DJ Barry Harris
Out DJ Barry Harris has been making people dance for more than fifteen years. Beginning with 'I Beg Your Pardon' (under the Kon Kan moniker) and continuing through his legendary remix partnership in Thunderpuss, Harris has long inspired many people to move to his music as a performer, a remixer and a DJ. Harris continues to be a force on the dance floor today, with his recent remix of the song 'All Things' from the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy television series. We recently spoke about that and other musical projects.
Gregg Shapiro: One of your first projects in the post-Thunderpuss era of your career is the remix of the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy theme song "All Things." What can you tell me about that track?
Barry Harris: Rachid (Wehbi) of Widelife was my production partner before Chris (Cox of Thunderpuss). He's like one of my best friends for the past ten, fifteen years. It was mostly to hook up with them (Widelife) and also I was hooked up with the original Queer Eye show from the beginning. I did some music and background music in the show itself. Rachid and Ian pushed for me to do a remix of 'All Things.' I was very familiar with the song from day one, before the show itself blew up.
GS: What have some of your other post-Thunderpuss career highlights been?
BH: I've kind of taken it a little easy, so far. Just concentrating mostly on the DJ-ing. I would say the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy thing at the moment. It's only been about six or seven months. That's a hard act to follow. Not that I'm trying to match it or anything. I'm just going down a different road.
GS: What other new or current projects are you most excited about?
BH: I've got a couple of things, but I can't really say right now (laughs).
GS: You also worked with Barnes on the track "(Welcome To My) Head." Do you think the connection you had with him was stronger due to the fact that you are both Canadian and that you are both queer artists?
BH: Yes, because I've known Barnes since around 1994. He wanted to work with me back then, but the timing wasn't really right. But we stayed friends, and then he moved here (to L.A.) and then I moved here and we reconnected again by accident in `98. There wasn't really anything that I had in mind that would be good for him and I didn't think the time was right to be using that kind of a vocal. But by the time I had the idea for '(Welcome To My) Head,' I was like, 'Yeah, I've got the track for you. We have to do this. We have to work together.'
GS: You also host the XM Satellite Radio program Massive Mix. What can you tell me about the show?
BH: The show is pretty eclectic. I can sometimes be moody. My latest direction (for the show) is that I'm going much more underground, instead of pop-py or crossover. I'm going a little more progressive and deeper. That's where my heart has always been. I'm enjoying that much more.
GS: Are there any new treats or surprises in store for those who are planning to come hear you spin?
BH: For the first six post-Thunderpuss months I was very into doing 'tribe-a-pellas' – taking well-known a cappella vocals and doing my own unique thing on top of really cool drum tracks. I do enjoy doing things like that and always have.