MUSIC: Q&A with DjLonely The Bronxonian
2012 WMC EDITION Q&A WITH DjLONELY THE BRONXONIAN
“Not everyone understands House music. It’s a spiritual thing, a body thing, a soul thing.” _ Eddie Amador’s classic track, “House Music”
Lately, it seems most DJs would shy away from producing an “Epic” album _ one requiring some serious soul-searching from years of hard knocks and life lessons. DjLonely The Bronxonian embarked on that arduous journey and never looked back. The result, “Roots: The Saga of the Soul of A Man _ The Epic Album,” a profound musical excursion that covers a lot of ground on all cylinders. In March, DjLonely shared his love of House music with hundreds at the 2012 Winter Music Conference, marking his 10th year in attendance. He talks about the experience in this Q&A with Tania Fuentez Media, emphasizing the role dancers play in the grand scheme of all things House.
NOTE: The following questions were asked prior to the event.
TFM: Describe the best part of WMC. What’s the oddest and/or funniest thing that ever happened to you or that you’ve seen during the event?
The best part of WMC for me is again the energy from the people and the DJs. See old friends and making new ones. Also, being able to get and dance to some of the best music by some of the best DJs, producers and performers in the world. Being able to play music for people from all walks of life with no prejudice. I’ve had so many funny moments just hanging with my family every year. You know who you are and what we do.
TFM: Who are you looking forward to seeing at this year’s Winter Music Conference? How often have you attended and how has it changed?
I’m looking forward to seeing artists and DJs and producers that are not necessarily in the spotlight but they have been around for quite some time, making incredible impacts in this House music culture. Then, of course, I always look forward to seeing some of my favorites like (Louie) Vega, DJ Fresh, Euphonik, Boddhi Satva and Venus 7. Where else can you get all your favorites in one city at one time. Some even for the price of zero. This is my 10th year attending the conference. I generally go for the parties, seeing people I don’t get to see all the time. Meet new people and get new inspiration and fire in the butt, ya’ know!! Also, for promoting my label and music like most of the cats out there.
Now, when I first started going to WMC, most of the parties were free and the hotels were not cheap. But, you didn’t have to sell your soul or pile up in the room with 50 souls to be able to afford it. But, most of all, I think worst of all, is the energy and support for this art and culture we call House. I personally don’t stay at the beach unless I book really early and catch a good deal. The flights you can usually catch a good deal if you book early. The problem I see with a lot of people is that everybody is worried about who is going so they wait and wait to book. So, by the time they are ready, everything is in the unreachable clouds. Me, I know I’m going to go every year if God keeps me breathing. I slowly put money away during the year so it doesn’t all hit me at once. Let’s face it, it is rough out there. But, we cannot deny life and happiness in the things we love and have deep passion for. Besides if we don’t go and represent and support ourselves, who will?
Everybody goes around saying House music will never die. But, as we know, everything must die. Look at R&B music. We have to continue to be the ones constantly breathing new life into this culture and music. Introducing it to the new generation, with a sound that promotes individual artistry before we become the dying breed eliminating ourselves from existence. So, WMC, all the parties, buying the music, Mi Casa es Su Casa … it has to all be given the support and attention it needs to continue our journey. But, we essentially have to get all our dancers back to WMC. They are and always will be a key element in this community. Their presence is a vital and much-needed energy to be felt throughout the Winter Music Conference or any party for that matter. I started out a House dancer and started spinning in ’89. When I’m at WMC parties and I’m ready to get down with the people … I feel like something is missing, and I, for sure, know it’s the dancers. Dancers are the biggest supporters of House. They are at the club when no one else is. Supporting, dancing and bringing that fire when the floor is as cold as ice. Because everyone is waiting for someone to dance or for more people to arrive. They don’t wait, they dance!!! Or should I say WE DON’T WAIT, WE DANCE! I also think we need to incorporate more performing. Letting the artist get their shine. I mean, let’s face it, without some of these incredible vocalists none of this music would be possible. A bunch of instrumentals or dubs at an all-night party just doesn’t work in any capacity. These are just MY thoughts and MY opinions. I’m allowed to have them too I GUESS!
TFM: Of course, much of your time will be devoted to working the crowds, but it IS South Beach. Favorite spots on the “To-Do” list (fave food, nightclubs, art scene, sightseeing).
