Author Topic: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.  (Read 731 times)

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Just heard about this as the dj on Worldwide mentioned it, and was one of the people emailing Lee asking about the name, and they claim he gave a nice personal reply, along with this facebook post explaining it.

Quote
I’ve understandably been asked the question of how did you come up with the alias Joey Negro many times. If you don’t know, here’s the story. Back in 1990 I’d produced my first solo release and I wasn’t sure if it was any good or what to do with it. I was running a label called Republic (owned by Rough Trade) at the time and had licensed material from the NYC label Nu Groove on several occasions. They were a super cool label, so I sent my song to Frank and Karen there and they said they liked it and had a gap in the schedule so would be prepared release it. Normally I’m ok at thinking of names but I just couldn’t come up with anything and the label said they really needed all the credits by the end of the week. I had a pile of records next to my desk at work, amongst them was Pal Joey “Reach Up To Mars” and J Walter Negro “Shoot The Pump”. I wrote down a few of the names off the vinyl and put them next to each other.
The one time I’d heard a J Walter Negro record on the radio as a new release the DJ announced it as “Negro”, the Spanish pronunciation, and that’s how I heard the name as I used it. Why didn’t I use Dave Lee? In retrospect I should have done, but to be completely honest it just seemed boring compared to the likes of Junior Vasquez, David Morales or Frankie Knuckles who were making some of my favourite records at the time. The Spanish house label Blanco Y Negro had a big record with Real Wild House and there was another song Piano Negro, I felt Joey Negro gave it a Latin American feel so it would fit in peoples record boxes. Many of the disco records I bought in the late 70s/early 80s were producers under pseudonyms, there didn’t seem anything odd about not using my birth name. Back then I never ever imagined the name as a longterm thing that I’d ever DJ under or be addressed as face to face. It was just for the label of a record.
The Nu Groove release did ok but I didn’t plan to re use the alter ego. However a year later I had finished a new EP and I was going to use the alias Raven Maize, but I played it to a friend and he said it sounded like the follow up to the Nu Groove release (and nothing like the earlier Raven Maize record) and I should use the name Joey Negro. I saw his point and took the advice on board. A few months later I remixed a track off that EP into a song called “Do What You Feel” and that became a big club hit that got into the bottom end of the pop charts. The name suddenly became well known to clubbers and record labels. I then began doing lots of remixes and even when I put Dave Lee on the mix name credits, the record label would change it to Joey Negro – and in fairness to them this was the name the general public was familiar with.
Over the subsequent years I’ve collaborated with loads of black artists, and of course the name has come up many times whilst working in the studio. I’ve explained the history of how it came to be and no one has ever said anything on the lines that they find it offensive or I should change it - in fact quite the opposite. Like a lot of DJs there are photos of me on social media, flyers and in interviews. I’m obviously not Black and it would be wrong if I was pretending to be. I don’t think I have sold more records because people thought I was black but fully accept there could be confusion.
In truth I’ve not felt comfortable with the name Joey Negro for a while, especially as I’ve got older. I’ve stopped using it a few times but establishing a new name as an artist isn’t easy and I’ve ended up going back to it. I understand now though that it’s not appropriate for me to carry on using the name. I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable and people find it out of place in 2020 - and I agree. From now on I’m dropping Joey Negro as a pseudonym, and all those future releases that weren’t already in production will carry the name Dave Lee.
I’m sorry to have caused any offence. My whole life has been about music but particularly black music, I love soul, funk, disco, jazz in a way that’s impossible for me to articulate in words and I have tried to champion it with the best intentions. Please be aware the changes are not instant everywhere, Best Dave Lee

RA Article there too:
https://www.residentadvisor.net/news/73091

Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2020, 01:23:23 PM »
Still not going to use his full name of Dave Lee Travis I see.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2020, 01:26:46 PM »
has there been a sudden outrage?

Not looking good for Cilla Black

Non Stop Dancer

  • Nice apple tart
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2020, 01:30:31 PM »
Was expecting this and there have been a couple similar ones this week (The Black Madonna and Project Pablo are the others I'm aware of). Fully anticipate Black Loops changing his name by the end of the week.

momatt

  • PAPERCLIPS!
    • instagram.com/m0matt
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2020, 02:07:50 PM »
Never really upset me, but always struck be as an odd DJ name.

kalowski

  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2020, 02:41:33 PM »
First two albums in the pile next to me are by Leman Sam, Turkish singer, and Eddie Bo, the great soul singer.

Twonty Gostelow

  • Sent from my bum using Crapatalk
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 02:44:57 PM »
Bit of an aside but Laura Nyro's original surname was Nigro, pronounced Negro in the Italian style. (She herself pronounced Nyro as Nero - tell that to Uncut magazine after their big feature about her, "Tender is the Nyro".)

Captain Z

  • Oh yeah my cholesterol's going down
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2020, 03:17:51 PM »
Always get Joey N confused with Junior Jack. Both produced a similar style of funky house, both topped the charts under an alias (Jakatta / Room 5) and both reappeared around 2005 with similar-sounding catchy singles (Make A Move On Me / Dare Me).

The Mollusk

  • I spoke with fervour, embracing the evening
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2020, 03:36:14 PM »
I wonder if DJ N**** Fox will change his name. He is actually black though and his music is weird (but fucking great) enough that I'd assume he probably doesn't give a fuck.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2020, 03:40:29 PM »
Never really upset me, but always struck be as an odd DJ name.

I think I've mostly always heard it pronounced in the latin way, and he was a household name long before I was aware of electronic stuff and never really questioned it.

Would I raise an eyebrow if some white dude decided to run with that name today? Yeah, probably.

