Growing up outside the Chicago area in neighboring Michigan, Rick Wade became fascinated with the city's radio stations at an early age, taking an instant liking to artists such as Al Green and Isaac Hayes along with the disco sounds of labels such as Salsoul that received substantial airplay. By the early '80s, Wade began spinning records at parties, slowly transforming into a talented DJ while simultaneously furthering his musical interests. Then as a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, he DJed at the University's radio station, WCBN, where he pioneered the station's first show dedicated to House music. It was during this period, at the end of the 1980s, alongside other electronic dance music DJ artists such as Ectomorph's Brendan Gillen, that he began producing his own tracks. A few years later in 1993, Wade began his own house label, harmonie park, followed by a booty bass label, Bass Force.