The Black 80’s: The Food and Music Challenge

Formed in Montreal by veteran Philadelphia-born producer Hollis P Monroe and DJ/vocalist Overnite, The Black 80’s has left an indelible mark the last few years with their vocal, bassline driven house music.  Food also plays an important part in both of their lives, Monroe has been a vegan for years and Overnite is transitioning to a vegan diet. The DJ Cookbook had some fun gathering the two’s most influential music and most memory filled foods. Check out their selections below and go get their debut album, Heart To Art, which just dropped on Sonar Kollektiv!

OVERNITE – Influential Tracks

1. Follow me – Aly Us

This song brings me right back to the days when I used to club religiously. Whenever this track would come on, the dance floor would fill up, and the party was on! It’s just one of those jams that you don’t ever get fed up with. A true classic.

2. Escape (Driving to Heaven) – Deep Dish

 This track gets me every time I hear it, even after 15 years of its release. The way the vocals communicate the emotion of the lyrics is spot on for me. I remember listening to this not too long before composing our song Give Me Something, with the hopes of composing a track that evoked a similar emotional and lyrical deliverance.

 3. Hold On – SBTRKT

This very inspiring song, interpreted by Sampha on vocals, is another one of those track that is endless. SBTRKT managed to grasp that thin line between electronic music and soulful melodies. A song I would have loved to write.

HOLLIS P MONROE – Influential Albums + Tracks

Sign O The Times – Prince

Like everyone else in the world, I was caught up in the frenzy of Purple Rain, but it was Sign O The Times that changed the course of my musical life. Before that, in my own bedroom productions, it was all about drum machines, breakbeats and samples.  It was hearing If I Was You Girlfriend and Strange Relationship among the rest of those classic tunes that got me tapping on the keys to start learning how to come up with my own melodies and chords.  You can probably hear the moody side of Prince’s vibe throughout most of my tunes.

prince-black80

Experience – The Prodigy

I consider this album to be the soundtrack of the era where I transitioned from a high school b-boy to a university raver. It was aggressive and yet happy at the same time.  When I was in my first stages of moving away from Hip Hop and delving into electronic music, this is what I tried my best to sound like.  I didn’t quite pull it off but it definitely gave me a starting point that led me to my own sound.

 Higher State Of Consciousness – Josh Wink

Anyone who was around at this time knows how massive this track was when it came out; and although Philadelphia has a very rich and long spanning musical history, I think this is the tune that solidified and put a spotlight on Philly in terms of electronic music. Having crossed paths with Josh on quite a few occasions, I was most certainly inspired to see a guy who,  had seemed to just a minute earlier be taking out the trash at a club just like I was at the time, make it as a musician. It definitely served as an example of how a person could change their life doing what they love.

OVERNITE – Food

Kale Salad: This meal is very simple and key for me as it’s part of a transition from an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet. You can basically add any delicious organic veggies and make a home vinaigrette. It is both tasty and healthy. I also like to cook kale chips which takes care of any crispy cravings.

Vegan Moroccan Couscous: I’ve always been a big fan of couscous. It’s taste is unique and comforting. It’s also very easy to make and I feel it’s a perfect meal for the Fall and Winter months.

Choucroute Garnie: Although I am transitioning to a vegan diet, I still have to talk about this meal because it brings back childhood memories. Being born in Alsace, France there is nothing more traditional that this sauerkraut-and-sausage classic. I remember fondly tasting my grandmother’s cooking back in the 90’s while on tour; ’till this day I can say it was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life. Maybe the fact that I was with my grandmother, meeting family members that I didn’t know before played a role in my liking of the food, nonetheless the memory is forever with me.

HOLLIS P MONROE – Food

Hot Dogs and Baked Beans: This was one of the first things that I remember my mom teaching me how to cook. Actually, I wouldn’t necessarily call it cooking because it’s really all about dressing it up with simple seasonings and condiments. Either way, it’s essentially very simple bachelor food that kept my stomach full after university.

Tofu Stir Fry: When I became vegan, it was immediately obvious that I needed to learn how to cook if I had any chance at maintaining the lifestyle. Stir fry’s were the training ground where I learned more about flavor combinations and seasonings beyond salt, pepper and sugar.

Smoothies: There’s always an element of risk and improvisation when it comes to making smoothies. With so many possible flavor combinations, I find it almost impossible to make the same one twice yet they pretty much always taste pretty good once you learn to manage the sweeteners added. Smoothies can be pretty quick to make and very satisfying for breakfast when all you want to do is wake up and jump in the studio to lay down that bassline that came to you in last night’s dream.