Rissa Garcia Interview

 

What I admire about Rissa Garcia is that she is just doing what she loves week in week out. You never hear any bullshit from her, she is consistently working hard at her passions, be that DJ’ing or her well respected label Nightchild Records. For someone at the heart of the NYC club scene and one of the most connected people I know I actually know zero about the person behind it all. In an era of obsessive gender equality she is the real poster child for the scene - time-served, hard-working, low-profile and passionate about quality over hype.

 

Thanks for taking the time out to speak Rissa - you’re one of the first names I roll off when people ask about good DJ’s in the scene - tell us a little about what drives you?

 

Music, most importantly. People that doubted me, people that hope I fail at every turn. And honestly,I really can’t fathom a life without doing this so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep on doing it. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to live the robot lifestyle of working 9-5 day in and day out while daydreaming of doing what I really wanted to do and what I felt so deeply to my core I really should be doing.

 

From the outside world you’re very low profile but very successful - what’s the secret of your success?

 

Well first you have to define “success” lol living in New York it certainly doesn’t feel like I am successful at all with the high cost of living here but that’s another story….lol but honestly I don’t really see myself as a success just yet. There’s a lot more I can do/to do and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I really don’t have any secret other than just being me. I play the music that I love which makes me happy and hope it translates to the dancefloor.

 

What’s you’re opinion on social media and the hype that goes with it in the industry today?

 

It certainly has its pros and cons. It’s a great tool for small underground labels and artist that can potentially reach a global audience with a small budget and the right content but at the same time there’s a lot of ways to manipulate the matrix so to say. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in today’s world but I feel like you can have a presence without it being all about “you”.  For example, Mr. G’s social media is mostly pictures of records so I enjoy following more people like that ...they keep the focus on the music and not so much about image.

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Personal highlights include warming up for my very own inspiration and personal hero Danny Tenaglia on one of his big halloween night here in NY called Boo Yourself in 2014; playing one of my favorite parties that I frequent just to dance and let loose called 718 Sessions by Benny Soto & Danny Krivit because it’s a really fun educated, diverse, music loving crowd which is always the best kinda gig; and last year playing the Kings Hall at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner with Heidi, Honey Dijon and Culoe De Song at one of the biggest events of the year City Fox’s Odyssey on New Years Eve. It was such a massive night on every level.

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Being from NYC, there’s certainly no shortage of influences, as mentioned earlier,in terms of DJs Danny Tenaglia, Danny Krivit, Louie Vega, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Kenny Dope and I could go on and on. Production wise Quincy Jones, Francois K, Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Pal Joey, Kerri Chandler and so many more. As for labels, Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Emotive, Prelude, Twisted, Moving, Vega/MAW, Fania, West End, oooh we can be here all day so I’ll stop here.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

I have a few favorite places in New York for different reasons. In no particular order: Good Room because it has that nice dark intimate underground vibe feel to it with a solid sound system. Le Bain, which is one of the last few spots left in Manhattan, always has a fun diverse crowd and I get to play a variety of music and they’re up for it. And at Elsewhere, the hospitality, staff and overall vibe of the place is really welcoming and that’s always a great feeling to any room. It also has a few different rooms all of which I’ve gotten to play and had a great time in each of them. But I would have to say my all-time favorite place to play was Cielo Club which is now closed sadly.

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Pick tracks, sleep…?

 

I can never really sleep before a gig so it’s mostly sort tunes, listen to some new ones, go over some last minute promos and of course deal with people texting/messaging for the guest list LOL

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

I say this whenever I’m asked but for me it’s always been about finding your own sound and style while drawing inspiration from the ones who inspired you. Be your own DJ, play the music you really love and feel. Be consistent, be hungry and be humble.

 

You’ve been quiet on the producing for a while - was that the natural progression from DJ’ing?

