The latest artist to be grilled in our Soundtrack To My Life series is Roy Davis Jr., the famed house producer from Chicago whose '90s hit gem, "Gabriel"—featuring the soul flow of Peven Everett—you'll most likely know word-for-word if you're an avid raver or festival-goer. This track has become the theme tune to many of my own comedowns, come-ups and everything in between, and its slow-rolling groove continues to impact our fun-filled summer days. Selling over 200,000 copies of the widely-loved single in 1996 (via XL Recordings), "Gabriel" is Roy Davis Jr.'s biggest hit to date but, as he explains, it's not something that he's ever tried to out-do. "I've never tried to top it because it is what it is," he says. "It's a special gift to us all. It was a vibe and a feeling, and my music has continued to be that way ever since I began. I feel very proud and blessed to have played an important role in the house and garage scenes and to have truly made a mark."
And he continues to make his mark by working with a variety of artists, ranging from Daft Punk to Faith Evans to Eric Benet and Seal. Having started out making beats and A&R-scouting in the early '80s—house music's baby years—enquiring minds want to know: has Roy's opinion changed on the fist-pumping-thumping genre of now? "Well, today is a good time for new music and to also brighten the minds to a more classic sound as well," he says. "I'm loving it today just as much as yesterday; it's being blasted from country to country, and is able to let loose with a variety of sounds." In the run-up to his set at Belguim's WECANDANCE festival on August 13-14 (where we should "expect the unexpected"), Complex sits with the legend for a rundown of his favourite, most-loved tracks of all time.