Les Professionnels have managed to set themselves apart from other musicians and disk jockeys in Philly’s thriving club and dance scene. The electronic production team and DJ collective includes Drew Kramer, Christos Karabelas, Daniel Reizes and Christopher Schor. They were all friends prior to forming the collective about a year ago, and oddly enough, they all grew up within 15 miles of each other in southern New Jersey.
The group creates remixes, writes original songs and has worked with some well-known people in the industry. Their influences range from electronic to hip-hop, to indie and reggae. They can be found every Tuesday at JC Dobbs on South Street or on Wednesday nights at Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge for their weekly party, Lip Service. The Temple News spoke with Kramer about the collective, their work and their future plans.
The Temple News: How did you guys meet?
Drew Kramer: Christos [Karabelas] was actually one of my clothing sponsors via Company Policy Apparel for my project Dephonic. I met Daniel [Reizes] and Chris [Schor] through my friends Joey Gothelf and Brooks Bell, who also sponsored me with their company, Fresh Melt Water. Every once in a while I would DJ at the Fresh Melt Water Shop, which used to be at the Piazza [at Schmidts]. Basically, I did a few of those gigs with [Reizes] and a few with [Schor] on separate occasions.[Karabelas] pitched me this idea that he wanted to do for a music project. He wanted to form a collabor
ative music project called Les Professionnels as a play on his Company Policy
brand of apparel. He wanted me to executive produce the music and start up his Company Policy Records brand. In an effort to enhance the project, I asked [Reizes] and [Schor] to hop on board to spice things up and really start getting the ideas flowing for the music. However, we’re really like a media team because we all kind of do a bit of everything else.
TTN: How do you come up with songs?
DK: Depends on what we are pro-
ducing. Wehave a remix on iTunes that we did for Shwayze and Cisco Adler called “Drunk Off Your Love.” It features Sky Blu of LMFAO, the
grandson of Motown legend Berry
Gordy. It was a remix, so we really just produced the music. However, when we do write our own songs we like to mirror our interests and make a play on the idea of what “professionalism” has become these days.
Our first written single came out in March called “Happy Hours” and pokes fun at the concept of happy hours. We believe that people shouldn’t restrict their happiness to two hours a day. Don’t be boxed in with the idea that your happiness is only for two hours a day after your eight-hour shift. It’s a party song about living life to the fullest.
TTN: What sets you apart from other DJs?
DK: I think we actually care whether or not the people are having a good time at our shows and parties. Each show isn’t just a gig to us. Being a DJ is about feeling out what the crowd wants and sometimes even pushing them to get up and inspiring them to dance. We don’t take requests at our shows. We really like to read the audience and provide them with some musical flavors that are palatable for their party experience. We understand that no one likes to be at a club all night where they don’t know any of the songs that are getting played. We find electronic music that draws influences from pop culture.
TTN: What are your future plans, upcoming projects or shows?
DK: We’ll be dropping a remix of the Chromeo song “Hot Mess” featuring Dice Raw, as well as single EP’s for our songs “Happy Hours” and “Sexe Au Bureau,” with remixes from several very talented people. We’re working on a record called “Everything with Young Gliss.” We have a remix for Born I from DC, and he has a record with Mobb Deep that I think we are going to throw down. We’re always working on new records and ideas. We’re definitely trying to get on the road though and bring this new Philly sound to other places.
Sydney Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.