As you probably know, the legendary Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy has passed away at 91 years old. His worldwide brand has had a few encounters with electronic music as well.
On the year 1999, the bunny-logo company published a fourteen track compilation inviting French DJ Dimitri for Paris. Now the Parisian musician speaks about his experience working with Hefner and how the project was forged.
He explains the first contact was at a Miami party during the Winter Music Conference in 1998, where Respect is Burning crew and Playboy collaborated. “The French Touch was then at its peak, and over a casual conversation, they offered Respect Is Burning and myself, to come throw a party at the Playboy Mansion”, Dimitri commented.
“The one condition for us to actually get to do this, was that the reps needed a reason, concept, for the event, so the they could pitch it to Hugh Hefner.” They asked “Do you have a new album coming out soon? That would be a great opportunity to do a launch party at the Mansion”.
A few months later and after several visits to the company’s archives to prepare the concept and graphic design, we had the selection, cover and mix of ‘A Night Of The Playboy Mansion’. “The glory days of the Playboy Mansion parties were in the mid-seventies, and I figured the music would be mostly disco, of the happy and hedonistic kind”, he added.
After obtaining Hefner’s approval, the project went ahead and on April 29, 1999 and they celebrated the party at the millionaire’s mansion. “We all met Hef, and despite the brash world he created, he was a delightful soft spoken person”.
“‘A Night At The Playboy Mansion’ managed to sell 400,000 copies, got gold records, and served to start a series of four more CDs.”
“That series made my name go around the world, as well as a particular sound, disco music with deep African-American roots”, the DJ concludes. “Thank you Hugh Hefner, that wouldn’t have been possible without you!
I have no doubt your legacy will stay strong, may you rest in peace.”