The Progressive Underground Show 160 feat. OSUNLADE


Yoruba Records

On this weekend’s The Progressive Underground, host Chris Campbell interviews global music innovator and iconOSUNLADE and discusses his nearly 30 years in the music industry, his many experiences and collaborations with the top global music artists and the latest happenings with his very own record label Yoruba Records.  We also bump the best in deep house, techno, future soul, nu-jazz, b-sides and rare grooves.  Join us this Sunday as soul travel through the 4th dimension of sound and explore the deeper side of electronica.  

It all goes down this Sunday, March 6, 8:00 p.m. EST on 101.9 WDET and


As a youngster, Osunlade’s weekly allowance was “two records per week at the local record store” in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. His burgeoning record collection combined with a purchase of a Korg Poly 61 Keyboard stoked his early forays into music creation.  His parents incessant belief in his abilities fostered a very open-minded, supportive and productive creative environment that brought his eclectic music sensibilities to the fore.   

His professional journey began in 1987, when at the age of 17, he caught the ear of choreographer/performer Toni “Mickey” Basil during a visit to Hollywood. Toni offered him a key role in the development of musical pieces for several projects, that included work on the seminal children’s television series Sesame Street and a movie score. Toni encouraged him to move to Los Angeles where Osunlade began making his mark on the West Coast music scene. 

Shortly thereafter, he produced the very first album for the then independent record label - Interscope Records. One of his first projects for the label was the artist known as Gerardo and their collaboration led to the global music hit “Rico Suave,” one of the first big commercial Latin pop songs.  

With a multi-platinum album and four gold singles under his belt, opportunities to master his craft came flooding in. He secured work with artists such as Jazzy Jeff, Roy Ayers and Patti Labelle and many more during this period, building a strong reputation in the process. However, the industry began to chip away at his passion .  The constant demand to keep up with disposable music trends and the forced coercion by his label for him to make music that was similar in sound to popular 1990’s R & B/New Jack Swing producer Teddy Riley, proved to be a turning point.  Osunlade felt it was now time for a new direction.  

He took a 2-year sabbatical, which brought on a series of life-changing decisions.  The first was a resolve to no longer work under the the corporate music umbrella, but rather to embrace a more spiritual path in his music.  This led him to Ifa, a naturalist ancestral culture based on nature, deriving from the Yoruba tribes of Africa and practiced by the slaves during their forced relocation to America.   

This second decision was to move to New York and take a leap of faith and make one of his longstanding dreams come true - to start his own label, Yoruba Records. The label is now recognized as one of the most critically-acclaimed and significant dance music labels in the world. 

Yoruba Records is a place for Osunlade to release his own spiritually-infused brand of house music grooves, and introduce fresh new talent to a global platform. In the years since the introduction of his record label, Osunlade has also become an in-demand DJ and taste maker spinning at many of the top global music festivals and performing with his own live ensemble band. 

Nowadays, Osunalde resides thousands of miles away from his birthplace on an island in Greece where the population is just 9,000. There he enjoys the space and time to create his music without distraction.  While he focuses on new material he also maintains Yoruba Records with a flurry of new releases on tap for 2016, while maintaining a heavy tour schedule.  


Song Artist Album
N4 Lance Neptune Animal Eclipse
Redeye King We Are King
Love Over Trinidadian Deep Native Bush EP
Mr.White Khruangbin The Universe Smiles Upon You
Mary L St Germain St Germain
Move Viigo 12" single
Basking Lone Reality Testing
Forbidden Knowledge Raury feat. Big KRIT All We Need
Seeing the Way Through Black Jazz Consortium RE:Actions Of Light
Glad Eric Lau 12" single
God's Promise Black Jazz Consortium RE:Actions Of Light
Flowers (K15's Sunbeam Mix) Aisha Zoe 12" single
Palmeiras Candeias Candeias
Spyglass O'Flynn Oberyn/Spyglass
Obi Agye Me Dofo Vis-A-Vis Obi Agye Me Dofo
Breathe.Something/Stellar STar Flying Lotus Los Angeles
Song Artist Album
Harmony Atjazz Labfunk
All or Nothing Guts feat. Lorine Chia Eternal
Philosophy Atjazz & Julian Gomes feat> Osunlade The Gift The Curse
Blue is the New Green Osunlade Only to Survive the Dispora
Magic Water Rick "The Godson" Wilhite Soul Edge E.P. Part 2
Natural Nicola Conte presents Stefania Dipierro Natural
A Monk's Tear Osunlade Elements Beyond
Sayin' the Same Thing (Yoruba Mix) Osunlade feat. Maiya James 12" single
Free Cecelia Stalin The Love EP
Accentuate the Pretty Parts Lucinate 12" single
Human Beings (Atjazz remix) Osunlade Human Beings Remixes
Beloved (Main Mix) Osunlade Paradigm
Song Artist Album
Kill All Hipsters Bluntspeakers 12" single
Like a Feather Marissa Guzman & Andy Toth 12" single single
Can't Wait Taylor Bense Caught Up EP
Dear Anne Sexton Vanessa Daou Zipless
Soundgirl Personal Fat Jon The Ample Soul Physician Repaint Tomorrow
Rotation Leaf Ericson Hidden Gems
Learning to Love Me Charles Webster feat. Diviniti ADMT EP
Need Me Some You Paul Hill 12" single
Only Love (Vocal Mix) Monocles & Sleez w/Andy Compton feat. Tantra Zawadi 12" single
Soul Bounce Collective Peace Introducing Collective Peace
I need Your Love Antigua Deep feat. Jamila 12" single
Notes on a History Nia Andrews Introducing Nia Andrews: Colours + Collaborations
Layers Mitch Murder Elevator Music
Beautiful You Audra Bryant 12" single single
I won't Stay (Cafrodeep Mix) LaVeda Davis Let Love Happen

Image credit: Progressive Underground Productions Inc.

About the Author

Chris Campbell

Host/Producer, The Progressive Underground

Host/journalist/DJ/producer with a deep interest in curating Detroit’s rich music scene and presenting it to the world-at-large.   Follow @cambeaux

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