 

Actually, I kind of started producing and messing around with Propellerhead’s Reason before I got into the djing part because I was able to get a copy of Reason and use it at home before I was able to afford dj equipment of my own and practice at home. Getting to know Reason at that point though was mainly just to mess around and see what it was all about I didn’t really take the production part too serious until I started my label, NightChild Records, in about 2008. And I’m still learning that side of things too. I’ve been reading and studying more about chord progression, music theory, songwriting and have been trying to learn to play piano on my own when I can. I’ve got some new stuff in the works that I’m really excited to finish up and get out there as I feel I’m getting closer to making the kinda music I play but don’t feel that I’m quite there yet.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think technology has changed things and made it easier in a lot of ways but it also has taken away some of the human touch. I would love to work with real musicians and record in a big studio the way they used to back in the days but I also love being able to work in my pajamas at home so it’s definitely changed for the better in some ways as well. I have a love/hate relationship with production. You have days where you can sit for hours and just hit your head against the wall but on the days when the creative juices are flowing it makes it all worthwhile.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

Pretty simple for production Korg Triton, Maschine 2, Pro-tools with some vsts, focus rite and event 20/20 monitors. I only produce tracks at home and after I am happy with the sounds/arrangement I will send it to my mix engineer, Carlos Ruiz, who has a much more sophisticated set up than I to mix it down and get it sounding right.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Always be willing to learn, experiment, and try something different. I’ve made some of my favorite sounds/edits by “happy accidents’” which is what I refer to when you didn’t mean to do something but it comes out cool anyway. Experimentation and not always knowing exactly what you’re doing can sometimes help you come up with new sounds/ideas. Watch tutorials of some of your favorite producers/mixers, etc but take everything with a grain of salt. What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok too. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk away and take a break if things aren’t coming together. We all have days like this and on these type of days I like to listen to some of my favorite music that inspires me which can be anything like latin music, disco, r&b, classic rock, etc to get some new ideas. Just because you make dance music it doesn’t mean you can’t draw from other genres as well.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks your playing and loving?

 

You mean aside from NightChild Records, right? Plastik People, Beste Modus and (Cinthie’s other labels Beste Freunde, Crystal Grooves, etc) Cahoots, Shall Not Fade, Toy Tonics, Love Notes from Brooklyn, Most Excellent Unlimited has been releasing some killer Danny Krivit edits, No Fuss, and of course the classic labels still doing it like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Madhouse, Defected and their sister brands.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

I’m going to be playing with Kenny Dope, Jay Daniels, Duchess, AceMoma and some others at Elsewhere to celebrate their second anniversary on November 2nd, and back there again with Todd Terry in December. I have a few other things pending in NY for November as well sorting out the next edition of my own event Dancing Room Only but mostly I’m really excited to be doing a lil west coast tour early 2020 and hopefully get to do a bit more traveling next year.

 

Where can people follow you?

 

 

Links

 

 

Rissa Garcia - Exclusive Guest Mix

 

More like this

Rissa Garcia Interview

 

What I admire about Rissa Garcia is that she is just doing what she loves week in week out. You never hear any bullshit from her, she is consistently working hard at her passions, be that DJ’ing or her well respected label Nightchild Records. For someone at the heart of the NYC club scene and one of the most connected people I know I actually know zero about the person behind it all. In an era of obsessive gender equality she is the real poster child for the scene - time-served, hard-working, low-profile and passionate about quality over hype.

 

Thanks for taking the time out to speak Rissa - you’re one of the first names I roll off when people ask about good DJ’s in the scene - tell us a little about what drives you?

 

Music, most importantly. People that doubted me, people that hope I fail at every turn. And honestly,I really can’t fathom a life without doing this so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep on doing it. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to live the robot lifestyle of working 9-5 day in and day out while daydreaming of doing what I really wanted to do and what I felt so deeply to my core I really should be doing.

 

From the outside world you’re very low profile but very successful - what’s the secret of your success?

 

Well first you have to define “success” lol living in New York it certainly doesn’t feel like I am successful at all with the high cost of living here but that’s another story….lol but honestly I don’t really see myself as a success just yet. There’s a lot more I can do/to do and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I really don’t have any secret other than just being me. I play the music that I love which makes me happy and hope it translates to the dancefloor.

 

What’s you’re opinion on social media and the hype that goes with it in the industry today?

 

It certainly has its pros and cons. It’s a great tool for small underground labels and artist that can potentially reach a global audience with a small budget and the right content but at the same time there’s a lot of ways to manipulate the matrix so to say. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in today’s world but I feel like you can have a presence without it being all about “you”.  For example, Mr. G’s social media is mostly pictures of records so I enjoy following more people like that ...they keep the focus on the music and not so much about image.

