There’s a story behind every track. Or at least the good ones. Listening Room is a regular feature devoted to discovering new House Music and learning the story behind the tracks from their creators.

It’s no secret that Victor Simonelli is a 5 Magazine favorite. Not only did he grace our 8 year anniversary party, he has also played for us at numerous WMC events and just recently over the summer at Smartbar. His productions stay timeless and his work ethic should be in a handbook how-to.

The good news is that he is about to release a track, “Having You” with one of Chicago’s own royalty: Ten City’s Byron Stingily. The Simonelli-Mack Production (out in promo release today on Traxsource) has been in the works for a while, but what is really fascinating about this song is the incredible amount of time and preparation behind it.

Victor Simonelli, Kelly Mack, Byron Stingily and EL at Island Studio Chicago
Victor Simonelli, Kelly Mack, Byron Stingily and EL at Island Studio Chicago

 

I remember when you came here in the summer (2014) to work with Byron, you got to play for us at Smartbar with Miguel Migs! Double treat! Are you and Byron long time friends?

Yes , Byron and I are long time friends. We have talked about working together for some time.

 

It’s funny because nowadays when people want to work on a track together they just do everything online. You did it old school, came all the way here, got a recording studio, the works! Why did you choose to do it this way, I imagine it can be costly, but somehow more rewarding.

One of the first things I learned as an intern at Shakedown Sounds was it is so important for the artist to feel comfortable in the studio. First question for Byron was, “Where would you be most comfortable recording?” Island Studio Chicago was his answer, so this is where we recorded.

I think taking in the atmosphere and environment all contribute. We have Chicago, N.J., N.Y., Florida, London (UK) and Leeds (UK) all in this production.

 

You have no idea how wonderful it is to hear uplifting songs like this. It’s always been my wish that Gospel-influenced tracks would come back with a vengeance, because we really need it now. What were some of the ideas that led to the making of this song?

[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″] “I have been singing it in my mind for almost 30 years, and Sam has for almost 40 years. Most of the live musicians on it were recorded in 1977.” [/quote]

I met the owner of Spectrum Studio in New Jersey – his name was Cy – and Cy asked me to stay there as assistant engineer and tape operator. I was there often, and one of the clients at the studio was Sam Mack. As I assisted in Sam’s sessions, we got to know one another better. One of the more well known projects that Sam (on vocals) worked on was 1982’s “Body Mechanic” by Quadrant Six, though he had been recording music since the mid-’70s.

Sam’s Son is Kelly Mack, and we all started spending more time together in and out of the studio and became close friends. Sam played me various demos he had been working on, and one song which he wrote (lyrics to his wife) in 1977, was titled “Having You.” This instantly stood out to me, and from the moment I heard it, I knew it was something that must be completed and released. I have been singing it in my mind for almost 30 years, and Sam has for almost 40 years. Most of the live musicians on it were recorded in 1977, and over the last three decades we have bounced ideas around for it. With time, thought and consideration, it became clear that Byron would be perfect for “Having You.”

Around 2011 or so we presented the idea to Byron and after some time working out schedules and details, we arranged to record Byron in Chicago. Kelly, Byron, EL (background vocals) and I went to Island Studio in Chicago in the summer of 2014 and got it done. After recording vocals in Chicago, Kelly, Sam and I have been working on it, completing it now.

 

Are there live performances planned or the song hopefully? Maybe Victor returns to Chicago?

Yes, premiering at WMC 2015 in Miami, details to be announced soon. And yes, I love Chicago! Brooklyn, N.Y. is where I come from, but I really do feel at home in Chicago.

 

Do you already have people in mind to do the remixes? Also which label of yours do you plan to release it on? For those who don’t know, can you give us a rundown again of all the labels you run?

It is being released on Bassline Records. We’re considering many for remixes now! All of my labels (part of VJS Prod Label Group) are Bassline Records, West Side Records, Stellar Records, Unkwn Rec, Brooklyn Trax and Big Big Trax.

“Having You” by Byron Stingily was released as PROMO ONLY today on Traxsource (just in time for WMC 2015); complete initial release to be June 2015.



Having You
Artist: Byron Stingily
Produced, Mixed, Arranged, and Edited by
Victor Simonelli, Kelly Mack, Sam Mack
for VJS Prod & Kelgi Prod
(A Simonelli – Mack Production)
Writer: S. Mack (BMI)
Pubslishers: Kelgi Music and Simonelli Music
Lead Vocals by Byron Stingily
Background Vocals by EL Thorten, Sam Mack, Byron Stingily
Guitar by Kenneth Pierce
Sax by Eric Allen
Keys and additional Guitar by Albert Aviles
Percussion by Ron Aviles
Bass by Sam Mack and Kelly Mack
Live Drums by Donald Dean
Live Musicians recorded at If Walls Could Talk Studio – Passaic N.J. USA
Vocals recorded at Island recording Studio – Chicago Illinois USA Recording Engineer Elliot Ransel
Mixed at Kelgi Music studio Tampa Florida USA and Vibe Studio Ft Myers Florida USA
Mix Engineers Kelly Mack and Frank Gillis
Additional EQs by Jonny Miller at J Miller Studio London UK
Mastered by Scott Lees at the Penthouse Suite Leeds UK
Cover artwork by Fabio Giunta
Executive Producers: VJS Prod & Kelgi Prod