1. You’ve been holding it down on house music’s northern front of Montreal for some time now. What inspired you to keep things hot with soulful dance music and what’s on your early days timeline of clubbing experiences and inspirations that gave rise to your current dance music fame?
JoJoFlores: The challenge keeps me inspired. Since I started DJing, I’ve always supported, played and loved soulful underground music – from Hip Hop to House. The clubs I frequented in the 80’s and 90’s (Business, Crisco, Di Salvio’s & Royal) played a variety of musical styles. The DJs’ play list was an amalgamation of House, Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul, and R&B. Their technique and programming were of great influence to me and that inspiration transcends to whenever and wherever I play.
2. As a consecutive CHOICE Award winner in the Best International DJ category since its inception, you have soundly trounced some pretty hype competition. What do you think is the reason for your success and undeniable global appeal?
JJF: I believe that the main reason for my success is sound and branding consistency. I’ve never had a bad set DJing internationally (knock on wood). I always give it all I’ve got, whether the place is packed or not. I also receive a lot of love and support from friends and family who really promote what I do. Gotsouland Therapy strengthens my global appeal and creates a larger network for my music.
3. What’s doing with the label Gotsoul records and your musical partnership with Osunlade? What projects are coming out and what is the direction you are looking to head in? Details, details, details…
JJF: After our North American tour a couple years ago, we’ve been busy working on our own projects: Osunlade has been focusing on his band and his YORUBA RECORDS label. Meanwhile I’ve been concentrating on Therapy and a mixed CD compilation. Like family, we stay in constant contact; he actually played at my birthday party last month.
I usually keep projects and releases on the down low, until a couple of weeks before they drop. But I am proud to say that Shaun Escoffery, Geoffrey Oryema, Gene Hunt, Glenn Underground and a couple of hot upcoming producers are amongst the people involved. It kills me to see/hear tracks out on CDRs that [then] come out months after. By then, the track has been played to death and DJs are over it. As far as Gotsoul’s direction goes, I strive to reach open-minded DJs who can appreciate different forms of soulful dance music. Our future releases will include straight up Techno, Soul, and Hip Hop with House as the main focus. As always, Gotsoul’s image + branding will not be compromised. We are now working with Montreal’s internationally renowned Heavyweight Productions… and are really excited about the next series of sleeve artwork.
4. With a hectic schedule of international dates, local residencies and basic living requirements what do you do with your time away from music? Is there a significant other, interesting unexpected hobby or cleansing relaxation rituals you have that you can share with our nosy audience?
JJF: When I have time off, I try to spend it with family and friends. People never believe it when I say I’ve been single for the past 2 years. I’ve dated but nothing serious. I used to work out 3 times a week, before my schedule became really hectic. Now I play hockey once a week to keep in shape. I’ve been on the ice since I was 9 years old.
5. Therapy is a unique party concept that has now swelled to include a monthly version in New York City’s Cielo club. Where else does the party play, what’s the story behind its creation and what have been some of your best experiences producing it?
JJF: Therapy started as a weekly Thursday night party in Montreal to fill the void for soulful House music in the club scene. In 2003, we started a monthly gig in Toronto. This year (2004), we launched a bi-monthly in L.A. and a monthly in NYC.
The best experience had to be when I booked Blazeand Jody Watley for my 34th birthday. Imagine hosting a Grammy Award winner and House music’s most respected producers at the same time. It was also Blaze’s first ever appearance in Canada. Kevin Hedge was so surprised I was able to pull it off… “I’m proud of you” was the first thing he said when I picked them up at the airport.
We’re proud of you too and are glad you are the newest member of the UA.com family. Stay tuned for more fire from us all! Thanks!
It’s not easy being beautiful but for those who bear the burden, like our subject jojo flores, it helps when you are as beautiful inside as out, armed with limitless talent and literally loved around the world. As the top CHOICE Award vote earner bar none, his legion of fans have no problem showing their support of his well-documented efforts to be the best DJ (therapy) / label head (gotsoul) / ambassador we’ve seen for great soulful dance music. From his start in a musical house that included a DJ father and plenty of sisters, this soft-spoken yet driven music maestro has secured a place among the industry elite without pandering to gimmicks. Instead proving that good old-fashioned hard work, integrity and an intrinsic understanding of the big picture are the best tools to use for success. In these 5-Answers we get the poop on how he stays inspired, what he thinks about hyping promos and what he does on the ice to keep himself fit for all those far-flung gigs that keep us wanting more…