Six questions with DJ Robbie Rivera

Marathon man: DJ Robbie Rivera will go all day and all night at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Photo: Andres Hernandez
Sam Glaser

Prolific Puerto Rican DJ Robbie Rivera is bringing a taste of Miami to the desert this weekend. Along with some “special guests” (think Felix Cartal and Seven Lions), Rivera will take over the Hard Rock for a Vegas edition of his Juicy Beach party. No beach? No problem.

The Details

Juicy Beach
May 25, 10 a.m., $40 men, $20 women.
Hard Rock Hotel pool, 693-5555.
Juicy Beach After Dark
May 25, 10:30 p.m., $30 men, $20 women.
Body English, 693-5555.

How did growing up in Puerto Rico impact your future as a producer? I started DJing really early, when I was 13, and the music I played over there was a mixture of all the European dance music that was coming out, mixed in with the U.S. It was just the combination of those types of sounds and a lot of Latin music. You can hear it in my tribal beats, always have a lot of percussion.

What are your earliest party memories from Puerto Rico? My first party in Puerto Rico, when I was a DJ, I was like 14 years old, man. It was funny; I was playing with a cassette deck, a battery-operated mixer and one turntable and one speaker. That’s the first time I had a real party, and it was a good one.

You also studied music. How did getting a formal education affect your career? I went to the art institute to study music production. That was a two-year bachelor’s degree, and it was really cool, because they taught us how to make music using software like Pro Tools. And we would also learn how to make music in big-room studios with huge soundboards, and how to record a band, not just make electronic music.

It seems like half your tracks are a bit poppy and half feel more underground. What’s the balance you’re going for? Well, this is a problem I face since I started making music. I like the underground music; it’s really what I love to do. I could go a lot of dark and techy stuff like that. I also tend to play a lot of chords and melodies that could be more of a popular sound and more commercial, so I figured I’d just do both, because I guess I can’t stick to only one style. I’ve never been able to.

How has the EDM explosion in the U.S. affected you? There’s a lot more work for DJs; that’s good! It’s easier to sell music; there’s more support on radio. On the bad side, there’s more competition, more politics involved … So many big corporations buying clubs and taking over festivals, it’s become all about the money. I get it, you have to make a living, but it’s just changed, a lot of it, and it’s just kind of sh*tty.

For eight years, you’ve been throwing 15-hour day-and-night Juicy Beach parties in Miami. What are you doing with the Juicy Beach party at Hard Rock? A very similar party at Hard Rock where it starts during the day and ends at night. So we were able to start at the pool and end at Body English.

Tags: Nightlife, Music

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