MUSIC: Q&A with DJ Ray Vazquez
ARTISTICALLY SPEAKING: Q&A WITH DJ RAY VAZQUEZ
New York native DJ Ray Vazquez enjoys connecting with people through the music he plays, often generating pure heat on the Coney Island boardwalk as soon as summer begins. But, Vazquez isn’t new to this with more than 25 years under his belt and he knows where he comes from in the grand scheme of things. Vazquez, in the following interview with Tania Fuentez Media, shares what keeps him devoted to what he does and why summertime on the boardwalk means so much to so many.
TFM: Over the years, many people look forward to spending their summer dancing on the Coney Island boardwalk. What makes the “Just Us Worldwide” parties special and why do you do it? By the way, what’s the meaning behind the title?
Ray: People look forward to my events at Coney because there’s a big difference in the music I play. Full of energy … SOULFUL HOUSE, DANCE CLASSICS, GARAGE/LOFT MUSIC and SOME SALSA. There’s other parties that go on the boardwalk but mine seem to always stand out from the rest. The reason why I do these FREE parties is to give back to all my loyal fans. The meaning of JUSTUS was to give back to our family and friends … meaning it was JUST between US.
TFM: How long have you been DJing and what significant changes influenced the way you approach and appreciate music and underground dance culture?
Ray: I’ve been DJing for over 25 Years. Over the years, I watch how things changed. Some for the better, some for the worst. Music definitely got better but Djing changed. Now you got DJs that use computers, not their skills to play music. Back in the days, carrying 5-10 crates of records to gig was normal. It’s easier now using CDs/flash drives to do a gig. Also, I was never afraid to introduce new artists and play new music … truly what set me apart from the rest.
TFM: Do you play any instruments? Is there a hidden or untapped talent waiting to emerge?
Ray: NO … besides dancing and socializing with the people.
TFM: How do you stay fresh amid the ever-shifting dynamics of the music industry, especially as it relates to House music?
Ray: I stay true to House music … stay connected with the people who appreciate what I do keeps me going … a lot of energy and being close to positive people that believe in what I’m doing.
TFM: Speaking of House music, what’s the most influential track that first comes to mind and started you on this path? What keeps you devoted to what you do despite those inevitable hard knocks along the way? Is there a spiritual connection you pass along via the music?
Ray: There’s so many I can’t pick one. Here’s a few influential tracks: “Love is the Message”(MFSB); “Going Back to My Roots (Lamont Dozier); House Music Anthem “Move Yor Body” (Marshall Jefferson); “Elements of Life” (Louie Vega).
What keeps me going, truly speaking … the people and the music I play. Being humble is part of it and knowing where you came from is another. The other day someone came to me and said, “I never saw a DJ come out from the DJ booth just to say ‘Hi’ to me or even dance or socialize with his peeps like you … I said WOW.” It made me feel good that people recognize what I’m doing. SPREADING DA’ LOVE IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT … THE TRUE MEANING OF HOUSE!
NOTE: Catch DJ Ray Vazquez at Bar 13 NYC on Friday, June 15, 2012.
DJ Ray Vazquez on Podomatic: http://djrayvazquez.podomatic.com/
Coney Island: http://www.coneyisland.com/