DJ Ron: How's it going today - did I wake you?
Robbie Rivera: My hair is all messed up because I've been mixing a track for the last three hours, staring at the monitors.
Ron: Well, at least it's great to hear that you do your own work.
Robbie: I do everything man. I know a lot of other producers have other people doing their stuff.
Ron: So when you do a track, do you do everything yourself?
Robbie: Yes, everything.
Ron: You build it from the beginning?
Robbie: From the beginning and I play all of the keys.
Ron: Are you on Cubase, Logic, Protools?
Ron: Logic. Are you up on 6.0 yet?
Robbie: No, I'm on 5.5 so far. I've got 6.0, which I got to download.
Ron: Which came first, were you a producer first or a DJ first?
Robbie: I started as a DJ first.
Ron: How long have you been spinning?
Robbie: Since I was thirteen years old.
Ron: How did you get started so early?
Robbie: When I was living in Puerto Rico, I started to hear the dance music they were playing at that time, freestyle and Eurobeat, stuff like that which came from Europe. So I started buying records, going to parties and saw the DJs playing, and decided to get into it. I bought two turntables without pitch control and started mixing, thinking that was the way you were supposed to do it - without pitch. I learned by myself and figured it out starting from there.
Ron: Did you spin mostly clubs or parties?
Robbie: Mostly I was doing house parties, school parties and some weddings, all the mobile stuff. When I was around sixteen, I was DJing the big clubs. There were massive school parties for around three thousand people, with huge systems and huge lighting. It was pretty awesome, like you have a big rave back then. I did lots of those and when I was eighteen I was very busy and doing a mixshow every weekend at the radio station.
Ron: How did you make the move from Puerto Rico DJ to international superstar? Did this just sort of happen or did you start doing your production at this point?
Robbie: Not so immediately. I was already learning how to edit and I had a drum machine and by the time I finished high school I was doing beats and drum loops for fun. I just loved doing it and basically that's why I started making loops and drum loops. When I went to Fort Lauderdale to study music production at the Art Institute at Fort Lauderdale, I learned how to record everything and got introduced to Protools, Studiovation and early sequencing and digital audio works and stuff like that. When I graduated, I bought a Kurzweil K2000 sampler keyboard and from there I started making records, sampling records and loops and kick drums and my own basslines. So the next three years I was just making beats and doing tracks in my house. Actually, I was still in college studying business administration when I did my first record.
Ron: What was your first record?
Robbie: It was a latin house track called "Sorulla". Remember when C&C Music Factory released all those latin songs that they did?
Ron: Like "Boriqua Anthem"?
Robbie: Yes. It was around the same time so it was a record like that, and then when I went into a club, nobody wanted to buy it. So I pressed it myself and gave it away to DJs all over Puerto Rico and some people I knew in New York and Miami. Then after that, the distributor in New York gave me a call and told me there was a little buzz on the record and they bought the rest and it took off from there.
Ron: And was this the beginning of Juicy?
Robbie: Yes, that was a release that didn't really have a name, but I just called it like Robbie Rivera Records back then just to release it. Then after that I, well, my wife decided to call it Juicy.
Ron: May I ask where that name came from?
Robbie: My wife called me and said that she had a name for the label, call it Juicy. I think she saw clothing or something like that with the name Juicy and she just thought we should use that.