Hip-hop game-changer Timbaland doesn't hook up with just anyone. But he was bustin' to jump on the hot new banger Not All About The Money, helmed by DJ/producer/hitmaker Mister P, AKA Panos Liassi, of Supafly fame, and pal Christos Papathanasiou, operating under the handle LA LA LAND. The record, out on Germany's overground Kontor Records through Sony, has already hit Top 10 in Switzerland and Austria, while in Germany it's Top 20. In the meantime, Not All About The Money has been signed to Ministry Of Sound Australia. That's big.
Mister P, originally from London, was destined to follow a career in music as a little kid. "I always had a love for dance music – and music in general. Maybe it was because as a child my parents would leave the radio on all night to put me to sleep." Not that young Mister P was sleeping. He was listening.
Mister P began as a b-boy. "At 12 I was heavily into hip-hop and breakdancing, but I was really crap at it! But I noticed I always seemed to be the dude with the freshest beats – and the breakers were always asking for cassette mix-ups. Yep, I was the sound man – I had found my place." By his late teens, the precocious DJ was not only holding down residencies, but also putting on warehouse parties, dance music surging. Still, he was restless.
In 1988 Mister P visited the UK to immerse himself in all things acid house. He had just £250 in his pocket. Mister P had his share of adventures, not always musical, in London. "I got a bar job the second night after I arrived, as the barman before me got robbed and killed," he reveals. In downtime Mister P dedicated himself to music. He finally settled in London, DJing in the city and, come summer, Ayia Napa. "I was doing jungle and drum 'n' bass at the time and also working with A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd, which was pretty cool. Marc Williams was one of my heroes as he made Total Confusion, which in my opinion was one of the groundbreaking tunes of the rave scene."
The industrious Mister P was similarly involved in Marc's outfit Project 1, again aligned with the late Caspar Pound's Rising High Records. "We made quite a few tunes, working along the way with Kathy Brown, Goldie and Shy FX, to name a few. We even made it into Wikipedia as being among the founders of drum 'n' bass." Mister P had a hand in remixing Livin' Joy's Italo-house monster Dreamer of the mid-'90s with Marc as Blu Room.
Marc & Co ran a 24-hour studio in an old Hoxton Street basement – and here they threw memorable free "crazy" parties, with 2000 people showing.
Marc would go on to mentor and manage Labrinth. Recently, he and Mister P have reunited to produce alongside Raf Riley (Odd Child, Mad Decent).
Ever fidgety, Mister P himself conceived Amen! UK, fronted by charismatic Naomi Campbell lookalike Luvain. He'd hustle 1000 white label pressings of Passion around London's record stores. "I can tell you, carrying three boxes of 30 records in the Tube is friggin' heavy!," he recalls. Mister P still couldn't afford cabs. But that soon changed. "To my surprise, the track started to blow up and get a lot of attention." An Australian label held out £1500, "which," Mister P says, "was quite ironic as I travelled all the way from Australia to London only to get offered a deal from the Aussies." The Aussies were outbid. "I got a better deal from Arista Records for £10,000, which in 1993 was a lot of money." Due to corporate fumbling, Passion eventually surfaced on De-construction and then EMI's dance offshoot Positiva. It was a massive hit, becoming 1997's seventh best-selling single in the UK – and one of the biggest dance tracks of the year globally.
Though Mister P revelled in "the high life", he didn't slack off, DJing solidly and remixing everyone from Ricky Martin to Cher to the fondly remembered Aqua. He produced more music as Amen! UK, while introducing myriad other monikers, including A Vs. B. Mister P co-wrote and produced 1998's anthem Lover for Manchester dance diva (and sometime Loveland singer) Rachel McFarlane. It was mashed-up with Paul van Dyk's For An Angel for a popular bootleg. "The tune was a massive worldwide club smash and unofficial UK No. 1," says Mister P, who, alas, didn't see even five pence.
In 1999 Mister P launched his most enduring vehicle yet in the sound system-inspired Supafly with vocalist Andrew Tumi (AKA One), developing a hybrid of dancehall, hip-hop, rock, electro and house – before hybrids were hip thanks to everyone from N*E*R*D to Major Lazer. Their first track, also entitled Superfly, came out on oh-so-very collectible limited edition red vinyl. They aired Pleasure Love (as De Funk, with Marc onboard), an Ibiza smash hailed by Mixmag as the best dance single of 2000, plus a "cheeky" cover of Prince's Erotic City, signed to Erick Morillo's Subliminal Records and a Pete Tong fave. Tongy selected Let's Get Down as an Essential Tune – and it, too, bumped dancefloors everywhere, topping the charts in several European countries, among them Italy. In Oz it was licensed by FOX8 (Foxtel) for a summer campaign. Supafly scored another hit with the Phil Collins-sampling Moving Too Fast.
In 2000 Mister P returned to the Antipodes, accepting a residency at Melbourne superclub QBH. But, before long, he was back in the UK. Here, Mister P nurtured future Aussie star Havana Brown, teaching the then Fishbowl singer to DJ.
Supafly aren't done. The pair are currently fiendishly readying an album, the lead single Happiness dropping in October with remixes from Raf Riley, Oliver Twizt, Full Intention, Wideboys, Jerome, Tyrrell, Champion and Mike Delinquent Project. The video has been shot in Los Angeles by streetwise director Rock Jacobs. Supafly continue to tour their live show all over the planet.
And Mister P can't stay still. That Timbaland track aside, he's teamed with Brit Jon Pearn (Bodyrox, Full Intention) for Polluted Mindz. This summer the vets unleashed Ride My Beat, the jam attracting Radio 1 airtime. There really is no stopping Mister P.