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Personal highlights include warming up for my very own inspiration and personal hero Danny Tenaglia on one of his big halloween night here in NY called Boo Yourself in 2014; playing one of my favorite parties that I frequent just to dance and let loose called 718 Sessions by Benny Soto & Danny Krivit because it’s a really fun educated, diverse, music loving crowd which is always the best kinda gig; and last year playing the Kings Hall at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner with Heidi, Honey Dijon and Culoe De Song at one of the biggest events of the year City Fox’s Odyssey on New Years Eve. It was such a massive night on every level.

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Being from NYC, there’s certainly no shortage of influences, as mentioned earlier,in terms of DJs Danny Tenaglia, Danny Krivit, Louie Vega, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Kenny Dope and I could go on and on. Production wise Quincy Jones, Francois K, Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Pal Joey, Kerri Chandler and so many more. As for labels, Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Emotive, Prelude, Twisted, Moving, Vega/MAW, Fania, West End, oooh we can be here all day so I’ll stop here.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

I have a few favorite places in New York for different reasons. In no particular order: Good Room because it has that nice dark intimate underground vibe feel to it with a solid sound system. Le Bain, which is one of the last few spots left in Manhattan, always has a fun diverse crowd and I get to play a variety of music and they’re up for it. And at Elsewhere, the hospitality, staff and overall vibe of the place is really welcoming and that’s always a great feeling to any room. It also has a few different rooms all of which I’ve gotten to play and had a great time in each of them. But I would have to say my all-time favorite place to play was Cielo Club which is now closed sadly.

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Pick tracks, sleep…?

 

I can never really sleep before a gig so it’s mostly sort tunes, listen to some new ones, go over some last minute promos and of course deal with people texting/messaging for the guest list LOL

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

I say this whenever I’m asked but for me it’s always been about finding your own sound and style while drawing inspiration from the ones who inspired you. Be your own DJ, play the music you really love and feel. Be consistent, be hungry and be humble.

 

You’ve been quiet on the producing for a while - was that the natural progression from DJ’ing?

 

Actually, I kind of started producing and messing around with Propellerhead’s Reason before I got into the djing part because I was able to get a copy of Reason and use it at home before I was able to afford dj equipment of my own and practice at home. Getting to know Reason at that point though was mainly just to mess around and see what it was all about I didn’t really take the production part too serious until I started my label, NightChild Records, in about 2008. And I’m still learning that side of things too. I’ve been reading and studying more about chord progression, music theory, songwriting and have been trying to learn to play piano on my own when I can. I’ve got some new stuff in the works that I’m really excited to finish up and get out there as I feel I’m getting closer to making the kinda music I play but don’t feel that I’m quite there yet.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think technology has changed things and made it easier in a lot of ways but it also has taken away some of the human touch. I would love to work with real musicians and record in a big studio the way they used to back in the days but I also love being able to work in my pajamas at home so it’s definitely changed for the better in some ways as well. I have a love/hate relationship with production. You have days where you can sit for hours and just hit your head against the wall but on the days when the creative juices are flowing it makes it all worthwhile.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

Pretty simple for production Korg Triton, Maschine 2, Pro-tools with some vsts, focus rite and event 20/20 monitors. I only produce tracks at home and after I am happy with the sounds/arrangement I will send it to my mix engineer, Carlos Ruiz, who has a much more sophisticated set up than I to mix it down and get it sounding right.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Always be willing to learn, experiment, and try something different. I’ve made some of my favorite sounds/edits by “happy accidents’” which is what I refer to when you didn’t mean to do something but it comes out cool anyway. Experimentation and not always knowing exactly what you’re doing can sometimes help you come up with new sounds/ideas. Watch tutorials of some of your favorite producers/mixers, etc but take everything with a grain of salt. What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok too. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk away and take a break if things aren’t coming together. We all have days like this and on these type of days I like to listen to some of my favorite music that inspires me which can be anything like latin music, disco, r&b, classic rock, etc to get some new ideas. Just because you make dance music it doesn’t mean you can’t draw from other genres as well.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks your playing and loving?

