ARTIST FOCUS: DAVID MORALES

ARTIST FOCUS: DAVID MORALES thumbnail image

There are only a few DJs in the world, who have become household names and… David Morales has earned that title. The legendary DJ will be serving up a storm, behind the decks at the iconic Cafe del Mar for their epic NYE event on 31st January 2019 – joining the party with David will be the stunner, Dimitri from Paris.

Morales has been making (prominent) moves in the dance music world, pretty much since its birth – the New York native, was one of the first superstar DJs to actively tour the world and his activity, over the years, has only increased. This is a globally revered DJ, Grammy award-winning record producer, songwriter, and businessman, who has produced and remixed over 500 records for an all-star roster of multi-platinum artists, including Mariah Carey, U2, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, and Whitney Houston.

The global phenomenon and penetration of dance music into the Top 40s radio would not have been possible without this guy. Back in the 80s and 90s, Morales was kicking it in iconic clubs like, Paradise Garage, Red Zone, Ministry of Sound and Sound Factory, mastering his skills as a DJ. His grind, with his remixes and DJ work, begun taking flight, when he joined forces with House Music legend, Frankie Knuckles and “the most powerful women in dance music” Judy Weinstein of ‘For The Record DJ Pool Founder/NYE Nightlife impresario, to ultimately make ‘Def Mix Productions’ come to life in 1987.

Throwing the ball into 1996, Morales was nominated for his first ever Grammy Award as a Producer on Mariah Carey’s album, ‘Daydream’ for the track ‘Fantasy’. Although he did not win that year, two years later in 1998, Morales won the Grammy Award for ‘Remixer of the Year’.

Coming into 2019, Def Mix Productions hits 32 years shaping and guiding the house music industry from within and out. They have introduced numerous innovations under their auspices and from that “The Def Classic Mix” emerged – a patented form of ultra soulful remix originally under Knuckles, where a source artist would be given a ‘club-ready, credible remix makeovers, sometimes utterly transforming the original tunes into entirely new cuts.’ Remixes followed suit of just about every mega-star artist from the likes of, Bjork, U2, Eric Clapton to Seal, clamouring for some club rotation. ‘Def Mix Parties’ around the globe, continue to stay relevant and Weinstein points out the reasons for this:

 “We introduced a Def Mix sound. Nowadays you don’t find the quality, there’s all these different formats and it’s almost like the more noise the better. We had that very clean, heavy bottom, you could hear the vocals. We changed it back then. Now we’re attempting to keep up with the times… It’s interesting watching David doing a hybrid of what he comes from, and where he’s going…” 

Besides being a big player in ‘Def Mix’, Morales also kept his focus on his individual prolific production career. Which kicked into high gear in the 90s, with the release of his solo debut-album, ‘The Program’ with ‘The Bad Yard Club’. The album certainly still holds its own in the current music scene of today, with it’s funky persona mixes with solid vocals and oozing amounts of flavour – heavily influenced by spanish sounds and hip hop, Morales takes you on a journey and make you think with this album.

Driving into the late-90s, where Morales had raked up an arsenal of over hundreds of remixes: ‘Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover”, Janet Jackson’s “Throb”, Allison Limerick’s “Where Love Lives”, Cece Peniston “Finally”, Jaydee’s “Plastic Dreams” and Robert Owens “I’ll Be Your Friend” to name a few. He went on to record the ground-breaking house ham, “Needin’ U” under his alias ‘David Morales Presents The Face’. With his second album, ‘2 Worlds Collide’ in 2005, Morales brings each song to this great orgasmic crescendo of beats and voices. Six years later his third album deemed ‘Best Dance Album of the Summer’, ‘Changes’, would follow suit.

Not one to rest on his laurels, in the midst of his non-stop tour schedule, Morales launched Diridim Records in 2018. With his new label, Morales has focused on signing and developing numerous artists – and evidently, releasing some of his own productions. Diridim celebrates all dance music, from the classic sounds Morales is known for to straight up electronic. His Diridim radio show can be heard on Ibiza Global Radio which is streamed to millions of listeners around the world. 

