Guidetogay.com caught up with DJ Grind and Abigail to chat about the project.
Your new track has been blowing up across the world. What made you both want to "re-do" this classic?
Stephen bullied me into it and wouldn’t take no for an answer ;)
When I first heard "Let The Joy Rise" fifteen years ago at The Roxy in NYC, I knew I'd found my "coming out" anthem. It literally shepherded me out of the closet and onto the dance floor. So, when I thought about the first track I’d produce and release, it was literally at the top of my list.
How did your collaboration come about?
Stephen (DJ Grind) and Toy’s enthusiasm and love for the song really made it a no brainer for me. I knew that they cared for it as much as I do and would recreate it rather than just remix it again.
It’s always been a dream of mine to bring this track back to the dance floor and introduce “Joy Rise” to a new generation. So, two years ago, I sent an email to Abigail out of the blue, never expecting to hear back. Well, within 24 hours, we were already exchanging emails about the project, and after some back-and-forth (and some friendly bullying on my part!), she said, “Yes!”
What’s been the most amazing or unique response so far?
My daughter suddenly realizing that “The Hustle” choreography fit perfectly with the song and we ending up with a whole houseful of my friends dancing in my living room!
I was truly blown away by the number of people who posted #LetTheJoyRise on social media when the US Supreme Court announced its historic decision on marriage equality. It’s incredible how well this song’s lyrics capture an important moment in our community’s long road to equality.
What was the process like for you personally working with each other on the track?
It was great for me... we had a lot of communication and Stephen and Toy really listened to what I wanted. Neither of them quit until I was happy and I truly appreciated that.
It’s really humbling to work with Abigail. She’s not only a gifted vocalist, but she’s also incredibly collaborative throughout the entire production process. This project has taken us two years to bring to life, in part because we both cared so deeply about getting it right. I’ve learned so much from Abigail along the way, and we’ve developed a close friendship that I know will last a lifetime.
Did you have any preconceptions going into the studio?
I try not to have preconceptions, I always try to enter into things with an open mind.
My production partner, Toy Armada, and I were very careful not to just re-create something that had already been done. We wanted to pay tribute to the original track produced by Thunderpuss 15 years ago, while also creating something fresh for a new generation.
If you are going to do another track - what would you want to do with each other?
I would love to work on an original track. I think we could come up with something really magical.
We’re already talking about our next collaboration! It’ll be an original production – a brand-new song that we’ll write together! Can’t wait!
Fifteen years is a big time for a classic to stick around in club land. What makes this such a special song?
For me it has always been about the response I get to the song. It just seems to touch people in a really amazing way. It’s a great reminder that even on our darkest days we can choose joy.
The song’s message of self-love and liberation defines for me what's best about our community. Even in the face of adversity, we all have the power to look inside and find the strength to let the joy rise. There’s really nothing more beautiful than that.
You can grab "Let The Joy Rise" now on iTunes
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