A Sit Down With DJ Roger Sanchez

Roger Sanchez a.k.a. S-Man has been conquering the dance music circuit since the late 80s riding the wave of creativity, passion, and major success. He’s collaborated with a plethora of music icons including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Maroon 5, One Republic, and No Doubt. He is a four-time winner of the DJ Awards ‘Best House DJ’, has produced countless chart-topping hits including ‘Lost’ which reached #1 on the Billboard dance chat, AND he won Grammy for his remix of No Doubt’s ‘Hella Good’ in 2002. His name is known and respected across the globe with residencies in Ibiza’s finest clubs for nearly two decades.

 

“Everything has a foundation and the track is a construction. The skeleton frames, the beams are the bassline, and you build it up around that. I treat every track as a problem that I have to solve.”

 

 Your so busy with your career, how do you relax?

I love taking downtime and hanging out at the beach in summer or going to the movies. I’m getting back into the gym lately and my martial arts – sometimes you have to just disconnect. I love chillin.

Which DJs are in your crew now? Who are you tight with? Who do you see socially?

Carnao Beats, Huxley, Cocodrills, Man Without A Clue. Darius Syrossian’s pretty cool. I tend to bump into people at airports and hang out with them in places like Ibiza. 

Roger Sanchez and S-Man – explain the difference….

S-Man has always allowed me to experiment with darker sounds.  As Roger Sanchez, the house sound has always been more traditional and uplifting.  But now specifically?  S-Man is allowing me to explore sounds from the UK bass scene as well as some deep techno roots.  It’s a bass-driven thing, which actually takes me back to the S-Man stuff I was doing in the Nineties…only it’s even grittier.  As for Roger Sanchez, I’m still about those vocal, uplifting records…very soulful and maybe with some Latin elements.  It’s proper house music.

You’ve played at almost every club in Ibiza for over 15 years, and now you’re joining the ranks of beach parties at La Plage – tell us about it?

I wanted to do something different with my label Stealth rather than just fold it into a night at Release Yourself; I wanted it to be focused on other artists rather than myself. A beach party is a lot more relaxed, more chilled and a different vibe. I’ll be there hanging out, which is a big change for me, because normally I’m behind the booth…

What are some of the best/must visit spots in Ibiza?

If you’re talking club-wise, you definitely want to check out  which is the re-done Space. They did an amazing job refurbishing the space. I also think Pacha is a must visit, especially when Solomun is playing, he’s got a great night there. Find out when the Elrow parties are going on, I believe they’re doing it at Amnesia this year. Those parties are always fun. I also like this party called WooMoon that they do in Cova Santa which is really reallly interesting. Very interesting vibe, different kind of music and a really cool crowd.

What is your favourite aspect of performing at the new Hï Ibiza venue and why?

I confess that the main room at Space Ibiza didn’t hold as much attraction for me as the Terrace did, but the new main room at Hï Ibiza is next level. This main room feels comfortable and epic at the same time. I think they did it right.

Being many years into your career you have experienced a slew of summer schedules. As this is always a particularly busy time, how do you prepare for the rigors of the summer? Do you have a certain protocol to maintain health and mindfulness?

One thing I do is try to set up some time for the gym whenever possible, get as much rest as I can and drink LOTS of water. When the summer is in full swing all the flying can take a toll and the way I cope is to manage my rest time very carefully.

It’s a boring to debate the pros and cons of vinyl/digital sources, but for you specifically how do you think the switch has altered your style, if at all?

When I did switch over from vinyl to CDs I did it for two reasons, that it enabled me to bring a LOT of music on the road with me. The weight restrictions and the physical difficulties of taking a lot of vinyl on tour… Then there was the fact that I could do things that were a lot more interesting if I went digital, in terms of loops, acapellas… Every now and then I still do a vinyl set, but I’m able these days to bring a lot more newer music on USBs. 

What do you think of the current house music scene in NYC? Can we still dance?

You can dance, of course you can! The thing is that New York had it rough you know first there was the Mayor trying to build a platform for his career by ‘protecting’ the kids who were dying in our nightclubs by closing them. It was very political and clubs were a scapegoat to politicians for a while so it was all misunderstood and that hurt the scene. 9/11 really brought New York down too but there’s a slow resurgence now in New York’s nightclubs. Many of the kids are into hip hop and if they’re into house it’s the harder end stuff so seemingly the older crowd don’t want to go where these young kids are. House music is more adult, so venues have to cater for that maturity, plus the kids who’re growing into house music later too!

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