Green Velvet, also known as Cajmere, pursued a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois. During his time there, he immersed himself in the vibrant house culture, which would later shape his musical journey. In 1991, while in the midst of his graduate studies, Cajmere returned to Chicago to chase his passion for producing house music.
In 1992, after surviving on modest means and pushing the limits of his credit, Cajmere made a significant impact on the dance music community with his infectious experiment titled “Coffee Pot” (also known as “It’s Time for the Percolator”), released on Clubhouse Records. He then progressed to create more intricate musical compositions, including Lidell Townsell’s “Get With U” on Mercury Records.
A pivotal moment arrived when Cajmere collaborated with Dajae, resulting in the dance hit “Brighter Days,” which reached #2 on the Billboard Dance Chart and gained international acclaim. It was during this period that Cajmere decided to establish Cajual Records, granting him the creative independence to develop a sound that authentically represented Chicago’s music scene, effectively putting the city back on the musical map.
In 1993, Cajmere founded Relief Records, serving as a platform for his own and other producers’ track-oriented work.
Under the Relief label, the enigmatic and unconventional persona of Green Velvet emerged, complete with his distinctive afro wig. Green Velvet’s debut release on the Relief label was “Preacher Man,” followed by “Flash” and “The Stalker,” both of which received unexpected praise and global recognition.
In 1997, Green Velvet’s experimentation with fusing 80s electronic funk with Chicago’s obsession for the perfect track resulted in the creation of “Answering Machine,” featuring a humorous yet infectious hook – “I don’t need this shit!” As the year 1999 approached, Green Velvet introduced “Constant Chaos,” an electronic journey through lyrical landscapes. In a recent interview with Muzik, Green Velvet likened his work to “folk music for the rave scene.”