One of the most loved UK soulful labels, Papa Records is celebrating 15 years!
Established in 2002 in East London by producer/DJ Oli Lazarus, Papa Records quickly established themselves as one the best labels for soulful music. Sticking true to their sound, they have gone from strength to strength releasing approximately 100 singles and nearly 50 albums to date. Today, they’ve announced a special compilation to mark the occasion ‘Play It Like Papa’ is a true celebration of the label’s timeless musical output, available as a triple CD, divided into Broken Beat & Nu Jazz, Soulful House and Deep House & House genres, all mixed by DJ Spinna – who has had a long legacy with the label and released such tracks as ‘We Can Change This World’, ‘Living My Life’, ‘Back To You’ and his acclaimed ‘Intergalactic Soul’ album.
The track list boasts a huge list of cuts from heavyweight international shakers including; Blaze, Faze Action, Eli Escobar, Dennis Ferrer, Atjazz, Tony Momrelle, Dario D’Attis, Bugz In the Attic, Jon Cutler, Matthias ‘Matty’ Heilbronn, Osunlade, Simon Grey, Richard Earnshaw, Restless Soul and so many more.
As they celebrate their 15th year in the biz with their mighty ‘Play It Like Papa’ compilation, label boss Oli Lazarus talks us through some of their biggest tracks…
1. Simon Grey – The Galactica Suite
I had known about and followed Simon’s career for sometime and then out the blue he sent me this track. I was completely blown away and signed it immediately. Jazz Funk Soul House Broken fusion.. awesome record.
2. Oreja – Vazilando
I had been friends with Paul ‘Seiji’ Dolby for sometime and he spoke to me about his idea to go to Puerto Rico and record some traditional musicians and singers. A couple months later he returned with ‘Vazilando’ and it became a pretty big record during a time when Yellow had the Africanism series and DJ Gregory was rocking. Still to this day it seems to have an anthemic feel about it and we are planning new mixes for 2018.
3 Osunlade feat. Maiya James – Same Thing
Osunlade is an artist I just love to bits. When he broke on the scene his sound just brought something so fresh that we hadn’t heard before. I remember falling in love with a song he did called ‘Tree Of Life’. Luckily I got to meet him on a trip to New York back in 2002 and we agreed to work on a single together. He actually recorded in both London and the US on ‘Same Thing’. Honoured to have worked with him.
4. The Realm feat. Tony Momrelle – Time
Personally one of my favourite records to have been involved with as all the people involved are close friends. The Realm is myself and my good pal Toni Economides. The keys are provided by the amazing Pete Kuzma, Percussion by the brilliant Oli Savill and of course Mr. Momrelle delivering a stunning song and vocal. Still get goose bumps when I hear it.
5 Saison – The Dukes
Simply just a dope modern deep house record. Sounds awesome on the floor and marries up the Soulful and Deep House sounds perfectly for me. I love what the Saison boys do and its been great working with them.
6. Reel People feat. Angela Johnson – Can’t Stop
Seems to be a fan’s favourite this one. Was an amazing experience going to New York and recording with Angela on ‘Can’t Stop’. Was part of our 1st album ‘Second Guess’ and I think this track really helped define the Reel People sound.
7 Blaze – Sapporo
If you grew up on soulful dance music then it’s hard to escape the masterful music of Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge aka Blaze. They just epitimised the New York sound and to say it wan an honour working with them on Papa is the biggest understatement. ‘Sapporo’ still sounds so good and is an essential piece of Papa history.
8 Eli Escobar – Seein You (Saison Remix)
Eli originally released ‘Seein You’ on his own label in the US. I loved the record so much I was able to sign it and do a remix package with Saison and Richard Earnshaw. Both are killer remixes but Saison’s remix really is special and again for me masters the modern deep house sound to a tee.
9. Reel People feat. Darien – Upside (Bugz Upside Mix)
One of my favourite remixes on Papa and a great example of how exciting Bugz In The Attic are. A really feel good song taken to the dance floor by the Broken Beat maestro’s.
10. Sebb Junior – I Heard You Calling
One of the newest additions to the Papa catalogue but something I really dig. Been following Sebb’s work for sometime and we worked on a couple of EP’s together before he sent me his brilliant album ‘Rewind’. A dope mix of Deep, Afro and Soulful House with a real warm analogue feel. One of the outstanding modern producers.
‘Play It Like Papa (15 Years Of Papa Records) compilation is out now, for the full tracklist and more information head to here