The first release on Washington Classics was the infamous “The Record Shop EP” which featured hip-hop classics such as “She Got Me Talking To Myself” and “The Record Shop” featuring Guile. This EP hit the stores in 1997 and to this day is a well sought after rarity in hip-hop. 1998 saw Washington Classics pitch the gem that was”The Main Features EP” from which the lead track entitled “Lyrics No Stress” became an instant vintage which married the lyrical skills of Funky DL, Versatile E and Guile.
1999 Was the most crucial year for Washington as Funky DL’s contract terms had expired with his previous label and he decided he no longer wanted to be contracted to record and release music so he along with his then business associates Allen Reid and Jenny Charles invested their time and efforts and capital into launching numerous releases and setting the label up for long term trading.
The following 3 years saw the successful 12” single releases of Funky DL classics such as “Triangular Rotations” “I’d Like To Know” and “The Music” and launched albums such as “When Love Is Breaking Down” “Blackcurrent Jazz” and “The Classic Fantasy” into the hip-hop market with remarkable results. Washington Classics then started to trade and license music oversees and acquire its own roster of acts and artists to push, promote and release from underneath its wings.
Artists such as J’Leish (Though only ever releasing a single 12” with Washington), Sienna and Thursdays Love helped to catapult the label and the perception of the label and its diversity to newer and greater heights enabling Washington Classics to develop it’s identity with the commercial sales market and establish a repertoire with clients and other interested parties in regards to distribution and Licensees.
Now in its 8th year of trading, Washington Classics houses releases from acts such as, Dyanna Fearon, Sienna, Penfold, Sekz, Funky DL, Phoebe One, Korus and Many more…
The staffs who have contributed to the success of the label include Funky DL, Allen Reid, Jenny Charles, DJ Stixx, DJ Parris, Yasmin Swan, Collette Hargadon, Kiara Murray and Michael Amaning.
Washington Classics continues to produce, market and promote some of the finest hip-hop and R&B music from the United Kingdom and the US making it one of the forefront leaders of underground music labels.