“Being from Puerto Rico myself, I am very influenced by the Latin culture and you can hear it in my use of drums, percussions, and big beats to create a tribal house tracks”
Internationally known DJ/Producer Robbie Rivera is one of Miami’s hottest DJs who has taken control of turntables all over the world from the United States to Europe and South America. Rivera had his first encounter with music when he was only 10-years-old. Buying records from acts like New Order, Depeche Mode and U2, it wasn’t long before he started spinning records. It was the disco sampled cut “Nothing To Offer” that lead to an endless string of productions that were released on established labels like Subliminal, Filtered, Positiva, Mos, Azuli and Strictly Rhythm.
His passion for music continued after high school where he attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to study music production and was introduced to many different digital music tools. His career took off in the late l990’s and by 1998, he in collaboration with his wife, Monica Rivera, created their own electronic music label, Juicy Records.
Throughout the years he has been voted one of DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs around the world, has released over five albums including the popular, “Dance or Die”, album released in 2011. In addition to his album releases he has a multitude of mix-tapes and singles that have been chart toppers and club favorites across the globe. Robbie along with wife Monica are also the founders and driving force behind the highly anticipated Juicy Beach WMC Party held every year at Nikki Beach in Miami during the month of March. He has worked with a diverse roster of international superstars such as Mark Knight, David Guetta, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Stonebridge to name just a few.
One of his most notable tracks, which garnered him world fame, is the hit single “Bang” released in 2000 and used worldwide during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. A native of San Juan Puerto Rico, Rivera took time to discuss some of the latest trends in the music industry that embodies the Latin spirit.
In the music industry, who are some of the Latin Artists that you feel have made a big impact and dominating on the charts.
“As artists, I feel Pitbull has become a huge star worldwide. His beats are catchy, fun to dance with, and they are a little bit of everything.”
When you are in the studio what influences you?
“I am infiuenced by everything around me, when I am in the clubs, watching the crowds, as well as the music from my culture. You can hear it in my use of percussions, that is a big part of my music. I use different rhythms to create a tribal beat, which are all influences of my Puerto Rican background.”
What are some of the surprising or unusual trends you see in music industry?
”One of the newest trends, that is not really in the making of the music, but in the way the crowd listens. Now when you play in a club, you can sense that the audience is waiting for you to play that track that they love, whether it’s a mainstream song or not, you feel the anticipation. The crowd is more educated when it comes to music.”
How is the music scene in your eyes at the moment?
“I love the fact the dance music is popular right now, but I do not like a lot of the new producers because all they do is copy and almost identical other producers. Also a lot of these djs/producers are very predictable in their sets which is ruining the vibe.”
With Latinos making such a huge impact in the music industry, as an electronic music DJ, who are some of the artists you would like to work with?
”Oh, there are many that I would like to work with. I would like to work with Marc Anthony, Shakira, Juanes, and there are many more.”
How do you feel about the emergence of more Latin artists in to mainstream Pop music culture?
“I think it’s great. Latinos make great pop tracks like, again Juanes, Shakira, Pitbull Miguel Bose, Bellanova”
Have you ever been influenced by a latin artist? Who?
“Well growing in Puerto Rico I was influenced by the salsa, reggae, merengue etc. I do not have one particular artist. I have remixed some big names in the latin music world. Ricky Martin, Juanes, Emmanuel, Menudo, Carlos Santana, Cristina Aguilera”
It’s easy to see that Latinos have come a very long way and have impacted the music industry in many ways with big name collaborations in recent years that include American and Hispanic artists such as Usher with Romero Santos for the hit single “Promise”, Shakira with Lil Wayne in “Give It Up To Me”, and of course, every track that Pitbull has released in the last year along with many others. It’s become a popular trend, more Latin artists are being recognized in award shows, Top 40 Pop radio stations are now adding in Latin songs to their playlist, and throughout the nation you are seeing the emergence of radio stations that play music in both Spanish and English- Spanglish.
The integration of the Latino culture in to the American way of life has become even more apparent when you have non-Spanish speaking Americans belting out lyrics to Latin Pop songs without even knowing what they are saying. Another trend you can see is the growing popularity of Salsa and merengue classes throughout the entire North American continent. Rhythm or not, the people are moving and they are loving it!
Latinos are full of fire, energy, and plenty of pizzazz; it’s that passion for life that has brought the Latino culture to the forefront of today’s entertainment headlines and infiltrated the music industry. From reggaeton, Latin pop, bachata, to electronic dance music- the beats, rhythms, and drums have seeped through all genres of music throughout the world making it highly popular and mainstream.
Whether you speak the language, dance the music, or understand the lyrics, the Latin influence in the music industry is very apparent in today’s popular hits. With the growing acclaim and recognition of Latin musicians across the globe, this trend of incorporating drums, percussion, melodies, and sultry beats will only continue to rise. Next time you’re out dancing, let go and let the music move you to the beat and for some great music to get you through your day, head over to Beatport and check out Robbie Rivera’s latest release alongside Shawnee Taylor on Axtone Records, “Falling Deeper”.
For more Robbie Rivera music head over to SoundCloud.