Just a Memory An Interview With Iconic 90s House Artist, Mark Farina


Farina: Well, I’m doing a lot of production and traveling playing shows. I’m working on some new music, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.

Just a Memory: What’s the transition been like from being a full-time DJ to being an artist?

Farina: I’ve had to do it for awhile. It’s just that when I was doing Mushroom Jazz, it was just something that I could do at home so easily. I could sit at home and work on two tracks in one day. Now with all the other stuff going on, it takes me two months to work on two tracks! It’s funny how things change!

Just a Memory: Can you talk about the Mushroom Jazz EP coming out in August? It’s really exciting for fans because this is your first official release since 2007!

Farina: Yeah, it’s got four new tracks. A couple of them have been in my set for awhile, but there are some fresh ones too. One is called “My Sunshine” and another is called “The Dig”. It’s all deep house stuff – not like disco house or anything like that – just deep house. It’ll be out on Om Records in August.

Mark Farina is a legend in the dance music community. His legendary Mushroom Jazz mixes are turning 20 years old, but people are still listening to them today and his live sets continue to be some of the most sought after.

Farina has been making house music for over 20 years now, starting in his hometown of Chicago. In that time, he has been able to play all over the world and has collaborated with many different artists. But despite this success, he’s still a very humble person, who loves what he does and is not motivated by fame or money.

I caught up with Farina ahead of his upcoming show at Denver’s Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom on Friday, where he will be playing some of his favorite tunes from back in the day alongside other legendary DJs like DJ Spinna and Dj MFR.

Mark, thanks again for taking the time to talk with us today! I wanted to start off by asking you about when you first started making music; what inspired you to get into it?

In this interview of Mark Farina by The House Music Blog, Farina reflects on his career and the state of house music.

Mark Farina is a man whose career has spanned over twenty years and has had a profound influence on house music. He began as a hip-hop DJ at age 15, spinning records in his hometown of Chicago. He was influenced by the sounds of Prince, Parliament/Funkadelic, Larry Heard and Marshall Jefferson and by the time he was 19, he made the transition to house music.

I first met Mark Farina in 1997 when I started throwing my own parties in San Francisco. I was just coming out of the rave scene, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that house music wasn’t just about raves anymore. In fact, it never really was; it was always much more than that.

It’s hard to describe what it was like to see Mark Farina play at my party in ’97: how his sound brought together so many people from vastly different backgrounds, but all united by our love for this music. There were no boundaries between the various groups. House music is not about who you are or what you look like; it’s about your passion for the music and your desire to share that with others.

Mark has been able to stay relevant through all these years, which is not an easy task. When asked

Mark Farina is a house music pioneer. He’s been deejaying for over 25 years and has helped shape the dance music scene in the U.S. His Mushroom Jazz compilations have become classics and he’s traveled the globe spreading his unique blend of deep, jazzy grooves. Mark has an incredible ability to take you back to a place and time with just a few notes of a song.

We caught up with Mark before his show at the Nectar Lounge in Seattle, Washington where he was kind enough to tell us about his career and share some insight into where it all began.@

Mark Farina is an iconic DJ in the house music scene. The Chicago-bred, San Francisco-based DJ has been a pioneer of American house music since the early 90s. His Mushroom Jazz compilations have brought him acclaim and his live sets are a master class in house music groove and jazz sensibilities.

An ambassador to the world of house music, Mark Farina has toured internationally for over 15 years. Some of his most notable performances include Glastonbury, Coachella, Winter Music Conference, Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), Southport Weekender, Big Day Out Australia, Fabric London and countless others. He has also produced a wide array of remixes for artists such as U2, Depeche Mode and John Mayer.

Mark Farina’s latest release is Session Four: Rhythm & Rhyme on Om Records. He’ll be bringing his signature deep house sounds to Detroit on April 19th at the Grasshopper Underground. We were lucky enough to chat with him about his musical influences, touring international dance scenes and how house music is evolving.

You’ve been touring internationally for over 15 years now. How do you think the club scene has changed? What are some of the differences between club life in America versus places like Europe?

On the dance floor of a house music club, you can’t help but feel it. The energy of the beats, the bass, and the people; all moving together in rhythm.

Mark Farina knows that feeling well. In fact, he’s been spreading it around the globe for over twenty-five years. Best known for his signature style of house music and his Mushroom Jazz series, Farina has released countless mix compilations and performed at gigs around the world. Although he’s still going strong, he took some time out while on tour to speak with me about his past DJing experiences and reflect on his career as a whole.

Farina is a legend in the Chicago house scene. His name is synonymous with Mushroom Jazz; an amalgamation of deep house and acid jazz that is so distinctive it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else creating something similar. To find his roots we have to go back to San Francisco in the early nineties.

“I was working for a company called Solar Records at their record store Solar Music,” Farina says, “and I was looking for different sounds like gospel house, which was popular in Chicago at that time.” While digging through crates of vinyl at Solar Music, Farina discovered a new sound emerging from


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