Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Deee-Lite

Deee-Lite was a dance\pop music group from New York City, New York. The original line-up consisted of Super DJ Dmitri (born Dmitry Brill on June 4, 1964 in Kiev, Ukraine), Jungle DJ Towa (born Towa Tei on September 7, 1964 from Tokyo, Japan) and Lady Miss Kier (born Kierin Magenta Kirby on August 15, 1963 in Youngstown, Ohio).

Lady Miss Kier spent time in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Washington, D.C. before settling in New York City in 1982 when she was 19 years old to pursue a career in fashion design. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology to study textile design, but later dropped out. She worked as a waitress, bartender, coat checker, bathroom attendant, go-go dancer & an art gallery receptionist while continuing to study & work at designing on her own.

Jungle DJ Towa started making demo tapes when he was 16 years old after buying his first synthesizer. While studying at the Musashino Art University Junior College of Art & Design, Towa sent his tape to a radio program of musician Ryuichi Sakamoto entitled "Sound Street." He moved to the United States in 1987 to study graphic design.

Super DJ Dmitri played in a rock music cover band in the Soviet Union and arrived in New York City, deejaying in large dance clubs where he soon met Lady Miss Kier. After meeting him in 1986, Lady Miss Kier made him silver platform boots and a glitter blue spacesuit for his band, Shazork as well as a line of platform shoes.

During that same year, Lady Miss Kier began experimenting with singing & songwriting with Dmitri and they wrote several songs together including "Love and Bubbles" & "I Won't Give Up."

The first show that they gave, Dmitri was introduced to Towa shortly thereafter. Combining Lady Miss Kier's vocal & lyric talents along with Dmitri's sampling skills and Towa's techno mixing, the three of them formed the group, Deee-Lite.

They had a performance every month with Lady Miss Kier designing new outfits for each one. She continued go-go dancing for Bentleys and the Copa until Deee-Lite signed a 7-album deal with Elektra Records.
In 1990, Deee-Lite released their debut album "World Clique" which peaked at #20 on the Billboard 200 chart and #34 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The first single "Groove is in the Heart" became their biggest & only hit to date, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1990, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart & Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #28 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

In Australia, the song topped the ARIA Singles Chart for a week and in the U.K., the song peaked at #2 on the U.K. Singles chart.

Internationally, the song was successful in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

The song featured guest artists Bootsy Collins of Funkadelic, who played bass guitar & provided guest vocals and a rap by A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip. The song was certified Gold in the United States, with sales certified at 500,000.
The second single from the album "Power of Love" peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February of 1991, topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart & Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi Singles Sales chart (along with the song "What is Love"), and #54 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 7 weeks.
The third single "E.S.P." peaked at #7 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in April of 1991 and #5 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The fourth single "Good Beat" became Deee-Lite's third #1 dance hit, topping the chart in June of 1991.
In 1992, Deee-Lite released their second album "Infinity Within" which peaked at #67 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album "Runaway" topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in July of 1992 and Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart. The song also managed to chart in Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The follow-up single "Thank You Everyday" failed to make the charts in the United States or internationally.
The last single from the album "Pussycat Meow" peaked at #6 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in January of 1993 and #26 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

Prior to the release of the group's third album, Towa left the band and was replaced by DJ Ani (born Ani Q. Schempf on December 14, 1973 in Kansas City, Kansas).
In 1994, Deee-Lite released their third and last studio album, "Dewdrops in the Garden" which peaked at #127 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The first single, "Party Happenin' People" peaked at #30 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in May of 1994.
The follow-up single "Picnic in the Summertime" peaked at #43 on the U.K. Singles chart, but failed to chart in the U.S. and anywhere else internationally.
The third single, "Bring Me Your Love" topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in August of 1994.
Their last single, "Call Me" became Dee-Lite's last number one dance hit, topping the chart in February of 1995 and #19 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

Even though the group broke up during the writing of the album, Lady Miss Kier and Super DJ Dmitri continued to finish up the project & tour together to promote the album before they went their separate ways, officially breaking up in 1994.
In 1996, Deee-Lite's remix album, "Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities" was released, but didn't appear to make the charts. Their greatest-hits album was released in 2001. Super DJ Dmitri and DJ Ani have since maintained successful club DJ careers.

After Deee-Lite disbanded, Lady Miss Kier moved to London where she deejayed and performed in clubs. In 1995, she contributed the track "Touch Me With Your Sunshine" which appeared on the "Wigstock: The Movie" soundtrack. In 1996, she debuted new songs at the Enit Festival, but they were never officially released.

In the late 90s, Kier collaborated on albums by artists such as Bootsy Collins, I Kamanchi, and A Guy Called Gerald.

In 2002, she contributed an exclusive solo track entitled "I'm Not Staying at Home" to the compliation album, "Straight Up & Dirty."

In 2005, Kier began performing new material and then appearing in club performances internationally in New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Brussels, Zurich, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Australia.

She made TV appearances on the OUTtv/Pink TV television series, "The House of Venus Show" and has been featured in the New York City festival, Wigstock.

During that same year, Kier appeared on the podcast, "Ron-Ka-Delic Show" where she premiered her solo music for the first time and a year later, she toured in Australia with the Good Vibrations Festival. Kier continues to be active in the music business and continues to tour as well.

Since leaving Deee-Lite, Towa has recorded several solo albums. He returned to Japan, but later came back to New York.

In an interview in 2011, he stated that creative and personal differences caused him to leave the group and dismissed the chances of the group getting back together.

To see Lady Miss Kier's official website, go to:
http://ladykier.com/

To see the music video for "Groove is in the Heart," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOSA4OO1qgQ

To see a fan-made video for "Power of Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi8wsvW20Ww

To see a fan-made video for "ESP," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSNEyGeISXM

To see the music video for "Good Beat," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WECCRdNQZP4

To see a fan-made video for "Runaway," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W00hNRjLVnk

To see a fan-made video for "Thank You Everyday," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7AfV5qcCaQ

To see a fan-made video for "Pussycat Meow," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFiwWhPLCy8

To see a fan-made video for "Party Happenin' People," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAjZWWCf_Uk

To see the music video for "Picnic in the Summertime," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtDiMDwr11g

To see a fan-made video for "Bring Me Your Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1OAYgbaVmc

To see a fan-made video for "Call Me," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJdg1GMoOUk

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