A San Diego legend, Lavelle Dupree has been blowing up dancefloors for over 20 years. Sharing the stage with such greats as Carl Cox, Chus and Ceballos, Robbie Rivera, Kaskade and Roger Sanchez, his previous releases have landed on Farris Wheel, Twisted Funk and many more over the course of his illustrious career.
His latest single Affection takes listeners on a rhythmic journey, intertwining a hypnotic tribal soundscape with seductive vocals and punchy drums with intoxicating results.
Thanks for talking to us Lavelle. Has it been a positive 2023 for you so far?
My pleasure thanks for having me! Yes 2023 has been very positive. Started a label called No Ones Safe Recordings and I’ve had several of my releases chart on streaming and downloading platforms.
What’s your earliest memory involving music?
I love dancing especially when I was a child. At the age 13 I was break dancing for Pepsi and by 18 I was playing records.
Who were your biggest musical inspirations growing up?
Growing up I loved listening New Edition, Michael Jackson, Beastie Boys, Nirvana and Pearl Jam but guys like Donald Glaude, Spun and Jeno & Garth inspired me to play records.
Tell us about the San Diego scene you’ve been a part of for many years – how did your location inform your roots as a musician?
The San Diego scene is awesome! Alot of big artists come here to do shows and some of the local talent is starting to be recognized internationally. – Growing up in Seattle where I was first introduced to the rave scene the sound more San Francisco style of house music but when I started my professional dj/producer career I was living in San Diego and it was all about hard house which I fell in love with however it was much more intense and faster then what I was use to.
When did you know you wanted to make music? And what were your first steps in trying to make it happen?
Making music was an evolution of djing. When I started most of the people playing the music and rocking the party’s weren’t making the music but as time passed that changed and if you wanted to stay involved in the dance music you had to evolve with it. – My first step to becoming a producer was get Ableton Live. We had to figure out a lot of stuff on our own because YouTube was stacked with so much production info.
Have you had any ‘pinch yourself’ moments in your career to date?
Yes I’ve had a few pinch myself moments. Once I playing in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel pool for Rehab and there’s 5 thousands people at the pool all splash water at the same time, from the dj booth you can see a ray of water above all these people and I was like woooow this is a party! I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences djing I’ve been playing music professionally since 2000 and played on every continent but Africa… I’ve been blessed!
You’re known for your energy behind the decks – is the performance aspect of DJing something you place a lot of importance on?
Yes I believe energy of the djing is important! You can’t expect people to get excited about your music if your not excited about it. I believe a professional is someone who does something difficult and makes it look easy while having fun doing it.
Your last release lands on Unlearn – how did you hook up with the label for that?
I’ve known Doc Brown for a very long time and he’s one of my favorite people on the planet! This is my second release on the label. My first was a remix I did with Freshcobar of Lizzy Curious and Doc Browns song One Day which did well for us and now my single Affection with hot remix from Francis Davila.
What do you have in the pipeline for the rest of 2023?
I still have a couple of releases coming out this year on my label with Freshcobar which I’m really excited about.
What final message would you like to leave for our readers and your fans?
First I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read my interview and second to all my fans dream big, don’t give up on your dream and don’t worry about what others are doing just focus on being the best version of yourself.