Tough, Sexy House Music – An Interview w/ Robbie Rivera

*written by Shimmy for Electronica Life
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With a career spanning 3 decades, Robbie Rivera’s success isn’t attributed to a simple radio single; it is the result of hustling and grinding in an era before this digital boom. Despite the many changes in the dance music scene over the years, his signature groovy sound has stayed honest and relatively the same — a rarity for many of his peers.

Born in Puerto Rico, you can definitely hear the Latin influence to the sexy beats coming out of his decks. Perhaps one of the biggest house names to now call Miami his home, it is not uncommon to associate his sound with Miami Music Week and Winter Music Conference. Nonetheless, even with his huge presence in South Beach, Robbie Rivera’s legendary Juicy Beach party was recently cut from Nikki Beach’s 2015 lineup after 12 years! It’s unfortunate and obvious that the dance scene is radically different nowadays, but setbacks aren’t slowing Robbie down. Now in the middle of his “Get Juicy” Tour, the house producer took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for Electronica Life:

Shimmy – You founded the record label “Juicy Music” with your wife many years ago. What is meaning behind the name and how do you manage juggling being a DJ and a labelhead?

Robbie – Early in my career I could not get any label to sign my music so I decided to create my own label when I was still in college. Monica came up with brand name. Juicy Music is “Tough, Sexy House Music”

Shimmy – You recently released a reboot of the track “100% Pure Love.” Originally released in 1994, it’s definitely a classic. What motivated you to give that classic house track the Rivera remix?

Robbie – Crystal Waters and Armand Pena sent me their mix and I signed it because it’s such a classic tune and I was dying to remix it. I took it the bigroom tribal house. I love my mix!

Shimmy – The “Get Juicy” Tour kicked off recently in Los Angeles and then Miami, two of your most popular North American cities. What do you love most about playing in those 2 areas?

Robbie – Well I like the fact that there are a lot of latinos and an international crowd.  I like performing to mixed crowds as you get a better reaction to your sets I think. LA was sick! I had never performed at Create.

Shimmy – How is the electronic music scene different in your native country of Puerto Rico? What made you decide to become a DJ and producer? In Puerto Rico people love electronic music.

Robbie – When I was 13 years old I was mixing music with 2 turntables and a battery operated mixer jajaja!  By the age of 16 I was editing music and sequencing beats and grooves on drum machines. I was always djing on the weekends on house parties or school events. By the age of 18 I left to study music production at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale so I learned how to be a recording engineer. I knew I wanted to work in the music business so it all kind of fell into place.

Shimmy – Being a veteran of the dance music scene yet still feeling youthful was an underlying theme of your last tour “Forever Young.” What is the inspiration behind your “Get Juicy” Tour and how is it different than any of your previous tours?

Robbie – This tour is about being underground and raw on my sets. I have no commercial music on my usb drives. Only House, tech House and JUICY music.  It’s all about “dancing” on this tour.

Shimmy – While some DJ’s have altered their sound to cater to what is popular with the public, you have remained true to your groovy, sexy yet thumping style. What are your thoughts on the increasing popularity of your genre of music recently and how some typical “EDM” DJ’s are flirting with a deeper or more tech sound?

Robbie – Yes DJ’s and producers do change their styles to go with the trend. It is very obvious on some of the bigger “EDM” producers. I find it annoying.

Shimmy – Do you have any advice for any young DJ’s or producers?

Robbie – Yeah stop listening to all those tracks that sound the same and produce some original grooves. It’s not about getting drunk and acting like a superstar by playing the same tracks everybody listens on the radio. Have the courage to be a little original so you can stand out from the rest. I know it’s hard these days

Shimmy – What’s up next on your “Get Juicy” Tour?

Robbie – Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Panama, Costa Rica. We add new dates every week.

Shimmy – One last question… can you tell our readers something they’d be surprised to know about you? Perhaps something you haven’t mentioned in any other interview?

Robbie – I can’t think of anything!
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Connect with Robbie Rivera: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud