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Detroit’s Music Renaissance Man — Sidney Johnson

Sidney Johnson a veteran of the Detroit music scene along with co-producer Brian Garrett  has seen and done it all on Detroit’s musical landscape — and he’s pretty much done it all on his terms. The artist/producer songwriter has 12 independent underground albums to his credit that have made more than a decent showing in album sales via personal promotion and internet sales. –roz edward

How long have you been in the business?

My first album was a rock album, Nuvicious, and we released that in ‘93. The first thing I was really doing was more on a rock, blues and funk type of mode. I  was always a Prince fan, a fan of the Time, Jimi Hendrix and that music was always in my rhythm. … Back then we were pretty much touring Canada and the Midwest. That was before the big technology age.

You hail from Motown, but you’ve done alternative and so many other types of music.

That scene just grew and we were a part of it. That alternative sound was what was left from metal and rock ‘n roll.  We are probably among the few producers who can do such diverse genres of music. The biggest project we’ve been working on is country along with some rock with a group called Sivaunt.

Why are you so musically versatile?

We decided to explore different niches in music. There’s not a lot of blacks doing country, so it was pretty much ripe for the pickin. We were just in Missouri producing an artist Siera Rain, And we are working with R&B artist Ondre Shepherd, rock artist Dave Masters, gospel artist Faye, and R&B artist Kevin 7. Prior to that we did a lot of jazz and jazz fusion.

We’ve heard so much about the music underground in Detroit. What can you tell me about it?

The under Detroit basically created techno. We were the innovators of that sound … It’s pretty much a faster version of house music with a rock n’ roll sound. The Techno Music Festival in Detroit is the largest of it’s kind in the world. The suburbs actually got into the culture and they really embraced it. Now they’re mixing it with dub step. We did a techno project call Galaxy 22. it got good response.

What are you proudest of in career wise?

Being able to produce multi-genres of music and not being handcuffed to one studio or one sound. I attribute that versatility to being from Detroit and being a part of all the music revolutions that have come out of here.