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What has Robbie Rivera done to join the running for DJ of the Year? Rivera, a house music legend, founded the label Juicy Music, which has mushroomed into a global brand. His remix resume is loaded with A-List artists like Madonna, Pink, Basement Jaxx, and David Guetta, and his diverse productions range from timeless underground classics like “Feel This” and “Funk-a-tron” to crossover vocal hits like “Back To Zero” and “Bang!” Rivera has also directly contributed to the success of many big-name DJs such as Steve Angello and Tom Stephan (aka Superchumbo).

We asked Rivera how he approaches his DJ sets.

“When I DJ, I prepare for my set. I choose my first three tracks, so I can start off with a bang. I like to use the effects on the Pioneer mixer, things like delay and the echo help to create climaxes. I love using the filters. I’m always filtering records in and out.”

Rivera’s also one of the most business-savvy DJs out there, and we asked him to spill some inspiration for us.

“You have to be extremely motivated and focused to get to where you want to get. You have to be very original. It’s become much simpler to create electronic music. Now it is very easy to produce and that’s not really good for the new DJs because there is too much competition. Back in the day, you had to be creative and original. It’s like when I did “Funk-a-tron.” I created this melody and used this acid wave sound. I physically created that sound and still to this day nobody has been able to re-create it. That’s how I stood out, just creating a new original sound without gimmicks. That’s really the best way to stand out. Don’t just open up Garageband and just throw loops together. You should create something fresh—it’s just better.”

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