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Thursday, February 6, 2014

DJ Sessions: From Sam Smith To Takuya Kuroda

Disclosure, an English electronic music duo, is among the bands KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez recommends. (disclosureofficial.com)

Disclosure, an English electronic music duo, is among the bands KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez recommends. (disclosureofficial.com)

KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with some new music — from a new version of the song “Latch” with British artist Sam Smith, to a song that caught his attention from the soundtrack of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

Songs Heard In This Segment

Gilligan Moss, “Choreograph”

Sam Smith, “Latch” (acoustic version)

Disclosure, “Latch” (featuring Sam Smith)

Theodore Shapiro, Jose Gonzalez and Mark Graham, “Conan Cab”

Takuya Kuroda, “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” (original song by Roy Ayers)

Guest

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW.

And it's time now for the HERE AND NOW DJ Sessions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE LAST DJ")

TOM PETTY: (Singing) There goes the last DJ.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DJ PLAY A LOVE SONG")

JAMIE FOXX: (Singing) DJ, won't you play this girl a love song?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROLLOVER DJ")

NIC CESTER: (Singing) Dance, little DJ, come on.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PON DE REPLAY")

RIHANNA: (Singing) Come, Mr. DJ, song pon de replay. Come, Mr. DJ, won't you turn the music up?

HOBSON: Today, we are back with Anthony Valadez, a DJ with KCRW in Santa Monica, California. Anthony, welcome back.

ANTHONY VALADEZ: Hey, Jeremy. Great to be here.

HOBSON: Well, great to have you. Let's get right to the music. And this is a song called "Choreograph." The artist is Gilligan Moss.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "CHOREOGRAPH")

HOBSON: It sounds like a robot.

VALADEZ: I don't know. It sounds like musical madness that puts a smile on my face.

HOBSON: What is it?

VALADEZ: It's a great song is what it is. I played it last night on my radio show. And I just got hit to this kid last night. He only has two songs on his SoundCloud account. He's a 24-year-old out of Chicago. And I don't know much about him, which I love. I think it's kind of cool that we're sitting here on HERE AND NOW talking about the brilliance of a 24-year-old making these beats in his bedroom. It's amazing.

And I love the incorporation of the kids singing, the kalimbas and it's this very much a larger-than-life feeling. And I love when dance music can incorporate that. And that's what we hear in this track called "Choreograph."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "CHOREOGRAPH")

HOBSON: And he's probably pretty happy to hear that you're talking about his song on national radio and probably a lot of people are able to hear him.

VALADEZ: I don't know if he knows.

HOBSON: Well, maybe he does now. Gilligan, if you're out there, send us a tweet @hereandnow. Let's listen to another one. This is called "Latch." It's by Sam Smith.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LATCH")

SAM SMITH: (Singing) You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down. You, you enchant me even when you're not around. If there are boundaries...

HOBSON: That sounds awfully familiar, Anthony.

VALADEZ: Well, that's correct. You might have heard that on the Disclosure album, which was nominated for Best Dance Electronic Album of 2013-2014. And, you know, I love the dance version. And when I heard this version, it kind of blew me away. I'm used to dance music being about peace, love and unity. But this is - I would put this up there - I'm going to get tomatoes thrown at me, but this is Stevie Wonder-esque, this is epic, this is love, this is passion, this is emotion packed into this beautiful song. When you listen to the words, I think you know what I'm talking about.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LATCH")

SMITH: (Singing) Now I've got you in my space. I won't let go of you. Got you shackled in my embrace. I'm latching on to you. I'm so encaptured, got me wrapped up in your touch. Feel so enamored, hold me tight within your clutch.

HOBSON: Well, we've actually got the dance version here as well. Let's take a listen to some of that.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LATCH")

SMITH: (Singing) You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down. You, you enchant me even when you're not around.

HOBSON: Well, Anthony, another song you wanted us to hear is something from the soundtrack of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." That's the Ben Stiller movie. Let's listen to it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CONAN CAB")

HOBSON: Well, taking us in a totally different direction there. That's "Conan Cab," by the way, by Theodore Shapiro, Jose Gonzalez and Mark Graham.

VALADEZ: Well, I don't know. I kind of see, you know, the incorporation of strings and emotion in both songs, the one we just listened to and this one. But after watching the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," I immediately had to hunt down the soundtrack. And when I found out that Jose Gonzalez was involved, it all made sense. You kind of hear his vocals throughout the song. And it's a great soundtrack, features Jack Johnson, Junip, Of Monsters and Men, and it's just powerful. And I love the incorporation in that specific song of the timepiece, you hear the clock ticking, and it's very powerful.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CONAN CAB")

HOBSON: Are you a soundtrack person?

VALADEZ: I am now. Now that I'm older, I appreciate soundtracks. As a matter of fact, you know, I - every now and then, on my SoundCloud account, I like to do hip-hop mixes, soul mixes. And I'm putting this one, and I'm blending this song into these mixes because I feel like it's just as good as hip-hop. It's great.

HOBSON: Well, you know, and even songs that aren't written specifically for a movie, sometimes you hear them on the radio, and you think, gosh, that's that song from that movie. And it connects you directly to that movie and has nothing to do with the artist or anything they were trying to do with the song.

VALADEZ: You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right.

HOBSON: Well, let's listen to one more. This is from Takuya Kuroda. And the song is called "Everybody Loves The Sunshine."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE")

JOSE JAMES: (Singing) My life, my life, my life, my life in the sunshine. Everybody loves the sunshine. Sunshine. Folks get down in the sunshine. Sunshine. Everybody loves the sunshine. Sunshine. Folks get down in the sunshine.

HOBSON: Anthony, you had to do this to us right in the middle of winter, right? Is that it?

(LAUGHTER)

VALADEZ: Sorry. I think it's fair to say that this is a world premiere. This is not even out. Jose James, the vocalist and producer of this song, sent this to me way in advance. And I think we just broke it here on HERE AND NOW. It's Takuya Kuroda who's a (unintelligible) trumpet player with Jose James band. He's originally from Tokyo, now based in Brooklyn. And the album is forthcoming on Blue Note Records. And I love what they do with this Roy Ayers classic "Everybody Loves The Sunshine." It's got that steady groove. It's got those hits in the pocket.

And another cool element that I love about this song is that I think we're starting to see the impact of the D'Angelo's 2000 release "Voodoo," impacting soul and jazz music today with the likes of so many players in the pocket, in the drum grooves. And this is definitely in the shadows of D'Angelo's "Voodoo" release.

HOBSON: Although it's probably a little more fun to listen to where you are where the sun is actually shining.

VALADEZ: Well, everybody loves the sunshine. Whether you're in the cold or you're in the, you know? It's - yeah. It's a timeless classic. And I think living in Southern California, this is definitely one of those songs you want to play with the roof down. And if you're back east, you know, yeah.

HOBSON: Keep the top up, I guess, because that's all you can do with this played. Anthony Valadez, DJ with KCRW in Santa Monica, thanks so much as always.

VALADEZ: Thank you, Jeremy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE")

HOBSON: You can find a list of all of the music that we played today at our website, hereandnow.org.

From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Jeremy Hobson.

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

I'm Robin Young. It's HERE AND NOW.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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