobs if I feel they're inspiring to me. I do remixes for tracks I really love. I DJ for clubs and audiences I feel comfortable with. I have never DJed to pay my rent and I always do things from the heart, if it's a hassle I don't need it in my life."
Skrufff: La Trice, what's happening with you and Sounds Of Blackness-
Just Us (La Trice): "Right now all of us are working on our own different projects, since the second album we pu Tags