“Deeper Shades of Music,” the latest album from Atlanta’s DJ Calvin, will hit stores and online streaming services in October, just in time for Pride weekend.
“It’s a collaboration of oldies, ‘90s music to today’s music, from Janet to Michael to Madonna and so forth,” Calvin Hemphill told Georgia Voice. “It’s going to be a dance CD.”
Hemphill will debut the music during a performance at TEN Atlanta.
“It’s been a while since I put anything new out, probably over two years,” he said. “I decided it was time for me to put something new out. … This is more vocal, this is more music that I grew up with and how I got into the DJ business.”
Hemphill hopes the new CD will send a message of reuniting as a community, whether that’s through music, conversation or being with other people. In addition to being available on SoundCloud and other download services, he said the album will be for sale at Barking Leather and Atlanta Eagle. Some of the proceeds will go to a nonprofit that works with HIV testing and combating stigma.
“I feel that sending a message about the crisis we have in our community and the world is a good way to reach people,” Hemphill said. “I want to put music out, but I want to get people to embrace each other.”
Hemphill began DJ-ing more than 20 years ago, and for much of his career became a familiar face at charity, leather and bear events. In the last five years, his music evolved with a different rhythm that’s garnered him national acclaim. Earlier this month he performed for more than 1,500 at California’s Lazy Bear Weekend, and just after he did a show in Birmingham, Alabama, and the owners want him to come back.
“I got great feedback. I did my type of music, I played some newer stuff, but I did some remixes of the music from the past. People love it,” Hemphill said. “The owner [in Birmingham] came and said, ‘We really like your music. You give us a great variety of music. You take us back to the ‘90s and ‘80s.”
Take a listen to some of DJ Calvin’s mixes on SoundCloud: