16 Aug Kevin Saunderson and Paris Grey share the story behind ‘Good Life’
Techno Pioneer Kevin Saunderson and vocalist Paris Grey have shed some light on the story behind their Inner City project which released the two smash hits ‘Good Life’ and ‘Big Fun’.
Paris Grey got acquainted with Kevin when he was looking for a singer to be featured on his new track. In an age where there was no internet or email, the collaboration started out with Kevin sending a tape over to Paris. Describing the track she says “The version was very basic, just a keyboard line I think, but I listened to the melody and sang whatever came into my head.”
She flew over from Chicago to Kevin’s apartment in Detroit to record her vocals. The “godfathers of Detroit techno” Juan Atkins and Derrick May were also present during the session. Talking about her lyrics, Paris said “I’d grown up singing in church and had been a girl scout and a cheerleader, so lyrics about positive thinking and good vibes came naturally. The 80s had been very hard for people: Good Life and Big Fun tapped into a feeling that things were getting better.”
Listen to ‘Big Fun’ below.
‘Good Life’ shared the same process, a cassette, then Paris singing. Kevin Saunderson shares his side of the story saying “Thirty years later, Good Life still instantly gets people dancing and feeling good. It’s funny because there’s not much to it: a TR-909 drum machine for the beat and a TR-707 for percussion, Casio and Korg keyboards and a sampler. I started with the main riff, imitated it with the bassline, put some strings on it and sent it to Paris. After she added her lyrics, I did a mix and a friend of mine played more keyboards. I wasn’t a trained musician, but I heard notes in my head and found a way of getting them out. I may have been a “godfather of techno”, but I couldn’t read music.
Listen to ‘Good Life’ below.
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