Julian Jonah

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Julian Jonah

Biography

With an enviable combined musical history Julian Jonah & Danny Harrison have branded their mark on dance music under various successful working guises: nu-birth; Stella Browne; Gant; Nush; ReFlex; Tyanda; C-ken; Mareeko; DYNK; Bass City Rollaz.….. to name a few.

They are more familiarly known as Garage Dons 187 Lockdown, with no less than four Top 20 singles and their biggest hit to date ‘Gunman’ was the resident motif in Ali G’s original TV series.

Their remixes for the Garage Underground scene (eg Monsta Boy’s ‘Sorry’; Daniel Beddingfield ‘Gotta Get Thru This’) have run alongside being favourites of the glitterati of pop, be it All Saints (for their breakthrough release ‘Never Ever’ ), Robbie Williams (‘South Of The Border’) or Atomic Kitten (‘Follow Me’).

Inspired and influenced by the ‘80s Chicago House scene, Julian Jonah hit the UK club scene with his seminal ‘Jealousy And Lies’ single (Cooltempo Records), recognised by the dance cognoscenti as the one of, if not the first bona fide UK House record, followed through with a succession of club hits.

A self-taught guitarist, bass player, keyboardist and drum programmer, Julian used his early notoriety to sign a deal with Bump’N’Hustle Records for his next project — a UK Soul album.

Watergates, essentially Julian as composer, lyricist, musician, arranger and producer joined by chanteuse Janette Sewell (ex-Double Trouble), released an album ‘The Scandal’ which showcased Julian’s songwriting skills.

By the early nineties Julian followed his ‘solo’ success with club hits under various aliases, Tyanda (‘I Get A Rush’, Blunted / Island Records); East 57th Street ‘Saturday’ (AM:PM records), and it was at Island’s Blunted imprint where he hooked up with Danny Harrison.

Danny Harrison’s edgy South London tunes had been causing seismic tremors in clubs, his most successful single (‘U Girls’, Blunted / Island Records) released under the alias Nush, charted nationally in 1994.

Mixing Danny’s dance edge to Julian’s more soulful style directly led to the duo’s 1996 ‘Anytime’ under the group name nu birth. It launched the duo’s own record label Nu Jak Records designed specifically to promote and test out their new styles.

Nu Jak Records released two further singles which immediately drew major interest and within weeks all three Nu Jak singles were licensed and re-issued on major record labels, and all cracked the national charts.

nu birth’s ‘Anytime’ quickly established as a club anthem, was re-released by XL Records — twice — charting nationally both in 1997 & 1998.

Their next moniker Gant scored two club hits ‘Sound Bwoy Burial’ and ‘All Night Long’ (Positiva) — but it was their subsequent project, 187 Lockdown, that cemented their reputation.

187 Lockdown’s debut single ‘Gunman’ was “the sound of a subculture exploding”, according to Muzik magazine, caned in Ibiza, and signed to East West in September 97, it went Top 20.… And like ‘Anytime’, doing so twice! It was nominated for the inaugural Ivor Novello Award for Best Dance Song.

Gunman’ is still used heavily to this day on radio and television, it’s most recent insertion was as a motif for Ali G reports on Carlton’s ’11 O’clock Show’ and again for the first series of the ‘Ali G Show’ .
Four more hits, and a critically-acclaimed debut album followed for 187 Lockdown, which included the Top 10 single ‘Kung Fu’, and the Cosa Nostra-flavoured follow-up ‘The Don’.

At the turn of the millennium Julian & Danny’s new monikers, DYNK, Bass City Rollaz and ReFlex, ignited the UK Garage scene. The former two monikers scored underground success with tracks on underground labels (licensed to countless compilation CDs) and supplied a barrage of 2Step mixes for the likes of Another Level, George Morel, Lisa Stansfield and Donnell Jones.

Reflex, on the other hand released a chart hit ‘Put Your Hands Up’ (Gusto Records).

In 2001 the guys main project was the disco-house flava of Stella Browne, borne out of a desire to return to the proper club song, that, as the boys admit, “just wouldn’t have worked a few years ago”, but is bang on the current nu-disco tip , blending quality ‘feel good’ vocals over fat basslines and topped with insidiously hooky-choruses.

Two singles for Oakie’s Perfecto Records kept the boys in the national charts; “Every Woman Needs Love” (#21 in Music Week’s Top Dance Tracks of 2000) and “Never Knew Love” (#48 in Music Week’s Top Dance Tracks of 2001).

More up-tempo house tracks were dropped by the guys under the moniker Mareeko, with the underground anthem ‘More’ (Cream Records).

Julian finally began setting up his own home-studio to enable his returning to his other main love — song writing — whenever time in his busy schedule with Danny has allowed. The first fruits of his endeavours were borne when he penned the lyrics for Discotex’s chart hit ‘I Can Cast A Spell’. He is currently writing and producing a new female artist in development for his RAZABLAZE Productions.