August 25, 2021
Frankie Knuckles is considered the godfather of house music. His seminal DJ sets at Chicago’s Warehouse gave birth to house music culture. And he was shining example of black and LGBTQ excellence. Tracks like “Your Love,” and “The Whistle Song” still reverberate from the speakers of clubs and festivals. They stand as a testament to the timeless quality of his work. DJ International, one of Chicago’s longest-running house music labels, unearthed an unreleased Frankie Knuckles tune. “I Want The Love Of My Own.” It will be released this year to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his first release, “You Can’t Hide.”
DJ International found “I Want The Love Of My Own” on an old reel-to-reel tape deep in their vaults. The previously unheard and unreleased song was restored and remastered by long-time Knuckles collaborator and friend Eric Kupper. The pair worked together from the early days of Knuckles career.
The news of the release comes on the anniversary of Knuckles death on August 25th. Declared Frankie Knuckles Day by President (and former Illinois senator) Barack Obama. The day celebrates the massive contribution Knuckles made to music culture and Chicago's history.
The relevance of this release can’t be understated. After over 30-years, dance music has grown to be a global phenomenon. Its positivity and power reach every corner of the globe. And after decades of largely being ignored by audiences in the US (where it began), house music is recognized as a legitimate and necessary art form. Knuckles stands as a pioneer and role model in the Black and LGBTQ communities. He was openly gay in an age where that was unheard of for someone of his stature. And he created a safe space for the marginalized to feel comfortable and at home with their identities.
“I Want The Love Of My Own” may be a lasting testament to his activist spirit. DJ International says, “It is also rumoured to be performed by two men juxtaposing intertwining question and answer male vocals, toying with sexuality itself.”
The release will support the Frankie Knuckles Foundation, the non-profit that carries on his tireless advocacy work. The 501c3 organization focuses on music in schools, LGBTQ youth homelessness, AIDS research and prevention, and diabetes research and prevention. The foundation also supports the Brave Space Alliance, the first Black and trans-led LGBT+ center to provide social services to the LGBTQ+ community of Chicago.
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