When it comes to funky, bring-down-the-house dance music, there is no better practitioner than Roy Davis, Jr. Since the early 1990s, the Chicago-born DJ and producer has been captivating fans across the world with soul electrica, a musical style he pioneered that melds electronic disco, R&B dance house, soul, hip-hop and electronic music. As for his turntable talent, his masterful way of mixing funky, soulful electronic music, disco house and big-room, floor-stomping tech-house tunes has spawned numerous classic club anthems, making Davis one of the most sought-after DJs and producers in the world.
Inspired by such late-1980s legends as DJ Pierre, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Marshall Jefferson and Lil' Louis, Ray started spinning at age 12, working with break-dance music, Italian disco and, eventually, house. Fellow Chicagoan Lil' Louis introduced him to mellow, club, classics and big room bang, teaching him how to mix it up, which is how Davis developed his wildly popular, unique style. His big break came in 1993, when New York City's Strictly Rhythm label recruited him as an A+R scout. He was still in college at the time.
As part of this gig, Davis traveled to the East Coast weekly, and eventually Strictly Rhythm tapped him to start his own sub-label, Red Cat Records. Not long after, he began churning out smash hits, including his acclaimed tune "Gabriel," released in 1996 by Large Music out of Chicago. Soon after, XL Recordings licensed the song by countless publications worldwide and it sold by the truckload. Produced with vocalist and musician Peven Everett, "Gabriel" is a certified house music anthem that still sounds fresh today.
Several chart-topping releases would follow, including The Believers' "Who Dares To Believe In Me," "Enjoy The Ride," "Modjo Lady," "Join his Kingdom," and "Next To Me," with Fred Everything, among many others. He also was signed to Label Roulé, the groundbreaking Paris-based house music label founded by Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter. He has performed at some of the world's biggest clubs, including the Queen Club in Paris, the Ministry Of Sound in England, Metro and Smartbar in Chicago, Los Angeles' Troubadour and Tokyo's Yellow and Club Air.
With recent DJ gigs racking up air miles between the United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, England, Australia, Russia, France, Canada and all over the United States, Davis spends a lot of time on the road. He relies on Stanton's SCS.4DJ digital mixing station to provide a top-notch mixing package that is easy for him to transport between gigs. The SCS.4DJ is easy to use, lightweight and portable. Thanks to its USB ports, there is no need to hook it up to a laptop, a function the busy Davis appreciates.
"I love how you can just plug in a storage device and start mixing with the SCS.4DJ," says Davis. "It really simplifies my whole setup on the road, as I don't have to lug as much gear to where I'm performing. It has built-in decks, a mixer, that high-res color display; really everything you need. It's also great for up-and-coming DJs to learn the ins and outs of the whole game.”
Davis's album, God, Life, Music, has generated much fanfare, receiving fantastic reviews from several high-profile music media outlets. He continues to play sold-out performances in locations across the globe.