Speaking to a UK Balearic house legend, Steve Proctor.
He first made his name in the summer of love when the sounds of acid and Balearic house music took the UK's underground club culture by storm. He's began hitting the clubs again recently, throwing down the slickest Balearic beats. He recently dropped in at We Love Balearic's party, he had a catch up with him to see what's going on.
Describe your current mindset?
You promoted at the legendary club event ‘The State’ what is your funniest memory from those times?
That's an impossible question to answer - my night, the Thursday, was the coolest night with the coolest people in the Northwest of England at the time - every night was filled with fun and funny moments.
You moved to London in 1987, did the city influence you as a person whilst you were here?
Most certainly - the club music scene was very different from Liverpool, and I immersed myself in the club life in London in order to learn very quickly. Once the whole balearic / acid house scene began I was very influenced by the amazing energy of all the people involved.
Whilst in London you opened the imprint, ‘Urban’ why did you decide you run your own label?
The reason I moved to London in January 1987 was beause I had gotten a job with Polydor. My remit was to create a new, happening club / dance music label to replace the old one. I realised that the rare groove thing was happening, and after researching the back catalogue, I came up with the name 'URBAN' - I was responsible for the release of 'Cross The Tracks', I Believe in Miracles', 'I Know You Got Soul', and all the rest - I also compiled Urban Classics Volume One and Two.
What was the best moment when running ‘Urban’?
I had a meeting with Larry Sherman who owned Trax records - it was 10 minutes business and then an hour of him telling me about his involvement with house music in Chicago - it finished with him giving me an American Test Pressing of 'Acid Tracks' by Phuture - which I still have. That's why I was one of the first DJs in the country to be playing it.
What is one of the best moments/highlights from you long career?
That is also an almost impossible question to answer. One of the best moments is the first time I played at Shoom, another is headlining the first ever Sunrise party, another is taking a chance on playing 'Relight My Fire' by Dan Hartman at Love at the Wag, and being overwhelmed by the fact that the crowd trusted me and went wild to it, it's the Love crowd who made that track happen on the acid house scene). And another is releasing my first record 'Technodelia' in 1988. But ! I do have to say that there have been THOUSANDS of amazing moments, and I am still experiencing them.
Define yourself using three words?
Musical, spiritual, and human
What is the worst job you have ever done?
Selling double glazing in 1978 - we were driven to new estates outside of Liverpool, and had to knock on doors and try to sell them double glazing. It was a con, and I hated conning people. So after two hours I went back to the car and refused to do it. The guy told me he wouldn't drive me back into town to go home if I didn't carry on. Suffice to say - I didn't and he did. My career had lasted two whole hours !
What are you most in love with right now?
What's the worst trouble you have been in?
That's too broad a question to answer. What I will say is that my trust and belief in people has caused me some of the worst trouble in my life. But I prefer to stay in the Positive and move forward.
What would you fill a swimming pool with if it could be anything?
That's a weird question ! In a fantasy world I would fill it with love, compassion, kindness and humanity - then invite all the dark greedy souls to take a little dip, in the hope that they would have their ways changed!
What is your shittest moment?
Again very hard to answer - Nearly losing custody of my kids is probably the one though.
What's the worst thing you have a reputation for?
I used to have a reputation for being arrogant and self opinionated, and I was. It was only with reflection and counselling that I learned that I was like that to mask a crippling Low Self Esteem as a result of a very abusive childhood in care, and extreme family circumstances.
Tell us something about you that’s weird?
I don't know if it's weird but - I used to collect Poole Pottery. I also used to be the Parent Involvement Officer for Islington Children's Services, and I have an expertise in working with, and engaging Teenage parents.
What do you bring that’s special?
A deep passion for music and a genuine care for people - and a desire to give them EVERYTHING they deserve as a result of choosing to come to hear me play or buying my music.
What would you do to make the world a better place?
Encourage ALL parents to teach their children to be Kind, compassionate and respectful of themselves and other human beings.
What Ideas changed your life?
The realisation that my kids were more important than me AND the discovery of a book called 'The Tibetan Art Of Positive Thinking' by Christopher Hansard
Funniest person you know?
Impossible to answer - I'm blessed to know some VERY intelligently funny people.
What cheers you up?
Being with my kids, Myself, Good People
If you had to start a new life in a new country, where would you go?
If you could only eat 3 things for the rest of your life what would they be?
Fruit, Cashew Nuts and Chocolate
Favourite song of all time?
Don't Leave Me This Way by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (11 minute mix)
What are you most looking forward to?
The rest of my life
What would your hero super power be and what would you do with it?
It would be to be able to take away people's pain and suffering, and that's what I would do with it.
If you could have 3 wishes what would they be?
I would wish for an end to ALL prejudice and hate in the world. I would wish for an end to hunger and suffering. I would wish that my children have long, happy and healthy lives.
Who would be in your ultimate band?
That's another bloody hard one !
Lead Guitar: Mick Ronson, Stevie Hunter
Keyboard & Synths: Billy Currie, Joe Zawinul, Brian Eno
Rhythm Guitar: Nile Rodgers
Bass: Bernard Fowler, John Entwistle, Larry Graham
Lead & backing vocals: Luther Vandross, Loleatta Holloway
Drums: Clyde Stubblefield, Topper Headon, Warren Cann
Lead Vocals: Bernard Fowler, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry
Brass: Memphis Horns
I could go on all day but I hope you get my drift!
What’s is your life motto?
You can't change your past, but how you deal with your present, can decide your future.
Something you have to do before you die, which you have not yet done?
Find complete spiritual peace.
Steve Proctor - online - Facebook - Twitter - SoundCloud