VIBE Exclusive: A Chat With Brazil’s Top Electronic Dance Music DJ Renato Ratier
The name Renato Ratier is synonymous with Brazil’s DJ culture. With his first EP release D-Edge Records on Beatport, a new studio and restaurant opening in San Paulo, VIBE can only wonder, how long until Ratier heads to the States? Find out now.
VIBE: Describe your music in THREE WORDS.
Renato Ratier: Inspiration – Expression – Realization
Are there any American DJs or rappers you’d like to collab with?
There are some for sure. I’ve done already a track with Pillow Talk that we are going to release on D Edge Records. But I would also like to collaborate with DJs and producers like Wolf & Lamb, Soul Clap, Tanner Ross, Benoit & Sergio, Derik Carter, Run DMC, Public Enemy and Missy Eliot.
Which artists have served as your main musical influence, both today and when you first started your music career in 1996?
The main music reference that influenced my music when I started as DJ and producer was the Chicago school, first and second generation, like DC, Toddy Terry and many others. For sure also some influence from Detroit and New York, but mainly Chicago. Also, some disco influences and also new wave.
You are a very industrious individual, successfully creating music, fashion and club scenes. Where do you find the inspiration and energy to conquer all of these fields?
I think what really motivates me to find energy to conquer all of this is to share my experiences with other artists in the scene. To see my work as an important tool to open doors not only for me, but to see a development in the whole scene. That really satisfies me and gives me energy.
What made you want to open a D-Edge in Rio? How will it be different than your previous club locations?
Rio is a city that I already had a long-term relationship with. In 1991, I moved to the city to study law at the university, and though I did not finish this study, I grew a really strong connection. Rio is a very singular city, very different from Sao Paulo. Culturally, socially, the rhythm and mind there is different, but I see huge potential – many great minds, different artistic niches and collectives. I also think Rio is really the postcard of Brazil, and I wanted to bring more to the city other than its natural beauty. The idea of opening a club there is to provide a good quality venue and cultural center for tourists and locals.
You have become somewhat the poster child of the Brazilian dance scene through your growing international status. Rising in the ranks in the dance music industry, what are you looking to teach fans overseas about the Brazilian dance music culture?
I think that all around the world people know that dance and music are grossly incorporated into the Brazilian culture; our people are really connected to dance and music. The club culture here is different. It’s somehow new, yet not very new since we did have very similar clubs in the ’70s and ’80s, for example, Papagaio Disco Club. We have had different moments of inspiration from North America and Europe, but we do have for sure our own identity. Many DJs and international artist are very happy to play here for the unique special vibe and friendliness from the audience.
What’s the message you are trying to get across with your first EP coming out this month?
In this first EP I show my first musical references from Chicago and Detroit, jazz and soul – very important musical movements that have really influenced me and are still relevant for me.
Now that you’ve made your mark on the Brazilian club scene, do you feel ready to conquer New York’s and introduce it to Brazilian dance music?
I think NYC is a really interesting city, and sometimes I wonder myself how a city with such a vitality, warmth and history with electronic music is not really booming. Of course, it is still a very relevant cultural center of the world, but it became a little bit more difficult in terms of nightlife. I have many projects this year in Rio, a restaurant and studio in Sao Paulo, and also a project in Berlin. So for 2013, New York is not in my agenda, but I’m really open to opportunities. If there is a good moment, a good situation and an opportunity in front of me, of course I would have to think about it and grasp it.