Roger Sanchez is one of the evergreen DJs, and certainly the most popular American house legend. Although Roger started as a student of architecture from Queens, New York, by the end of the 90s managed to become the most creative remixer and the greatest global name in house music.

By Vikram Singh (Contributor)

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Published: Sun 19 Dec 2004, 5:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:33 AM

Roger started out as a breakdancer. By the 80s, he was already a well-established dancer. However, following his fathers suggestion he decided to turn to music. The New Yorker divided his early 20s between seasoning his musical aptitude and studying architecture at the Pratt Institute. He followed his heart and before too long he was building his musical career on the ruins of his architectural pursuits.

Roger Sanchez has spent more than 20 years behind turntables and has, during this period, successfully developed a unique repertoire of house sets, with sounds spanning from dark to dirty and funky. Today he owns a recording label called Narcotic Records.

Sanchez is renowned and celebrated, most of all, for his remixes that he has been making for the musicians as diverse as Jamiroquai and Janet Jackson. Sanchez became more than competent at the game in 1991 when he worked on tracks for Babyface, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Chic, M People, Basia, Incognito and Soul II Soul.

Roger Sanchez has always stayed several miles ahead of the dance music curve. Respect for his work and his front-running position among the clubberati comes from Roger's inherent tale, and taste for creative exploration. As one would expect of a musician from New York, his rhythms are still rooted in jazz and hip-hop music.

Formal recognition of his musical genius started coming in 2002 when Roger was voted the Best House artist in the Intuitive Music's Annual Poll. In 2003, he was awarded Grammy, the greatest award given by the music industry, for Best Remixed Recording for his remix of No Doubt's 'Hella Good'.

On the run-up to his forthcoming gig in Dubai, Roger Sanchez took some time off to speak to City Times about his forthcoming visit, musical records and New Year resolutions. Excerpts

Tell us something about your forthcoming gig in Dubai.

The last time I played I had a great time, but it was incredibly hot in August! I'm looking forward to the gig this time!

What inspired you to become a DJ?

I used to be a dancer and one of my friends was a DJ, and I wanted to have the control over the crowd like he did. And that's how it all started.

If you had to think of the best thing about being a DJ what would it be?

That would be the fact that I can play the music I love to people all over the world.

You are a DJ, but you have also been hosting major award shows. How different are the two?

They are different in that I am speaking directly to an audience with words, as opposed to when I play, I speak with music.

Give us a sense of the current house music scene in NYC?

It's very underground now, but getting more popular again

How important is recognition such as Grammy Awards to you?

It was a good way for mainstream America to hear my name and give me recognition.

What is your favourite downtime activity?

I love to go to the movies and I also love beaches and I read constantly.

So what's new from Roger Sanchez?

I'm working on my next artist album now, as well as developing my label, Stealth Records.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

I'll be playing in Milan, Italy.

You believe in New Year resolutions?

Only if you have the willpower to make it come to pass!

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