Hailing originally from St Louis, Osunlade learnt his trade as a gun-for-hire producer and songwriter while working around Hollywood in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Apart from landing gigs with the likes of Patti Labelle and Freddie Jackson, he also earned credits working for majors like Warner, Epic and BMG and acquired a skillset few dance music producers can match. But a move to New York and exposure to its club scene saw him reengaging with house music and culminated in the foundation of his label Yoruba, an imprint that communicates his deep spiritual ties to that ancient tradition.
Although Osunalde is known in dance music circles for genuine hits like “Envision” and “Dionne,” his muse as often as not leads him away from house music and back to his roots in soul and jazz. Last month he stopped by RA‘s Berlin office for a conversation with Christine Kakaire, covering everything from the 20th anniversary of Yoruba to the surprise of being sampled on DJ Khaled’s Beyoncé and Jay-Z collaboration, “Shining.”