Hailing from Munich, Jerome Isma-Ae is one of the highest-selling, most successful Prog House DJ/producers of the last 3 years. He is reinventing and designing the sounds since the early years of EDM. Building, combining, releasing and holding on to a continuously sharp sound, fit for both timelessness and the current demands of the dancefloor society. German producer/DJ Jerome Isma-Ae sure kept himself busy over the past 15 years. But results are showing. With the characteristic Isma-Ae sound on his side, requested and praised by many, he's got the best weapon there is: the ability to stand out. Mind you, it's a weapon he won't hesitate to use.
Jerome:"I was in a musician elementary school, where I've been educated in playing several music instruments. At the age of 12, I played the bass in a metal band, around my 15th I started to program my first beats with a drum machine and 3 years later I released my first record on a German techno label called 'Delirium Records', and so on and so on. I'm never satisfied, but there is always an improvement from production to production." That's how the Isma-Ae story started. One essential fact is missing though, how and when did Jerome get in touch with that thing called dance? Jerome:"It was 1991, when we replaced our bands drummer by a drum machine." From that year on, EDM and the revolution it set forth were part of Jerome's everyday life.
The first few years of Jerome's career were all about exploring the different sides of music. A year after his first release, he teamed up with Marcel Krieg and gave birth to the Future Funk project, bringing a successful combination of house, disco, soul and funk. To Jerome, it's that well balanced blend of styles that makes the ride worthwhile. Nowadays, though most of his work is labeled 'progressive house', these influences can still be heard in his productions. Variety is the soul of pleasure, right? Jerome:" Well, you can't eat schnitzel every day I guess. Otherwise it gets boring."
A fine piece of German delicacy never hurt anyone, but we'd rather keep things versatile, yes. So how would Jerome describe the sound in his 'Smile When You Kill Me', 'Monkey Square' and other big tunes? Jerome:"Hotter than a porn star, stronger than a Lamborghini! My sound has been going through some changes in the last couple of years, but I've always kept my signature in productions and remixes, so everyone can hear right away where it's from."
Another example of the versatile producer that is Jerome, is his involvement with movie soundtracks and commercials. Projects for Audi, Marlboro and several other biggies, saw him opening up to the more commercial type of producing. You don't just end up working for big names like that, so how did he get into this business? Jerome:"Via friends working for advertising companies and another good friend who is a movie director. We made the soundtrack for his first movie together. I also added a few tracks for his latest movie 'Männerherzen', which is no. 1 in the
German cinema charts at the moment. The funny thing about this movie is that one of the leading role is about a music-producer who is banging many girls. And his name is Jerome, hehe. But of course, it's just a movie. Has nothing to do with the real life."
Despite the many projects he's doing, there's still not enough time to complete them all. Jerome:"At the moment there is not even enough time to accept every remix request. I just had to decline a job for a BMW advertisement . I should be an octopus, then I could work on many projects in the same time, or at least I'd be good food."
Over the past few years, aside from Future Funk and other projects, Jerome has been busy enough building his own catalogue of originals and remixes. Needless to say it's worked out for him. His remix of Nightcrawlers’ monsterhit ‘Push The Feeling On’ made it #1 in the U.S. Billboard Dance Charts in 2002, it was #1 in the German Dance Charts in 2004. Jerome’s dirty, hot remix of ‘Guru Josh Project- Infinity 2008’, one of that year’s biggest Dance anthems, made it #1 in the UK Club Chart. The single achieved gold status in Australia and Germany, it peaked at #1 on the
Dutch and French Singles Chart, and #3 on the UK Singles Chart. His inspirational, upfront releases such as ‘Rokit’ and ‘Phantom’ have graced the catalogues of every prominent label from Armada Music and Hope Records to Ministry Of Sound. His ‘Underwater Love’ was voted Best Chill Out Track for the Beatport Music Awards 2009. He’s one of the few DJ/producers with true crossover appeal, with his tracks being just as popular with Armin van Buuren and Markus Schulz as they are with Pete Tong and Hernan Cattaneo.
In 2009 alone, he's made remixes for the likes of Faithless, Above & Beyond, Paul van Dyk and Way Out West. And yes, he even gave Michael Jackson's 'Stranger in Moscow' a little proggy shake. Jerome:"For the progressive house / trance genre I am like what AMG is to Mercedes, or MTM is to Audi. I just make the original product more sporty, powerful and unique. You can call me a 'tracktuner', hehe."
Besides 'tracktuning' and producing one dancefloor cracker after another, Jerome spend his time well by setting up his own label, Jee Productions. Jerome:" I just wanted to do my own thing, without any influence from outside. It
works pretty good if I find the time to release something on it. The last release was '308', produced by Sebastian Krieg and me. The track is dedicated to the Ferrari 308.
His new single, 'Hold That Sucker Down', is out now on Armada Music imprint Pilot 6. Based on the early 90's hit by O.T. Quartet, Jerome hands in an intense remake of pure progressive delight. 'Hold That Sucker Down' is a fierce weapon on the dancefloor, peak-time and building tension from the very first, rumbling beat. Caned by number one DJ Armin van Buuren throughout the summer and chosen record of the week by UK greatnesses Above & Beyond, it's only a matter of time before 'Hold That Sucker Down' starts spreading like a feel-good virus. Jerome:"It sounds great, but I guess you knew that already, haha. The original production is made by Rollo, who is also the producer of Faithless. I'm a big fan of his work for a long time and it made me very proud when he recently asked me to remix
the new Faithless song." Besides remixes for Faithless, Jerome has plenty of other good stuff ahead. Jerome:"remixes...gigs around the world and a few original productions in the beginning of 2010. And of course I'm working on a follow up single of 'Smile When You Kill Me'.”