A major figurehead and one of the ‘OG’ Djs in Detroit’s House Scene, Delano Smith is all about groove. As a pioneer of house and techno, he’s had much influence in defining the genre’s landscape – carving out a deep, soulful and rhythmic sound that’s made him internationally known.

When party culture was taking its defining steps and the world was just discovering the influence a DJ could have. Smith was battling his way to the top in a competitive scene full of talent, ultimately being taken under the wing by, the pivotal figure of Detroits’ DJ culture, Ken Collier to master his skills.

His initial sets were a fusion of soul, disco and early electronic sound and those dancing to his sets in the late 70s and early 80s would later become ambassadors of a scene with worldwide appeal. During this time of liberation and discovery, the economic downturn in the mid 00s brought Smith back to the house and techno fray. Adapting to music has never been difficult for Delano, he’s just done what he’s always done, piece together perfectly programmed sets of grooving floor killers (timeless!).

Championing permutations of the post-disco era, a sound described by Smith’s luminaries as ‘progressive’ before house and techno was officially coined, he began receiving bookings beyond his hometown, eventually touring consistently between the US and Europe. In 2009, a pivotal relationship with Berlin Label, Susitech began. After a string of successful EPs with the label, his ‘Odyssey LP’ exploded onto the collective consciousness of the house and techno world. From there he released singles played across the board and gave birth to a cluster of killer remixes.

Flash forward to 2017, Smith drops his third LP ‘The Detroit Lost Tapes’ from, Sushitech, which became critically acclaimed. He then follows up the next year with his slick deep house track ‘Safe Place’ that has enough spark to fuel a range of dancefloors, from warming up a half-empty room to resetting the energy at a packed after-hour party. We’re sure his collaborative EP with Omar S, ‘Deeper Fundamentals’, dropping this November will have the same punch – in other words, classic (grooving floor killers) Delano Smith. Also in the works for mid-2020 is a live show, showcasing unheard demo tracks from the archives.

Of the original crop of Detroit’s DJs, Delano Smith is one of the few still dedicated to his craft. He’s managed to keep himself humble though, standing shoulder to shoulder with the figureheads he once educated, as he continues to write a brand new chapter for the house and techno scene. Before his warm-up set at The Vault on November 8th, Delano took time off his (obviously) busy schedule to let us take a peek inside his musical mind, by sharing some of the tracks that have inspired him as an artist.


“Probably my introduction to electronic music, listened to this album constantly as a kid. The BluePrint of Techno in my opinion.”

“Another disco favorite of mine, although the best part of the record was at the break (what seemed to be the case with a lot of disco records back then) it’s generally where I mixed it until the Danny Krivit edit came along in the early 2000’s.”

“I didn’t embrace Techno at its inception, I was still into the Disco and synth pop tracks I grew up with. This was the first track I liked from Derrick, now I’m a Fan, LOL!”

“One of my all time greatest albums from one of my favorite producers. Used to fall asleep to this album, just put it on and let it play back in the day. Timeless adult music.”

“If this album isn’t in every house music lovers top ten, then they don’t know house! But, that’s just me – A Masterpiece!”

It’s clear that Delano has no intention of slowing down, as he’s dropping his collaborative EP with Omar S, ‘Deeper Fundamentals’, this November, which is sure to be another classic (grooving floor killers). We’re already refreshing his Soundcloud page every 5 minutes, in anticipation of this epic drop.

Don’t miss the OG at Vault on 8 November!