Robbie Rivera on New DJs: "Everyone is Starting to Sound the Same"

Robbie Rivera has seen and done plenty during in 17 years in the electronic music biz. You could fill an entire novel with a list of all the gigs the superstar DJ/producer has pulled off during his career -- from his salad days spinning at high school dances in his native Puerto Rico to countless appearances in Ibiza or such mega-events as the WMC in his hometown of Miami.

These days, the veteran guru and Juicy Music czar spins is renowned for his high-energy pastiches of house, tribal, and Latin sounds and the off-the-hook Juicy Beach parties held in his South Florida stomping grounds and more recently at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Vegas. Rivera took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for Up on the Sun via e-mail and share some of his wisdom about the EDM world before he helps provide an equally epic experience at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale on Sunday afternoon.

Like you, many up-and-coming DJs are getting started in their teenage years. What's the most important piece of advice you can give newbie DJs or EDM producers starting out? Don't copy everyone else. You need to start creating original music because what's happening is everyone is starting to sound the same.

How have you reinvented yourself or your sound over the years? My sound has constantly evolved over the years, just as I have evolved as an artist and businessman. But even still, people know me for a very specific Juicy sound, which I would characterize as being tough, sexy house music! I also make sure to buy all the new software and learn them fast so I am not left behind.

How busy are you these days, between gigs, producing, recording, and collaborating? I work every day like a normal person and on the weekends I travel for shows. That gives me plenty of time to do everything I want. Sometimes I miss having a free weekend to be able to spend with friends and family that have regular jobs, but my life is pretty great, so I can't complain.

What do you do during what little down time you have? Shopping and chilling in Miami with my wife and dog, Roxy.

You've collaborated with Antoine Clamaran over the years, most recently on "Legend of the Drums." What's relationship between the two of you like? I've known Antoine for a very long time. We have worked together in the past and I've had him at my Juicy Beach party in Miami. It was good to get to work with him again on another collab.

How much work do you put into an episode of the Juicy Show each week? Monday and Tuesday I focus on the show. Gathering tracks that I'm a fan of and want to feature that week. I also have guest mixes from time to time, which is cool because my fans get exposed to other artists that I'm a fan of.

Any new or big projects for Juicy Music on the horizon? A lot of exciting upcoming releases. The label is gonna go much darker. There will be a lot more techy, tribal underground tracks for sure. We are trying to bring it back to the way it was.

Your music has been described as a pastiche of house, tribal, and Latin sounds. Is it hard to classify your music into one specific genre? Well, this is a problem I've faced since I started making music. I like the underground music, it's really what I love to do. I could go a lot of dark and techy stuff like that. I also tend to play a lot of chords and melodies that could be more of a popular sound and more commercial, so I figured I'd just do both, so I can't stick to only one style. I've never been able to.

You've remixed the likes of Madonna, Kylie Minogue and other pop superstars. Are there any that you'd love to collaborate with? I'd like to remix Britney Spears. I know she a real commercial pop star, but sometimes I like to take those pop stars and make them cool. I'd also like to remix Madonna again!

The last time you performed at EDC was in 2011. Ever have the desire to return to the event in the near future? I'd be open to it but I just recently signed a residency with Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas to bring my famous Juicy Beach party to the Paradise Beach there. We have already had two really successful events there and [will] have one EDC weekend, as well as July 27, August 31, and our summer closing parting end of September

Would you ever consider performing at the EDC that takes place in Puerto Rico? Yes, just depends on my travel schedule though.

Your Juicy Beach are reportedly been quite epic and wild. Do you plan on bring the same energy to Maya on Sunday? Of course! For me it is all about the crowd, and Arizona's crazy scene is perfect for Juicy Beach. I can't wait to bring the Juicy sexiness to Maya.

Do you have anything special planned for the gig? During my live sets, you will hear at least ten of my tunes mixed with everything else, because I just love playing my music. So you can expect music that's groovy and makes you shake your ass and raise your hands in the air! I'll definitely be dropping some unreleased stuff too!

You've previously performed more than a few gigs in Scottsdale. What's your favorite part about performing in Arizona? It's a really good crowd here. They really know their music, and every time I play here they're always in my face, getting rowdy and crazy!

Robbie Rivera is scheduled to perform at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale on Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m. Admission is $10-$50.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.