DJ Deeon


A legend of the Chicago house scene, DJ Deeon (aka Deeon Boyd) had first plied his trade playing small house parties and selling mixtapes in local parking lots in the early ’90s on Chicago’s South Side, where he had grown up. Boyd started to produce his own tracks after getting hold of a Roland 606 and 303, taking the sound that had defined Chicago house and adding erotically charged lyrics to his tracks, creating what would be known as “ghetto house.” His first release, the Funk City EP, appeared in 1994 on the inspirational Chicago house label Dance Mania — home to the likes of Paul Johnson, Lil’ Louis, Robert Armani, and Marshall Jefferson — and would be followed by a slew of releases for the label over the next few years. Tracks such as “House-O-Matic,” “2 B Free,” and “Freak Like Me” epitomized Deeon’s sound and he became a sought-after name not just in Chicago but across the pond in Europe. Producing well over 30 singles for Dance Mania over a five-year period until 1999 when the label closed down, Deeon continued with his ghetto sound, producing releases for Databass, Juke Trax, and Pro-Jex throughout the noughties. With a renewed interest in the ghetto house scene in the early 2010s — and in particular the availability of the original Dance Mania releases — Glasgow-based label Numbers released the Deeon Doez Deeon! EP in 2015, featuring four of his most celebrated tracks. A crowdfunded campaign to bring Deeon to the U.K. succeeded in early 2016, with Deeon playing sets at XoYo in London and a set at the final Bloc weekender. A joint remix of Freak Like Me with Lee Walker released on Defected saw Deeon claiming his first ever U.K. singles chart placement, with the track bringing his trademark ghetto sound to a whole new audience.