Since the 1980’s Joe Smooth has been considered one of the earliest originators of House Music and amongst the top Artists, Producers & DJs in Chicago.
A self-taught musician from the age of 12, Joe Smooth is today known as one of the pioneers of house music having worked with people across the genre since its founding including Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Chip E, A Guy Called Gerald, Lil Louis, Tyree Cooper, Fast Eddie, The Art Of Noise, Sterling Void, The Pet Shop Boys, Janet Jackson, Atlantic Starr, New Order, Steve Hurley amongst others.
At 18, Smooth opened his first underground nightclub called East Hollywood Mannequins. At 20 he became the resident DJ at the now world famous Smart Bar, helping to create the atmosphere and mystique that still lives at Smart Bar going into its 34th year.
In 1985, Joe Smooth joined the DJ International Records family and quickly became a central force behind almost everything written or produced from this visionary label. This included Co-producing The Jack Trax EP with Chip-E, the first record to use the words House and Jack. Joe also co- produced and mixed Frankie Knuckles first record, the remake of "You Can't Hide".
Smooth gained international acclaim with the release of his late 1980s tracks "Promised Land" featuring Anthony Thomas, "They Want to be Free," and "I Try." Best known for releasing "Promised Land," which spoke of how humans, as brothers and sisters, should unite in love and thrive in paradise. Joe Smooth's track Promised Land still stands as one of the most memorable tracks from the era and is still played today, peaking at #56 in the UK singles chart in 1987 following the Top 40 success of a cover version by The Style Council.
In 1990 returning to Chicago from time spent living and performing outside of Chicago, Joe saw a need for a serious underground house club in Chicago and opened the very successful Warehouse club, named in tribute to the legendary Warehouse nightclub of the late seventies and early eighties with partners Julian Perez and DJ International’s founder Rocky Jones.
By the new millennium and ever since Joe Smooth has gone on to work with some of the biggest names in both dance and pop music worldwide including icons such as Destiny's Child, Whitney Houston, Cisqo, George Clinton, Faith Evans & more earning him credits on a multiple Gold and Platinum records.
Fast forward to now, after helping influence nearly three decade of house and dance music leaving him amongst a list of pioneering house legends, Smooth continues to DJ and perform worldwide whilst also focusing on running two of his own record labels. His sets continue to push boundaries within contemporary house music whilst also playing homage to the original Chicago house sound which has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Joe Smooth classic house set in The Lab NYC - Mixmag
Joe Smooth's Promised Land - The Standard
Pete Tong - The Story of Promised Land - BBC Radio 1