First Listen is a series from Visionary Rising where we provide our readers with early access to the music that will soon become the soundtrack to their lives. Featuring DJs, Musicians, and a host of others, these mixes are curated by artists we love and shared with you to enjoy.
Songs of Freedom Vol.3
Throughout history, music has inspired, uplifted, motivated, and sparked change in society. Whether addressing political issues or making people dance, music has been the healing force uniting those most disenfranchised. In the 1980s, with the fall of disco in the public eye, a few local DJs in New York, Chicago, and Detroit strived to keep it alive.
At clubs like The Warehouse in Chicago, DJs like Frankie Knuckles provided a haven for many gay men coming to get away from the biases of everyday life. Mixing iconic disco tracks by acts like Donna Summer, First Choice, and Instant Funk Knuckles quickly became a pioneer for what was to be known as House Music later. During his 5-year tenure between (1977 – 1982) at The Warehouse, Frankie Knuckles allowed the music to take over and lead the way inspiring other DJs like Ron Hardy and Steve Hurley to help evolve the sounds.
Using synths, drum machines, and adding sound effects to add extra layers to the songs and mixes allowed for the growth of House and created Techno music in the process.
Decades later, the legacy of Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy & Larry Levean is still heard around the world with as many festivals and DJs alike hosting extreme events with crazy lights and solid sound systems in the name of House Music. Today, with the launch of Volume III of our #SongsOfFreedom, we celebrate Black music month, pride month, and Juneteenth, by recognizing the contributions of Chicago’s house music and Detroit's techno scene. If they didn’t push the status quo and create a safe place to celebrate their lifestyles then we would never have concerts like ultra, tomorrow land, or even David Guetta, let that sink in. Created for those who felt left out, house music is the music for the people, giving them a place to feel at home. For creators, by creators. And, the world they love.