Dance music is making a come back. Artists, DJs and producers are upping the BPMs (beats per minute) to their tracks, creating a global dance phenomenon geared toward packing dance floors. “If you had to pick one genre that’s migrating at the highest frequency, it would be the dance world,” Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am said in a recent Billboard interview.” That’s where music as a culture really lives.” Check out some of dance music’s biggest movers and shakers, and why they think dance-oriented tracks are the future of the industry.
DJ Arsenal: Pioneer DVJ-1000 DVD Turntable, Pioneer DJM-800 Mixer
Armed with more than a decade of experience in the nightlife business, DJ Reza taught himself the art of mixing as a true enthusiast of dance music culture in the early-’90s. He has since then become a musical trendsetter and favored party-rocking DJ, as well as a producer, founder of Go Ventures (one of Americas leading purveyor of dance music events), and owner of Saturday Night Sessions recording label. He has put in years of hard work, self-discipline and strong personal ethics, earning him such notable professional credibility behind the decks.
How did you get interested in DJ’ing?
I’ve been buying records since 1988, but was a promoter first. I officially started playing in 1995, so it’s been about 14 years now that I’ve been doing it. I enjoy the ability of playing good music and pumping up the crowd. I can play what I feel is proper dance music and be able to share that with others. The genre everybody knows me for is house, but I play everything; anything that sounds good and makes sense in my set. I enjoy being able to make a lot of people have a good time and rock a party.
What DJs do you look up to?
I look up to a lot of my peers like Danny Tenaglia, Dirty South, Steve Angello, Axwell…people who have created new sounds that others haven’t done and come out with quality music that’s rocking.
Do you still play at regular clubs in L.A.?
I do more special events, rather than regular clubs now. I’ll play at a club if they are having a certain event. I’m usually booked every Saturday somewhere.
In your numerous years in the industry, what has been your most memorable DJ experience and why?
I have a lot of those. I just played at Queen’s Day in Holland. I was the only international DJ asked to play. I felt honored to go to a country that wasn’t my own and play at such a great event. If I had to choose a memorable gig, it would have to be playing at my own party, “Monster Massive.” It happens each year around Halloween. It’s a special gig for me since I get to close out the night.
Besides being a successful and notable DJ, you’re also a producer and owner of Saturday Night Sessions. What made you want to own a record label?
Being involved in the dance music scene for so long, I wanted to have an imprint label in L.A. and have a strong hold in its music scene. I wanted my own platform since I thought it would be easier than having to go through other labels to release my music.
What do you look for in talent when signing new artists to your label?
I look for people to make good music. I like crossovers and those that don’t usually do the norm. They have to be different and have a new sound to them. I want fun music that will make people have a good time.
What appeals to you more: Dj’ing or producing?
When you’re a DJ, you’re performing what you make as a producer. I love both. I was first a DJ and then became a producer, which gave me knowledge as to what will work or won’t work in my own music.
Will you ever give up DJ’ing to solely produce and run your businesses?
I’ll never give up DJ’ing. I love performing; it encourages me to produce more and make music people dance to. I’m known as a party rocker, so while I’m still behind the decks, the party will definitely be rocking!
Where do you see your future headed within the music industry?
I’ve been getting approached a lot to put music in film and TV lately. I’ve also had a lot tracks that just went on sale. The next five years will be a groundbreaking time as my businesses expand. Things are definitely blowing up for me.