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BIOGRAPHYOne of the pioneering DJs and producers of house music, Tony Humphries' brand of uptempo soul has influenced and entertained audiences across the globe. Born in Brooklyn in 1957, Tony started collecting records at the age of ten and joined a DJ club while attending Manhattan College. After graduating, he took a job in the editorial department of New York's Daily News. A subsequent strike at the paper in the early 80s halted his career. But Tony never looked back on journalism. In July of 1981, producer Shep Pettibone asked Tony for a mix tape after hearing him spin at Club Tribeca in Manhattan. Pettibone used the tape to fill air time for a no show DJ at New York City's KISS-FM radio station. This lead to a weekly mix session, where Tony was given creative control to work on his style of music.
The British Press named it garage, after the infamous night club the Paradise Garage in New York City. The term encompassed a wide range of soulful dance music that was being played by the Garage's resident jock, Larry Levan. Tinged with raw gospel vocals and melodic jazz and funk instrumentation, the music took crowds on uplifting journeys to sonic bliss.
In 1982, while still holding down his mix show on KISS, Tony began his residency at Newark, New Jersey's Club Zanzibar. Under the influence of resident DJ Larry Patterson, Tony began a tenure that would last eight years. During this time, he began producing and exposing new artists to a wider audience.
Working with everyone from Chaka Khan to Donna Summer to the Jungle Brothers and Queen Latifah, Tony became a sought after studio magician, scoring hits like "Juicy Fruit" for Mtume. Up and coming artists constantly name checked him as an influence in their work. November of 1990 brought a tearful end to Tony's residency at Club Zanzibar. But with it came different opportunities in Europe and at home. In January of 1993, Tony accepted an offer to become the resident jock at London's famed club the Ministry of Sound and produce for its label. His sound stretched to Italy, as he gained a residency at the club Echoes in Rimini.
During this hectic touring and production schedule, Tony began DJing on New York City's Hot 97. And a few yars later, he would form form his own production company and DJ community. While maintaining residencies in Europe, Tony ran the operation out of New Jersey. Over the years he's done remixes and production work for the likes of the Sugarcubes, Deee-Lite, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, and Boy George among others. His mix CDs have garnered critical praise, including his work for Strictly Rhythm, Tribal U.K., and 2003's "Choice: A Collection of Classics" on the Azuli label. Tony presently still tours Europe, Asia, and the United States, continuing to delight his core fan base while gaining new devotees. He has played along side some of the biggest names in dance music, including Louie Vega, Kenny "Dope" Gonzales, Tedd Paterson, David Morales, Francois K., and other artists he's supported along the way.
In 2004, with the introduction of a new label, Tony Records, the legendary producer and DJ continues to challenge himself by taking different directions in the music he helped to spawn.