 

You mean aside from NightChild Records, right? Plastik People, Beste Modus and (Cinthie’s other labels Beste Freunde, Crystal Grooves, etc) Cahoots, Shall Not Fade, Toy Tonics, Love Notes from Brooklyn, Most Excellent Unlimited has been releasing some killer Danny Krivit edits, No Fuss, and of course the classic labels still doing it like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Madhouse, Defected and their sister brands.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

I’m going to be playing with Kenny Dope, Jay Daniels, Duchess, AceMoma and some others at Elsewhere to celebrate their second anniversary on November 2nd, and back there again with Todd Terry in December. I have a few other things pending in NY for November as well sorting out the next edition of my own event Dancing Room Only but mostly I’m really excited to be doing a lil west coast tour early 2020 and hopefully get to do a bit more traveling next year.

 

Where can people follow you?

 

 

Links

 

 

Rissa Garcia - Exclusive Guest Mix

 

Rissa Garcia Interview

 

What I admire about Rissa Garcia is that she is just doing what she loves week in week out. You never hear any bullshit from her, she is consistently working hard at her passions, be that DJ’ing or her well respected label Nightchild Records. For someone at the heart of the NYC club scene and one of the most connected people I know I actually know zero about the person behind it all. In an era of obsessive gender equality she is the real poster child for the scene - time-served, hard-working, low-profile and passionate about quality over hype.

 

Thanks for taking the time out to speak Rissa - you’re one of the first names I roll off when people ask about good DJ’s in the scene - tell us a little about what drives you?

 

Music, most importantly. People that doubted me, people that hope I fail at every turn. And honestly,I really can’t fathom a life without doing this so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep on doing it. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to live the robot lifestyle of working 9-5 day in and day out while daydreaming of doing what I really wanted to do and what I felt so deeply to my core I really should be doing.

 

From the outside world you’re very low profile but very successful - what’s the secret of your success?

 

Well first you have to define “success” lol living in New York it certainly doesn’t feel like I am successful at all with the high cost of living here but that’s another story….lol but honestly I don’t really see myself as a success just yet. There’s a lot more I can do/to do and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I really don’t have any secret other than just being me. I play the music that I love which makes me happy and hope it translates to the dancefloor.

 

What’s you’re opinion on social media and the hype that goes with it in the industry today?

 

It certainly has its pros and cons. It’s a great tool for small underground labels and artist that can potentially reach a global audience with a small budget and the right content but at the same time there’s a lot of ways to manipulate the matrix so to say. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in today’s world but I feel like you can have a presence without it being all about “you”.  For example, Mr. G’s social media is mostly pictures of records so I enjoy following more people like that ...they keep the focus on the music and not so much about image.

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Personal highlights include warming up for my very own inspiration and personal hero Danny Tenaglia on one of his big halloween night here in NY called Boo Yourself in 2014; playing one of my favorite parties that I frequent just to dance and let loose called 718 Sessions by Benny Soto & Danny Krivit because it’s a really fun educated, diverse, music loving crowd which is always the best kinda gig; and last year playing the Kings Hall at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner with Heidi, Honey Dijon and Culoe De Song at one of the biggest events of the year City Fox’s Odyssey on New Years Eve. It was such a massive night on every level.

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Being from NYC, there’s certainly no shortage of influences, as mentioned earlier,in terms of DJs Danny Tenaglia, Danny Krivit, Louie Vega, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Kenny Dope and I could go on and on. Production wise Quincy Jones, Francois K, Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Pal Joey, Kerri Chandler and so many more. As for labels, Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Emotive, Prelude, Twisted, Moving, Vega/MAW, Fania, West End, oooh we can be here all day so I’ll stop here.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

I have a few favorite places in New York for different reasons. In no particular order: Good Room because it has that nice dark intimate underground vibe feel to it with a solid sound system. Le Bain, which is one of the last few spots left in Manhattan, always has a fun diverse crowd and I get to play a variety of music and they’re up for it. And at Elsewhere, the hospitality, staff and overall vibe of the place is really welcoming and that’s always a great feeling to any room. It also has a few different rooms all of which I’ve gotten to play and had a great time in each of them. But I would have to say my all-time favorite place to play was Cielo Club which is now closed sadly.

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Pick tracks, sleep…?

 

I can never really sleep before a gig so it’s mostly sort tunes, listen to some new ones, go over some last minute promos and of course deal with people texting/messaging for the guest list LOL

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

I say this whenever I’m asked but for me it’s always been about finding your own sound and style while drawing inspiration from the ones who inspired you. Be your own DJ, play the music you really love and feel. Be consistent, be hungry and be humble.

