New York City-based DJ/producer Kevin Hedge has helped play a big role in pushing house music forward as half of the songwriting/production team Blaze. Together with partner Josh Milan, they’ve written dance floor gems such as De’Lacy’s “Hideaway,” collaborated with Louie Vega, Barbara Tucker and Jody Watley, and remixed Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé.
Hedge is formidable behind the decks, playing alongside Timmy Regisford at Club Shelter NYC and helming the ROOTS NYC parties at meatpacking club Cielo alongside Vega back when those influential clubs were open.
After taking a 10-year hiatus from producing, Hedge, who became president and co-owner of West End Records in 2002, returned last month with “Reach For The Stars,” a soulful, uplifting collaboration with Rick Galactik for Quantize Recordings. With hopefully more new music on the horizon, we checked in with Hedge to learn about his vast musical inspirations.
“The Music Got Me” by Visual
I was totally captivated by the soul sound of Boyd Jarvis. This record informed me as to what I wanted to do with my life!
“My Love Is Free” by Double Exposure
The deeply soulful orchestration and vocal performance make this record my all-time favorite dance-oriented production!
“All Of My Love” by L.A.X.
The lyrical songwriting has always inspired me to try to write better songs. That plus the tight musicianship keeps this production on my playlist.
“Somehow, Someway” by Visual
Jason Smith’s uplifting lyrics complement this Boyd Jarvis production perfectly.
“Music Is The Answer” by Colonel Abrams
Hearing this musical message was a major influence for having me want to create messages that would inspire.
“Love Is The Message” by MFSB
Of course, this is probably the most influential record in dance music history.
“Now That We Found Love” by Third World
Most people don’t realize this is actually a cover of an O’Jays album track. Either way, this record still inspires me today. Every time I listen to it I hear something new in the production.
“Can You Handle (Remix) It” by Sharon Redd
Honestly, I am still trying to figure out how Françios K put this remix together to me. It’s genius!
“Fate” by Chaka Khan
As a youngster somehow this record encouraged me to follow my heart and pursue a music life. Wishfully thinking, I guess I believed being a DJ and playing music for people was going to be my fate.