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Robert Clivilles Interview


Robert Clivilles

Robert Clivilles

Clivilles: There needs to be more than Big Pun or Fat Joe, and growing up in Harlem all my life, I pretty much always wanted to do rap, it’s just that when I was starting in the music industry, being Puerto Rican and hip-hop, I would either get stuck doing graffiti or being a breakdancer, was going to be a producer. So I kind of did an intelligent move, and I always loved dance music as well, I’ve always had, even love, music to me is, I love any king of music, it really, I wasn’t stuck on one thing. So, I just went to pop, I went to pop and then I went to dance and I just traveled through it and, to me, this is…

Lainie: This is like a mixture of everything….
Clivilles: This was a test for me because I conquered dance music, I’ve conquered pop music and to me it was just like, this is the hardest one, so let me attack the hardest one first and then see if I can make a dent in it, because if I can make a dent in this then I’ll be the first, probably the first DJ that’s conquered all different kinds of music instead of sticking just to dance music. And that’s pretty much what I want to accomplish, I want to accomplish what other DJs never really accomplished, was can someone really break through all three? I mean, you see Puffy, he started from rap and went across, but no one’s every really done it from the other side to the other side.

Lainie: And now he’s trying to do a dance album.
Clivilles: Exactly. So, we’re kind of crossing paths the other way.

Lainie: Puffy should call you.
Clivilles: No, I mean I’ve always thought Puffy and I had similar taste and similar approaches.

Lainie: When he was a barback at Limelight, you used to be performing there and he’d be carrying the ice going ‘hum, hum.’
Clivilles: I hear you. What he did here, he gets an A+.

Lainie: Oh, definitely A+
Clivilles: Definitely does. And…

Lainie: Well, with Rock Your Body.
Clivilles: Rock Your Body.

Lainie: There is just a signature, Robi-Rob sound in it, because you hear the tribal…
Clivilles: It’s an anthem…….

Lainie: Definitely the tribal and Latin drums and I’m going, wow, this is like the whole kitchen sink and it’s working so fantastically with Stagga rapping and it’s smooth, it’s such a smooth sound. Like, you don’t feel where it’s separate; it very much gels all together. So, what was the, like the idea for, what was the inspiration for that one to be the first single and how did that come about?
Clivilles: Well, that actually was the second single, yes, the first single was Roll with MBP which I only played on BET and they didn’t play it on MTV. They had the “La La La” hook from Loving You, which did pretty well on BET and it did pretty well for us on the black radio. Rock Your Body was supposed to be a second single, that pretty much was me going back to what I do is pretty much, I like all kinds of music. That record, I did that record in like three or four hours, the idea of it came like real easy, about two or three hours in a basement with my cousin.

Lainie: You’re going to make a lot of people jealous going damn, three hours, it takes me about three months to do one song.
Clivilles: It really did because I was working on Stagga’s record for a year, we were doing, when you hear the album Well, MVP album was not the Stag album, I did two, I actually just did two albums at the same time. But when I was doing Stagger’s album and he added it to the club section, it was really important for me to do something that I didn’t, that wasn’t going on right now. And that’s pretty much how I came on it, I was watching Missy and, I mean Missy would be like a Larry Levan favorite, you know, and Timbaland kind of, they remind me of the modern age Grace Jones kind of thing.

Lainie: Got a lot of funk in there and a lot of…
Clivilles: Yes, they just do, they do club music.

Lainie: Yea..
Clivilles: They’re not hip-hop, they’re doing really club music, and they’re calling it hip-hop. *laughs* And I was watching what was going on, I just wanted to do something that had that blend, something different, and that’s pretty much where that came from and that record was really pretty much done for fun, it really was. I mean the same with.. most of the hits were done, that record was really done for fun.

Robert Clivilles Interview - Part 2

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