After two years of virtual live-streamed events, the in-person family reunion experience of the Chosen Few Picnic returned to Chicago’s Jackson Park on a perfectly hot July Saturday to the delight of scores of house music heads near and far. Among the amazing highlights was DJ Terry Hunter’s debut of his remix of Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul.” The weekend also marked the 30th anniversary of the Chosen Few with the full complement of the renowned Chosen Few DJs performing their beloved brand of festival-worthy mix sets. Hunter and the team started a production company to elevate house music.
How did you become a house music DJ, and when did you get invited to join the Chosen Few?
I became a house music DJ around 1982. In 1981, my cousin used to bring these tapes home from Frankie Knuckles and the Warehouse and a few years later from the Powerplant, and it intrigued me how all those records that I was familiar with, he played so seamlessly, mixing them one after another. My cousin took me to a party, and [Frankie] Knuckles was playing, and I was amazed at how the crowd was reacting to [him] playing all that music I was familiar with but never heard mixed one into another; I came home and told my grandparents, “I know what I want to be,” I want to be a DJ. I joined the Chosen few in 2004.
Why did you feel the need to establish a production company?
Me, Wayne Williams, and Allen King thought it was only right to step into that venture. We tried our hand at the management thing, and it worked very well. It took off, and we decided to take it to the next level. We, Chicago, are leaders in the industry, and it just made good business sense.
Talk about about some of the mega-voice divas you have worked with.
I just worked with Beyoncé on the House remix of “Break My Soul,” and I worked with Jennifer Hudson on her Grammy-nominated track “It’s Your World.” I produced two songs on Aretha Franklin’s last album — [and] today, I’m still wondering how did that happen? I have worked with Terisa Griffin. Right now, I’m in the studio with legendary Chicago artists Chante Savage and Marsha Ambrosius.
Who else would you like to work with?
One of my favorite artists who I’d like to work with is Martha Wash. She is an unsung artist to me. She has sung for other people, and when she was with 2 Tons of Fun, it was something special; also, Lalah Hathaway. The beauty of her voice and soulfulness, it is amazing. I am working with a young artist named Ashton. He is going to bring that youthful energy to the music we need. A lot of great things on the horizon. Oh, one artist I can’t leave out, I am working with Chaka Khan. Look for “Woman Like Me” on her forthcoming album.