We're continuing with our "101" series of short interviews, this time with another house music legend. From a humble beginning in NYC to multi-year residencies in Ibiza; from digging in dusty crates to headlining festival main-stages around the world, Roger Sanchez is truly a self-made man and dance music star. The crafting of Roger, the DJ, started in the late 80's in Corona, Queens, where as a young man he was enticed by the early roots of hip-hop sprouting all over New York.
Sanchez was introduced to DJ’ing through friends, trying his hand in an organic environment where his creativity behind the decks flourished from a few singles into an ambitious catalogue of over two thousand original productions and remixes. Since then he's been one of the leading house music talents that helped bring electronic music on the whole new level. As an early pioneer of podcasting, Roger was awarded the first-ever Best Podcast Award at the International Dance Music Awards in 2007. In addition to his bi-weekly podcast, he also hosts a weekly terrestrial and online radio show, which attracts over 10 million listeners across a worldwide audience. The Release Yourself Radio Show is broadcasted in 30 markets on every continent, including countries as diverse as Brazil, Russia, Mexico, the UK, Germany and Australia.
In 2015 he's revived his dark house pseudonym from the 1990's; The S-Man. “I really wanted to start experimenting with deeper, darker sounds again and I felt that the S-Man was the perfect moniker to really give people a sense of what I was doing." And to really give his career another boost, he also launched a fresh digital platform Undr The Radr, to promote and expose young talents and their music. Both projects are doing really well and proving why Roger is one of the main acts in the music scene for more than 20 years.
Ever evolving on his hustle, always pushing himself, and others, to do better, the S-Man sums it up perfectly when he states: “I’m always moving forward, but never losing sight of where I’ve been.” He'll be performing on the 12th August at one of the best clubs in the Eastern Europe, Ambasada Gavioli in Izola; Slovenia. He'll be united with his fellow colleague and another pioneer of house music, Dj Sneak. When you add local support such as Mike Vale, Gramophonedzie & Angel Anx to the lineup, then you know that this party will be pure class!
What’s your favourite piece of gear – something you couldn’t live without?
The reality is that my headphones are probably my most crucial piece of gear since, without them, I can't hear what I'm doing!
Which do you prefer – playing at enormous festivals or intimate clubs?
Intimate clubs are the best for vibing with the crowd and they happen to be my favourite but I do also enjoy playing big events like 51st State Festival.
Which is the most mesmerising club that you’ve ever played at?
That's a difficult question to answer since I have played many amazing venues. I think the Sound Factory in NYC back in the 90's has to take that position- it was an unbelievable club!
What is your best and worst experience at a gig and why?
Best experience at a club was Pacha 2006 when at the closing party the entire audience was singing along with "Finally" as the sun was rising and it was the last song. Worst experience was at a club I won't name but the sound system stopped working, the people who ran the club were nowhere to be found and everyone in the crowd was upset. Not a good night!
Do you have any interests besides music?
I love art, architecture, fashion and gastronomy; as well as film.
Do you enjoy sunset or sunrise sets?
I really enjoy Sunrise sets as it is a very spiritual moment of the day, but sunset sets are also emotionally charged as they mark the beginning of the night.
What do you like and what do you hate about the music industry?
The positive aspect of the music industry is that I get to make the music I love and am able to reach people with it. Unfortunately, the business side of it can be very dark and many people try to take advantage of artists and others.
If you could pick any artist to do a b2b set, who would it be?
What’s your biggest fear?
I think not having enough time to spend with my family is the thing that really worries me at times. I try to make more time for them now more than ever.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a gig?
The entire front row of girls flashed me at a gig in Canada, and they had body paint that covered them that read We Love Sanchez! lol!
Could you pick one timeless track?
Frankie Knuckles- Your Love!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I'm looking forward to playing at Ambasada Gavioli; it's one of my favourite clubs to play!