MFF Pod 124 Johnny D Banner




As the son of Eritrean refugees, Johannes Debese aka Johnny D became acquainted with a wide array of music styles from an early age, from Tigrinya, the Eritrean music of his heritage, to hip-hop, funk and soul. During the breakbeat-craze in the Rhein-Neckar delta he first came into contact with electronic music at the age of thirteen. Soon after this he decided to take to the turntables himself. His first electronic music sets at modest breakbeat events followed, and Johnny D quickly developed into a versatile artist, active in the Mannheim Collective. He met Ray Okpara in 1999 by the good grace of their mutual hip-hop interest. They would both later organize the Rajo-Music house parties together with Nick Curly and spin all at the Loft Club in Ludwigshafen.

Johnny D was also active in the Rhein-Neckar party scene as one of the co-founders (Ray Okpara, Federico Molinari, Nekes) of the Mannheim Zoo Club. The party quickly rose to wild popularity with its rotating line-up of national and international acts and local DJs.

Johnny D’s style continued to develop under the influence of minimal electronic music, prompting him to try his hand at producing. His musical versatility makes it difficult to define his style, but one can safely locate his music and vinyl selection somewhere between deep-house, minimal, and techno. The outcome of this spectrum of different sounds is his own, unique style which is arising itself on vinyl and affectionately arranged live acts. His first releases ‘Manipulation’ and ‘Gualia’ came out in June 2007 on Oslo Records, the label of his two old friends Federico Molinari and Nekes. So, another musical chapter was opened and Johnny continues to release music via the imprint.



Hello Johnny! How Are You? What do you have scheduled for today?
Hey Guys, Nice to be with you today. For today? Nothing special. Just dealing with the everyday stuff .

Please tell us a bit about your latest releases!
My latest EP, Night Clubbing, is the second EP that I dropped this year. It was published with AMA Records wich is also the label of my good old friend Ray Okpara. The EP should have been released way earlier but now im really glad that it happened, even though it was a bit late.

Which release was the one who gave you the most attention so far?
I would say “Orbitalife”. It was the EP that gave me my final breakthrough.

Tell us a bit about your upcoming releases! Is there anything special planned for 2015?
Im working a lot in the studio and concentrate a lot on producing new music. You can definetly expect 2 new Eps from me this year

As you are touring a lot, please tell us something about your experience around the globe. What is your favourite city or country and why?
You know I like travelling a lot, and being able to connect that with my music is really awesome. Since there are so many different spots and clubs it is really difficult to tell you which one of those is my favourite. But I have to say that its really fantastic that im able to travel around the world as a dj.

What was your funniest or craziest experience while touring?
That’s for adults only and I don’t think that should be mentioned here 😉

What were your TOP 5 gigs so far?
That’s tough to say. All of them are great, some more some less.

What are your top 5 tracks that are really working the dance floor in your sets at the moment?
That always depends on the club but I definitely have some favourites that I really like to play and most of the times work out pretty well.

Thank you for your time and this interesting interview!
Interview by Stefan

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1. The Sushi Club – Flunauticus (Johnny_D_Remix)
2. Johnny D – Kräuterlikör (Tramodysee Mix)
3. Johnny D – Detox
4. Losoul – Up to the Beach
5. Johnny D – Par-T-One
6. Glimpse – For Fleur ( Johnny D Remix)
7. Johnny D – Night Clubbing
8.Shur-I-Khan – Generations