Jake Cusack has been a Dance music lover for longer than many.
With a big history in the scene spanning more than two decades, he has enlightened audiences to his sound too many times to count, and has impressed industry heavyweights with his own productions along the way. 2018 has seen a resurgence in Cusack’s work, and he is working hard to get his new label Funkdog Records off the ground, which promises to showcase up and coming artists in the Deep House and Tech House scene to gain them exposure. We caught up with Jake to learn more about what he does and what we can expect form him in the future.
T.H.E – Hey, how are you? How’s everything going at the moment?
Jake Cusack – Hello, I am mighty good thank you, all is going very well at the moment! Things are coming together in the studio and our label is really starting to take off, plus the sun is shining so life is good!
T.H.E – Where do you call home?
Jake Cusack – I have lived in London for the past 20 years, but I am originally from Wales.
T.H.E – How did you start off in the Dance music scene, and when?
Jake Cusack – Many, many moons ago! I still have the flyer to my first rave, it was at Cliro court and the year was 1992 and it didn’t stop from there. I was totally hooked with my first set of decks at the age of 14 and I never looked back. You would always find me at the Hippo club in Cardiff, which then started to be Lakota’s in Bristol or One love in Swindon, then moved to London and on to Gallery and Trade and started to build my own studio! I had my first release soon after moving to London and then got signed to 12inch Thumpers and FreshDJ’s DJ agency, which led on to appearances at Sundissentail and God Kitchen, also getting to play my own music across the globe.
T.H.E – What makes your sound unique – and how would you describe it?
Jake Cusack – My sound is all about the groove and percussion, and I love using intricate percussion. The groove must move you and with a deep bass, with a bit of tech thrown in, is how I would describe my sound! If I had to label it, it would fall under the Deep Tech\Tech House genre of House music.
T.H.E – Who were your influences growing up?
Jake Cusack – Tony De Vit was one of my main influences. One of the reasons I moved to London was to see Tony more often, and I moved into a house in Kings Cross so I could be close to Turnmills. Tall Paul was another main influence; what a talented chap he is. I have also had the privilege to play with a lot of my idols including Frankie Knuckles, Rachel Auburn, Ian M and Tidy Boys. I would always take a copy of one of their records and get them to sign it for me.
T.H.E – What have been your favourite moments in your career so far?
Jake Cusack – Playing at Tony De Vits memorial party in ’99. It was such a huge loss to the Dance scene at the time but having the privilege to be able to play at his memorial was a great honour. There have been so many moments through my journey, I used to write a track then go down to the music house in Holloway road and get it pressed onto a dubplate so that I could play it out that night. Playing your own music and watching people dance always has and always will be my favourite moment, but the one party that sticks out is playing at Brixton Academy; what a crowd, and it still gives my goose bumps every time I think about it.
T.H.E – And what’s your ultimate career dream?
Jake Cusack – To play at Glastonbury in one of the dance tents. So many times I have been parked in one of those tents and I have always dreamed of playing there!
T.H.E – Can you tell us about any upcoming releases and projects you’ve got lined up?
Jake Cusack – Certainly, my latest EP is currently set to be out on general release the 18th of this month, and I am currently focusing on my label Funkdog records. We have started to look for other talents to bring on board as part of the strategy for this year and we have started to work on the half year Album Sampler!
T.H.E – Who are your biggest inspirations in the current scene?
Jake Cusack – David San, Josh Butler, Matthias Tanzmann, David Berrie, Secondity, George Smeddles. I am loving everything these guys are doing at the moment.
T.H.E – Can you tell us something not many people know about Jake Cusack?
Jake Cusack – I used to be a part of 12inch Thumpers in the vinyl days and also a Trip Hop band called Skylinerz. Away from music I used to run marathons and take part in Ironmen endurance races. One outing was me playing the last set at Sundissentail at 6am and then heading for a triathlon race straight after, I won the race and had to wait for my medal and when my name was called I was sleeping at the back of the arena!
T.H.E – Anything to add, or any shout outs?
Jake Cusack – Yes! A big shout out to Scott Kerr and JV, two of Wales finest DJ’s and friends. if it wasn’t for them I would have never kept on going. Plus a mention to all the people who support my weekly sessions, I get some great feedback week in week out and everyone who supports me definitely deserves a big shout out!