The Music Ninja - Robbie Rivera
We recently headed down to Beta Nightclub (shocker, right?) to catch a set from the legendary Robbie Rivera. The Puerto Rican born DJ/Producer has a long, and storied career, and we were honored to have a chance to sit down with him. There are a few names that are synonymous with dance music, and he is most assuredly one of them.
Robbie is currently on a huge US tour promoting his new album, due out May 7th, appropriately named "Dance or Die". He has DJ/Producer duo Peace Treaty along for the ride. We watched Peace Treaty's set for a while, which was absolutely banging. Before they had a chance to finish up though, it was time to head down and talk with Robbie Rivera.
TMN: Welcome to Colorado, Robbie. What are your thoughts on playing here at Beta Nightclub?
RR: Beta is always a great place to play. I love the club in general - the room is very dark, the lighting is great, and the sound is amazing. I like the way the booth is too. I have a couch behind me, so my assistants can sit down, or I can sit down. It feels like home.
TMN: How does the crowd in Colorado compare to other places?
RR: It's a really good crowd here. They really know their music, and every time I play here they're always in my face, getting rowdy and crazy.
TMN: What's one venue that's still on your bucket list of places to play?
RR: Creamfields in the UK. Iíve never done that event.
TMN: So how is Juicy Music going? Do you have any artists on your label you'd like to give a shout out to?
RR: The label is doing great. We've been doing this for 11 years, or more now. We've had so many releases and so many artists in the past 10 years - a lot of artists that are really known right now. We're releasing two singles a month, sometimes three, some compilations.
< The only thing that's crazy is there's so much music out there now that sometimes they get lost. And there's a lot of good music out there.
TMN: Do you have any up and coming artists we should be paying attention to?
RR: I think a lot of people should pay attention to Dereo. He's been around - he's like the king in Argentina - like the Pete Tong down there. His radio show has over a million listeners.
We just a track together called Moocher. It's being released in a few weeks.
TMN: Speaking of your music, your new album, "Dance or Die" is coming out May 7th on Black Hole Recordings. Tell us about it.
RR:The album is going to be two parts. Part one is called the Album, Part two is called the Deluxe Addition. Part one has a lot of vocal anthems, like "In the Morning" with Wynter Gordon and "All We Are" featuring Blake Lewis. There's a lot of vocal anthem style tracks, and there's a lot of few underground tracks too. Like "Miami" and "Dance Your Ass Off" are very funky, electro-y, bouncy tracks.
The second edition of the album will come out pry towards the middle of summer and will have more collaborations - me and Bassjackers, me and Tocadisco, and I can't remember the rest right now!
TMN: After listening to the previews, the album seems really driven by vocals. Talk to us about the vocalists you worked with.
RR:Blake Lewis, that track, "All We Are", the vocals were written by my wife and Blake. I love Blake's voice. And the Wynter Gordon track is really good. We're doing a really cool video for that too.
I always like to release the vocal tracks because more people listen to it, and more girls listen to it.
TMN: On the other hand, your melody progressions are always beautifully composed. Were you classically trained?
RR: No. I call myself a melody maker. I sit down in front of a piano or a keyboard, and I just start playing melodies. They just come to me naturally. When I need a little extra help, I call a friend of mine to help me out. But 90% of what I do is myself. I do mostly everything - start the track, and also master it myself.
TMN:You're style of production is uplifting, happy and energetic. Does that translate into your personal life?
RR: Good question. Yeah. I like a melody that touches you. It has to make you think about something happy or even something sad. But I also like melodies and beats that are right in your face. Where I grew up in Puerto Rico, I liked all different styles of music. I grew up listening to Latin music, but also listened to a lot of bands like the Cure. But I also listen to a lot of Metallica and a lot of Nirvana. You know, banging tunes.
TMN: Alright, last question, and it's a little bit off the wall. Name one random thing about you that people aren't aware of yet.
RR: You know, Iím a very homey guy. I freakin' love to be in my house, and just sit down with my dog and wife. We like to just cook something, and sit down to watch TV. Iím out every weekend of the year, so I like to be at home.
TMN: So, whatís your favorite show?
RR: Dude, lately, itís been Big Bang Theory. I freakiní love that show. I could watch it all day.