Simon Dunmore lives and breathes house music. His commitment and level of success over the last 30+ years in the house scene is unparalleled.
Early musical loves included both rockabilly and 2 Tone, before the New Romantic scene led him to disco, from where he found his way to soul music. Avidly collecting releases from the likes of Salsoul and Philadelphia International, he soon progressed to DJing, the money from bar gigs helping to feed the vinyl habit. Promoting events in and around West London, he booked DJs such as Gilles Peterson and Bob Jones, and handed a debut gig to a young duo named Rocky and Diesel. As well as DJs, he also put on soul acts like Sam Dees, Lew Kirton and Jessie James; and soon found himself writing for the lauded Blues & Soul Magazine.
Gaining an insight into how cutting-edge independent labels work inspired Simon to launch Defected. Over two decades Defected has constantly demonstrated the ability to compete with the majors by crossing club tracks into the charts, from debut release Soulsearcher’s ‘I Can’t Get Enough’ (1999) via the likes of ‘Another Chance’ by Roger Sanchez (2001), Bob Sinclar’s ‘Love Generation’ (2005), Fish Go Deep’s The Cure and the Cause (2006) and Storm Queen’s ‘Look Right Through’ (2013), to CamelPhat & Elderbrook’s, Grammy-nominated ‘Cola’ in 2017.
Defected (along with sister labels DFTD and Glitterbox) continues to work with the great and the good of house music, be it artists with decades’ worth of experience under their belts with whom Simon has forged long term relationships based on mutual trust and respect; or new breed producers who have grown up with Defected and see working with them as a career goal.
Defected has acquired notable heritage catalogues, including Movin’, Nu Groove Records, Slip’n’Slide and Soulfuric. On picking up the much-loved Classic Music Company, Simon was convinced the label had the relevance and reputation to be a contemporary force. He invited its creator Luke Solomon to work alongside him with Classic as part of the Defected label family, and it has gone from strength to strength with an enviable roster of talent, including Honey Dijon, Oliver Dollar, Folamour and Mike Dunn.
Glitterbox exemplifies so much of what makes Simon special: his enviable knowledge of music and clubbing history, an eye for detail, and innate sense of timing. Allied to his dedication, it has meant that a night that started in 2014 in Ibiza because (as he told Ministry of Sound) “we felt that there was a lack of flamboyance, extravagance and expression on Ibiza and we wanted to fill that gap,” has become a global phenomenon. It is central to Defected’s position as a world class events outfit, which also encompasses touring clubs and festivals worldwide.
2019 saw Simon acknowledged for his Outstanding Contribution at the DJ Awards. While in many walks of life such recognition comes towards the end of a career, Simon shows no signs of slowing down. He remains hugely in demand as a DJ, lighting up dancefloors wherever he goes.