Rich, powerful bass lines and refined vocals have established G Family as a local duo who are taking their special blend of deep house to a global audience. In 2007, cousins Michael G and Jullian Gomes decided to join forces and since then their music has been released on high calibre labels such as Realtone, Deeper Shades, Atjazz Record Company, Seasons Limited and Earthrumental Music.
G Family represents a fusion of old skool and new skool: Michael G has been playing since the nineties – mixing up hip hop, R ’n B, kwaito, slow jams and mid-tempo. Jullian Gomes started DJ’ing in 2003 and was selected to attend the Red Bull Music Academy in 2008. Since then he’s played all over Europe and rocked a hungry crowd at this year’s Sonar festival in Barcelona. Together the pair have created a richly textured and passion-driven sound which is turning heads both locally and internationally. Heather Mennell chats to them…
IDM: Tell me about your first track, People with Bullets?
MG: We gave it to the people we knew in the industry – Christos & Vinny, Black Coffee, Cisco – and everyone loved it. JG: It was crazy! Black Coffee played it during his US tour and Vinny and Christos opened a special set on YFM with it.
MG: It was on a number of compilations…
JG: …and it got signed to a Frank Roger’s label, Earthrumental.
MG: Because we’re both DJs and have been listening to music for such a long time, we had an ear for quality – we knew what sound we were going for and we weren’t prepared to compromise.
IDM: The Pretoria scene is quite different to anywhere else, isn’t it?
MG: Yeah, it’s the crowd!
JG: When it comes to deep house – every city has a different response, but you just get an overwhelming response from the people in Pretoria. Pretoria is always going to be the capital city of house music. You can ask all the internationals that play here, Atjazz, Charles Webster – the way that the people respond to the music – ah man you just have to experience it for yourself.
IDM: As a team, do you have different strengths?
MG: We come from different eras. We’re like old skool meets new skool! Jullian has been all over the world – he has new ears and a new vision. He’ll come back from playing overseas and say “Mike, I’ve heard this new genre. Listen to this.”
JG: Michael’s strength is that he’s been playing for over twenty years and he has a huge foundation of musical knowledge – an understanding of so many different genres. My strength is that I’m on the edge of what’s new and happening – our sound combines all those elements
IDM: You guys have just released your debut album…tell us more.
JG: Yes! We went to Soul Candi and chatted to the label manager, Allan [Nicoll]. We said ‘we have these tracks – let’s put it out there’. Allan really liked the music, but although he have had loads of international releases, we have no sales history locally – so we amalgamated the two brands: G Family and Deep House Chronicles. It’s three years of production – our favourite tracks. We have our remix of Atjazz and Robert Owens, 340ml, Antonio Lyons, Stephanie Renee…
MG: It’s a good balance, six original tracks and six remixes.
JG: When we compiled it, we thought ‘let’s do something that we’ll be proud of’, because when People With Bullets came out we had lots of offers from labels but we decided to wait. We thought, when we release an album, it has to tell the story of us. We wanted to be proud of it for the next forty to fifty years.
MG: We’ve also hung onto tracks, we’ve been protective. We haven’t put them on to as many compilations as possible – and now it’s great because we can release our own collection.
Deep House Chronicles G Family – Break the Silence is out now on Soul Candi Records.