Simon Dunmore’s Defected is the great success story of UK dance music. For 20 years, it’s been dedicated to the finest in house, from its label and numerous associated imprints, to its events and festivals. Still, it hasn’t all been plain sailing — Defected has traversed choppy waters to become the super brand it is today. DJ Mag talks to Dunmore about his house history, adaptability and his approach to business… “I’m a collector of music and labels. My ambition was for people to have a Defected rack in their collections in the same way they'd have a Salsoul rack, a Prelude rack, a Strictly rack, a Philly International rack,” says Simon Dunmore.
After a decade working in club promotions and A&R for the majors, he founded Defected Records on 1 January, 1999. The plan was to establish the UK’s answer to Mark Finkelstein and Gladys Pizarro’s legendary New York imprint Strictly Rhythm. You could say that he has achieved that. Thanks to Dunmore’s keen A&R savvy, which has over the years secured releases and forged enduring friendships with Masters At Work, Bob Sinclar, Dennis Ferrer, Roger Sanchez, Kevin Saunderson and Todd Terry, Defected has made an indelible imprint on British dance music. ‘To Be In Love’; ‘At Night’; ‘Finally’; ‘Another Chance’: all tracks knowable by name alone. To call it the most influential UK house label of all-time would be entirely acceptable.
About DJ Sam Divine
Long associated with the legendary Defected Records, Sam Divine has come a long way since being a record shop employee having spent the last seven years being a key component to the White Isle’s party scene. Her travels have seen her tour throughout Europe as well as Brazil, Chile, Japan and Dominican Republic, with festival highlights including We Are FSTVL (UK) and Pacha Festival (The Netherlands) as well as securing a three year residency at Ushuaia, Ibiza. Without doubt one of the most popular and passionate DJs on the circuit, Sam Divine is a guaranteed floor-filler and party starter.
It was in 2009 when Sam Divine was signed to Defected’s artist management where she then began warming up every week at Mambo for house legends such as Kenny Dope and Frankie Knuckles and also had her own weekly Defected show on Ibiza global radio. It wasn’t long before Divine transformed into an international sensation, playing all around the world in many of its greatest venues.
In addition to a booming DJ career, Sam is also an ambassador for Breast Cancer Research thanks to her annual charity night La Vita of which 25 female DJs helped to launch. This year marks La Vita’s 6th birthday in Ibiza and London, and so far its success has helped to raise over £27,000.