Monday 2 November 2009


Hey Colin,

Hi Mark Where were you born ? Chicago, IL USA When were you born ?
June 1, “21” light years ago

What were you early musical influences as you grew up ?

Hmmm… Funny to say, Various…but subtle. Music was in the background for me growing up, sports was my thing. I do remember listening to many R&B classic artists (EW

F, Marvin Gaye, Stephanie Mills and so) and having a special liking for the whole Prince and Minneapolis sound. I can remember even listening to classic rock songs (Carly Simon, Elton John (B-B-B- Betty and the Jets) and just straight up rock songs. Even today, I’ll hear one of those songs and wonder, “Hmmm…How do I know that song?” My older cousin, a musician, turned me onto jazz music and Jimmy Hendrix songs. But, I would say my oldest brother sparked me into house music. He started experimenting with djing and being the youngest of 3 boys, I followed suit. At what age did you start dj'ing and collecting records? (Where did you initially dj?) I started dj’ing and collecting music at 12 yrs. Initially, most of my dj’ing (or I should say practicing) was in my bedroom, but in a short time I was able to

play some elementary school parties and fashion shows and so on.

Can you talk about the clubs you went to and the Chicago club scene at this time and back in the day ?

Early on, I remember the Powerhouse with Ron Hardy…he played energetic sets, full of disco and edits. Lil Louis, at various spots, especially his own hotel parties. He fused the disco edits and new innovative tracks, many of his own into one groove. And when I finally heard Frankie Knuckles’ …deep, soulful, steady, infectious, mix of vocal, dubs and classics… it summed it all up for me

How did you progress from dj to producer, writer, remixer ?

I started dabbling in making music around 14 or 15. My middle brother, Brian, plays the guitar and had a 4 track, keyboard, and drum machine. I would mess around w

ith it when he wasn't. I would remake house songs I liked and eventually started making my own. I can remember remaking Larry Heard's stuff and so, even my own version of Prince's "Little Red Corvette", singin and all. It’s kinda interesting and amusing to listen back to.

Can you talk a little about your time with the iconic Cajual label and the hook up with Cajmere ?

Cajual was a good label for Chicago artists…it showcased our talents on a world stage.
Chicago has always been filled with enormous talent, and Cajual encapsulated those voices into a trademark sound. One has to give credit to Cajmere for doing so.

Tell us about the different countries you started to play in and describe some of your favourites ?
For me, whenever I play it’s always special, each experience is unique, whether if it’s far from home or home. I will say it’s extra special when the chemistry is flowing full swing…my music, the crowd, the staff, the venue and so on

Blackstone records came along and defined another new Mark Grant trademark sound can you talk a little about this time ?

I started Blackstone to create an additional creative outlet. My mission was and is simple: to make the best music possible, always stretching and challenging myself

That’s truly satisfying to me.

Two huge tracks over here in the UK in the clubs I play were Wookie ftg Lain "Live On" and with Russoul "Guessin Again " could you talk a little ab

out these tracks and how they came to fruition ?
I was commissioned for the remix of “Live On”. I thought it was very good to begin with, so good I couldn’t listen to it too much, in fear of repeating what was already there.
So, I popped the vocals in my ipod and went for run, humming some different ideas on the way. Went straight in the studio after and everything came along.
As far as “Guessin Again” with Russoul. we linked up as we always do and just started laying down ideas. I can remember him recording his vocals and thinking, “all…this is going to be good”. It took awhile to put the final version together. I kept trying different ideas until I felt I had my best. It’s always a good feeling to know I’ve done my best no matter th

e outcome, and even better that people appreciate it.
Nowadays do you prefer djing, producing, remixing, writing or just all of it ?
I prefer them all, they all feed off of each other.

Can you name ten records that influenced your life ?
My life???? Oh Wow! Hmmmm…Well, in no particular order…
Ones that still send chills through me or I associate pleasant experience from…

Astrals Travel> Pharoah Sanders

Stay Together>Brand New Heavies
You Can Do It>MAW/George Benson Sun Goddess>Ramsey Lewis, Earth, Wind, Fire
There 4 Me> Mark Grant Featuring Russoul
Little Wing>Jimi Hendrix

How Come You Don’t Call Me>Prince
JB Monorail>James Brown
Funkanova>Wood, Brass, & Steel
Expansions>Lonnie Liston Smith

What role do you feel Traxsource has played in promoting the genre and how this is a step on from vinyl releases with the cost issues ? Do the dj's and artists benefit more because of sites like Traxsource?

Any additional vehicles to connect djs/artists to their audience is a benefit.
Traxsource has become a prominent source for house music. Digital downloads as opposed to vinyl, brings just as much benefits as it brings disadvantages. The music is what matter most, at the end of the day.

Thanks Mark really appreciate your time for this ! Respect always Colin Curtis

Mark’s Current Top 10

As featured on Traxsource October 2009

1.Marc Evans :The Way You Love Me –Deluxe Re-Issue Sampler

Serenity (Mark Grant’s Blackstone Extended Remix) 6:43

2.Ralph Gum & Monique Bingham : Little w.12th Street

Ralph Gum Deeper Dub (6:56)

3.The Jinks Ftg Lady Alma:Wake Up Running

Main Mix (7:29)

4.Louis Benedetti & Andricka Hall :Life Is Good

Louis Benedetti Alternate Vox (7:18)

5.Floyd Patterson & Wayne P feat.Roselie:Get Up

Mark Grant TV Mix (6:42)

6.3 Amigos:Jellybean,Marlon D & Mena Keys ftg. Dawn Tallman:We Are One

The Layabouts Vocal Mix (8:28)

7.Boddhi Satva : On Point

Main Mix (5:58)

8. Ayce DJ & Karlito ft.Paul Lee: Havana

Richard Earnshaw Dub Mix (6:43)

9.Cassio : I Love You

Steve Rigmaiden Remix (9:23)

10.Ephraim & Mannesah :Space Disco

Space Dance (6:53)

Russoul the Chicago vocalist Mark used on Guessin Again cut his own R&B Soul album back in 2007,worth a listen it's on CDBaby.Russoul created this album for music lovers. He takes an old school approach to new school technology to reflect the joy's and pains of life through songs.Genre: Urban/R&B: Chicago SoulRelease Date: 2007

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