 

You’ve been quiet on the producing for a while - was that the natural progression from DJ’ing?

 

Actually, I kind of started producing and messing around with Propellerhead’s Reason before I got into the djing part because I was able to get a copy of Reason and use it at home before I was able to afford dj equipment of my own and practice at home. Getting to know Reason at that point though was mainly just to mess around and see what it was all about I didn’t really take the production part too serious until I started my label, NightChild Records, in about 2008. And I’m still learning that side of things too. I’ve been reading and studying more about chord progression, music theory, songwriting and have been trying to learn to play piano on my own when I can. I’ve got some new stuff in the works that I’m really excited to finish up and get out there as I feel I’m getting closer to making the kinda music I play but don’t feel that I’m quite there yet.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think technology has changed things and made it easier in a lot of ways but it also has taken away some of the human touch. I would love to work with real musicians and record in a big studio the way they used to back in the days but I also love being able to work in my pajamas at home so it’s definitely changed for the better in some ways as well. I have a love/hate relationship with production. You have days where you can sit for hours and just hit your head against the wall but on the days when the creative juices are flowing it makes it all worthwhile.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

Pretty simple for production Korg Triton, Maschine 2, Pro-tools with some vsts, focus rite and event 20/20 monitors. I only produce tracks at home and after I am happy with the sounds/arrangement I will send it to my mix engineer, Carlos Ruiz, who has a much more sophisticated set up than I to mix it down and get it sounding right.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Always be willing to learn, experiment, and try something different. I’ve made some of my favorite sounds/edits by “happy accidents’” which is what I refer to when you didn’t mean to do something but it comes out cool anyway. Experimentation and not always knowing exactly what you’re doing can sometimes help you come up with new sounds/ideas. Watch tutorials of some of your favorite producers/mixers, etc but take everything with a grain of salt. What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok too. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk away and take a break if things aren’t coming together. We all have days like this and on these type of days I like to listen to some of my favorite music that inspires me which can be anything like latin music, disco, r&b, classic rock, etc to get some new ideas. Just because you make dance music it doesn’t mean you can’t draw from other genres as well.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks your playing and loving?

 

You mean aside from NightChild Records, right? Plastik People, Beste Modus and (Cinthie’s other labels Beste Freunde, Crystal Grooves, etc) Cahoots, Shall Not Fade, Toy Tonics, Love Notes from Brooklyn, Most Excellent Unlimited has been releasing some killer Danny Krivit edits, No Fuss, and of course the classic labels still doing it like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Madhouse, Defected and their sister brands.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

I’m going to be playing with Kenny Dope, Jay Daniels, Duchess, AceMoma and some others at Elsewhere to celebrate their second anniversary on November 2nd, and back there again with Todd Terry in December. I have a few other things pending in NY for November as well sorting out the next edition of my own event Dancing Room Only but mostly I’m really excited to be doing a lil west coast tour early 2020 and hopefully get to do a bit more traveling next year.

 

Where can people follow you?

 

 

Links

 

 

Rissa Garcia - Exclusive Guest Mix

 

Rissa Garcia Interview

 

What I admire about Rissa Garcia is that she is just doing what she loves week in week out. You never hear any bullshit from her, she is consistently working hard at her passions, be that DJ’ing or her well respected label Nightchild Records. For someone at the heart of the NYC club scene and one of the most connected people I know I actually know zero about the person behind it all. In an era of obsessive gender equality she is the real poster child for the scene - time-served, hard-working, low-profile and passionate about quality over hype.

 

Thanks for taking the time out to speak Rissa - you’re one of the first names I roll off when people ask about good DJ’s in the scene - tell us a little about what drives you?

 

Music, most importantly. People that doubted me, people that hope I fail at every turn. And honestly,I really can’t fathom a life without doing this so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep on doing it. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to live the robot lifestyle of working 9-5 day in and day out while daydreaming of doing what I really wanted to do and what I felt so deeply to my core I really should be doing.

 

From the outside world you’re very low profile but very successful - what’s the secret of your success?

 

Well first you have to define “success” lol living in New York it certainly doesn’t feel like I am successful at all with the high cost of living here but that’s another story….lol but honestly I don’t really see myself as a success just yet. There’s a lot more I can do/to do and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I really don’t have any secret other than just being me. I play the music that I love which makes me happy and hope it translates to the dancefloor.

