Throughout the years, Michael Gray has grown to become one of the most in demand, hugely respected, and well established British DJs and music producers. One half of the dance music production and remixing duo “Full Intention,” Michael has been at the forefront of global dance music since the early 90s. Their huge hit “The Weekend” is still loved and played by the biggest DJ’s the world over.
Relaunching his solo career as Michael Gray in 2018 to pursue his original love of disco, in 2019 he became the world’s #2 soul/funk/disco artist on Traxsource, considered an incredible accolade for any artist. In 2019 Michael also ranked #6 in Traxsource’s Overall Best Artists, and his remix of Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel” (Sultra Records) proved to be Traxsource’s second best-selling track of 2019. Michael also had two Number 1 records.
Michael Gray recently teamed up with a group of other mega talented artists to remix the original version of “The Weekend.” The track has become the ideal soundtrack for a perfect night out, an iconic clubbing anthem for a whole generation, and above all, a record that has stayed popular since then through its sheer brilliance and production prowess.
It was recently brought back to the attention of a new generation through TikTok. Now with a new home on Dutch label, Altra Moda Music, the worldwide dance hit has breathed new life into it with remixes from the legendary MousseT, UK’s Low Steppa, Berlin’s Mat.Joe, and a new live strings/dance version from Michael himself. Michael also released a killer video in support of his remix.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Michael on the heels of his recent “The Weekend” (Sutra Remix) release. Read this interview to learn more about the incredibly talented Michael Gray.
Where did the alias or symbolism of Sultra come from?
I decided to call my remix the Sultra Mix because it represents the sound of my label, Sultra Records.
What were some favorite moments that came about while pursuing new versions of “The Weekend”?
It was a real buzz, teasing these remixes out, Mousse T, Low Steppa and myself dropping our mixes in The Glitterbox Virtual festivals. The biggest was after sending a rough backing track to my String Arranger Stephen Hussey, then getting it back, and hearing his newly scored live strings on it for the first time. I was driving in my car and thought wow. This has completely turned the original on its head.
From your view, what vibe do most folks feel and stick with when hearing “The Weekend” original?
I think it’s the chorus that nearly everyone can relate too (unless you work weekends haha) no matter what age you are. I love it when people come up to me and say something like “your track reminds us of when we got together.” Seeing how many times it gets used on TikTok with a totally new and young generation is a buzz.
Are there certain genres you like to refer to that describes or fits the style of your signature sound?
Probably Nu – Disco, Soul, Funk and of course House! For young rising artists coming up around the world, any advice points to share that would help them at their career stage?
Try and create “your sound.” Don’t worry too much about what is current. By the time you have finished making that style of record, chances are it would have moved on. You have to be totally dedicated, go to clubs, and listen and watch what makes people react to certain sounds or arrangements in records.
Has it become easier to be an independent artist from your perspective?
It has. The only thing is it does help to have a label that can assist in getting your tracks to become the best possibly quality that they can be with good advice. Quality control is important as is getting them out to the widest possible audience.
Listen to “The Weekend” (Sutra Remix)
Watch “The Weekend” (Sutra Remix) Video