Under the watchful gaze and careful direction of his newfound mentors, Justin was able to take the final leap from dedicated dance floor punter to professional DJ “playa”. He burst onto the party scene in 1997 at Johannesburg’s legendary Sunday playground, ESP. Justin’s fine-tuned funky house skills left clubbers in complete awe and made an immediate and indelible impact. His popularity and profile soared instantly. In the space of only 8 months, Justin moved swiftly through the ranks, cemented his status and landed residencies at mega-clubs ESP and Nexus and for party brand, Slippery ‘n’ Wet.
Concurrent to his burgeoning progress behind the decks, it seemed almost pre ordained when Justin joined the BMG Record family and workforce, following in the footsteps of his patriarch and siblings. In his capacity as sound engineer for BMG Studios South Africa, Justin went on to record many of SA’s finest musicians including Just Jinjer, Watershed, Amersham, Louise Carver, Arno Carstens, Gift Gwe, Judith Sephuma, Jody, Vusi Mahlasela, Heinz Winkler, The Soweto String Quartet, Idols & Project Fame contestants, Grannysmith, Loyiso Bala and many others. He also worked closely with TK Zee on three of the band’s albums, stayed on right through BMG’s merger with Sony Music and to this day still remains under the employ of what is now known as Sony Music. Over the last 14 years, music has become Justin’s life. Quite literally, 24-7. And he loves every second of it! Immersing himself in studio even during his down time, Justin also composes original dance music as well as material suitable for TV and radio ads for the French and SA markets.
Continuously evolving with the music, Justin’s accomplished productions are inspiring contributions to the world of house music guaranteed to always elevate his audience. He cites the success of “Get Together”, his collaboration with Adrian Shannon of Grannysmith, as the most memorable moment of his production career. The track charted in the Top 10 on every major SA radio station, reached the No. 1 position twice on 94.7 Highveld Stereo’s Homebrew and was featured on “The Hits 15” and “Club Anthems 2006” albums which had combined sales of over 60 000 units. Other noteworthy singles include “Enjoy This Feeling” featuring vocals by Veronique aka “V” of Idols fame; “Sunrise” featuring vocals by Alicia which charted in the Top 10 across various SA radio stations and was named one of the Top 40 songs of 2007 by 94.7 Highveld Stereo; Idols runner up Gift Gwe’s, “Back To You” co-written by Justin Vee and the title of his debut album; Idols winner, Jody’s “Never Knew Love Like This Before” and more recently during 2009 Louise Carver’s “Time Is A Healer” which was remixed by Justin and charted across Top 100 nationwide radio charts climbing as high as No. 3 on Take 40 SA during June 2009. The track also cracked the nod to appear on well-known album compilation,” The Hits 21”.
Whilst still gigging at ESP, Justin’s first foray into the retail music environment was realized when he was selected to mix one of a series of ten limited edition ESP EPs. He subsequently went on to mix further commercial releases including Funky House Vol. 1 with female counterpart DJ Lalicia; Clubland SA, a double disc compilation between himself and Manuel Oetll; Serious Beats Vol. 2 as well as Just Funky and Just Too Funky, a selection of seriously, super-funky beats courtesy of Justin Vee and friends.
Then in 2007, Justin was invited to come aboard what is, without doubt, one of the most successful, quality dance compilation brands of the last decade, House Anthems. The brainchild of Kevin Grenfell (of 5FM’s Vinyl Frontier fame) and Ricardo da Costa (Soul Candi), House Anthems has built a reputation on raising the roof and pleasing the masses time and again by delivering the freshest, fiery staples of radio hits and club anthems. House Anthems 5 mixed by Kevin Grenfell and Justin Vee exceeded sales of 10 000 copies within the first 30 days of release! Sticking with this winning formula, the 6th installment released in early 2008, true to form, was stacked “wall-to-wall” with some of the biggest and best dance floor anthems of the moment!
In 2008 the massively successful dance franchise returned in its 7th incantation after undergoing major renovations and extension. For the first time ever a triple disc monster, the HA7 album featured 3 of SA’s most applauded DJ’s, series initiator Kevin Grenfell, Dean FUEL and Justin Vee. More recently during early 2009, House Anthems 8 heralded the return once more of Kevin Grenfell and Justin Vee alongside HA newcomer Roger D’lux; all poised to whip your Friday night into a right royal frenzy! Kevin’s contribution all adventurous, Justin the party starter par excellence and Roger the scratch master and technical whiz kid, theirs, once again, was a formula that did not fail to impress!
Over the course of Justin’s illustrious career he has played alongside some of the biggest names in the global industry including Layo & Bushwacka, the Shapeshifters, Hoxton Whores, Sharam Jey, Style of Eye, Chris Lake, Cosmic Gate, Eddie Halliwell, Paul van Dyk and Fatboy Slim amongst countless others too numerous to mention. It's been a steady rise from the infamous raves of the early 90s, to a legendary residency at ESP, Nexus, Sutra and for Africa’s biggest dance event, H2O. Anyone drafting an ‘A-list’ of SA’s most in-demand DJs will not only find the name “Justin Vee” near the top, but discover that few, if any, have sustained playing the local gig circuit for as long and as consistently as this legend has.
Over the years Justin has remained loyal to a sound underpinned by seriously infectious baselines, funk-infused rhythm and that always-hypnotic groove. With an unbiased fascination for all good electronic music and the recognition that the key to stirring excitement and compelling any crowd to move lies, ultimately, in the baseline, has allowed Justin to develop a style, which draws from a variety of house genres. From tech tinged and funk edged to twisted electro or bumping house, Justin’s distinctive drum driven, energy fuelled style renders him accessible to virtually any dance floor.
Today, with no less than three massive radio hits, seven Top 40 singles and ten DJ mixed albums to his name, record industry producer and chart topping songwriter Justin Vee attributes his many and varied achievements to a deeply rooted musical background. And it is this coupled with his engaging personality, natural exuberance and an infectious enthusiasm for the music, which he produces and plays that effortlessly rubs off on and enthralls every crowd Justin Vee performs for.
It’s no surprise then that Justin’s star remains firmly in the ascendant and his is a future that shines undeniably bright. Plans for 2010 include a further two DJ mixed albums under the House Anthems brand followed by the introduction of an all-new, as yet untitled, Justin Vee DJ mixed compilation series. On a production front, Justin will also be dedicating considerable time to producing brand new material for radio release. Already in the pipeline is an exciting collaboration with lauded Household Funk vocalist, Justin Chalice.
As one of the hardest working names in the local industry, Justin Vee is the definitive DJ and producer! Renowned for his ability to spot a hit record a mile off and with a technical proficiency second to none, Justin has never taken the easy route to success. His undeniable passion for house music overthrows the boundaries of merely playing records and is what truly sets Justin apart.