 

What’s you’re opinion on social media and the hype that goes with it in the industry today?

 

It certainly has its pros and cons. It’s a great tool for small underground labels and artist that can potentially reach a global audience with a small budget and the right content but at the same time there’s a lot of ways to manipulate the matrix so to say. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in today’s world but I feel like you can have a presence without it being all about “you”.  For example, Mr. G’s social media is mostly pictures of records so I enjoy following more people like that ...they keep the focus on the music and not so much about image.

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Personal highlights include warming up for my very own inspiration and personal hero Danny Tenaglia on one of his big halloween night here in NY called Boo Yourself in 2014; playing one of my favorite parties that I frequent just to dance and let loose called 718 Sessions by Benny Soto & Danny Krivit because it’s a really fun educated, diverse, music loving crowd which is always the best kinda gig; and last year playing the Kings Hall at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner with Heidi, Honey Dijon and Culoe De Song at one of the biggest events of the year City Fox’s Odyssey on New Years Eve. It was such a massive night on every level.

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Being from NYC, there’s certainly no shortage of influences, as mentioned earlier,in terms of DJs Danny Tenaglia, Danny Krivit, Louie Vega, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Kenny Dope and I could go on and on. Production wise Quincy Jones, Francois K, Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Pal Joey, Kerri Chandler and so many more. As for labels, Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Emotive, Prelude, Twisted, Moving, Vega/MAW, Fania, West End, oooh we can be here all day so I’ll stop here.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

I have a few favorite places in New York for different reasons. In no particular order: Good Room because it has that nice dark intimate underground vibe feel to it with a solid sound system. Le Bain, which is one of the last few spots left in Manhattan, always has a fun diverse crowd and I get to play a variety of music and they’re up for it. And at Elsewhere, the hospitality, staff and overall vibe of the place is really welcoming and that’s always a great feeling to any room. It also has a few different rooms all of which I’ve gotten to play and had a great time in each of them. But I would have to say my all-time favorite place to play was Cielo Club which is now closed sadly.

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Pick tracks, sleep…?

 

I can never really sleep before a gig so it’s mostly sort tunes, listen to some new ones, go over some last minute promos and of course deal with people texting/messaging for the guest list LOL

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

I say this whenever I’m asked but for me it’s always been about finding your own sound and style while drawing inspiration from the ones who inspired you. Be your own DJ, play the music you really love and feel. Be consistent, be hungry and be humble.

 

You’ve been quiet on the producing for a while - was that the natural progression from DJ’ing?

 

Actually, I kind of started producing and messing around with Propellerhead’s Reason before I got into the djing part because I was able to get a copy of Reason and use it at home before I was able to afford dj equipment of my own and practice at home. Getting to know Reason at that point though was mainly just to mess around and see what it was all about I didn’t really take the production part too serious until I started my label, NightChild Records, in about 2008. And I’m still learning that side of things too. I’ve been reading and studying more about chord progression, music theory, songwriting and have been trying to learn to play piano on my own when I can. I’ve got some new stuff in the works that I’m really excited to finish up and get out there as I feel I’m getting closer to making the kinda music I play but don’t feel that I’m quite there yet.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think technology has changed things and made it easier in a lot of ways but it also has taken away some of the human touch. I would love to work with real musicians and record in a big studio the way they used to back in the days but I also love being able to work in my pajamas at home so it’s definitely changed for the better in some ways as well. I have a love/hate relationship with production. You have days where you can sit for hours and just hit your head against the wall but on the days when the creative juices are flowing it makes it all worthwhile.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

Pretty simple for production Korg Triton, Maschine 2, Pro-tools with some vsts, focus rite and event 20/20 monitors. I only produce tracks at home and after I am happy with the sounds/arrangement I will send it to my mix engineer, Carlos Ruiz, who has a much more sophisticated set up than I to mix it down and get it sounding right.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Always be willing to learn, experiment, and try something different. I’ve made some of my favorite sounds/edits by “happy accidents’” which is what I refer to when you didn’t mean to do something but it comes out cool anyway. Experimentation and not always knowing exactly what you’re doing can sometimes help you come up with new sounds/ideas. Watch tutorials of some of your favorite producers/mixers, etc but take everything with a grain of salt. What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok too. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk away and take a break if things aren’t coming together. We all have days like this and on these type of days I like to listen to some of my favorite music that inspires me which can be anything like latin music, disco, r&b, classic rock, etc to get some new ideas. Just because you make dance music it doesn’t mean you can’t draw from other genres as well.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks your playing and loving?

