From the very beginning it was planned that Peppermint Jam would remain an independently-distributed label as German distributors, at that time, were more focused on techno and trance, leaving vocal house largely untouched. The turning point, however, was the year 1996 – and Peppermint Jam’s first visit to the Winter Music Conference in Miami (an important international trade fair for electronic music). This milestone in the company’s history resulted in license enquiries from labels such as MAW as well as international collaborations. After their first self-produced releases, the label signed Ruffneck and “Everybody be Somebody” became their first real hit, soon followed by Boris Dlugosch’s “Keep Pushin” and “Hold Your Head Up High” (both featuring Inaya Day).
A key track in the label’s hugely successful 18 year history was, of course, 1998’s worldwide smash hit, ‘Horny.’
“A proper accident,” chuckles Mousse T. “The backing track grew out of the club version of a Michael Jackson remix I had done for his song “Ghost.” I had the beats and the groove and finished the production around 5 in the morning. I wanted to put it in the bin but when I played it Errol and Roger Sanchez they said “you have to put it out”. We called it “Horny” because of the horns and then wrote the lyrics around that. The result changed our lives.”
On the back of the song’s success, the label’s increased revenue and profile attracted some high profile collaborations, including the classic Boris Dlugosch rework of ‘Sing It Back’ by Moloko, and the infamous ‘Sex Bomb,’ featuring Tom Jones (a UK Top 3 smash). “Success allowed a bigger vision,” says Mousse T.
In fact, artist development has always been the main focus for Peppermint Jam. Over the past 15 years, in addition to two Mousse T. albums (Gourmet de Funk and All Nite Madness) many artists such as Emma Lanford (who sang on the UK Top 10 smash “Is It Cos I’m Cool?“), Inaya Day, Cunnie Williams, James Kakande and Omar have been signed and produced by the label. And Peppermint Jam tracks like “Dangerous Vibes” by Ferry Ultra, “Brothers & Sisters” by Michi Lange, “Cruisin’” by Can7 and “Get Up” by Byron Stingily have since become evergreen classics.“
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