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Groovilicious was founded in 1995 by Michael McDavid.  The imprint was initially distributed by the leading New York house label Strictly Rhythm, which was beginning to diversify from releasing records solely under its own logo to manufacturing and distributing non-owned labels, such as the newly launched Masters At Work Records. 
McDavid’s early A&R vision was a twist on the then Strictly sound, still house but a little harder and a little less New York focused; the first releases included tracks by California’s Sweet Drop and Chicago’s Ralphi Rosario (Rosabel).  But newly arrived in New York from the West Coast, McDavid quickly started to tap in to the thriving club scene spearheaded by the idiosyncratic Junior Vasquez, the city’s leading DJ.  Vasquez had risen to prominence with his residency as sole DJ at the Sound Factory, a cavernous space in a seedy warehouse district on the western fringes side of the Chelsea neighbourhood in midtown Manhattan.  During the early 90s Vasquez forged a harder, tribal edged sound as he moved away from the more soulful and melodic styles of house that had previously dominated New York.  When the Factory was closed down in 1995 Vasquez moved on to the Tunnel and Arena, eventually returning in 1997 to the same space, now renamed Twilo. In the interim

Danny Tenaglia had set up as one of the residents at Twilo and he too pursued the new, harder-edged sound. 
It was Vasquez who gave Groovilicious its breakthrough release, the controversial If Madonna Calls.  Reputedly the early version played by Vasquez featured an answering machine message left by Madonna herself, who was known to frequent the Sound Factory.  True or not, Madonna was by all accounts unimpressed with the record, which included the recorded message and featured the lyric ‘If Madonna calls…I’m not here’ and tried in vain to block its release.   The song’s success - #2 on the Billboard dance chart and a top 30 position in the UK pop chart, combined with the licence of the Angel Moraes produced Dream Come True by Angela Lewis to UK imprint Deconstruction persuaded Strictly Rhythm to acquire Groovilicious outright, with McDavid installed as A&R manager. 
Now riding a wave of a new style of club music in the Tri-State area, Groovilicious steadily became a serious competitor to Strictly Rhythm itself, eventually becoming the dominant player on its home turf and winning the award for Best Independent Label at the Miami International Dance Music Awards for four years in a row from 1998 to 2001.  The label’s success was three-pronged; club tracks that appealed to the suburban so-called guido scene (Razor N Guido’s Do It Again, Hani’s Baby Wants To Ride and Johnny Vicious’ Ecstasy), tracks that appealed to the booming New York gay/tranny scene (Clockwork’s If You Believe, Shine’s Bitch and Magic Dog’s Mirror Mirror), and the licensed-in, often more commercial European releases by the likes of Brainbug, Darude and Vengaboys.  Among the producers and remixers represented in the catalogue are Arthur Baker, Brutal Bill Marquez, Peter Rauhofer, Chris Staropoli (aka That Kid Chris) and Jason Nevins.

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