MODJO’S “LADY (HEAR ME TONIGHT)” MADE ME A NINE-YEAR-OLD HOUSE MUSIC CONVERT
Until last year, I told people that I got into dance music—like many others—during late 2010, when the genre was experiencing its American renaissance via figureheads including deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, and a then little-known producer named Skrillex.
Looking back, however, I now realize that I was a fan as far back as childhood, thanks to Modjo.
The French house duo featuring Romain Tranchart and Yann Destagnol was relatively short-lived—four years—but in that time they gifted the dance world with one album and one timeless track, “Lady (Hear Me Tonight).” The 2000 single became an instant hit in Europe, and then in America, peaking at #1 on Billboard’s US Dance Club Songs chart.
At nine years old, I was too young to be up in the club, so the majority of my music was consumed via my mom’s car radio, namely LA station KIIS FM. Around 10pm on weekends, the channel format switched from Top 40 to dance music, spun live and on-location by DJs who cycled through the tried-and-true records: “Better Off Alone,” “Sandstorm,” “Around the World,” “One More Time.” My kid brain couldn’t comprehend the fast tempos, foreign sounds, and repetition of those tracks. As sacrilege as it seems now, my nine-year-old self usually turned the dial to another station.
Thankfully, “Lady,” with its catchy lyrics, funky bassline, and warm disco tones (supplied by sampling the guitar from Chic’s “Soup for One”), was deemed suitable for daytime play among tracks by Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, and other assorted pop stars of that era. Of course, back then, I couldn’t tell you why I gravitated towards it in regards to its mechanics. I just liked how it made me feel—inspiring in me an unfailingly uplifting sensation that to this day flushes my cheeks and plants a dopey smile across my face. Years later, once I got properly situated into dance music (after my dubstep phase), “Lady” informed my personal taste for everything groovy and soulful.
Sixteen years later, disco and funk are making a comeback. Maybe it’s time for these guys to consider one of their own. Modjo, hear me tonight…