Deee-Lite’s Groove Is In the Heart

Deee-Lite in The Netherlands 1991 (

Deee-Lite in The Netherlands 1991 (fltr: Jungle DJ Towa Towa, Lady Miss Kier and Super DJ Dmitry)

Ooh lala lalalalala / How do you say delicious?
How do you say delovely? / How do you say delectable?
How do you say divine? / How do you say degroovy?
Dewith it?
How do you say Deee-Lite?

© 1990 Deee-Lite


One hit wonder or not, at the time I really liked Deee-Lite’s World Clique album, which I played a lot. In combination with the ‘daisy’ revolution by De La Soul’s Three Feet High And Rising it provided a heavy dose of feel-good, which I welcomed whole heartedly.

Deee-Lite in 1987/1988 (

Deee-Lite in 1987/1988


The band started in 1986 as a duo with the (romantic) couple Lady Miss Kier (real name Kierin Magenta Kirby) and Super DJ Dmitry (real name Dmitry Brill). In the beginning they performed monthly in various New York clubs. In 1987 they founded their production company Sampladelic, after buying the highly influential Akai sampler.

Beside clubs, some shows were played as the support act to hip-hop artists like De La Soul and Jungle Brothers. It didn’t take long for the group to attract a loyal group of followers. One of them was Towa Tei. He sent the group a demo tape and started collaborating with them. They hit it off and in 1988 Tei joined the band, using the name Jungle DJ Towa Towa.

Deee-Lite stood out in the clubs with their innovative fusion of house, techno, ambient and funk. The visual presentation, heavily inspired by the local drag-queen scene, and the group’s cultural diversity, made the band very popular.

The band had some famous followers as well, among which A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and p-funk bassist extraordinaire Bootsy Collins. Bootsy happened to know some horn players, The Horny Horns…

Deee-Lite - World Clique (

Deee-Lite – World Clique

World Clique

On August 7th, 1990, Deee-Lite’s debut album, World Clique, was released. The great single Groove Is In The Heart, which was a worldwide smash, helped the album become a huge success. The album has quite a number of high profile guests, like Bootsy Collins, Q-Tip, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. In the US the group had several hits, which meant that the album left the album charts in June of 1991. It would be the group’s most successful album.

It’s a pity that the album houses that one humongous hit, Groove Is In The Heart. Even though it truly is a great song, it gives the incorrect impression that Deee-Lite is a typical one hot wonder phenomenon. The album contains more great songs, that make me smile to this very day. I have read that the album sounds dated, but I really don’t get that assumption. The music is funky, warm and (above all) happy and danceable.

Singer and lyricist Lady Miss Kier has a fine voice, and deserved a bigger career.

Deee-Lite - World Clique - Singles (

Deee-Lite – World Clique – Singles


Three singles were culled from the album in The Netherlands, all released in 1990:

  • Groove Is In the Heart
  • Good Beat
  • Power Of Love
Deee-Lite - World Clique back cover (

Deee-Lite – World Clique back cover


All songs written by Deee-Lite, except Deee-Lite Theme, written by Deee-Lite and Herbie Hancock and Groove Is In The Heart, written by Deee-Lite, Herbie Hancock and Jonathan Davis.

  • Deee-Lite Theme
  • Good Beat
  • Power Of Love
  • Try Me On… I’m Very You
  • Smile On
  • What Is Love?
  • World Clique
  • E.S.P.
  • Groove Is In The Heart
  • Who Was That?
  • Deep Ending
  • Build The Bridge

When World Clique was released on compact disc two songs were added: the opening Deee-Lite Theme and the closing Build The Bridge.

Deee-Lite - Press kit (

Deee-Lite – Press kit



  • Lady Miss Kier – vocals
  • Super DJ Dmitry – turn tables, samples
  • Jungle DJ Towa Towa – turn tables, keyboards, programming


  • Bootsy Collins – bass, vocals
  • Q-Tip – raps
  • Maceo Parker – saxophone
  • Fred Wesley – trombone
  • Bill Coleman, Sahirah Moore, Sheila Slappy – (background) vocals
Deee-Lite @ Saturday Night Live 02/16/1991 (

Deee-Lite @ Saturday Night Live 02/16/1991


Deee-Lite went on tour. The tour lasted almost en entire year, visiting many festivals. The shows were exuberant, including dancers, light effects and an extremely tight band, that included p-funk masters Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell. The concerts had a very high musical level, showing Lady Miss Kier’s remarkably good voice. Some of the images and videos circulating on the internet are exciting and spectacular.

Deee-Lite - Infinity Within, Dewdrops In The Garden, Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities (

Deee-Lite – Infinity Within, Dewdrops In The Garden, Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities

After World Clique

Jungle DJ Towa Towa decided not to go on tour. He preferred working on the next album from the comfort of his own house. It would ultimately result in the politically charged Infinity Within in 1992, naming themes like the environment, safe sex and democracy. The albums held two dance hits with Runaway and Pussycat Meow, but the album sold considerably less than the debut. Despite glowing reviews for their previous tour, Deee-Lite wasn’t granted funds for a second tour.

Time for reflection then. The following album was geared to the growing and upcoming rave culture. Jungle DJ Towa Towa wasn’t interested in the new direction and left the band just moments before the release of the 1994 album Dewdrops In The Garden. Towa, who continued his career as DJ Towa Tei, was quickly replaced by DJ Ani. The album fared much better than its predecessor and the band toured for almost a year. Meanwhile the relationship of Miss Kier and DJ Dmitry had fallen apart. After the release of 1996’s remix album Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities, Deee-Lite disbanded.

Deee-Lite - Press kit (

Deee-Lite – Press kit

After Deee-Lite

All members are still active in the world of music as artist and/or DJ. There is no chance of a reunion, ever. In 2017 the World Clique 2cd Deluxe Edition was released, which continued an elaborate booklet and a in-depth interview with Lady Miss Kier.

In closing

What do you think about Deee-Lite and the debut album? Let me know!

This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Deee-Lite’s Groove Is In the Heart. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.

Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!