Interview + Exclusive Mix: Robbie Rivera Talks Changes In Production Since Start, Aliases, 'This Is My Sound' EP

Robbie Rivera talks shop and gives us a special hour-long mix.
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Robbie Rivera

Robbie Rivera

DJ, producer and label head, Robbie Rivera has been there and done that. Putting out records that have consistently banged since the 1990s and remains on top of his game as we progress into 2018. Rivera released the second volume of his This Is My Sound EP series last Friday and we got the low on how this came together. We also chat about how production has changed over his time making music, the various aliases he works under and much more. To make things even better, we even got a special hour-long mix from Rivera, which has three titles from the EP. Pick up the new EP on Beatport here and find the tracklist at the end of the post.

RM: How is this EP and set of EPs different from This Is My Sound Vol. 1?

RR: For this EP I refused to produce tracks influenced by what is “hot” at the moment. The feeling of wanting to compose tracks that “sound” like top tunes today messes with my creativity so I relaxed my mind and wrote tracks that define my sound. The only way to survive in this business for so long is to create trends and take risks.

Why are you releasing this project in EPs?

I release music on my labels but this time I wanted to release a full album but was advised that for streaming an EP was better. I honestly don’t know if that is true but this is the reason. I am working on volume 3 this month as I noticed many fans liking the various styles on this EP. I am targeting djs and hardcore house music lovers so it’s a lot of fun.

When do you know to put out a record on a different label vs your own?

This is a struggle I have all the time. Unfortunately the music business is so competitive and frustrating that I rather release music on multiple labels to attract a larger audience. I guess to answer your question it depends on the mood I am when I finish the track. I might finish a track and say to myself “Wow this tune would work very well on Spinnin’” so I just send it to them and take it from there.

You have been making music for over 20 years now. What are some the biggest changes in production that you have seen during that time?

I would say the biggest changes are in the production and recording of music. When I started we used large recording tape recorders and lots of keyboards and drum machines. Honestly I did not enjoy using so much outboard gear and renting studio time to mix a track down. I even used splicing tape to edit tracks. Anybody reading this Google splicing tape!

I do love producing tracks on one computer and in one piece of software with plugins and two monitors. I also enjoy using drums loops to make my tracks better when I can’t get that vibe I want. There is so much software to compose and finalize music production that sometimes I only select a few and only use those to create one track. I like the challenge and it makes you get very creative.

You used to release a lot of music under various monikers. Do you have plans to revive any of them?

Yes at the moment I am using my alias 68 Beats again but I don’t think I will create many more. Back when I started aliases it was profitable because you would sell vinyl and cds. Now it is all streaming and social media profiles. I would go nuts creating multiple profiles for new aliases. It’s a shame that the current music industry values someone’s music by social media numbers instead of the quality.

How did this project come together and will there be more This Is My Sound?

I had three weeks of studio time so I just composed tracks everyday and added my voice on three of the tracks using my iPhone. Sometimes I get these lyrics on my head so I record them and pass it to some vocal producers I work with but this time I just used my voice. I found it funny but sounded cool. I produced the tracks on Logic and used most of the plugins that Logic brings and also the Nexus plug in. I created everything except “Alien Unicorn” which I added some percussion drum loops and a voice samples from searching on splice.com. I will be releasing more EP’s with this title later in the year.

What else do you have coming up?

At the moment I have new music being released on Juicy Traxx, Juicy Music, Sixty8beats, Spinnin, Nervous, Dvision, and Heldeep. I just remixed my friend Bob Sinclar and the new L’Tric track which is awesome. I am also working on adding dates to my touring schedule.

Robbie Rivera Mix Tracklist:

1. Robbie Rivera-Me Gusta Miami-Juicy Music

2 Enrico Saba aka C Sky-Acid Groove-BrockWild

3. MDE Ft. MC Flipside-Body Work-Simma

4. Robbie Rivera-Humming-Juicy Music

5. Tough Love-Disco Beat-Get Twisted

6. Gianni Ruocco, Dj KK -Are you Ready-Juicy Music

7. Robbie Rivera-Alien Unicorn-Juicy Music

8. Kerri Chandler-Rain (Dense & Pika Vocal Remix)-Nervous

9. VICTOR PEREZ,PHIL DARAS,VICENTE FERRER-Shake-Juicy Traxx

10. David Tort ft. Dennisse Jackson -Yo te Prefiero -Spinnin Deep

11. Federico Scavo-The Drums-Vamos

12. OFFAIAH-Private Show -All Fire

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