Henry Maldonado aka Son of Sound is nothing if not a prolific producer. The NYC native freely credits his home city as inspiration and motivation for his art, and considering he’s knocked out jams for the likes of Strictly Rhythm Razor –n- Tape, Underground Quality and most recently, Delusions of grandeur, it’s fair to say his discography is a fitting homage to the city he calls home. With this in mind, we caught up with Henry as he gave us the lowdown on some of his biggest NYC influences…
I’m fortunate to have been exposed to music, nightlife and DJ culture in New York in the mid 1980s, however my introduction to the culture started as a young kid in the late 1970s. I was asked to pick 5 legendary New Yorkers who have seriously influenced me and what I do today.
My first love was hip hop. I wanted to play it, produce it, the works. Marly Marl was the first “Super Producer” in hip hop but he was also a local DJ and beat maker. I grew up in the Ravenswood Projects in Long Island City Queens and just a few blocks from the famous Queens Bridge Houses where Marly lived and produced many of his hits including “The Symphony”.
1985 – I had a group of friends who would venture from Queens to the Bronx every weekend to a club called “The Devil’s Nest”. They would always boast about this newcomer DJ named “Little” Louie Vega. I was blown away the first time I heard him play. It was also the 1st time I would hear any DJ play on a proper sound system outside of roller-rinks. Not only did he play music I wasn’t exposed to, his crowd control skills, selection and technical abilities were unlike anything I ever heard before.
Not that Todd Terry doesn’t make great music today, but to REALLY appreciate him you have to rewind the clock and understand what sampling in dance music sounded like before him. On New Year’s Eve 1986 Louie Vega set up the classic Todd Terry track “Party People”, with the track that Todd originally sourced the sample from – Marshall Jefferson’s “House Music Anthem”. There’s a section where the strings and piano breakdown and without missing a beat, Louie throws in “Party People” with perfect timing. The record wasn’t even out yet and most of us heard it for the first time that night. The crowd ROARED as soon as it kicked in!!! I never heard samples chopped like that on a dance record. It was hip hop to me. Sampling in dance music would be changed forever.
I have to be honest, when I came of age and started collecting records and going out around 1985, my disco knowledge was limited to what my parents played at home 10 years prior. However Patrick Adams was also producing music for my generation with hits like Touch Me Baby by Fonda Rae. As I got older and really explored his catalog I realized his genius and was blown away. His production was the foundation of underground New York dance music.
Leeroy and Patrick Adams were destined to be best friends. Both from Harlem and both equally talented. Although they both have a similar thing going on with their chord progressions, Leeroy’s signature vocal style was undeniable. I would freeze every time “Let’s Do It” was played over the radio. I didn’t know a thing about producing music but I couldn’t get enough of those synths and acoustic elements. Let’s Do It isn’t his only hit but this one is special to me. I did my homework (literally after school) to this one.
Son of Sound’s ‘No Loitering’ EP (featuring Aroop Roy remix) is out soon on Delusions of Grandeur
You can preview/preorder the record here: https://www.juno.co.uk/products/son-of-sound-no-loitering-ep/665240-01/
For more information on Son of Sound, see https://www.facebook.com/thesonofsound/