Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Ralphi Rosario: In the mix

Ralphi Rosario
Ralphi Rosario Ralphi Rosario Ralphi Rosario Ralphi Rosario

Known for international floor fillers like “Take Me Up” and “You Used To Hold Me”, DJ and producer Ralphi Rosario is credited as one of the true innovators of house music. Earning his stripes as a member of the seminal DJ crew Hot Mix 5 on Chicago's famed radio station WBMX from 1980 to 1994, his mixes eventually reached in excess of one million weekly listeners.

Utilising the momentum of the popular radio show, Rosario soon expanded his repertoire by remixing musical powerhouses including Beyonce, Janet Jackson and Ariana Grande. His remix of Rihanna's “Only Girl in The World” created alongside his producing partner Abel Aguilera, under the moniker Rosabel, also bagged him a Grammy nomination.

Meanwhile, his solo work, like 2016's “2 Sides To The Story” and Rosabel's 2019 release “The Album” has produced numerous number ones on the dance charts. With a forthcoming album co-produced by Craig J Snider and a brand new contribution to “Wake Up! Music Remixes DJ Wall Of Sound Volume 1-Matt Warren’s Music Is My Life”, the remix virtuoso chats to B&S on a rare day off from his hectic schedule.

“I've been friends with Madeleine Gomez (a.k.a. Pepper Gomez founder, CEO, creative director) from Wake Up! Music for a few years now". Rosario begins when speaking about his contribution the new project in tribute to DJ Matt Warren. “When Maddy approached me to (remix) “How Do I Love Thee” I knew that it was a classic song from Queen Latifah. I loved it from back in the day and I really wanted to put my hands on it when I heard Maddy’s vocal to it, I thought it was very cool to do”. The album “Wake Up! Music Remixes DJ Wall Of Sound Volume 1 - Matt Warren’s Music Is My Life" also features remixes by house luminaries including John Morales and DJ Spinna among others, while Rosario's offering respectfully captures the essence of the original track while also steering it in a new direction. The remix royal adds "I was very happy with what I did. I have a system of putting my stuff down when it comes to additional programmers and musicians and things like that. I actually had to strip more of the song away because I felt there was stuff that wasn't working for me pitch-wise. Stripping the whole entire production and putting my own thing over it actually made it come to life. It took a couple of days but it actually worked and it felt very good”.

With a forthcoming project in the works in collaboration with fellow producer/composer Craig J Snider, Ralphi continues to challenge himself creatively. Of his new music Rosario shares “this is a new project for Wake Up! Music. It's between myself and my co-producer Craig J Snider. We've been in production and doing business for over twenty years. We've done a lot of major artists remixing - Beyonce, Janet Jackson... We were also doing music for HBO when the Sex And The City Series was being played on TV. We were doing music spots for them and we were inspired to do some really great chill out and melodic deep house so we decided to put together a compilation, an album around some of inspiration and influences that we had for the show. I just love the musicality that we both carry together. We have a lot of fun when we're programming and working on music so I'm glad that all came together”.

Ralphi Rosario's Big Love Radio Remix of Matt Warren's all-time house classic "How Do I Love Thee" is available, along with an impressive list of fellow guest remixers, on "Wake up! Music Remixes DJ Wall of Sound Volume 1: Matt Warren's Music is My Life" released on Wake Up! Records BUY THE ALBUM

You can read more from Karen Lawler's enthralling interview with dance music legend Ralphi Rosario, including more on his latest remix project for Wake Up! Music, his philosophy on commercial success. Plus, Rosario's memories of his groundbreaking time as a member of Hot Mix 5, his DJ’ing debut at just fourteen years old and the influences that helped shape/drive his career - all in the current issue of Blues & Soul magazine. Click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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Words Karen Lawler

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