Eli Escobar: “My new single [‘Chaka Khan’] is coming out soon and my second album is finished. They’re both coming out on Classic. Now that that’s done I don’t want to produce anything for a couple of months, I want to take a break, give my ears a rest. Truth is though, I told myself that two days ago and I’ve already made two new songs since then.”
Eli Escobar is the quintessential New York City DJ. A devoted collector, explorer and connoisseur of music from hip-hop roots, he is hugely well-respected in the New York club circuit after over a decade of mutual love for the scene. Usually found hunched over the decks at some jumping club on a Brooklyn backstreet, he also has production magic at his fingertips and is poised to unleash his sophomore album Happiness on the world – with a little help from his friends at Classic.
As a DJ and producer Eli Escobar references the golden age of disco. While growing up in Manhattan, Eli soaked up the sounds of New York’s clubbing epicentre and this has strongly informed his take on dance music and the shape of this album. Eli became a regular on the New York scene, working for a time in a record store and releasing his own productions.
Classic’s head was turned by his 2014 debut album Up All Night and as a result Eli is now a priority artist for the label. With Classic’s help he was enlisted as a remixer on two high profile tracks on Strictly Rhythm, Gershon Jackson’s ‘Take It Easy’ and Tim Deluxe’s ‘JAS’ at the beginning of 2016. His Phreeky EP of two original tracks and the lead single from Happiness called ‘Chaka Khan’ captivated underground house music’s most discerning audiences, building anticipation for the album.
Happiness continues from where Up All Night left off – championing the disco cut-up ethos from lesser known staples. Eli also enlists the legendary Vanessa Daou, who featured on the classic Danny Tenaglia and Peter Daou track ‘Surrender Yourself’. Moving from straight-up house party jams such as the title track, ‘Happiness Pt 2’ into raw Chicago work-outs like ‘Chaka Khan’, Mood II Swing-inspired deepness such as ‘Winters Anthem’ and ‘I Need U’, wrapping it all up with some straight disco fillers ‘Phreeky’ and ‘Can’t Stop Dancing’.
This summer marks a key moment for Eli as he pushes through from the New York underground into the global dance music spotlight. With several big dates this summer in Ibiza, London and at the Defected Croatia festival, Happiness solidifies Eli Escobar’s place as more than a “one to watch” producer, this will take him into the realms of being a torch bearer for a new generation of underground dance acts.
Vinyl release: 15 July 2016 (Available now on Juno)
Digital release: 16 September 2016
Eli Escobar – ‘Happiness’ Tracklist:
1. Happiness Pt. 2
2. I Need U
3. In The Dark (Feat. Nomi Ruiz)
4. Chaka Khan
5. Miss My Luv
6. Winter’s Anthem
7. Happiness Reprise
8. Phreeky (Feat. Vanessa Daou & Nomi Ruiz)
9. Can’t Stop Dancing feat. Nomi Ruiz
10. 4 Luv (Feat. Nomi Ruiz)