In Conversation: Tough Love & Todd Terry
London-based duo Tough Love have been rapidly rising through the ranks over the last six years.
With an instantly recognizable sound and several top hits to their credit, the duo celebrate 100 releases on their own Get Twisted Records by recruiting one of House Music’s original icons, Todd Terry.
Available TODAY, ‘When You Gonna?’ shows the dynamic house style that has made both artists so revered – punchy beats, ultra-catchy vocal, alongside an acid house break, to deliver an unforgettable future dance floor classic. With the release available, we got Tough Love (bold) and Todd Terry (italics) to go “In Conversation” on the release, each’s legacy, and more.
“Good records last forever…”
Tough Love: You’re a legend and defiantly one of the guys we’ve always looked up to since you started DJing and releasing music in the 1980s. What would you say has been the main change to house music in the past 30 years?
Todd Terry: Most of the positive changes is when house records ended up on UK radio. I think it was a guaranteed push for us to keep going in this style of music.
Tough Love: So how do you see house music evolving over the next 30 years?
Todd Terry: Well, hopefully if we get something like Crystal Waters on radio, I think that can keep us going as far as getting radio play with a groovy house tune.
Tough Love: What goes around comes around always. We’re pretty sure there will be some new genres but really when you break it down, house has always played a massive role in music since its birth and we don’t see that changing ever. Good records last forever and as long as there is a presence of quality house music it will never die.
Tough Love: So, what were your main influences that encouraged you to start DJing and producing in the first place?
Todd Terry: Always loved artists like James Brown and producers like Quincy Jones. Always made me love different styles of R&B and Pop.
Tough Love: For us, we both had a love for US garage and house, and later also UK garage.
Stef, Tough Love: I picked up DJing from the tender age of 13, listening to DJs like EZ and Tuff Enough Brown on mix tapes and pirate radio. My older brother and me managed to persuade our parents to use the money they had been saving for us to get us a cheap pair of turntables!
(Alex, Tough Love) For me, it is was trips out to Ibiza in my early teens. I remember the summer of ‘99 watching guys like Roger Sanchez hold it down for eight hour extended sets at El Divino, then heading to Flower Power at Pacha. I’d never experienced anything like that before, watching the control the DJs had over the crowd, creating so much energy and harmony in the room. I think looking back that was a game changer for me.
Tough Love: We’ve shared the decks quite a few times together in Ibiza and it has changed a lot in the past few years. Do you think it’s lost some of its magic, or is it still a special place for you to visit and perform?
Todd Terry: Ibiza has its up and downs, right now we are in a good spot, playing some of the best house music out there, but gotta keep a ‘one foot in one foot out’ type of mentality. Meaning little bit of everything, is the creative way of doing it.
Tough Love: For us, it’s still special. There’s always someone moaning but the world still goes around, people still want to dance and Ibiza is still the Number 1 destination. We totally get that clubs have changed, in many of them there is a different ethos to the old Ibiza, but at the same time where else can you see all your favorite DJ’s perform in such amazing clubs? We’re pretty sure there will be more and more intimate parties start to pop up over the next few years to balance out the super clubs.
Tough Love: You’re responsible for some of the most iconic house music tracks of all time. What would you say is the release that you’re most proud of?
Todd Terry: ‘A Day In The Life’ is one of my most creative records and I think I took a lot of different styles and mixed them together in that particular track.
Todd Terry: We’ve worked together on your label’s (Get Twisted Records) 100th release – ‘When You Gonna?’. What made you decide to set up your own label?
Tough Love: To be honest, it was because we were making music we believed in that wasn’t getting the love and attention or a home that it needed. Turns out some of our friends were in the same position. We already had a party called Twisted Disco, so Get Twisted developed off of the back of that. We always had the intentions of being hands on to make sure the label was a home for artists run by artists, doing our best to make sure records get the due attention required.
Todd Terry: What’s next for Get Twisted and Tough Love?
Tough Love: Following on from the tone set on the 100th release with you, we’re taking Get Twisted back to its roots and focusing on real house music, underground material built for the clubs. It’s what the label was always about and we need to get back to that. We’ve got some great records coming so we’re excited for 2018, and we’re continuing the parties at the mighty Ministry of Sound with some monster line-ups to announce.
With Tough Love, we’ve got some really nice records due out early next year; we’ve got a record called ‘Kinda Close’ dropping on Danny Howard’s imprint Nothing Else Matters with Ministry of Sound. We’re just putting the finishing touches to two new records with Roger Sanchez; an EP with GAWP, and loads more in the oven at the moment!
Tough Love & Todd Terry ‘When You Gonna?’ is out now on Get Twisted Records