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DJ Roger Sanchez

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Born to Dominican parents in Queens, world-renowned Grammy winning DJ Roger Sanchez has enjoyed three decades of success. Known for his club smash single "Release Yo Self" and his Release Yourself brand, the New York-based DJ has grown into a worldwide phenomenon with an annual residency in Ibiza and regular worldwide tours. Catch him at Vessel on May 20th. He recently discussed his career with SF Station.

SF Station (SFS): Did you always know you wanted to be a DJ?

Roger Sanchez (RS): No, I thought I would be an architect or artist when I was young. However, once I was bitten by the DJ bug, I was hooked!

SFS: How did you get the nickname S-Man?

RS: I was a Billboard magazine reporting DJ in the early 90s and one of the promoters from Arista Records, who used to call me every week to promote his records dubbed me that. It then became my production alter ego.

SFS: What would you say are some of the heaviest influences in your career thus far?

RS: So many! I was very into Latin and jazz growing up, with artists like Tito Puentes and Miles Davis; then came hip hop and early electro Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, Kraftwerk, and many others; rock bands Depeche Mode, U2; and singers like Bjork and Sade.

SFS: Tell us a little about Sexy Weapons Volume I. I assume there will be a Volume II?

RS: Absolutely! These are tracks that I play during my sets to warm a crowd up with a sexy vibe and sound.

SFS: What influenced your newest single, "2gether?" Why the numerical 2?

RS: I was in the studio with another producer and I was searching through my acapellas for inspiration for a hook and I came across "Love Shack" from the B52's. I didn't want to use their entire hook, but the phrase "we can get together" struck a chord with me. I like to use my music to bring people together, so this just worked for me. The "2" is because I wanted to differentiate it from other songs with the same title, and also as a visual hook.

SFS: Since you are a New York City native, what do you look out for when you tour the West Coast?

RS: I love the fresh seafood out in the West Coast, due to its proximity to the Pacific. I am a foodie at heart! Also I like the laidback vibe — it’s a direct opposite to New York!

SFS: What do you hope to accomplish this year?

RS: I am preparing my first 3-D live show and also working on my new artist album. We're also celebrating 10 years of my Release Yourself events. Lots to do! Most of all, though, my goal is spend more quality time with my family.

SFS: What has been your favorite place on tour this year?

RS: Buenos Aires, Argentina — talk about a fantastic vibe and energy at a gig! The Argentineans won it hands down so far! We'll see what Ibiza brings this summer,

SFS: Lastly, what is a motto you live by to keep inspired?

RS: Thank God, always look forward, and never give up.

Visit DJ Roger Sanchez online at