THE BIRDHOUSE 190: James Curd

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For over a decade, Chicago native, James Curd has consistently remained on my radar of talented producers. With his first release at only nineteen years old, Curd’s artistic identity has changed over the years but his production level and dedication to house music has remained top quality. Initially releasing records under the alias “Greenskeeper,’ Curd has has released an array of music on Classic records, and carved out his own lane by infusing swing music with Chicago house. As Greenskeepers, Curd has released four full length studio albums and done high profile remixes for Groove Armada, Flight Facilities and more.

Curd’s tasted in house music and it’s various styles runs as deep as the history within his hometown. Also producing tracks under his birth name, James Curd has seen releases on labels such as Repopulate Mars, Play It Down and Dirtybird among a slew of other high profile tech-house labels. I am happy to welcome James Curd to this week’s episode of the show. Check out his guest mix and BIRDHOUSE questionnaire below.

THE BIRDHOUSE QUESTIONNAIRE

How did your music career get started in earnest?

I started djing when I was 15 at loft parties and raves. I had residencies with Derrick Carter and Gene Farris when I was 18. I released my first record on a cool label out of Paris called Basenotic when I was 19. Things really started to happen for me once I started putting records out on Classic though.

Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?

I’m from Chicago. It has a massive influence on my music. Growing up going to parties hearing Spencer Kincy, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina was my education. Even when I’m in the studio now my vision is what would work in a dirty Chicago loft party. House is part of the fabric of Chicago. They play Percolator during time outs at the Bulls game.

How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?

As far as music goes.. never. I never had a plan B. But there were times I didn’t want to be on the road doing the band or djing. I moved into scoring films and music supervision. I think balance is key. I’m a dj first and I love playing. Now I do all of it but I focus on one thing at a time. Early on I didn’t know how to block off time for gigs and was on the road non-stop and I think everyone knows that is not healthy.

What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?

MPC200xl. I made all of my music for the first 5 years from start to finish on that baby!

When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?

Musically it was Cajmere, Derrick, Pepe Bradock, and Paul Johnson. Careerwise I have no idea. I’ve never felt like any of this was a job and never planned anything out. Maybe I need to start!

When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?

I have 2 little girls that I’m so happy to hang out with. I love being a dad. If I’m tired or beat down things never seem that bad after being with them.

Where and when are you at your most content/ happiest?

Home with family and friends, late night in my studio when it feels like the rest of the world is asleep.

Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?

I can still do a kickflip first try!

THE REST

Favorite and least favorite colors?

Favorite = Pink - Least Favorite = Orange

Favorite and least favorite words?

I like saying Sayonara. I don’t know why. I hate saying and spelling restaurant.. what is that “u” doing?

Favorite animal?

Turtle

Favorite board game?

Scrabble

Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Hot Wings

Favorite guilty pleasure song?

Pointer Sisters - Neutron Dance

German or Detroit techno?

DETROIT

Festival, club or illegal warehouse?

Warehouse!

Biggie or Tupac?

Biggie

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars

Exercise or Netflix?

Netflix!