Founded in 1974 by Joseph Cayre, Kenneth Cayre, and Stanley Cayre (the Cayre brothers). Salsoul Records was at the vanguard of the emerging disco sound. As the founders began to expand their roster of artists and projects, Salsoul Records quickly became synonymous with the New York-based roots of the genre.
Salsoul Records launched the careers of a number of artists, including Willie Colón, Loleatta Holloway, The Salsoul Orchestra and The Salsoul Strings and Horns. The label served as a leader in the development and promotion of both Latin soul and jazz-funk, two now-important genres of dance music. Salsoul released the first commercially available 12-inch single, Double Exposure’s “Ten Percent”, in 1976, catapulting Salsoul Records into the spotlight. This success was followed by an array of the now-iconic singles and albums, most notably Dennis Parker’s “Like An Eagle,” Loleatta Holloway ‘Love Sensation’, The Salsoul Orchestra Christmas Jollies, and the chart topping single The Salsoul Orchestra featuring Loleatta Holloway ‘Run away”.
The label’s name was conceived by artist Joe Bataan, who recorded some of the earliest sessions for the Cayre brothers before the label’s formation. “Salsoul” was street lingo for the musical culture of urban Latinos who were listening to soul music and combining it with salsa music.
The legendary New York City-based recording studio and headquarters of Salsoul Records, commonly known as “The Hit Factory,” further added to the label’s growing influence and successes. Headed by house engineer Tony Bongiovi (who would go on to co-found Power Station Studios with his cousin, John Bongiovi –a.k.a. Jon Bon Jovi), the Hit Factory was responsible for recording and producing many of the house classics featured in clubs at the time.
The legacy of Salsoul Records has been preserved and celebrated in the three-volume compilation series, Salsoul Mastermix, which features rare and unreleased tracks, as well as classics from the label released between 1974 and 1985. This collection serves as a reminder of the innovative spirit with which Salsoul Records approached the music business; a timeless dedication to quality.
To this day, Salsoul Records remains a leader in the dance music community, providing a valuable insight into the music and culture of this era. Their iconic productions and releases continue to be sampled, inspiring generations of producers, DJs, and dance music enthusiasts. The label has become one of the most influential voices in the genre and its timeless existence remains a testament to the innovation of one of the most important dance-music labels of all time.