4 min

From the Speakers

DJ Relentless presents his top-10 tracks of the moment

DJ Relentless presents his top-10 tracks of the moment Credit: DARRYL MABEY

Hometown: Tampa, Florida 

Bio: DJ Relentless has been spinning for radio, bars, clubs and major events since 1980 (you do the math). Not only a mixmeister, he is also known as drag recording artist Jade Elektra. You can find Jade’s latest EP, Jade Does Ber’lin, on iTunes, along with tracks produced and performed by DJ Relentless. A native of Tampa and a New York City transplant, DJ Relentless moved to Toronto when he was married in 2010. He and his husband produce PWA fundraisers, as they both believe that HIV/AIDS awareness is one of the most important issues that face the gay community.

1. Michael Jackson, featuring Justin Timberlake  – “Love Never Felt So Good” (Epic Records)

Ever since I heard the Frankie Knuckles mix I have not been able to get that song out of my head. I play this track every night that I spin. Probably one of his best mixes before his untimely death.

2. Disclosure, featuring Sam Smith – Latch” (PMR Records)

Last summer, a photographer was doing a project with my alter ego, Jade Elektra, and at the end of the photo shoot he gave me a copy of Disclosure’s CD. I remember listening to “Latch” and being haunted by the vocals. The Ernest & Frank reworked mix has become a staple on my floor.

3. Kiesza – Hideaway” (Lokal Legend Records)

My husband introduced me to the video. The song annoyed him at first, but then the next thing I knew he was singing it — and mocking it — all the time. I kept thinking that the track reminded me of something I had heard before. I heard a bootleg mashup with Sandy B’s “Make the World Go Round,” and I was hooked!

4. Vjuan Allure, featuring Jade Elektra – “Basic Bitch” (2nd Level Records)

I am always amazed when a DJ/producer takes something I wrote or recorded and creates a hot track out of it. Since I am known for bitch tracks, I am sure there were many who thought I had retired from that genre after I recorded my latest EP. But the legendary ballroom mixmeister Vjuan Allure did a phenomenal job with the words I jotted down on a napkin during one of my visits to New York City.

5. Sia – Chandelier” (RCA Records)

Honestly, I did not like this song when I heard the original version. But when I heard the Cutmore Club remix I felt like, finally, true house music is coming back in style. After living in NYC and visiting Chicago, my appreciation for real house music has made me into a snob. The abuse of the term house has reached epic proportions. Most folks wouldn’t know a house song if they were being held down with an actual Trax Record playing. The Cutmore remix has made me a fan!

6. Iggy Azalea, featuring Charli XCX – Fancy” (Virgin Records)

I definitely believe that this year’s breakthrough artist is going to be Iggy Azalea. A year ago, Nicki Minaj was at the top of the female rap game. But like with most pop acts, you’re number one and then there’s nowhere else to go but down the charts. While Azealia Banks was busy picking Twitter fights, Iggy was busy recording her latest album. The marketing is brilliant, with its retro homage to the ’80s and ’90s, and the idea of an Australian spitting rhymes like a pro still boggles my mind. And when Martin & Souza remixed her single into a club track, they really reinvented the wheel.

7. Nile Rodgers – Do What You Wanna Do” (Cr2 Records)

Sometimes as a DJ you develop prejudice against certain names and artists in music. I’m sure most DJs won’t admit that, but it happens. When you see a name on a record, you automatically assume you know what it will sound like because of past experiences with other recordings or remixes with that person’s name on it. So, when I saw Nile Rodger’s name on this track, I assumed that it would have that familiar chic guitar riff that I have grown to associate with his name. Well, this ol’ dog was taught a new lesson. The Chocolate Puma remix is everything, and I am livin’ for the Eats Everything Haus rework!

8. DJ Snake, featuring Lil Jon – Turn Down for What” (Columbia Records)

I guess I fell in love with this song because of the music video, but when I started playing it for my floor, it was just brilliant watching everyone lose their minds screaming the hook. And there are so many remixes and bootleg mashups that it is impossible not to find a version that could work for your floor.

9. Ariana Grande, featuring Zedd – Break Free” (Republic Records)

Everyone is saying that Ariana Grande is the new Mariah Carey. Okay . . . I’m glad she is steppin’ up, because I am not feeling any of what I’ve heard from Mariah’s latest album. I love, love, love the Frankie Knuckles mix of “Baby I,” but for the life of me, I can’t understand the appeal of “Break Free.” Unfortunately for me, it’s really popular with my crowd.

10. Jade Elektra – I Was Born This Way” (Ber’lin Records)

I know that Pride season is over, but I still love playing the Erick Elias remix of my track. And really . . . shouldn’t we be proud to be gay year-round? The Cris Is Bliss original mix is still a tour de force, but playing the full 11 minutes is a bit much for the short attention span of today’s youth.

You can hear DJ Relentless on Club Lite Fridays in the Zone at Crews & Tangos (508 Church St) every week from 10pm; at least two Dirty Mondays starting at 11:30pm; the first Sunday of each month for the POZ-TO event from 9pm to close; and the last Sunday of each month at his PWA fundraiser Sunday Night at Zipperz (72 Carlton St), 7–10pm.


This story is filed under Arts & Entertainment, News & Ideas, Music, Toronto, World, Opinion
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