Last year house music DJ and producer Jesse Rose decided it was time to draw his esteemed career to a close with one final album and world tour, including an appearance at Manchester’s Warehouse Project later this month for ANTS very special Halloween takeover.
After more than two decades of making and playing music Rose admitted a first-ever three-week holiday on a tiny Greek island prompted him to conclude he needed a new challenge. “I think you should be DJing because you’re constantly moving and doing something differently and I realised that wasn’t the case. I didn’t want to play music just because I really enjoy it and it’s a great way to earn a living and I like travelling.”
The London-born musician was quick to confess he has no idea what vocation he might embark on next but emphasised how right it felt to move away from his current job. “When I decided enough was enough I had no idea what I was going to do and I’m still kind of working it out now but it was more about being honest to myself. My dream was to play the best underground events in the world, play music to people that love the same stuff as me and to be respected by the people I respect. I managed to live that so then it dawned on me that even though I’d done this for 24 years I still have the opportunity to try some other things.”
When asked about the thing he would miss the most, Rose came up with a rather interesting analogy; “You know when you split up with your first girlfriend you couldn’t stay with her forever; you had to leave but it still was really difficult. I think that’s kind of how it is. You love your first girlfriend but that doesn’t mean you need to stay with her for the rest of your life.”
Looking ahead to his WHP show, which will be the penultimate time he performs in the UK, Rose admitted the venue is a great example of dance music’s origins. “I think it goes back to the ethos of what the whole thing’s about which is finding the most underground type of venue. It feels like what it was all about originally which was just to go out and dance.”
After such a decorated career earning worldwide acclaim as well as releasing on major labels like Fabric, Get Physical and Defected, Rose admitted none of it would’ve been possible without the help of Dave Taylor. The fellow Londoner, who is better known as Switch, is a highly distinguished sound engineer, songwriter and record producer who has some seriously impressive credits including tracks for Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and M.I.A. amongst others.
“He was really the guy that was like you need to be able to learn how to produce on your own. Without Dave there’s no way I would’ve had the career that I’ve had or even been able to make these records that I have. On top of him making me learn all the equipment I was working with, unquestionably one of the best engineers in the world.”
One of the first significant moments in Rose’s career came when he earned a release on Derrick Carter’s label Classic which is still a magical moment for the LA-based artist. When he remembered the intricate details that went into this track it helped portray the man’s effort and determination to make sure his record was worthy of being released.
“Taking it to him after a year of hard work and hoping he would like it and then hearing him playing it and then signing it was a huge moment. Still now when I talk about it the hairs go up on my arms. It is such a magical feeling to work so hard and then have the person you respect that much love what you’ve done.”
The owner of four record labels, Rose has never been afraid of putting the hours in and he admits it is weird now looking back at just how much music has been released under the different platforms. “When I first started out I was like fourteen DJing in my bedroom just dreaming that one day maybe I’d DJ down at Kiss FM. It’s so weird because to me I’ve just been working and doing day-to-day work and you don’t normally have the chance to sit there and think I’ve put out 1000 records and maybe made the careers of a 100 artists myself.”
Fabric is one of the biggest clubs in the world, not just London, and Rose has always had a special appreciation for the venue, reminiscing about some of his first performances there.The way Rose spoke with such excitement gave a really clear indication into just how much he admired this club and everything it stood for.
“The first time I went to Fabric it was before it opened and I went and looked at this empty maze of rooms that were still kind of smelling a little bit like meat because it was used as storage I believe for the meat market. I guess the first time I played in room one would’ve been a year after that maybe two. I remember only playing vinyl at that time and my hands shaking putting the needle on the record. It was such a moment and I was still like 21.”
Jesse Rose will bid farewell to Liverpool and Manchester on Saturday 28th October as he plays sets at both Circus and The Warehouse Project.
Image courtesy of Jimmy Mould.