Joseph Mercado, formerly known as DJ Dimension and one half of the MegaMen productions, founded Next Dimension Music back in 2005. But his musical journey started back in 1988 in clubs such as Tunnel or Sound Factory in New York City where he fell in love with electronic music we are used to call "House". Early in the 90's, he began to promote his own parties, DJ'ed in various clubs and was a guest DJ on WNYU's "The Candy Store".
In 1997 he started producing and soon after he collaborates with William Rosario to form the MegaMen productions (their first project "Hand's up (what?)" under the alias Ghetto Stylez was released by Strictly Rhythm back in 1998). Since then, various productions, remixes and compilations followed.
This brings us to mid 2005 when he moved on to form Next Dimension Music which now celebrates its fourth birthday with the 200th release specially selected to reflect the overall sound of next dimension and its artists – the past, the present and the future.
Question: Would you mind having a few words as an introduction to whom you are, and where you're from?
Answer: First, hello to everyone out there in Spirit of House land its an honour to be here…
I was born in the Bronx NYC, raised up in Spanish Harlem, lived in Queens for a while and currently reside in Arizona.
Question: What are your influences and heroes (producer/artist/musician…)?
Answer: My original influences were the electronic sounds of the 80's everything from House, Hip Hop, Pop and Rock during those times there were no barriers… all styles of music were enjoyed by many styles of people. I would say my House Music hero was early Todd Terry, records like "Bango", "Can You Feel It", remixes like "I'll House You" and "Missing You" captured me during that era. In 2002 it was a dream come true to DJ along side Todd Terry in front of a jam-packed Centro Fly in NYC… For some time producers like Armand Van Helden, Daft Punk, Kenny Dope as well as people that I became close friends with like Mood 2 Swing, Henry Maldonado and William Rosario were able to hit the spot…. I always admire producers who are willing to push the envelope and reach for the future….
Question: Where do you find ideas and inspiration for your projects/productions?
Answer: These days my inspiration comes from the producers and artists on the label, some days I am taken back by all the great sounds that I am fortunate to listen to. There are so many talented folks out there and I feel it's a blessing to be able to connect and collaborate with these producers and artists.
Question: What where the motives for launching Next Dimension Music?
Answer: next dimension music was born during the mid 90's as my music production name, a spin off from my old DJ name… DJ Dimension. I became very interested in the concept of the "mp3", I imagined about how this would effect the music industry and benefit the future of the music business for indie artists and producers worldwide. In early 2005 my wife Tameka and I sat down, smashed up our ideas, drew up a proposal then submitted it to Beatport. Shortly there after we were contacted by Tom Hoch (one of the head honchos at Beatport) and offered a direct deal to supply catalogue and sell downloads! The original intention was to release my own material without the hassle of a record label but before I knew it demos began to hit my email box and soon enough what we call the "label free" record label was born, the beginning to our new age in sound, "next dimension music"… art.music.culture.faith.life.love.
Question: How would you best describe/characterize the label?
Answer: next dimension music is best described as a platform for artists and producers to explore a new frontier. It's refreshing to provide an opportunity to up and coming talent and watch them blossom. Personally I try my best to stay connected to the producers on the label, developing strong and long lasting relationships in music. I am very happy to know that next dimension music has been a springboard for many producers to produce on larger labels, start there own labels or simply sharing their talents. Ever evolving, growing, travelling throughout space and time capturing the soul of sound of the lounge or the dance floor and sharing it with you is how I can characterize next dimension music.
Question: What new frontiers will the label explore in the future?
Answer: We are looking to expand next dimension music as a "brand", we have recently touched on building in this direction by running tests, analysing results and going back to the drawing board … We are currently developing a strong global network that will help us secure next dimension as a recognized brand in the music industry.
Question: Next Dimension Music is a digital only label. Did you never think of doing vinyl, for example limited collector releases?
Answer: We have released one CD so far entitled "Just Listen" featuring various producers from next dimension music, this turned out to be quite a learning curve. Selling a CD is a totally different animal than selling digital downloads. If I were to do it again it would be for the next dimension's 5-year anniversary, possibly a massive limited edition double CD release…
Question: As a digital only label, you must be concerned of all the illegal file sharing going on which likely affects sales. What are your thoughts on this?
Answer: There will always be a way for someone to get something for free… back in the day we recorded songs from the radio, then we burned CD's for one another… so I try my best to look at this as a twisted form of promotion. Its almost impossible to track down and conquer the pirates. Hopefully the industry can soon develop full proof technology to help prevent this type of robbery. Until then we need to stay focused and keep releasing those hot, quality sounds …
Question: 200 releases in four years means one every week. Given the amount of new releases each and every week, wouldn't it be wise to slow down the pace?
Answer: I admit during years 2 and 3 of the label we did over saturate, releasing all types of sounds from Deep House and Chill out / Lounge to Progressive House. This is the beauty of digital, it's easier to experiment with releases and measure up the genres let the music run its course. During the summer of 2008 we made the decision to pull back on releases, cutting back to about 2 quality releases a month, focus on the overall sound and future of next dimension with various shades of deepness from techy grooves to lush soulful sounds.
Question: What can we expect from Joseph Mercado in the future?
Answer: Consistency … becoming "... Better, Faster, Stronger..."
Question: Your perception of the current situation of the music scene and the things which need to evolve:
Answer: I think things area pretty good the way they are, lets enjoy the moment and take some time to enjoy the talent before things evolve to fast and we miss out.
Question: What are you feelings about the music scene becoming a digital world?
Answer: The current "digital world" is about opening your mind to the unknown and unheard. Expanding beyond what we would usually listen and spin, reaching deeper into the sounds. This format gives us a chance to cultivate beyond the norm, pushing past your "favourite" producer and finally levelling out the playing field.
Question: Your 3 favourite all time songs:
Answer: hmmmmmmmmmm this is a tough one there are so many …. Ok here goes ….
"All I Do" Stevie Wonder (Always works the dance floor… you can feel the love!)
"You Don't Know Me" Armand Van Helden (Pure House Classic…electric when its dropped!)
Crap one more ……….ok… here goes !
"The Thong Song" Cisco… LOL !!! nooooo …. Ummm for real …..
"Lets Go" Fast Eddie (Don't You Want Some More !!!! This takes me back to the early Sound Factory days circa 1988)
I can probably add on 20 more you know ….
Question: Anything else you would like to share with us:
Answer: During these times of stress and hard times… follow your soul, listen to your spirit, love yourself and show compassion to others. Choose balance in life and everything will fall into its proper place...
I really would like to thank everyone who has supported next dimension and has shared the vision into the future. This journey has just begun but this is a wonderful place to be during this travel throughout the universe of sound. Peace & Blessings!!!