David Russell Lee is an English DJ and house music producer, formerly known by the stage name Joey Negro, which he retired in July 2020 following the George Floyd protests. He has released music under a variety of pseudonyms, including Jakatta, Doug Willis, Raven Maize, Sessomatto as well as being part of The Sunburst Band. Lee has scored a number of top 40 hits, among them “American Dream”, “So Lonely” and “My Vision”, all under the name Jakatta.
In 1990 he was given an opportunity for his first solo release on Nu Groove Records. Believing his own name to be somewhat mundane, he decided an alias was required. Unable to think of a suitable name and under pressure to meet a deadline, he took inspiration from the artist names that were present on two records amongst a pile upon his desk. Elements from Pal Joey and J Walter Negro were used to form the main artist alias used on “Joey Negro – Do It, Believe It”.
Lee’s first brush with the higher echelons of the top 40 came in 1999 when TV series Ibiza Uncovered used a portion of Z Factor’s “Gotta Keep Pushin'” as its theme. Lee reworked the song, with Taka Boom on vocals, and re-released it as “Must Be the Music” (as Joey Negro). The song eventually peaked at number 8.
Lee dropped the name Joey Negro on 21 July 2020 in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. The move came a day after The Black Madonna stopped using her own moniker. Lee admitted he had “not felt comfortable with the name Joey Negro for a while, especially as I’ve got older”.