Revealing Robbie Rivera
On his new album, regrettable remixes and … grunge?
Wed, Nov 11, 2009 (6:15 p.m.)
Photo: Malou Ericsson
It’s tough, sexy house-music time. Acclaimed producer/DJ Robbie Rivera is returning to Vegas for a stop on his North American tour in support of his new album. While some Vegas clubbers might not know the Puerto Rican-born Rivera by face—or name—there’s no doubt they’ve heard his music.
In Vegas, it seems like people are familiar with your tracks, but not necessarily that they might be Robbie Rivera productions. As a producer, does that bother you, or are you just glad your tracks are out there?
I would like more people to know that the music that the DJs are playing is mine. I mean, most of the club DJs of the world play my music all the time. I guess it would actually be better for me if more people knew about it.
Your new artist album, Closer to the Sun, just came out. What should fans listen for?
It’s a great album. It took me a whole year to do it. Half of it was done in Ibiza, half of it was done in Miami. It’s a collection of some commercial house, electro, progressive tunes, but then I decided to add a lot of underground tunes that my main fans will know because they’ll be like, “Oh yeah. That’s what Robbie does well. He does these crazy tunes.” The commercial tunes are more to try and get more fans and possibly onto radio.
How about the catchy track “Let Me Sip My Drink”?
That track, it’s funny. We’re going to be shooting the video with Fast Eddie in a few weeks in Chicago. He e-mailed me via MySpace. I never use MySpace and just happened to check my e-mail, and he was there: “Hey, Robbie. Let’s do a track together.” And we just did it all over MySpace and e-mail. [Laughing] I haven’t even spoken to the guy yet!
Are you going to play a lot of the new album when you DJ at Rain on November 14?
Yeah, the whole tour is going to be most of my new album and some classics.
You’ve personally done tons of remixes. Are there some maybe you wish you hadn’t done?
Yes, there’s a few remixes I did just for the money, if you want to put it that way, on some German labels [laughing]. Oh, you know what remix I regret? Do you remember 2 Unlimited, “Get Ready for This”? Yeah, I remixed that, and I hate it.
Is your name on that 2 Unlimited remix?
Yeah, my name is on it, but I think it was only released in certain countries, so it never hit over here … I really don’t like the way the remix came out.
When you work on a track, do you have help or studio assistants?
I would say 90 percent is all me. All the music is done by me, everything. Now when I have to play some chords or some melodies, some full-on vocal song like … the track “The Rain,” all the chords and the bass I had my musician play [on] that one because I couldn’t get the right groove that I wanted. So I just call my musician, and he does it in Miami, and then he sends it to me over e-mail, which is really fast and easy.
Do you see the genre line blurring as of late with hip-hop, electronic, pop, etc.?
Yes, everything is coming together slowly, definitely with the hip-hop artists playing electronic rhythms and the same sounds we use. I guess they’re copying it somehow.
Music and culture seems to have a 20-year cycle, like the ’70s were big in the ’90s, the ’80s are big now. What do you think we’ll see next?
I think the early ’90s stuff is going to come back music-wise … But I hope, hope Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy,” does not come back.
Maybe somehow someone will work grunge into house music?
You just gave me an idea. Nobody’s done that. Interesting. Maybe I’ll do it!