I will try to devote more time to just relaxing a bit. Maybe do one of my favorite things called night beaching. When no one is really on the beach. The sun is gone and the moon is shining. I can chill, play some music and maybe even get my dance on in the sand. I will choose three parties a day to attend. One morning, noon and night if I have the time. Vagabond is one club I will definitely attend. I seem to miss it every year. But I will get there this year to hear of course (Louie) VEGA and the Vega Records family. I never get a chance to do much sightseeing. After this many years, I guess maybe all sites have been seen. I love to do Yuca and Segafredo. Usually they have great parties happening during WMC. But, I am looking forward to seeing my street vendors and picking up my handmade jewelry. Such talented, gifted individuals out there on the grind everyday. Selling and living on their own terms. Much, much blessings and spiritual energy to them. Then, of course, I am always getting my eat on at the Spanish bodegas. The Spanish food is nice and cheap and good. Then, of course, hitting up Burger Baby for a nice juicy real burger.
Bottom line to WMC, not every year will be amazing. But amazing is what we make it. Attend because you love this music and culture. Not because of who may or may not go. If you’re not there then they are not there and that is a very catchy disease that so many times gets to be uncontrollable. Soon no one is going and then when we get back everybody is asking who was there, or they are talking about who they heard wasn’t there or that it wasn’t as crowded as previous years. Well, LOOK IN THE MIRROR! You don’t have to spend your life savings to go if you plan it right. I spend on average with flights and hotels and food about $500-$600 dollars. Get a roommate with someone you love and trust, book early and hit up the cheap spots to eat. It’s good food, good fun and we have to and should do it every year. It’s how we stick together and grow this music and culture. I love it. I’ve been a soul of house for over 20 years and ’till this day I still love it and will do whatever it takes to keep it alive. WHAT IS A HOUSEHEAD? Blessings to all who continue to support this LIFE CULTURE and MUSIC we call HOUSE!
TFM: Any surprises in store or new projects that you’re excited to drop at WMC?
I am actually gonna bring some of my remixes that resurrect some of the oldies but goodies. Like my remix answer to Black Coffee and Bucie’s “Superman.” My version is “Supergirl,” which people have been responding to like it was “Superman.” Also, my vocal rebirth of Detroit Experiment’s, “Think Twice.” Then, releasing soon is my remix to “The Ha!” as made incredibly famous by the one and only true MAW (Masters at Work). As far as new projects, there are many coming soon. The EP “Circle of Freedom;” also exclusively releasing at afrodesiamp3.com, the album, “Instruspiritual.” Available now on afrodesiamp3.com, my ground-breaking album, “Roots: The Saga of the Soul of a Man _ The Epic Album,” with great reviews in 5 Magazine and at 5chicago.com. Also a brand new album will be announced on my Web site _ djlonelythebronxonian.com _ in June. Also releasing her first single on my label, easT137th records, OLGA. Single release date and title is coming soon.
TFM: What’s your Top 5 tracks for WMC?
My top 5 tracks, wow that’s hard to say!! I guess if I had to choose five, first would be “Love in the Deep” by me. One of my favorite tracks on my “Roots” album. This track drives people nuts every time I play it. Second would be Maphorisa & Clap featuring Oskido & Celimpilo-Giya. This is a straight “get down and do your thang” party jam. Third, would be Bucie, “Set Your Soul Free.” Great vocals, baseline and lyrics all together making an all-around crowd pleaser. Fourth, would be my man, Tommy Bones, “Me Against the World.” I think this is one of the hottest tracks of the year so far. There is so much great energy in this track. Last, but certainly by no means least, would be Professor featuring Character/Oskido’s “Jezebel” (the Alix Alvarez piano mix). There’s so much more great music out there to be played which I will definitely be dropping. Oldies not heard enough. Oldies not heard at all, so new to a lot of people. New songs not played by a lot of DJs. Then you have your party soul grabbers. So much music I love and respect by new artists and some of our vets. I will play as much as I can fit into the week.
DjLonely The Bronxonian album review: http://www.5chicago.com/musicreviews/dj-lonely-the-bronxonian/roots-the-saga-of-the-soul.html
Roots: The Saga of the Soul of a Man _ The Epic Album promo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQWzqh1iqS0
2012 Winter Music Conference: http://wintermusicconference.com/
DjLonely dancing at 2011 WMC (video by Tania Fuentez Media): http://vimeo.com/38595244