Having grown up in the Bronx, the many musical influences that were the backdrop of Dennis Ferrer’s youth are reflected in his diverse output. Eclectic and electric, Ferrer’s productions range from the Afro-centric rhythms of ‘Funu’ and ‘Dem People Go’ to the deep, minimal pulse of ‘Sandcastles’ and ‘Son of Raw’. His main room reworks of artists like Blaze and Fish Go Deep have opened up a new hungry fan base to his extensive back catalogue of deep house gems.
Spending his days at college and his evenings at the home studio of friend and mentor Kerri Chandler, Ferrer was tutored by one of the industry greats. As his passion for production grew, he was given keys to Chandler’s home and his own room to store his growing collection of equipment. Impressed with quality of his productions, Chandler recommended starting a label to share his creations and, in 1998, Sfere was born. Fusing elements of African Hi-Life with live instrumentation, Ferrer’s early releases on Sfere helped define a genre of organic, percussive house that was championed in New York clubs like Shelter and Body & Soul.
Ever searching for the perfect beat, Ferrer joined forces with Jerome Sydenham in 2003 to explore a new, synthesised musical direction. The release of ‘Sandcastles’ on an Ibadan 10″ had little impact on its release, and Ferrer remembers the disappointment of the lacklustre response to the track at that year’s WMC. Over the next twelve months however, it simmered on the underground, slowly building into one the most successful crossover tracks of the year, and eventually being signed to Defected in 2005.
Since then, Ferrer’s profile has rocketed, peaking with a blistering Essential Mix on Radio 1 and the release of the global anthem “Hey Hey”.