A Super-Feel-Good Mix for the Summer by DJ Relentless

The summer has a magic that is unlike any other season and it takes a special playlist to capture that exquisite sun-baked vibe.
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I don’t know about you, but I am tired of hearing bad news and feeling down. It’s summer, dammit! And we need a reminder that in order to get ready for the fall, we need to rejuvenate during the summer by having fun. So, I hope this mix helps you enjoy the sunshine and all that summer entails. I’ve programmed a little something for everyone.

To get us started is a new one by a classic artist…Mr. Charlie Wilson. Now, some of you are too young to even know who this man is. But if you grew up in the late 70s or during the 80s, Charlie Wilson was the lead singer for The Gap Band and brought us such hits as “You Dropped The Bomb On Me”, “Burn Rubber On Me”, “Outstanding” and one of my all time favorites “Yearning For Your Love”. Well, Charlie is still recording and has been featured on tracks by Snoop Dogg, Lil Kim, Justin Timberlake and John Newman. His latest single features Pitbull and is an ode to partying and being free. “Good Time” is a feel-good track. My favorite lyrics is “Love who you wanna love…” Definitely a Pride hit! And the Moto Blanco Remix gives it that happy disco sound that is appropriate for all dance floors.

And speaking of “Good Times”, Charlie’s track made me dig up a real classic remixed by Stonebridge. When I listen to “Good Times” by Chic, it reminds me of trying to learn how to roller-skate and dance at the same time. It also reminds me of the tracks that borrowed parts of its baseline like “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang or “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. Back then sampling and copyright laws were a little loose so folks didn’t get too bent outta shape. It was more like a homage or a tip of the hat.

And I guess Nicki Minaj’s reign as Hip Pop Diva continues as she continues to drop even more guest appearances and features on other people’s tracks. This time she has teamed up with David Guetta and Lil Wayne for “Light My Body Up”. Like Whitney Houston’s reaction to being boo-ed at the Soul Train Awards back in the late 80s, Nicki is setting out to prove her power and relevance as a recording artist (just as Whitney wanted to be taken seriously as an R&B artists). But honestly….she just keeps proving my point about marketability over being perceived as authentic. The Tujamo Remix of this collaboration has a great energy to it and I think it will reach across all markets and charts.

From the second I heard “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars I thought that it needed a remix. Well, I got my wish. There are a couple of really great House mixes by Boge and by Kem, Godunov & Burlyaev but the one I used was the Lord N’ remix. It has the right production for the sound I was going for.

Apparently, Lady GaGa tore it up at Coachella this year. A friend who was there was telling me how great she sang “The Cure” (no not the 80s Band, but her latest single). And Barry Harris has given it an entirely new life with his remix. I’m glad I found this version because I wasn’t really feeling the original.

Over Pride Weekend here in Toronto, I was one of the featured DJs on the Latin-X stage called PAN DULCE. I was actually the closing act and it was fantastic. As a DJ that has been spinning for years, I have built a following with many different groups and audiences. Some love my programming of Pop, Club, and House. Others seek out my background in Underground Bitch Tracks and the more seedy Club sound of after-hours and bath houses. But few know that I am part Puerto Rican (don’t speak Spanish, but that Latin flava is in me). So, it was really nice to get to explore that side of my musical taste with a large crowd.

And the biggest hit of the evening was “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. Of course, I played a Moombahton version for that event, but settle on the Roberto Rios x Dan Sparks remix for this particular set….to keep the energy up.

Since I had sprinkled some Goya Seasoning on the crowd I started reminiscing about some classic Latin dance tracks and was pleasantly surprised to find that Barry Harris had sampled Jellybean’s “Jingo” in his revamped remix of Madison Avenue’s “Don’t Call Me Baby”. This mashup is HOT! I must say…Mr. Harris has been turning it out lately for his mixes and productions.

But you know I don’t stay on one thing too long. I had a teacher back in grade school who once said “A paragraph should be like a girl’s skirt….long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting.” I always try to apply that concept to my mixed sets. No one wants to listen to someone droning on and on about the same subject. So, I keep it moving.

And I decided to pay homage to Remy Ma for her win this year at the BET Awards for Best Female Hip Hop Artist by remixing her classic “Conceited” into a Club track. By winning this award she broke Nicki Minaj’s 7-year streak plus brought the title back to an authentic Hip Hop artist. You can put on an act or show but you cannot fake the realness of the streets of New York City. Guess that’s why Nicki didn’t show up at the awards this year. Hats off, Ma!

Every now then you just gotta get what I call “Gut-bucket-tee” (an old southern term for “down and dirty”). This next track is just that. “Making Luv To The Beat” by WatchTheDuck has that Alabama Bass meets Electro production features lead vocals by T.I. & DJ E-Feezy to form a new genre called “TrapStep”. As we used to say back in Florida…this got some stank on it! Love this track!

And something about the last track made me think of “Throb” by Janet Jackson…which also made me dig up one of Peter Rauhofer’s last productions before his death in 2013. I am looking forward to see where Miss Jackson goes from here with her career after this divorce. Mama is about to get paid! And from the looks of thangs….Rihanna is tryna to follow in her footsteps with her new Saudi Arabian boyfriend, Hassan Jameel. Let’s hope it’s real love and not for money or exposure.

But I digressed….let’s get back to the mix.

Another classic musician and producer still in the game is Nile Rodgers. He has teamed up with Tony Moran for an epic track called “My Fire” featuring Kimberly Davis on vocals. Although it has a major remix by David Morales for that Stereo sound, I chose the Rosabel mix for this set.

And in closing I chose a song that was featured at a wedding that I DJ-ed for back in June. One of the grooms was and still is a major Weeknd fan. And “Secrets” was one of their songs for their entrance at the reception. Normally I get a little offended when someone rewrites an old song, but this time I didn’t mind. The Weeknd paid homage to the 80s Pop hit “Talking In Your Sleep” by The Romantics with his latest release. And the Lord N’ remix fit perfectly into this set.

DJs & Music

Sr. Music Contributing Writer - A disc jockey since 1980, DJ Relentless has a career that has spanned from local dive bars to major club venues all over the United States, Amsterdam, the Dominican Republic and Toronto.