“House Music is based on feelings, how you feel when you hear something, how it’s delivered, I gravitate to great music and when asked to give it something I do what I feel works best, regardless if it means remixing something, producing or writing.”

Mr V is well into his second decade as a stalwart of the house scene, and the unassuming New Yorker has no intention of slowing down: “Producing, songwriting and DJing has always been in me, I definitely want it to be my lifelong career, in 2019 I aim to increase all of that.”

Whilst house is the genre for which V is most celebrated (“people know me for a signature sound, my core, my root is House Music, always will be”), there are traces of many other genres in his work - hip hop, jazz, latin and more have all been woven into his intricate mix at  times.

The roots of such eclecticism can be traced back to the melting pot that was 1980s New York: “I grew up in the mid-80s, a pivotal point in music and club/nightlife culture in New York, I was fortunate to live on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where 90% of everything legendary was happening, the city was gleaming with disco music both in nightlife and on radio and on the horizon was the movement we call Hip-Hop today, the birth of it, to say we were spoiled is an understatement.”

Fascinated by DJing from an early age, it was at Louie Vega’s pivotal Underground Network parties that Mr V developed a love of all things house. Impressed by V’s passion, Vega gave him the opportunity to play a role in the MAW world, acting as something of a mentor: “Louie was the push… watching and observing him work, his ethic and working for him taught me how to move, what to do, what not to do, couple that with his attention to detail, simplicity was HUGE in so many ways, Kenny as well.”

Mr V has released via numerous well-respected labels, including Strictly Rhythm, Toolroom, Slip 'n' Slide and, of course, Defected. However, he has also been inextricably linked to his own imprints, the long-established Sole Channel; and latterly Muzik 4 Tomorrow too. Sole Channel has also doubled up as a radio show then Mixcloud site, a platform for both V and a number of friends and collaborators to showcase a wide array of sounds and styles – plenty of quality house on offer, but peppered with surprises such as V’s brilliantly curated / edited and genre-straddling ‘Dat ‘80s shit!’ mixes:

“The Sole Channel Cafe was a radio show I created back in 2005 when my label first started, we wanted to create mixtapes of music that was not highlighted on mainstream US radio, House Music wasn’t accepted like the way it is today - so we kept that idea true even now, the 80s mixes was a result of no 80s dedicated stations on New York Radio where 80s music was being replaced by Pop stations….. obviously, all of that changed with the internet etc. but those specific mixes (80s mixes) were my tribute to an era that played a role in my love for music of all styles.”

As well as being producer, DJ and broadcaster, Mr V is equally respected as a vocalist, crediting Defected’s Simon Dunmore with being “the only person on earth to call me a triple threat, DJ, producer, songwriter/vocalist who does it all on his own.” This has made him especially in demand as a collaborator:

“My collaboration with Fedde Le Grand is the biggest, because that introduced me to a whole new audience and generation that still knows who I am. Obviously my collaborations with Louie & Kenny, Mark Knight, Steve Bug, Bob Sinclar have helped as well to name a few.”

As to what we should expect from a Mr V DJ set, he has wise words that will resonate with many: 

“I don’t want expectations… just know you’re gonna hear a great set with different styles in it, I’m not a one style DJ, I’m a rollercoaster DJ that plays various styles and will always keep you guessing on what you’re gonna hear when you come and see me… why see a comedian do the same jokes you saw before?”

So how does V find enough hours in the day to combine all these roles and still stay on top of his game? It seems that a mix of the work ethic he saw in Louie Vega and pure passion for his craft is the answer: ”I balance it well because I LOVE IT ALL, I have a passion for this, like a deep down hardcore PASSION! I spend hours separately every day (1 hour each day) mastering all the roles, when you learn how to or should I say get used to your craft, it comes easy.”

V has never played the hype game, consciously staying just below the radar, undoubtedly one of the keys to his longevity:

“There’s an old saying… “it’s a marathon, not a race” - In a race you run as fast as you can to come in 1st place while in a marathon it’s more strategic and mindful, making wise moves and knowing when and when not to pick up the pace, longevity and smarts make you the winner, I let my fans decide the hype, I just put out what feels good to me, my fans NEVER let me down and the reception I get from them is always positive so looking or playing the hype game is never a thing for me.”

As Defected celebrates 20 years not only by continuing to release essential new music, but also breathing new life into classic catalogues, a hook up with house music’s marathon man was a logical move for both parties:

“Me and Simon (Dunmore) have been close for some time now and he always had an interest in me…he was, I firmly believe when the time is right it was gonna happen and IT DID, RIGHT NOW when Defected is strong, steadfast and forward thinking, without losing its foundation and history of the music, it’s an awesome time to be part of something I believe is special and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what Simon’s vision will be with what I created.”

V’s legion of fans will no doubt say amen to that. If you are less familiar with his work, the man himself says, “for those just getting to know me the best starting point is Jus Dance,  that song and vocal has been used countless times and is a staple in almost every DJ’s sets; second would be Something Wit Jazz, I Can Sing and so on, with productions like Circle Track and so much more...”

Check out our Mr V playlist takeover on Spotify here: