RS: You were recently named the country's #1 mix show discjockey. What was your reaction?
Riddler: I was very honored to be recognized by my peers. However, it was a very special evening the night I found out about the award with some of my closest friends there.
RS: How do you choose songs for your mixshow? Do you get a lot of calls/requests?
Riddler: I have several shows on KTU with most of them being on prime time. Usually, I try and pick songs that I believe have legitimate chances for regular rotation. I'll stick with the new record for a couple of weeks and see how it requests.
RS: What's the difference between doing a radio mixshow and spinning to a live crowd?
Riddler: Being on the radio is way different from being in a club. You can get away with playing tracks for 9-10 minutes long in a club. However, on the radio where the average listener only listens to radio for 45 minutes, you want to make sure you get enough songs in there so that they don't tune out. Not to mention, with a live crowd, you can experiment more musically than on the radio.
RS: You play live all over the Northeast--what has been your biggest live crowd?
Riddler: Club EXIT with 5,000 people.
RS: Has a DJ ever come up to you and said--I heard you DJing and thats why I DJ. What was your reaction?
Riddler: That has happened several times and each time it's flattering and surreal. I never expect to be a motivating factor for someone's life. However, I'm very honored when someone appreciates the work I do whether it be on the radio or club. I just try to stay humble and hungry.
RS: Who influenced you to become a remixer?
Riddler: I've had a lot of influences remixer wise over the years from the days of Shep Pettibone, Chep Nunez, David Morales, but I also have mad respect for Hex Hector, Mac Quayle, Dezrok, Chris Cox & Barry Harris, and the list goes on and on. I hear a lot of things from every remix that I like whether it be a tight kick, or a nice synth, or even a cool loop. I'm constantly wishing that I could of done a lot of things.
RS: What remix in particular made you say to yourself "Damn, I want to do that"?
Riddler: That's always a tough call. Personally, I'd have to say Toni Braxton "Unbreak My Heart" with Soul Solution and Hex. That remix opened it for more up and coming remixers because prior to them, it was always the same usual suspects/names i.e. Junior Vasquez, David Morales, etc. Not to mention, Toni performed her dance remix at the AMA's? or was it the Grammy's? I forgot but it was hot! That remix inspired myself as well as many others.
RS: Together with Albert Castillo - you have formed the remix team Al B Rich - how did you two meet?
Riddler: Albert was working with Steve and Charles Chavez a.k.a Cibola in the mid 90s. We met at the Winter Music Conference about 4 years ago and it was quite funny. We were at a strip club and someone had just said a joke while he was drinking a beer and I happen to walk right by him. All of a sudden, there's beer all over my face. I didn't know if I wanted to kick his ass or clean myself off at first. I guess everything happens for a reason.
RS: Your remix style ranges from house to nrg to freestyle - how do you choose which style fits a song?
Riddler: We just listen to the song and try to figuire out what would make it hot. Also, we try to find out who else is doing the remix. That kind of helps us too so that we make sure we are trying to deliver something different.
RS: Your 2Step mix of Mary J. Blige is quite unique - what was the inspiration?
Riddler: Well Albert and I wanted to do something that would be different from the rest of the Dance for me CD. We wanted to do a 2-step mix because a lot of R&B vocals lend itself to that genre. Artful Dodger was an inspiration for the remix. In the end, we were very happy with the mix and it ended up being Don Pooh (A&R for Mary) and Mary J. Blige's personal favorite on the CD. So that gave us a lot of satisfaction.