Foto: Press/Tevo Howard (Tevo Howard)
Having been in the game for almost three decades now, Tevo Howard remained modest and still wants to push boundaries. Last year, the veteran producer and DJ initiated The Gordon Lecture Series, for which he invites DJs from all kinds of backgrounds to sit down with him in Berlin to talk about what they have always wanted to talk about but never could. We caught up with Howard to talk about the ideas that inform The Gordon Lecture Series, which Groove proudly presents. You can watch the first episode after our interview with Howard. The date of the next installment featuring Jus-Ed will be announced in due time.
How did the idea of the Gordon Lecture Series about?
First, thank you, Groove, for supporting Tevo Howard Recordings and presenting The Gordon Lecture Series! It is a great honor to be in Berlin and presented by Groove in this electronic music discussion. Second, The idea came from a desire to promote awareness within popular culture by providing a forward thinking platform that would address topics from the production and turntableism standpoint. I tell people that when I first started producing audio, I spent between 8 and 15 hour shifts in front of the mixing board working for years only leaving home for coffee breaks. I had two reasons for it: I was angry and in love. So, the determination for success was high with long hours. All the same I had a normal anger at the world and all the fed up concepts that one can derive from nearly 10 years of university study. Aside from being passionately in love with music, I knew in my heart that I was no smarter of a human being than the kind Indian woman who owned the corner store down the street and never went to high school, yet could tell you that one thing that helps you throughout the rest of your life. The anger and passion is easily heard in my early recordings back then. The lecture series follows that same line of thought and is a voice to reach hearts that can be clouded by fame and glamour, and to inform the actual content of producers and DJs: what makes them them.
What is your concept for the series? Why for example do you let your guests decide on which questions they want to be asked?
As DJs and producers are often interviewed, for me it is interesting to hear them answer questions in an interview of things that they always wanted to say, but have never been asked. It’s an opportunity to tell an audience something that they personally have been waiting to be asked.
What is important for you in terms of curation? What kind of guests do you want to have at the Gordon Lecture Series?
I would like to get a full range, from commercial and underground DJs and producers that are pushing forward in the electronic music and sound movement.
While video-based formats like Boiler Room have become quite popular, talks and lectures have not yet reached the same level of popularity. Do you think we need to talk more about what’s going on in the music scene instead of just listening to the music? If so, which topics do you consider to be the most important now and in the immediate future?
There have been many times where I’ve arrived at clubs and people complain that the crowd knows nothing about the DJ or the music that’s playing there. Most of the complaint, which I can understand, is about the immature behavior that comes with going out without an intellectual view of some of the most brilliant turntableism in the world. All the same, much like an older Indian woman can tell you those few words that you need in your life more than any university professor, those same know-nothings who don’t know who the DJ is at a given club might be dedicated to music for life or a future DJ if they’re simply informed. The Gordon Lecture Series is in many ways about supplying the informative medium that will offer what producers and DJs are underneath and what makes them brilliant in turntableism and music.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what you have planned for the series?
The well honored Jus-Ed is the second guest on the show, to be filmed shortly, and I’m very much looking forward to sitting with him. I would as well be offering a few of the Chicago and Detroit great producers for the show, along side some Techno artists from Europe, and Berlin. That’s just the start.
Last but not least, what have you been up to lately – and what can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently writing a modern romance film called VANITY and am expecting to finish the script in the coming months. I would be appearing as an actor in the film, but I’m not sure if that will be a long or short role. I am pondering a return to law school as well. All and all, I do seem to follow my heart, and I may just spend the next coming years on the bass guitar locked in a room somewhere with my kitten Gwendolyn: she’s great company. It is nice to find this stage in my life as open, nonetheless.
The Gordon Lecture Series
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