Robbie Rivera on Juicy Beach, Skrillex’s Balls, Death of Dutch Melodies


House music producer-DJ Robbie Rivera brought some South Beach heat to the cold city streets of NYC Friday night, January 22nd. To kick off his Juicy Beach World Tour. Pacha, which boasts an eight-city schedule, leading up to his notorious Juicy Beach party in Miami’s Nikki Beach Club during Winter Music Conference. Hosting such rising stars as Bob Sinclair, Manufactured Superstars, and Cosmic Gate in its Phase One Lineup, the event has already received staggering media attention and fan hype, especially after news of its associated contest where one lucky DJ/fan will have the opportunity to perform alongside Rivera at Juicy Beach (details here).

VIBE caught up with Rivera at his hotel before his jumpin’ event to talk a very special V-Day plan, what he’s looking for in new talent, Miami venue faves and fast food temptations.

VIBE: Explain the idea behind Juicy Beach.
Robbie Rivera: Well the first few parties we did in Miami were called “Juicy Friends.” We would throw these parties and they would sell out. One day we were walking by Nikki Beach, and Monica [my wife] said, “We need to do a party here, outdoors, make it a 15-hour party, bring in a new DJ for every single hour, keeping you excited hour by hour.” We planned it out really well, but it rained, and that was [still] awesome. It was packed and it was great!

What are you looking for in the “Makes Me Feel Good” remix contest?
For the remix, you can take all the music parts I gave you, so I really want to see what these new kids do with my original music. I expect them to take it to the next level and add some originality, and not just the current music trend.

Who do you think we should be keeping an eye on in 2013?
A lot of the house/techno DJs are the people doing the most creative music and keeping the groove in the music. Last year the groove was lost, it was all very “in your face” noisy sounds; and it worked… last year. I think this year people want something more, going back to the groove, so artists like Umek – he’s a really talented guy. A lot of the Italian producers like those at this year’s Juicy Beach [Stefano Noferini, Federico Scavo, Alex Kenji], and a lot of the older producers from Subliminal, they’re coming back with the proper house sound that we lacked in 2012. I can’t keep listening to these same melodies that the Dutch and the Swiss are doing.

Out of the Juicy Beach lineup this year, who are you most excited to make music with?
I’m really excited about tonight because I’ve never played with Manufactured Superstars. I’m playing in Cleveland with a new artist from Juicy, his name is Mac J. He’s been doing pretty well on the West Coast so I’m also real excited about that.

Any predictions for the EDM Grammy’s? Who would you nominate for an outstanding year, who has really made a huge name for themselves?
They should create a Lifetime Achievement Award for EDM artists because there are A LOT out there that should get an award. I like that Skrillex track last year. He’s one of the few that had the balls to do something really “out there.”

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, how are you going to make this year extra special?
The week before Valentine’s Day is our [Robbie Rivera and his wife, Monica Olabarrieta] 15-year-anniversary, so I have to plan something very special. I actually just made a note today in my iPhone.

What big plans do you have for yourself in 2013?
I really want to refresh my sound, which I believe I’ve started to do already. Making more house music, more tribal music. I want to show the new generation that you have to open your ears and listen to other people. I think the new generation, the kids, listen to a lot of the same people. You’ve got to have patience to find good music.

What’s your favorite place to grab a cocktail in your hometown?
I like to go to the SLS Hotel in South Beach. I go there a lot. It’s a beautiful hotel and it’s got a really great restaurant called Katsuya. Good sushi and Japanese food.

In a time crunch, what’s your most likely fast food choice?
Well usually that happens at the airport, and I wind up in McDonald’s. I try to eat the best thing I can get there, a grilled chicken sandwich. I try to keep off the fries, but it’s hard though.