Hey Rony, great to chat with you! What’s good about your world right now?
Everything is good. I’ve used this time to grow as a person, grow as a producer, make a lot of music, and it’s just a waiting game and hopefully we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and move forward from here.
Did you get locked down? Where was it? What did you do with the time?
I was in Miami. I used that time to make a lot of music and just rest and take care of my body and take care of myself. It was a good break. Usually you don’t have the luxury of taking a couple months off and doing exactly what you want every single day with all the different things in the flying and the travelling and all that stuff. It’s been great for me.
How long have you been DJing?
I’ve been DJing since I was 14 years old. I’ve been producing since 2009. Obviously the sound always evolves; because the key to music is to evolve or you end up dying somehow. I just see what’s happening in today’s world and I just try to give it my spin. You always have to stay within what feels good to you and evolve at the same time.
What gear do you use to make your music?
I can make music on the laptop with a couple plugins you know, on Sphere and on Ableton. I mean you can go as minimal as you want and still come out with amazing music; and you can sit in the studio with all the equipment in the world and still come out with the same kind of music. It’s just gonna take you a lot longer because there’s more toys to go through. If you really know what you want, you can get to it with pretty minimal gear.
I understand you’ve known Erick Morillo a long time. How did you first meet?
We met through music. As I’ve said before, I’ve been a fan of music for many many years and I met Erick back in 2003 when he was the king of Ibiza at the time. I always loved the way he conducts himself. I think he’s an amazing DJ. I mean, he can manipulate the music live while he is DJing. He’s technically insane. I’ve always looked up to Erick and he’s been a friend since. Obviously he is the one that kinda pushed me to play music out because he thought I had a different style and I should definitely bring it out. He is the one that coined the Rony style.
What have you learned from him?
Like I mentioned, he’s the one that kinda impulsed me to play in front of a crowd and he helped me develop that Rony style people love.
Tell us about your label Stride. The musical vibe, the aim of artists you sign, the sound you wanna be known for…?
Stride is a label I made to kinda get out of the constraints of every label that has to be exactly as what’s in fashion and what’s not. I just wanted to give people a little bit more freedom to do what they like and what they want and not really fit into any kind of box. If the music is good and it puts a smile on my face and puts a smile on people’s face; that’s where I wanna be. I wanna give positivity in this world, especially in times like these. I enjoy all kind of music, from dark music to happy music; but the label is more into giving people a smile and a happier vibe.
The artists I sign are usually are guys I’ve got a lot of respect as producers. I’m always interested in seeing how some of these producers can turn the way I feel music into their story. I want my story to be remixed into their story. It’s always fascinating to me to see how people look at music in a different way. Even though it hasn’t been easy to go after all these producers; but the guys that have done so, have done a great job for us.
Obviously, before you had a successful NBA basketball career. Who is the greatest basketball player of all time in your opinion?
Obviously Michael Jordan for me. I played in the 90s. I played against Michael Jordan. I hate these comparisons because everybody is different in different eras; but since I played against Michael, I’m gonna go with Michael Jordan. I think these discussions are kinda stupid because you know, there are a lot of great players but obviously Michael is that half of one percent above everybody else.
What do you miss most or you’re most glad to be free of, now that you’re a DJ?
I like to DJ because it is a passion of mine. I’m sharing what I’m hearing in music and I’m sharing it with people, sharing the love of the sound that I hear in my head and hopefully it translates to people, but obviously music is very subjective. Not everybody is going to like all kinds of music, I mean, I’m in that box where if people enjoy that style, then they’ll enjoy the music.
Are there any transferable skills, any similarities between life now and the NBA?
I think it’s the actual polar opposite. One is happening during the day and the other one is happening at night and that’s the difference. It’s night and day between the two.
What else have you got coming up? Are you working on something you can share?
You know, I’m always working on things and getting music done. We’ve got a lot of stuff coming soon with a couple of releases coming up with great artists as well. We’ve got Luciano doing a remix for one of my tracks; I’ve got Gianluca Calderelli also doing a remix. We’ve got a lot of great guys doing remixes.
And you know, I’m just gonna keep releasing and giving people a chance to listen to music in times like this when they can’t really go out clubbing and stuff. I know a lot of DJs are holding back and not wanting to release because they want to tour based on their releases; but I just wanna release to give people a chance to have a good time, even though it’s not getting in a club or anything, but let them have a good time listening to the music.