Classics: Alicia Keys – Diary (Quentin Harris Remix) (KYS Records)
Detroit native Quentin Harris givin’ a nice classy House feel to Alicia Keys‘ R&B/Soul classic ‘The Diary’ featuring Tony! Toni! Toné! on backing vocals. This while adding the basic elements that contributed establishing his own signature along with time. In other words, some lush keys over a bouncing syncopated beat. All in all enhancing the emotion of the singer’s sultry vocal performance. The whole comin’ from an unofficial EP featuring extra remixes equally worth the listen. From Alix Alvarez‘s to DJ Spen & Karizma. Not to mention Jay-J & Chris Lum.
“Passionate about my work, in love with my family and dedicated to spreading light. It’s contagious!” The lady states on her Twitter page, most likely sayin’ it all…
– Born in Manhattan, NYC, Alicia Keys heavily studied music from an early age. Eventually signing a record deal with Columbia Records which she broke because of unceasing changes in the label at the time.
She would get to fame along with Clive Davis who signed her on his newly formed J Records label. Unsurprisingly, the success from this association happened to be instantaneous. With Keys debut-album, ‘Songs In A Minor’ providing her with her first #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 by the likes of ‘Fallin” back in 2001. An album which sold over 12 millions copies worldwide. Getting her to earn 5 Grammy Awards the year after…
Taken from her second album – ‘The Diary Of Alicia Keys’, ‘The Diary’ which featured Tony! Toni! Toné gave her first and so far only—chart-topper on the Hot Dance Club Play in late 2004, as remixed by Hani. Then Quentin Harris would most likely give it an awesome rework too. This as a part of an unofficial EP. A package which featured other goodies such as ‘Feelin Me Feelin You’, ‘You Don’t Know My Name’ and ‘Troubles’. She would soon after deliver a live set (‘Unplugged). Eventually becoming the first female artist to come with an ‘MTV Unplugged’ album debuting at number one.
Her third album, ‘As I Am’ saw the light in 2007. Including the Hot 100 #1 single “No One”, it sold 5 million copies worldwide. Thus earning an extra three Grammy Awards. Meanwhile its follow up – ‘The Element Of Freedom’ – got her for the very first time at #1 position in the U.K. charts in 2009. And if it wasn’t enough that same year saw her collaborating with producer Jay Z on ‘Empire State Of Mind’. Featuring on the latter’s ‘The Blueprint 3’ album, it won the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2010.
Another 2 years on, and ‘Girl On Fire’ get her back into the national charts, with thanks to its title track. And the success to keep on the year after with the release of her second live album, ‘VH1 Storytellers’. With the success story continuing back in 2016 with the release of ‘HERE’ which became her seventh R&B/Hip-Hop chart topping album.
– The first time I came to cross the path of Quentin Harris was at some Underground party in Miami, FL during the Winter Music Conference. I think it was Slaag Records doin’ it in association with some other label. The floor was packed and then, behind the decks, a DJ was litteraly magnetising the crowd with the music he was playing. Enough to tickle my curiosity and try to get to know more about him.
A native of Detroit, MI, Quentin Harris unsurprisingly first got into R&B and Hip-Hop. With this being for much in his obsession for the groove. Thus quoting luminaries like Prince, Parliament/Funkadelic, James Brown as definitive references.
The unique gift he has as a DJ is something one definitely can find in the music he’s been producing or remixing. Meanwhile comin’ up with an instantly identifiable even though he’s never been into willin’ to establish a formula. And, by that, riskin’ to feel under the threat of being emprisoned.
The first traces we can find of him bring us back to 2003 and his seminal remix of Donnie‘s ‘Cloud 9’. Thus opening an impressive series of one of a kind reworks. From Sting‘s ‘Send Your Love’ to Lathun feat. India Arie‘s ‘When Love Came In’. Eventually boosting Patti LaBelle‘s ‘New Day’ and Alicia Key‘s ‘Diary’. If not Jill Scott‘s ‘Golden’ or Beyoncé‘s ‘Déja Vu’ among others. Meanwhile 2004 would see him delivering his first production. This while joinin’ forces with Cordell McClary on ‘Traveling’ for ‘Space Kat Records.
From then, Harris established his name among the most in-demand ones. Soon after strenghtening his position on ‘Always’, featuring Robert Owens. But also retouching ‘Spritual Life’ for Steal Vybe featuring Rich Medina. Then sharing the bill with Monique Bingham on the socially conscious ‘Poor People’ in 2006. Not to mention the delivery of his debut-album – ‘No Politics’ – on Japanese label Canyon International.
The following year seeing him jamming along with the one and only Margaret Grace on ‘My Joy’. Then reworking the vibrant ‘We Are Lonely’ for Studio Apartment in 2008 and going progressive along with Jennifer Hudson on the energetic ‘Spotlight’. This before sharing the bill with Ultra Naté on ‘Give It 2 U’ and releasing his second album by the likes of ‘Sac•ri•fice’ two years later.
More recently, he joined David Morales as a member of Def Mix. Eventually releasing the firing ‘Stronger’ featuring Jason Walker on the label. Meanwhile 2017 saw him makin’ his debut as Black Stereo Faith along with Ultra Naté with a self-titled album.