Richard Earnshaw was performing Chopin and Rachmaninov at the tender age of seven.
He has been active in the world of computer production for thirteen years, and is now – still – only 30 years old.
He completed formal training with a music degree from the University of London; where the freedom of expression he found in jazz, funk and soul beckoned to him to leave behind the manuscript and metronome.
In 1998, Earnshaw and friend Mark Horwood teamed up with Piers Penfold to create The Fusion Groove Orchestra. Richard will tell you that the collaborative efforts inherent in the Fusion’s work – with output like ‘The Dream’ featuring Simon Green; their remix of Lynden David Hall’s ‘Forgive Me’; and Boris D’Lugosch featuring Roissin Murphy’s ‘Never Enough’ – is what helped mould and shape his own soulful vibe.
With gumption entitled a young and talented producer, Earnshaw soon sought an audience with a team who had long provided inspiration, and sent a show-reel to Soulfuric chiefs Brian Tappert & Marc Pomeroy. Impressed with the remix ability and production skills of the young Englishman, Brian asked Richard to put together something original for the label.
The result? ‘People are People’ – and the synthesis of the Soulfuric / Earnshaw sound.
Released in May 02 on Soulfuric Deep, ‘People Are People’ is a rhodes and guitar led melodic diamond. Its dope chords and jazz-swing combined together to become last summer’s full-size favourite on dancefloors from Manchester to Miami, and Melbourne.
Earnshaw’s latest and second Soulfuric release, ‘Joyride’ again blends stellar production, a breezy vocal hook and the signature Richard Rhodes solo. Made to be more peak-time but no less soulful; of creating ‘Joyride’ he reveals only that “.the title says it all.”
Out of the studio and behind the decks, Earnshaw has been in the mix for about three years – predominantly in clubs on the UK’s south coast where he now lives. However, as a pianist, clarinettist, saxophonist and some-time guitarist, it is little wonder that when it comes to music, his ultimate passion is for performing live on stage.
“To perform soulful house music live is such a great buzz. when you’ve got your rhythm and horn sections and vocalist giving it some there is an incredible vibe between you and the crowd. Working in the studio is great fun, and to see people enjoying your music in clubs is brilliant, but performing it live is simply fantastic.
Ask him about his influences, and he will reel off a million – Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Jean Michel Jarre, Quincy Jones, Beethoven, Bach, Earth Wind & Fire, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode. Look at his upcoming release schedule, and it will reflect just how wide-ranging his skills and style are.
This summer there are all-new Earnshaw projects under the monikers Undercover Joe – for truly soulful house; and Kaliko – which a more eclectic, jazz infused affair whose first release is a cover a ‘Cry Me a River’. Then there are the familiar guises, Dubweiser – giving you deep soulful house; and Spiritchaser – the deep tech house outfit that offers just a hint of downbeat and breaks.
Earnshaw is also producing for Groovefinder Productions, UK, and has recently completed remixes for Refunkt (‘Heaven’ featuring Michelle Weeks), Concept/SuSU (‘Take Me Higher’, Avalon) and Avex (‘Free’, Towa Tei). And from Soulfuric camp there are distant rumblings of ‘People are People’ Part II, as well as a new collaboration with label-mates Copyright.
For Richard Earnshaw, music is his passion and his joy, and his way of communicating. For him, “.it is great to think that by creating and performing music, people can forget about the negative things in life and embrace the positives. Even if only for a short time.”