 

You mean aside from NightChild Records, right? Plastik People, Beste Modus and (Cinthie’s other labels Beste Freunde, Crystal Grooves, etc) Cahoots, Shall Not Fade, Toy Tonics, Love Notes from Brooklyn, Most Excellent Unlimited has been releasing some killer Danny Krivit edits, No Fuss, and of course the classic labels still doing it like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Madhouse, Defected and their sister brands.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

I’m going to be playing with Kenny Dope, Jay Daniels, Duchess, AceMoma and some others at Elsewhere to celebrate their second anniversary on November 2nd, and back there again with Todd Terry in December. I have a few other things pending in NY for November as well sorting out the next edition of my own event Dancing Room Only but mostly I’m really excited to be doing a lil west coast tour early 2020 and hopefully get to do a bit more traveling next year.

 

Where can people follow you?

 

 

Links

 

 

Rissa Garcia - Exclusive Guest Mix

 

Rissa Garcia Interview

 

What I admire about Rissa Garcia is that she is just doing what she loves week in week out. You never hear any bullshit from her, she is consistently working hard at her passions, be that DJ’ing or her well respected label Nightchild Records. For someone at the heart of the NYC club scene and one of the most connected people I know I actually know zero about the person behind it all. In an era of obsessive gender equality she is the real poster child for the scene - time-served, hard-working, low-profile and passionate about quality over hype.

 

Thanks for taking the time out to speak Rissa - you’re one of the first names I roll off when people ask about good DJ’s in the scene - tell us a little about what drives you?

 

Music, most importantly. People that doubted me, people that hope I fail at every turn. And honestly,I really can’t fathom a life without doing this so I’ll do whatever it takes to keep on doing it. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to live the robot lifestyle of working 9-5 day in and day out while daydreaming of doing what I really wanted to do and what I felt so deeply to my core I really should be doing.

 

From the outside world you’re very low profile but very successful - what’s the secret of your success?

 

Well first you have to define “success” lol living in New York it certainly doesn’t feel like I am successful at all with the high cost of living here but that’s another story….lol but honestly I don’t really see myself as a success just yet. There’s a lot more I can do/to do and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I really don’t have any secret other than just being me. I play the music that I love which makes me happy and hope it translates to the dancefloor.

 

What’s you’re opinion on social media and the hype that goes with it in the industry today?

 

It certainly has its pros and cons. It’s a great tool for small underground labels and artist that can potentially reach a global audience with a small budget and the right content but at the same time there’s a lot of ways to manipulate the matrix so to say. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in today’s world but I feel like you can have a presence without it being all about “you”.  For example, Mr. G’s social media is mostly pictures of records so I enjoy following more people like that ...they keep the focus on the music and not so much about image.

 

What’s been the highlights of your career so far?

 

Personal highlights include warming up for my very own inspiration and personal hero Danny Tenaglia on one of his big halloween night here in NY called Boo Yourself in 2014; playing one of my favorite parties that I frequent just to dance and let loose called 718 Sessions by Benny Soto & Danny Krivit because it’s a really fun educated, diverse, music loving crowd which is always the best kinda gig; and last year playing the Kings Hall at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner with Heidi, Honey Dijon and Culoe De Song at one of the biggest events of the year City Fox’s Odyssey on New Years Eve. It was such a massive night on every level.

 

Greatest influences? DJ’s, people, labels…?

 

Being from NYC, there’s certainly no shortage of influences, as mentioned earlier,in terms of DJs Danny Tenaglia, Danny Krivit, Louie Vega, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Todd Terry, Kenny Dope and I could go on and on. Production wise Quincy Jones, Francois K, Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Pal Joey, Kerri Chandler and so many more. As for labels, Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Emotive, Prelude, Twisted, Moving, Vega/MAW, Fania, West End, oooh we can be here all day so I’ll stop here.

 

Favourite place to DJ?

