by Andrew Davis
Continuing the interviews with three of the legendary DJs who will perform at Move! The International House Music Festival, set for July 22-23, Nightspots chats with Ralphi Rosario.
NS: What do you remember about the first time you DJ'd at a club?
RR: How my nerves were shot. Here I was—this 15 year old—playing for a large room of people and being completely nervous and wrecked.
NS: When did you know you had hit the big time?
RR: I hit the big time? This bus came and went. What time did it arrive? 'Big time,' like the words 'legend' or 'legendary' are scary words for me! I measure success by everyone's reaction to what I've created when I play live. For me, this is the 'big time.' The beast has been unleashed!
NS: You've now remixed Kelly Clarkson's 'Walk Away.' Is there any artist left whom you're itching to work with?
RR: Yes. I'd definitely like to work with George Michael, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, Ann Margaret, ( for personal reasons ) , Martha Wash, k.d. lang, Andy Bell [ of Erasure ] and Depeche Mode.
NS: How do you respond to critics who say that house music peaked in the '80s and early '90s?
RR: They've decided to turn old and go to bed too early. House music has always been around, regardless of time. It's just like disco; it's timeless. There are many different forms to choose from; take your pick!
NS: What's the biggest change that's taken place in the music world since you got in the game?
RR: Technology has been able to help bring more creative stuff to the world. It's made it more accessible for music to reach people all over the world.
NS: The best part about performing in Chicago is... ?
RR: It's my home, my backyard. I love playing for my fellow gay family while I'm here. It's a great way to connect with everyone and let them know what's been up with me. Chicago is a great, great city! I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!
NS: What does it mean to you to perform at the International House Music Festival?
RR: It's great to represent my city and bring people together musically for this wonderful event. There is so much negative energy in the world out there. I've always wanted to make it a better place... by dancing the night away.
Tickets will be $35 for one day and $60 for both. See www.ticketmaster.com for passes and www.chicagohousemusicfestival.org .