A UK Garage legend in his own right, Damon Trueitt has come a long way since featuring on the 1995 release ‘I Refuse (What You Want) with SOMORE. Since then he has featured on countless records and worked with as many incredible artists, including his most recent feature with Toolroom’s own Mark Knight on ‘You Saw Me’. We caught up with Damon to give us his top 10 records that he’s featured on, digging deep into his musical history and helping us to build a picture of who Damon Trueitt really is!
Let me start off by saying I never left music and it never left me. From my first release of ‘I Refuse (What You Want)‘ in 1996 to my current release, ‘You Saw Me‘, my voice has deepened and my experience in the world has widened, allowing me to share a version of myself every step of the way on my journey. Of course, I don’t stand alone. So very grateful for the rich and vibrant tracks from some of the greatest producers in the industry. The most evident aspect of my lyrics and vocals is the pursuit of love, life, and light. So blessed to have worked with those who have taken that pursuit and elevated it.
This song was originally written for another group, so it was in its demo state. I had never expected it to be released, but the universe had something else in mind. Despite me not liking my vocals and being 17 and green, the raw, grittiness of the work took the world by storm and landed on the top 100 UK Dance charts and remains an industry standard (no pun intended). This song has brought many gifts my way. A truly golden moment with this song was being on the dance floor in NYC with friends, when the DJ played it. Beyond us jumping and dancing, I became emotional as I heard the crowd singing the lyrics. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
2. FKJ – ‘Higher In Love feat. Damon Trueitt‘
Working with FKJ was a dream come true. His soulful and spiritual vibe connected with mine to produce a song that would gain over a million views on social media. He is simply a musical genius. He built the track on stagnant vocals-genius! For me, ‘Higher In Love‘ was my love letter to the universe, to the world and the world responded with unbelievable thunderclaps of love. I received comments from Australia to Japan to Brazil and every place in between. The underlying theme of this song was one of Self-love, which is sometimes the hardest thing to achieve. I realized I’d hit the mark when I got a message from a fan that said the song had saved their life.
A song about transitions. Working with JazzyFunk in this song about transitions, we came up with the concept of making the overall melancholy vibe. Since all my work revolves around love, we wanted to tap into the sadness of letting go of love. It was wonderful to work with a group of producers who thought it would be interesting to state that musically. The Dirty Nano remix perfectly melded those themes. This was the last production I was able to work with Antoan Salih Towe, my musical muse, friend, and partner in No Midi Music. I still feel his loss to this day.
4. Mogul feat. Damon Trueitt – ‘Soulglow‘
The feel-good vibe in SoulGlow came from memories of Saturday morning dance marathons with my mom and brothers. twirling around the room, full of fun, laughter, and music spanning the 60’S, 70’s, and 80’s.
To quote Mogul: “Whenever I feel off, I can drop this song and it immediately lifts my spirits again.”.
Collaborating with Mogul was one of the most effortless projects I have been a part of.
5. YesYou feat. Damon Trueitt – ‘Change Is Gonna Come‘
Initially, we wanted to do an old blues song while speaking of what was happening now in the world. A throwback to early 90’s and 2000’s Moby sound. This was the first time dealing with a producer besides Antoan, that embraced my deconstructed sound. In this song I did not need to be pitch perfect and that allowed me the freedom to focus on storytelling.
‘Night Road‘ came from a desperate desire to create a lyrical country song. A simple baseline coupled with desperado guitar licks paved the way for an effortless story of a hero’s journey. Color Castle was amazing to work with, since he instantly connected to the concept. Plus, it was done in one take. We rode over the western badlands in style with this one.
7. Moods feat. Damon Trueitt – ‘Slow Down‘
One of the coolest songs I have ever made with one of the coolest people I know. His simplistic approach to this song created a “stone cold” groove. We set out to make a song about love standing right in front of you. What we accomplished was a song that transcended musical genres.
8. Roman Kouder feat. Damon Trueitt – ‘Just Try‘
Roman’s sensibilities were aligned with mine in terms of creating this project. The hardest part of this production was taking a song we both loved and whittling it into being radio ready. This tune was created for the burdened soul needing to find a way out of the darkness. We wanted to create a rainbow. Hence the arc of hope throughout this song. Perfect merge of lyrics and track.
It was Peace Bringa’s father, Robert Watz, that brought us together after listening to some of my work. It was a meeting that was fated to happen in the universal way of things. Young, talented producer. His track was otherworldly and definitely outside of the box, which was refreshing and imaginative, so I jumped in. It was a galactic leap working with Peace Bringa’s technical skills in vocal engineering and his futuristic leanings.
10. Mark Knight feat. Damon Trueitt – ‘You Saw Me‘
When I received an email from the Legendary Mark Knight stating he wanted to work with me, I totally went into fan boy mode and after talking with him, I instantly popped on Social Media to say I would be doing a project with him. That excitement has only amplified through the process and with the release of ‘You Saw Me‘. Being a part of such a well thought out album was more than I expected, and coupled with the freedom to express myself on such a massive track had me speechless at times.
One of the key factors with this single was both of us wanting to pay tribute to ‘I Refuse‘ without trying to recreate it. Mark understood ‘I Refuse‘ was a moment in time and the only thing he asked of me was to sing with that same energy while adding in 20 years of new life experiences. This song was written at the tail end of a 23-year long relationship, so the yearning and hurt you hear is truly the most genuine parts of my soul coupled with Mark’s amazing producing skills.
Thus, creating an anthem song about personal liberation. The only thing that would have made this project an absolute slam dunk would have been the ability to record with Mark in person, but it wasn’t possible with the presence of covid. I can’t wait for ‘You Saw Me‘ to become a classic on the dance floor embodying the core message of the lyrics: let go and let the music take you higher into the sunshine of your life. Big thanks To Mark and the Toolroom Crew!