Is your groove still in your heart 30 years on? And what happened to Deee-Lite?
US based group Deee-Lite formed in 1986, but it wasn’t till 1990 that they exploded everywhere. Then vanished. So what happened after that Summer of dance and love and is YOUR heart still grooving? Deee-Lite were formed of Dmitry Brill aka Supa DJ Dmitry (b.1964), Kierin Kirby aka Lady Miss Kier (b.1963) and Dong-hwa Chung better known as Towa-Tei (b.1965). Originally Dmitry and Miss Kier performed in clubs but were joined by Towa-Tei in 1988 and began recording together.
Finally, in 1990, the trio were ready to release their debut album and selected “Groove Is In The Heart” as the lead single, a glorious pastiche 70’s funk-90’s dance track with samples and some odd lyrics. The song proved an instant smash when released in September making the top ten in over twenty countries and topping the chart in Australia and Canada. It peaked at No.4 in the US and in the most controversial of all UK charts, No.2. It should of been number one as it tied exactly with the same amount of sales as Steve Miller Band’s reissued “The Joker”. However, a ruling was that if there was a tie at the top, the song that had progressed the most was to be declared the winner. That song was “The Joker”.
Deee-Lite were not impressed and complained. The ruling was later scrapped, so in effect, “Groove Is In The Heart” was and IS a UK chart topper. Steve Miller Band remained number one for a second week, but sold more than Deee-Lite that week and so were legitimately the best seller of the two groups. Deee-Lite’s debut album, “World Clique”, followed soon after making No.14 in the UK and No.20 in America. Four other singles were lifted from the album, but only “Power Of Love” made any impact (UK No.25, US No.47). Deee-Lite returned in 1992 with the album “Infinity Within”, which featured the lead single, “Runaway”. “Runaway” topped the US dance chart (their fourth) but missed both the UK and US singles chart. Their third album, “Dewdrops In The Garden”, completely missed the mark in 1994, as did the four singles. Although “Bring Me Your Love” and “Call Me” both gave the group a fifth and sixth US dance chart topper.
And that was it for Deee-Lite. The three main members went their own separate ways and enjoyed their own separate successes and failures. Supa DJ Dmitry continued to produce and DJ in New York and has worked on many remix projects over the years. Lady Miss Kier became a resident DJ in London as well as writing songs for George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and A Guy Called Gerald. Towa-Tei has forged a hugely successful solo career as a mixer and producer as well as releasing twelve solo album, beginning with “Future Listening” in 1995 to his most recent, “3”, in 2018. His most successful and best known to date is his third album, “Sound Museum”, in 1997, which featured the collaboration with Kylie on the co-penned hit “German Bold Italic”, the first ever ode to a typeface! The pair joined forces again in 2005 for the song “Sometime Samurai” for his album “Flash”.