 

I have a few favorite places in New York for different reasons. In no particular order: Good Room because it has that nice dark intimate underground vibe feel to it with a solid sound system. Le Bain, which is one of the last few spots left in Manhattan, always has a fun diverse crowd and I get to play a variety of music and they’re up for it. And at Elsewhere, the hospitality, staff and overall vibe of the place is really welcoming and that’s always a great feeling to any room. It also has a few different rooms all of which I’ve gotten to play and had a great time in each of them. But I would have to say my all-time favorite place to play was Cielo Club which is now closed sadly.

 

What’s your usual preparation for a set? Pick tracks, sleep…?

 

I can never really sleep before a gig so it’s mostly sort tunes, listen to some new ones, go over some last minute promos and of course deal with people texting/messaging for the guest list LOL

 

Top tip/s for up and coming DJ’s?

 

I say this whenever I’m asked but for me it’s always been about finding your own sound and style while drawing inspiration from the ones who inspired you. Be your own DJ, play the music you really love and feel. Be consistent, be hungry and be humble.

 

You’ve been quiet on the producing for a while - was that the natural progression from DJ’ing?

 

Actually, I kind of started producing and messing around with Propellerhead’s Reason before I got into the djing part because I was able to get a copy of Reason and use it at home before I was able to afford dj equipment of my own and practice at home. Getting to know Reason at that point though was mainly just to mess around and see what it was all about I didn’t really take the production part too serious until I started my label, NightChild Records, in about 2008. And I’m still learning that side of things too. I’ve been reading and studying more about chord progression, music theory, songwriting and have been trying to learn to play piano on my own when I can. I’ve got some new stuff in the works that I’m really excited to finish up and get out there as I feel I’m getting closer to making the kinda music I play but don’t feel that I’m quite there yet.

 

How do you feel production has changed over the years (good or bad) - do you still get as much pleasure from it?

 

I think technology has changed things and made it easier in a lot of ways but it also has taken away some of the human touch. I would love to work with real musicians and record in a big studio the way they used to back in the days but I also love being able to work in my pajamas at home so it’s definitely changed for the better in some ways as well. I have a love/hate relationship with production. You have days where you can sit for hours and just hit your head against the wall but on the days when the creative juices are flowing it makes it all worthwhile.

 

What’s your production set up?

 

Pretty simple for production Korg Triton, Maschine 2, Pro-tools with some vsts, focus rite and event 20/20 monitors. I only produce tracks at home and after I am happy with the sounds/arrangement I will send it to my mix engineer, Carlos Ruiz, who has a much more sophisticated set up than I to mix it down and get it sounding right.

 

Top tips for aspiring producers?

 

Always be willing to learn, experiment, and try something different. I’ve made some of my favorite sounds/edits by “happy accidents’” which is what I refer to when you didn’t mean to do something but it comes out cool anyway. Experimentation and not always knowing exactly what you’re doing can sometimes help you come up with new sounds/ideas. Watch tutorials of some of your favorite producers/mixers, etc but take everything with a grain of salt. What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok too. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk away and take a break if things aren’t coming together. We all have days like this and on these type of days I like to listen to some of my favorite music that inspires me which can be anything like latin music, disco, r&b, classic rock, etc to get some new ideas. Just because you make dance music it doesn’t mean you can’t draw from other genres as well.

 

What labels are killing it for you right now - tracks your playing and loving?

 

You mean aside from NightChild Records, right? Plastik People, Beste Modus and (Cinthie’s other labels Beste Freunde, Crystal Grooves, etc) Cahoots, Shall Not Fade, Toy Tonics, Love Notes from Brooklyn, Most Excellent Unlimited has been releasing some killer Danny Krivit edits, No Fuss, and of course the classic labels still doing it like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm, Madhouse, Defected and their sister brands.

 

What’s on the cards for the next while - gigs to watch out for?

 

I’m going to be playing with Kenny Dope, Jay Daniels, Duchess, AceMoma and some others at Elsewhere to celebrate their second anniversary on November 2nd, and back there again with Todd Terry in December. I have a few other things pending in NY for November as well sorting out the next edition of my own event Dancing Room Only but mostly I’m really excited to be doing a lil west coast tour early 2020 and hopefully get to do a bit more traveling next year.

 

Where can people follow you?

 

 

Links

 

 

Rissa Garcia - Exclusive Guest Mix