At the end of the 1990s, Mike Grant re-emerged as one of the leading figures in Detroit's growing house scene after spending the majority of the decade and the late '80s pursuing other ambitions. When Grant's fresh Moods & Grooves label began raising more than a few eyebrows with its catalog of releases by many of Detroit's best house producers -- as well as many other soulful non-Detroit artists such as G Flame & Mr. G. and Brian Harden -- few knew that he had been a key figure in the Motor City's early- to mid-'80s electronic dance scene as a talented DJ. His musical career began at an early age, influenced by Detroit's fledgling music scene and his uncle, the general manager at a local R&B/dance radio station, WKWM. By 1980, the young Grant had joined a DJ collective known as Men of Music while becoming close friends with schoolmate Blake Baxter. Grant and Baxter began swapping DJ tactics and mix tapes, with Grant eventually joining Baxter's DJ group, the Beat Sound Company. A few years later, in 1983, Grant was scoring club residencies in Detroit alongside legends such as Ken Collier and also managed to make appearances on The Scene, a video dance show on WGPR alongside other local superstars such as Jeff Mills. During this mid-'80s era, Grant's reputation as one of the city's top DJs led to eventual friendships and partnerships with many of that era's other top DJs, most notably future techno legends Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May, and Juan Atkins. During the summer of 1985, he became a member of Detroit's first radio mix show, Street Beat, where alongside his other talented peers, the foundation for what would later become early Detroit techno was ultimately formed. Yet while Atkins, May, Mills, and Kevin Saunderson began creating the first techno records in the mid- to late '80s -- and becoming global legends in the process -- Grant stayed true to his decision to join the military. During this time, he continued to DJ on the military base and in Seattle, where he practically introduced the sounds of Detroit techno to the unsuspecting West Coast. Following his time in the military, Grant then studied telecommunications in Chicago and began his career in this same field, while occasionally returning to his hometown for the occasional performance. In the late '90s, he planned his return, beginning with a recording as Black Noise on Metroplex Records, titled "Nature of the Beast." This dark, monstrous techno record renewed interest, cumulating with its inclusion on mix CDs such as Juan Atkins' Wax Trax! Mastermix and DJ T-1000's Live Sabotage. But it wasn't with techno that Grant would soon find recognition but rather with the soulful grooves of house music. Instead of just DJing and producing tracks, he went to the lengths of starting his own label, Moods & Grooves, and began releasing the work of his peers -- such as Alton Miller and Brett Dancer -- as well as his own music. By mid-2000, the label had received substantial acclaim -- including a high-profile appearance by Grant at the landmark Detroit Electronic Music Festival -- and plans were underway to start additional labels focusing on techno and urban sounds.
Share this page