For fans of Stevie Wonder, Prince and the late Michael Jackson, if you haven’t had the distinct privilege to attend any of their momentous concerts, then going to one of DJ Spinna’s Soul Slam or WONDER-ful club nights is the next best thing. Just imagine dancing to a full-night’s catalog by some of the greatest Soul/Pop artists in history; including their affiliated artists. When Spinna hits your town for Soul Slam, not only do you get a friendly musical battle between Prince vs. Michael Jackson, party-goers also bask in the music of Janet & Jermaine, the Jackson 5, Vanity & Apollonia 6, the Time, the Minneapolis sound, and more.
DJ Spinna, aka Vincent Williams, launched the first Stevie WONDER-ful party in 1999 with some of his fellow DJs at a small club in NYC called Baby Jupiter. “The club held no more than 150 people,” Spinna recalls, “and there were another 300-400 people lined-up around the corner that couldn’t get in.” A couple of years later he would launch the Prince vs. M.J. nights.
Since 2001, these popular events have made regularly scheduled stops in Japan, Amsterdam, Sweden, Germany, the UK, and in the States in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Mr. Stevie Wonder has even made surprise appearances at some of the WONDER-ful nights.
On any given weekend, Spinna could be working within any region around the world. His itinerary could include a night of classic 80s and 90s music; an event dedicated to female R&B artists; Make it Funky Parties, celebrating the music of P-Funk, Ohio Players, James Brown; his House Music marathons; and the list goes on. With assistance from his wife Keita, who runs his promotions and operations, and management from Purpose Music Group, these are typically sell-out events with sometimes thousands of people in attendance.
In 2009, after the sudden passing of Michael Jackson, Spinna was the DJ for the BK Loves MJ. The event, hosted by Spike Lee, was held in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park; and described as a Woodstock-like jam for thousands of M.J. fans. Subsequently, Spinna has put together his own series of Forever Michael parties around the globe, including Japan, where he is highly-regarded.
“The parties are primarily meant to keep Black music alive,” Spinna says. He has been DJing since the mere age of 11, and has been a cornerstone of Hip-Hop’s late 90’s indie-uprise. Spinna made his first impression on listeners as the musical background of his group The Jigmastas, where he released an impressive slew of 12” singles on his then self-run label, Beyond Real. He would soon become known for his remixes, such as Michael Jackson’s “We’re Almost There” and Shaun Escoffery’s “Days Like This.” These remixes catapulted Spinna into the soulful house music scene, and resulted in the signing to BBE Records in 2002 where he released his cult classic full-length production LP Here To There.
With much of Spinna’s time on the road, he’s gotta be the hardest working DJ in show business. He rarely has time to zero in on his passion for music production. “I do a lot of production but not as much as I used to or would like to,” he says. “I am currently in the studio and am very involved with Soulful House music. I’m working on an album as well as a series of projects, and collaborating with people like Phonte from Little Brother, who is starting to delve more in the dance scene. Aside from that, I’m back at work with my group The Jigmasters, and have started a label called Correct Technique. It’s a new boutique label dedicated to vinyl. I am also trying to get back to my Hip-Hop roots. I’m not as active with it as I have been in the past, due to the success of these events. I have strong fan base that are demanding it and waiting for it.”
So what’s the best thing about being DJ Spinna? “My diversity,” he exclaims! “There’s an underlying theme throughout everything that I do, which is to remain Soulful. Within that you might get some Rock, some Hip-Hop, some Jazz, some Brazilian, some House, some Latin music. People don’t usually know what to expect from me. I’m a music collector. I possess over 60,000 vinyl records. I am into all kinds of music. I’m a record junkie!”