True House Stories w/ David Morales interview by Lenny Fontana
With a real passion for music in his veins from a very young age, from very humble beginnings, David Morales was destined to follow his dream and took the opportunity to play music at any given chance.
David’s very first gig was playing at the Loft for Lulu
His first regular Djing spot started at Ozone Layer where Lulu was the hostess.
Still working a job in a restaurant, David was hands on at promoting his events playing legends such as colonel Abrahams at his shows. In the end he became so busy with his music, it meant quitting his day job.
David was fortunate to meet Mike Brady from Paradise Garage and was invited to play at this incredible NYC club in 1983, where he invited legends such as Captain Black and Jocelyn Brown to the party.
Having never experienced using turntables which were the regular go to at Paradise Garage, experiencing their capacities completely blew David away. He was hooked.
With huge names currently on the lineup at Paradise Garage -no one yet knew of David…. But they soon would!!
In 1985, David started to work in music production -David Cole and Bruce Flowers being pivotal to David’s producing career.
In 1987, David worked the record pool which gave him huge experience and contacts within the scene.
In 1989, David first came to the UK for DMC – to his amazement, he was welcomed with open arms by his British fans and was also hugely respected in Italy too.
Nicky Holloway and Pete Tong invited David to play at Estoria, only 40 minutes into his set, he was asked to stop playing just as he was getting into his set, for Jomanda to perform!!
David set up Defmix productions but with very little direction, experience and to just be landed in the midst of music industry, he had to learn the business very quickly in order to succeed.
Making multiple hit records, but never truly reaping the rewards for his hard work and commitment, David worked day in day out making 2-3 tracks every week. David Morales was a true grafter and his passion was what kept him inspired to continue working relentlessly. Despite not earning what he deserved he continued to follow his dream.
Remixing is where David found his fortune in the industry. Frankie knuckles and David worked on so many remixes, in fact rewriting entire tracks and even changing the titles of the tracks, David simply received a flat fee and did not gain the recognition he deserved.
Mariah Carey “Dream Lover”, was his 1st superstar track remix. At first, he questioned the track due to it being extremely commercial (at the same time rejecting remix work for legends such as David Bowie) this remix became one of the songs David Morales is so famous for.
David also had the incredible opportunity to work with Todd Terry, a born musician, no need for any equipment – the SP1200 was the weapon!!
David is all for advances in technology and plugins etc. – his motto- simply work them to the absolute max.
Listening to David’s story working with the legendary Byron Stingily but making him record vocals from the bathroom because of the acoustics on his vocals was priceless!!
Having worked on remixes for Michael and Janet Jackson, you would expect David to be living the high life – the truth is it involved signing non disclosures, bag checks etc. – security was paramount, not quite the fairytale you would have imagined.
Working alongside Aretha Franklin – one of David’s biggest fears was -‘how do you give constructive criticism to such an absolute legend’???? In the words of Aretha – Less is more and more is less. She absolutely embraced his opinion and gained her respect for his honesty.
Julio Iglesias was another star that David worked with. Giving his mother a dream come true, David arranged for Julio to call his mother to say ‘hi’ was just one of the many hi lights of working with such legendary musicians.
Donna Summer was David’s absolute no 1 idol and working with Jocelyn Brown was, yet another dream come true – to David, Jocelyn was an incredible legend he never imagined he would ever work with. Much to David’s dismay he was arrested in Japan during his career. How was that for David?? At 57 years of age – truly mortifying, listen to David’s very raw and open account of coping in a Japanese prison where no-one spoke his language and all of his basic rights were taken away. An experience that will live with David forever but taught him about the importance of the simplicity of life – Health and Freedom. One of the memories David has about this true horror was when a prison officer recognized David and played his music – which really helped him get through this ordeal. What an unimaginable situation to be catapulted into -the uncertainty and fear was a truly horrific experience for this world-famous legend. This taught David a massive lesson in life -Appreciate what you have!! Something we are all starting to understand with lockdown.
In 2020, Covid hits and it totally destroyed David’s plans for DJing and releasing tracks -not one to be beaten, David set up Sunday MASS which has kept him so relevant in the industry and he is still able to play his music. Sunday MASS has been David’s salvation during lockdown. Playing his music and still connecting with his followers.
If there ever was a ‘True House Stories’ show to tune in to, make it the ‘True House Stories’ of David Morales, an absolute gentleman, an inspiration, a born entertainer. Respect!!!