This year has included multi-volume releases from the likes of, Izizwe featuring Shota with the track ‘The Red Zone Project’ and countless collaborations, notably “There Must Be Love” and “Freedom” with Janice Robinson. His unquenchable thirst for newness is precisely why this native New Yorker remains relevant. “It is about keeping an open mind,” Morales explains.

David Morales has transcended musical genres to create a global brand. His music productions have appeared in popular films and television shows, including The Devil Wears Prada, Ninja Turtles 2, Don’t Mess With the Zohan, and Star (TV Series). 

Though Morales’ past is surely one for music’s history books, the DJ-turned-artist always has his eyes firmly focused on the future—on what lies ahead. He keeps an ear to the ground, regularly exploring new music, new artists, and hotly tipped DJs who might inspire him to “go and do my homework.” He happily embraces the new generation of clubgoers. “They don’t care about yesterday”, he says, with a knowing smile.

We caught up with the Godfather of House Music, before he takes over the decks at Cafe del Mar on New Years eve with ‘Dimitri from Paris’. We had tons of fun asking him about his music, tattoos to what’s the most outrageous thing he’s ever put on a rider and many more ridiculously good questions. Scroll down for the tea!

You have been one of the most iconic DJ’s in the scene for a long while now. You must have seen some major changes from when you started out, in your opinion, name one of the best and one of the worst aspects of today’s scene compared to the 90’s.

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I would have to say that the Internet and Technology have seen an amazing evolvement in the industry, and the worst for me is Social Media.

 

If a magic genie appeared and said you had to choose one year to be stuck in for eternity, which year would it be and why?

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Hmmm… That’s a very hard question to answer, since I’ve been around for over 5 decades. But musically I would have to say 1983.

Love your tattoos! Do you have a particular favorite and who are your favoured artists to get inked at?

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Gee, I have so many. I really have have a favourite, because each other represents a path in my life. My very first tattoo doesn’t even exist anymore.

That’s how serious I take tattooing. These days, I only let one tattooist ink me and that’s Neil Ahern from Inkadelic in Ibiza.

If you were stuck on a desert island and there was one person you would least like to be stuck there with, who would it be and why?

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HAHAHAHA…PRESIDENT TRUMP!!! BECAUSE ALL I WOULD HEAR ARE LIES.

You’ve worked with so many big-name artists, are there any you have not had the chance but would relish the opportunity?

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Absolutely, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, Adele and a couple country artists.


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If our magic genie came back again and said you could choose any club past or present to be their main resident and music director which one would it be and why?

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I would have to say ‘The Paradise Garage’ and that’s because, the owners care about the customers. It wasn’t about the money, it was about the experience and they care about the sound and lighting.

 

People love making new year’s resolutions, but what is a new years resolution you would never make?

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I WANT TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL.

Brands all have slogans these days ( Just do it – Nike, I’m lovin it – Mcdonalds) what would the slogan for David Morales be?

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IT IS WHAT IT IS.

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Not many DJs and producers get to say they’ve owned a nightclub. If you were going to do it all again where would you open it and who would be your ultimate residents?

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I guess I would have to say Ibiza, the Mecca of clubbing. My ultimate residents would be: Laurent Garnier, Carl Cox, Sven Vath, Timmy Regisford, Louie Vega, Luciano and myself.

 

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever put on a rider? 

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I’m old school. I’m very simple and I just need the proper equipment and I’m happy with that.

What does 2020 hold for David Morales  in terms of music?

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MORE MUSIC.

The legendary David Morales will be behind the decks at the iconic Cafe del Mar (Bali) on NYE, 31st January 2019 with Dimitri from Paris. Catch him light up the venue, as he drops mega-hits from his arsenal.