In the stratosphere of legendary DJ’s, Jonathan Peters is one of the names that is instantly recognizable. Emerging from New York City’s Sound Factory, Peters has gone on to craft stellar dance music moments, including his iconic remix of Whitney Houston’s “Your Love Is My Love” and breaking worldwide dance tracks for brand new artists like Jessica Folker and Sylver Logan Sharp. As Peters prepares for a double dose of dance floor at HQ2 Beachclub and Nightclub at Ocean Casino Resort, we caught up with him for an exclusive conversation. I got to discuss his Sound Factory beginnings, the life changing Whitney track, and what the future may hold.
Michael Cook: How did an East Coast guy become one of the most recognizable names in the DJ business? What one moment can you pinpoint that made you realize this would be the career path you wanted to follow?
Jonathan Peters: I would say putting in those years being a DJ when it wasn’t popular (or profitable). That was for the first fifteen years and that whole fifteen years feels like one big moment – seeing everyone smiling and enjoying themselves really made it clear for me. I used to carry five crates of records up five flights of stairs at five am; I know it wasn’t that moment! (laughs)
MC: Who are some of the people you look at as your biggest musical influences that helped craft your own sound?
JP: I was always a Sound Factory kid, so first Frankie (Knuckles) and then Junior (Vasquez). Before I played at Sound Factory I was on that dance floor.. some of the best times.
Michael Cook: What can the fans expect from you & Oscar G on August 28th @ the HQ2 Beachclub? This ‘Clash of the Titans’ is one not to be missed. How does it feel to be returning to the booth and sharing it with someone like Oscar?
JP: It’s going to be a Classics party, so they can expect classics, but also good vibes because after the last party with Oscar it’s just good vibes in the booth he’s a good dude and gives off a great energy. A pleasure to share the booth with him…
MC: The Sound Factory was a legendary space and a legendary time for you; what do you remember the most about it and what have you taken from that time that helped shape your career?
JP: The whole experience itself; there were so many factors that made it great. Seeing it all come together week after week and work was something special. Also, working with a guy like Richard Grant was a once in a lifetime experience. Another takeaway is that I now own the Soundfactory name and I am honored to respect and carry on its legacy.
MC: So many still recall your Whitney Houston “My Love Is Your Love” remix as the moment they fell in love with a Jonathan Peters remix, and then dove into the rest of your catalog? What are your memories of that mix? You loved Whitney so much you returned to mix ‘Same Script, Different Cast’ as well, (with Tony Collucio) which was massively acclaimed as well.
JP: I remember listening to that album and when I heard that record, I knew that it was the one. I actually went after that mix, I knew I had to make it happen. After I did it, a year later it started to be played on Z100 and my life changed.
MC: Whether Jessica Folker or Sylver Logan Sharp, you have the ability to take a stunning vocalist and make dance floor magic. What is it about certain artists that you hear that you somehow know will trans late so well onto the dance floor?
JP: I look for amazing singers combined with great songs and I go from there. They don’t always translate, but I have a weekly live stream now every Saturday and I get to test what works and what doesn’t all the time just like the old days. Or sometimes I’ll maybe think something didn’t work and the fans love it; all about finding and creating that magic. Music is an art form, for me it’s not about “oh this one or that one is playing my records” it’s about my fans and playing these records and creating these moments for them.
MC: What is left that Jonathan Peters wants to accomplish? Any bucket list moments left to achieve?
JP: Having longevity in this business and wonderful fans who support me already feels like the ultimate accomplishment. If I could just continue doing what I do now like I have been for the last thirty years, what more could I ask for? Although, my little girl (who’s five) told me she wants me to teach her to DJ when she’s 6, so that’s got me thinking (laughs)!
MC: When does Jonathan Peters feel his most authentic?
JP: I always feel authentic because I keep it real and don’t follow anybody. I have my own style the way I perform music and love me or hate me I do my own thing…and I feel very blessed to do it.
Catch Jonathan Peters at HQ2 Beachclub for ‘Clash of The Titans’ with Oscar G (tickets available here) and stick around for Jonathan Peters spinning ‘Classics’ at HQ2 Nightclub (tickets available here)
Follow Jonathan Peters on Instagram