The hap­pi­est (and swea­ri­est) man in house mu­sic talks dark days, lucky breaks, and stay­ing true to his art

Computer Music - - Interview / Erick Morillo -

“Dance mu­sic is in my DNA and rhythm is in my blood. I didn’t know that it was go­ing to give me so much joy, but I al­ways knew it would be part of my life. Man, I’m so fuck­ing lucky!”

Erick Mo­rillo might have been around long enough to get jaded, cyn­i­cal or just plain bored by mu­sic, but, even af­ter 30-odd years of DJing and pro­duc­ing, he’s still sur­rounded by an imp­ish, in­fec­tious aura that au­to­mat­i­cally puts a big smile on your face.

He en­joys a bit of ef­fin’ and jef­fin’, too, and his chat with is lib­er­ally sprin­kled with twinkly-eyed pro­fan­i­ties. Don’t get us wrong – this isn’t an­gry Erick. The cussing seems to be a gen­uine strug­gle to find words that de­scribe just how happy/lucky/thank­ful he is for the life he’s led… and is usu­ally fol­lowed by an ear-drum burst­ing peal of laugh­ter.

Al­though he’s been DJing since his teens, he’d only been mess­ing around in his bed­room stu­dio for a cou­ple of years when his first re­lease as Reel 2 Real, 1992’s The New An­them/Funky Bud­dha, topped the US Dance Charts. It was quickly fol­lowed by I Like To Move It… and Erick Mo­rillo was an in­ter­na­tional pop star. “Overnight, I made my bank man­ager a very happy man and my life was turned up­side down. And that gave me a solid base for the fu­ture… peo­ple wanted to hear the mu­sic I was mak­ing and peo­ple wanted to hear me DJ. Fuck me! Some days, I wake up and can’t be­lieve this shit is still hap­pen­ing to me.”

Com­puter Mu­sic: Al­though you were born in New York, didn’t you spend most of your early child­hood liv­ing with your aunt in Colom­bia?

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