THE BIRDHOUSE 206: Paul Johnson

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We tend to throw the word “legend,” around quite a bit in the scene, but to call this week’s BIRDHOUSE guest a legend might be an understatement on his legacy. For episode 206 of THE BIRDHOUSE, I am honored to welcome one of my personal favorite DJ’s, Chicago house hero, Paul Johnson to the show. Often copied but never equalled, Paul Johnson has be DJing since the mid 80’s and producing since 1990. He has produced and released over 445 E.P.s for some of the most influential labels house music has ever known. Labels such as, Dancemania, Cajual, Relief, Dusttraxx and more. Paul has been referred to as a “hit making machine,” for his output of successful tracks. He has had countless singles which have made it to many countries top 50 billboard’s. My personal favorite Paul Johnson track and potentially one of my favorite tracks of all time has to be “Playing With a Rubberband,” I can even tell you how many times I have rinsed that record. I am excited to welcome Paul Johnson to the show. It was an a honor and a pleasure going b2b with him this year at Birdhouse Festival Chicago. Check out Paul’s guest mix and Questionnaire below.


How did your music career get started in earnest?

When I was break dancer one day the music hit me in a different way and I started wondering how it was made and being played. In 1983, I saw my first DJ live and instantly told my parents this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I quite church & pitching little league, ask my parents to tell all my friends. I was on punishment over the summer of 1984 and I taught myself EVVVVVERYTHING there was about mixing.

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

Chicago and absolutely. We LITERALLY started the entire genre.

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

Refer to answer #1. This will be my life until I die.

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

Roland TR505 & TR909

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

Ron Hardy, Steve Silk & Lil Louis

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


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

On stage all over the world.

Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?

X Rated


Favorite and least favorite colors?

Blue & White (Always gets too damn dirty.)

Favorite and least favorite words?

Money, Broke

Favorite animal?


Favorite board game?


Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Oysters, Clams (fried)

Favorite guilty pleasure song?

Sergio Mendes - The Real Thing

German or Detroit techno?


Festival, club or illegal warehouse?

Yes Please

Biggie or Tupac?

Big all day.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

BOTH, how dare you?

Exercise or Netflix?

Exercise 30%, Netflix 70%