Better Midlands

  • I'm not internationally known
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 03:51:11 PM »
I think I've mostly always heard it pronounced in the latin way,

Yeah, it's always been Neg rhyming with leg. I hadn't even considered it till this week - like someone said it's the same as Cilla Black.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2020, 04:23:19 PM »
Just searched my iTunes (280,000 songs), a smattering of Joey Negro using the search term "negro".

However, using the more offensive N-word, three tracks

1. Patti Smith - a track from Easter "Rock n Roll N..."
2. Laghonia - a Peruvian psychedelic band, a track from their 1969 album Etcetera entitled "I'm a N...". On Discogs, this has been changed to the West African country
3. Frankie Dymon Jnr. - an African immigrant in the US who produced a fantastic psychedelic album in 1972 "Wait, N..., Wait!"

I've deleted all my music now.

Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 04:40:28 PM »
Just searched my iTunes (280,000 songs), a smattering of Joey Negro using the search term "negro".

However, using the more offensive N-word, three tracks


2. Laghonia - a Peruvian psychedelic band, a track from their 1969 album Etcetera entitled "I'm a N...". On Discogs, this has been changed to the West African country


I've deleted all my music now.

The CD reissue got it wrong.




BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 05:03:57 PM »
what is the demonym for someone from Niger? Not Nigerian, obvs

earl_sleek

  • I ask him to remove all your posts, dick head
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 05:06:02 PM »
Nigerien

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2020, 06:27:09 PM »
Yeah, it's always been Neg rhyming with leg. I hadn't even considered it till this week - like someone said it's the same as Cilla Black.

There is a bit of a reappraisal about the whole appropriation of black music both through sampling and white dj's jumping on the bandwagon of mostly black chicago house. But I'm not sure it's being made by the people who were there at the time. Maybe it's in combination of that.

Black people moving on from scenes they pretty much invented once it's been commercialised is a recurring theme though, one must admit.

Non Stop Dancer

  • Nice apple tart
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2020, 07:14:04 PM »
He'll be calling himself Niggardly Neil next and saying Ooh, I didn't realise, it's just cos I'm a tightarse. Pull the other one Dave.

the

Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2020, 07:46:32 PM »
There is a bit of a reappraisal about the whole appropriation of black music both through sampling and white dj's jumping on the bandwagon of mostly black chicago house.

Is 'a reappraisal' actually happening, or have you seen a comment on Twitter? Genuine question

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2020, 08:09:27 PM »
I've seen many comments on twitter if that's what you mean.

It can be hard to sort what might be bollocks and what might not (and what might seem like bollocks but is due to fragility etc). I think some of it is genuine.

A good example of bollocks was some dj sending for Nina Kraviz for getting corn rows.

the

Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2020, 08:35:08 PM »
I've seen many comments on twitter if that's what you mean.

Thanks, thought it might be a gobby puddle of nothing.

I think some of it is genuine.

If genuine then genuinely endorsing segregration. It's just another Twitter day. Weaponise anything, form into accusation, fling to dislodge 'enemy'.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2020, 08:45:54 PM »
I think there's some validity in asking why is DnB, House Jungle, Techno etc a lot whiter than it was when it started?

kalowski

  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2020, 09:04:26 PM »
Just searched my iTunes (280,000 songs), a smattering of Joey Negro using the search term "negro".

However, using the more offensive N-word, three tracks

1. Patti Smith - a track from Easter "Rock n Roll N..."
2. Laghonia - a Peruvian psychedelic band, a track from their 1969 album Etcetera entitled "I'm a N...". On Discogs, this has been changed to the West African country
3. Frankie Dymon Jnr. - an African immigrant in the US who produced a fantastic psychedelic album in 1972 "Wait, N..., Wait!"

I've deleted all my music now.
There's a trad song called N-----town on the debut album by the Incredible String Band.

the

Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2020, 09:12:44 PM »
I think there's some validity in asking why is DnB, House Jungle, Techno etc a lot whiter than it was when it started?

But not in implying a crass fable of theft in an insultingly simplified précis of those scenes.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2020, 09:45:17 PM »
There's a trad song called N-----town on the debut album by the Incredible String Band.

I did some tree polling with a member of the ISB back in the 90s... more fuel for my cancelling.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2020, 10:42:07 PM »
But not in implying a crass fable of theft in an insultingly simplified précis of those scenes.

I think it might be a recurring cycle? FWIW I don't think white dj's got into anything for any other reason than passion, or are bad guys. It's probably a lot like Elvis though isn't it, it's the faceless cunts in suits that were the appropriators.

I think even Lee's explanation touches on this a little, unless it's revisionism, which is possible, he claims to have made half-arsed attempts to distance himself from a name he came up with on the spot, but was told to carry on with it because that's where the money was.

Even this thread I started because I found it curious. Is it problematic? Is it twitter-style nonsense, or is the reason it's even been bought to my attention because Giles Peterson has decided to set up an internet radio station that has given a platform to some voices I otherwise wouldn't hear?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 10:58:11 PM by Sebastian Cobb »

the

Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2020, 10:57:32 PM »
I think it might be a recurring cycle? FWIW I don't think white dj's got into anything for any other reason than passion, or are bad guys. It's probably a lot like Elvis though isn't it, it's the faceless cunts in suits that were the appropriators.

Earlier I draft-wrote a pisstakey response about Frankie Sharp from Sharp Records turning up at one of those segregrated black DnB clubs they apparently have and nicking all the music for profit. Alarmed to discover you actually do imagine these music scenes in this way.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: Joey Negro drops pseudonym... going with his real name Dave Lee.
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2020, 11:04:28 PM »
That's not what I think at all, I think things start small and free, and as they attract attention, in order to get bigger they get monetised and corporatised at some point the industry gets to decide what it thinks will be marketable, that often results in things getting whiter.

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