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Jenifa Mayanja enhances Gene Tellem's new single

The Ugandan artist Jenifa Mayanja uses her “queen of deep house” status in remixing “Ain’t Got Everything,” by the Canadian Gene Tellem. PAM invites you to listen to this remix in preview.

For over 25 years, Jenifa Mayanja has established herself as the female ambassador of the underground house culture that literally sucked her up when she arrived in New York. Born in Uganda and now living in Connecticut, she has distilled both vigorous and refined house in her DJ sets since the early 90s, excelling as both selector and technician. Also a producer, she runs her own label, Bumako, which, since 2007, has acted as a vehicle for spreading her love for the genre by focusing on quality rather than quantity. Attentive to shining a spotlight on female electronic talents, she also co-manages the Sound Warriors structure with her colleague Dakini9 for exactly this purpose. She appears here on Mind Reader, a new release by Canadian Gene Tellem, who asked her to tackle “Ain’t Got Everything,” a bouncy and celestial house track with the same soulful side that is present on the rest of the EP. Jenifa Mayanja extracts the ethereal atmosphere of this 7-minute ascent and accentuates its hypnotic side with old school piano notes that purify her version.

Attentive to shining a spotlight on female electronic talents, she also co-manages the Sound Warriors structure with her colleague Dakini9 for exactly this purpose. She appears here on Mind Reader, a new release by Canadian Gene Tellem, who asked her to tackle “Ain’t Got Everything,” a bouncy and celestial house track with the same soulful side that is present on the rest of the EP. Jenifa Mayanja extracts the ethereal atmosphere of this 7-minute ascent and accentuates its hypnotic side with old school piano notes that purify her version.

Gene Tellem – Aint Got Everything (Jenifa Mayanja Remix)

What is your process when you do a remix, especially this one? What are you trying to catch in the original song?

My process is to first discern what the original song is trying to communicate. It could be a mood, a statement, a recreation… whatever it is, it is important for me to capture that spirit in my remix. From there it differs a little for each remix, sometimes I listen to the original, sometimes I don’t. But what I am looking for is a part that speaks directly to me. Once I find that then I build everything else around it, including adding my own parts so you hear my signature in the mix. For this remix the melody which I recreated on piano is what stood out for me.

Do you still feel your Ugandan roots in the background when you compose or remix a tune? If so, how do you translate them into music?

Interesting question. I am Ugandan and that is forever my nationality, my culture. My roots therefore are always present, though with so many influences over the years it would be difficult to distinguish from everything else. I will say my affinity for percussive instruments and the rhythms that come from them, is a motif that almost shows up in my work.

What is the music policy of your label Bumako recordings? What kind of artists do you wish to showcase?

My music policy is to present original, unique diverse music. I run my label in a non-conformist manner as that works for who I am and what I present as an artist. Therefore I do not showcase a lot of different artists because I am very specific about what I would like to feature. Also the label was really just a vehicle for me to put my music out the way I wanted without creative interference. So I have very few regular artists on the label. My artists featured in the past include a couple of Irish lads, Denis Clifford and Sean Bird, and some South African artists such as Makhen Gigga and Seeblueseashores.

Gene Tellem’s Mind Reader EP will be released on February 26 via Wolf Music. Pre-order it here.

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