In a sea of so-so edits, endless swing and disco samples and prosaic hip-hop loops, a lot of us have been getting jaded with the Jacking House genre. But when Tony Saputo and Maurice Tamraz formed J Paul Getto in 2010 with the aid of X-Mix Productions’ Neil Petricon, we were given a glimmer of hope. With a growing body of work wherein each track is a guaranteed floor filler, J Paul Getto can now be crowned the new ministers of funk.
While researching your background, there were some references to a past with Swivel Hips?
Tony: Yes, I did two EPs under that name and there was a pretty good buzz around the tracks at that time. Support from DJ Dan, Armand and JFK from MSTRKRFT got them to a bigger audience, opening the doors to the J Paul Getto project.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″] It came up at dinner one night while our friend Neil was making fun of the fact we have no money. “You guys are like J Paul Getty, except the part about having money… You are J Paul Getto!” It stuck from that point. Aside from laughing for fifteen minutes, we loved the name. [/quote]
Tony you’re from Palermo and Maurice is from California… you’re both now based in Boston. Your partnership is fairly new and yet you’ve created this impressive body of work in such a short time. How exactly did all this happen?
Tony: I moved back and forth between Palermo and Boston for many years but ultimately have been living in the US for over ten years.
I met Maurice online around 2004-2005. He emailed me because I put out a record at the time with my old group Lost Daze. He’s a huge Armand fan and so am I so we clicked right away. We’ve been friends ever since and in the last two or three years we finally started working on music together.
Maurice still lives in Cali but comes to Boston for months at a time to work on projects.
Maurice: Actually, this whole time I thought it was Armin van Buuren!
And the name? How did you come up with that?
Maurice: It came up at dinner one night while our friend Neil was making fun of the fact we have no money. “You guys are like J Paul Getty, except the part about having money… You are J Paul Getto!” Obviously it stuck from that point. Aside from laughing for fifteen minutes, we loved the name right away.
What really made me stand up and take notice of you was the track “Imma Let You Know” – absolutely sickening. Would you say this was your “It” track?
Maurice: Fortunately, we have a few tracks that have pushed us in different directions and got us a lot of attention. “Imma Let You Know” is def one of them. “3000” is one that was completely unexpected. The biggest is probably “Paris Fried Chicken”. We actually have a vocal version that Christine Lucas did for us. We are finally releasing that version this Fall.
Boston is really interesting to me because even though I’ve been going there all my life, I have yet to go to one House party in the city. I guess I just wasn’t in the loop. What are some of the hot spots there and where do you guys go in Boston to get some musical uplift?
Tony: Boston is a very tough city for underground or “proper” House Music. There is very little happening except for the occasional booking in the Cambridge area. There is a lot of more commercial or what they call EDM artists coming here but not DJs from our world. I wish I could go out and get some inspiration around here! I am personally doing a gig at Underbar this Saturday playing some funky music. It doesn’t happen much locally so it should be a good show. Typically though. I’ll have to stick to listening to live sets on Soundcloud! I check out Phil Weeks live mixes on there… def our fav stuff to listen to.
Maurice: I don’t go out in Boston when I spend time there. I usually work in the studio, cook and go fishing or crawl out of bed.
Lately the term Jacking House (or funky House in Stompy terms) has been so oversaturated it seems like every male under 30 years old is trying to be the next superstar. You guys have risen above that and have shown us you have the talent and the chops to make very creative and danceable music. What’s the key?
Tony: Thanks for considering us above it all. We certainly don’t think of ourselves that way! We work very hard everyday and that’s the only way we know that things will start to move up for us. There are a lot of talented producers out there trying to get a piece of the pie. We are making music that we want to play at our shows and get people dancing. Simple but as creative as possible.
Maurice: I don’t think there really is a “key.” You just have to sit in the studio and whatever comes up, comes up. If you are not groovin’ to what you are making, then its probably not something people will dance to. Neil catches me “performing” the music as I make it.
I see that you have a track with Joey Negro! That’s quite a prestigious collaboration how did that come about?
Tony: Not a very exciting story… He simply contacted us for a remix at first and we’re very excited to work with him. He’s a legend to us. We have done two at this point and they have done very well. We are working on an EP with his label at the moment.
It’s only been about two years since the two of you have worked together. I’m going to throw the crystal ball question at you and ask you where you see House Music going in the next few years. Particularly your involvement in it. Where do you see the evolution of it?
Tony: Things always go in cycles in dance music as with other genres. Sometimes one type of sound seems to be the norm and everybody (including producers) jumps on that sound.
We’re doing exactly what we always wanted to do and we don’t pay attention to trends. Not gonna lie, though – it would be nice to see some fun dance music going back in the bigger clubs.
Maurice: I agree.
I saw you guys had played a couple of parties in Miami this past year. I’m bummed I missed your sets…
Maurice: Miami was a huge experience for us, DJ Mes really helped us and got us playing all his parties. We also closed out the X-Mix party with Todd Terry. That week was one of the most memorable of our lives to this point. Can’t wait to do it all over again.
You recently played in Chicago… Have you been here before and what were your thoughts about it? Where did you eat…?
Tony: I ended up having to do that on my own without Maurice. It was at Primary. That place has one of the nicest sound systems I’ve ever played on. I ate at Giordano’s and at Eggsperience for breakfast. Pretty good stuff!
With all your disco flavor if you could have lived in the ’70s would you trade it all in?
Tony: I was born in the ’70s!
Maurice: The stories I hear from Neil really trip me out. So yeah I’d love to. I’d love to live through the ’50s, ’60s ’70s and ’80s being I’m only 24.