As well as being known as the S-Man, Roger Sanchez is one of those famously friendly, legendary American DJs and producers who's kept his cool and steadily remained respected and applauded across the world. It's small wonder that he's the perfect Lucky 7 candidate — iconic and warm-hearted through-and-through with an infinite knowledge of music.
His single 'Time 2 Stop' reissued by Hard Times, with all its various remixes, is currently rippling across the scene. And then there's his forthcoming collaborations with the likes of Tough Love, Oliver Dollar and Man Without A Clue; along with some cherry-picking to be done for his own label Under the Radar.
This summer he'll be playing several gigs for Sankeys in Ibiza, and has a touring schedule that would make your eyes water...
What is the track that reminds you of your childhood?
“Roy Ayers 'Everybody Loves the Sunshine', when I was a kid that was the soundtrack of being out, free, with kids basically opening up the fire hydrant, running under it and playing.
Basically I grew up in New York City, that's kind of the scene if you can imagine it. Back then it didn't seem like much because nobody had anything, but there was an innocence and there was just an appreciation for being alive in New York City in the summertime. That was one of the tracks that was being played out of car stereos and boom boxes at the time.”
What is the first record that you ever bought?
“I would think it would be 'Let No Man Put Asunder' by First Choice. That's the first one that I actually bought with my own money. I heard the mobile DJs playing it. The DJs that used to set up soundsystems, they used to move around, they used to do block parties, they would do parties at weddings and stuff like that, and that was a particular song that they played.
There was a period of time in New York when they used to hold block parties and what that was, was that they would close off the street and they would set up these huge soundsystems and there would be a party in the middle of the street.”
What is the cheesiest record in your collection?
“I'm pretty sure there's an Abba record in my collection somewhere, I'm sure of it. Probably 'Waterloo' (laughs). When I was coming up as a DJ, I was a wedding DJ, that was kind of how you cut your teeth, and I had to play the hits and I'm pretty sure 'Waterloo' was one of the cheesiest records that I had in my collection. But I do not have the 'Birdie Song'!”
What's the track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
“Wow. That's a tough one. 'Never Tear Us Apart' by INXS. It's just the chords are so emotive and his voice is so haunting. And the imagery of standing and looking at someone and wanting to be with them, the bond that can be formed, that's very poignant.”
What's an album that you’re currently into?
“I listen to a lot of hip-hop actually. I like Drake's album 'If You're Reading This It's Too Late'. It's very sparse, one thing I like about Drake's productions is they're almost British, it almost sounds like The xx, and it's very interesting how he's approached it. And I've been listening to bits and pieces of Björk's new album.”
What's the record in your collection that you most treasure?
“Probably Gil Scott-Heron 'The Bottle'. That paints a very clear and poignant picture of social decay in America during the era that Gil Scott Heron came up, and it's interesting how he paints pictures.
He was a very controversial, drunk, heroin addict, unfortunately, during his life, but he had some very insightful views on poverty and social decay in America at the time that he was at his apex. It's one of those things that whenever I listen to his record he's always saying something.
It's like 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' is a pretty amazing record. He was a very interesting social commentator of his time and his voice is so distinct. I've got a thing for distinctive voices, that don't always have to be the best but they have to have a measure of emotion that's very recognisable.”
What's your all-time favourite track of all-time?
“That is the hardest one to answer because I don't think I have a favourite track of all-time. There are too many. I don't know which one to say. OK, 'Moments In Love' by Art of Noise. The way I describe that record is, if you were in outer space making love in zero gravity, that's what that record makes me think of. Trevor Horn was so ahead of his time, he got this amazingly huge sound.”
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