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One of the seminal artists in the funky disco house scene San Francisco has become known for, Jonny Phelps, under the production names Jonene, Jonny Kaboom and 65th St. Hustlers, has played a key role as an artist, promoter and producer for more than twelve years.
Well known for his deep, funky house laden with disco beats and smooth grooves, Jonene says, “I see my music as dark and sexyÃ¢ï¿½Â¦I go from laid-back vocals to heavy bass lines to bouncy stuff. I like to keep it flowing and energetic.”
In 1996 Jonene landed the residency that helped launch his career, performing monthly at Stompy Stomp, one of San Francisco’s most famed house events. The monthly deep house weekly featured such residents as Tasho, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina, and it became a cornerstone of the San Francisco scene.
Jonene’s exposure skyrocketed in 1997, when he landed a major sponsor in the form of Extra Strength DJ Company (ESDJCO). He became a resident at their Invitationals, giving him the chance to play alongside international talent such as Mark Grant and Little Louie Vega.
He continued to add residencies to his growing performance resume, including Thursdays at Kit Kat, a nearly 13-year-old weekly in San Francisco where he has been paired up with such artists as John Howard, Miguel Migs, and Garth since 1997; Wednesdays at Bug N’ Out, the longest-running Wednesday night house weekly in San Francisco, where he has maintained a residency since 1996; and the celebrated Saturday night event Release at 1015 Folsom, San Francisco, CA, where he has maintained a monthly residency since 1998.
During the late 90’s as Jonene was beginning to amass residencies; he also began touring extensively, picking up club dates all over the U.S. and around the world, including stops at venues in Europe, South America, Australia and the Far East.
Always balancing a steady stream of releases with a hectic performance agenda, Jonene has released material through numerous U.S. and European outlets since 1992. His tracks have appeared on such imprints as Belgium’s celebrated Aroma Records, the Midwest’s up-and-coming Muzique Boutique label, Doubledown, Scenic, Afterschool, Panhandle, Safe In Sound, Roam, Cider, i Records, and Tronicsole.
Many of Jonene’s productions have arisen from collaborations with other artists. His most frequent partner has been Tony Senghore, whom he teamed up with on several remixes and EPs, along with West Coast house DJ Wally Callerio, under the moniker “Shady Agents.” 65th St. Hustlers consists of Jonene and newcomer Joey Youngman who are taking the scene by storm.
In 1999 Jonene and Tasho, the innovator behind Bug N’ Out and fellow Stompy resident, joined forces to form Panhandle Records
A flurry of releases followed, showcasing the funky, chunky West Coast beats he was becoming famous for, with critically acclaimed tracks from U.S. artists Mark Farina, Jt Donaldson, and Tony Senghore. Rapidly becoming a hot new outlet for house music, international talent Inland Knights and Swirl People would follow suit and release material on the label.
After three years of success at Panhandle, Jonene and Tasho cut ties with the label and relocated to San Diego. Looking to pursue a fresh and different direction, they launched Safe In Sound Music in December 2001 as a new outlet for funky house material.
In 2004 Jonene will divide his time between his efforts with Safe In Sound Music, Stompy, a new fusion of party and digital download site and extensive touring in North America, Asia, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Mexico.