"I DJ because I want to, not because I have to. I love the music." Now if that doesn't make you want to fall in love with him, I don't know what does. Who's that, you ask? Tony Moran, of course. I had the chance to chat with him, and in the process, I met one of the most passionate music lovers out there today.
An industry veteran, forging dance music into places previously unknown, Tony Moran's years of experience in the recording studio, and formerly behind the decks as a DJ have truly solidified one thing; "Music is my life" he says.
If we rewind to the early 80's, Tony was re-editing tracks and beginning to develop a pop sensibility. His production work would later vault the industry into the early days of circuit music and beyond.
Interestingly enough, it's his passion for producing that took him away from the decks and moved him permanently, or at least for quite a number of years, into the studio.
"The process of making a record from scratch consumes a lot more time than remixing. [At the time] I really only wanted to do something that I felt that I could move forward with." Tony went on to tell me that he didn't want to be a DJ "just to DJ", but instead he was focusing his time and energy as best as he could on producing records.
From the Cover Girls to Whitney, Janet, Celine, Cher, and nearly every other pop recording artist out there (the exhaustive list is far too long to print), he has left his indelible mark on music history. You can't look back without seeing his name liberally applied to dance charts and album credits.
But as always, the winds of change blow. "After making the last couple of albums, I wasn't feeling as inspired any longer because I would spend a lot of time working on these long album projects with artists. It was, of course, gratifying to work with Cher or Gloria. But you begin to loose a sense of who you are because you need to become a chameleon in order to try and understand what it is that they are trying to express, and then you tap into that. After working on the last Kevin Aviance and Becky Baeling albums, while I loved that work, I was kind of done. I wasn't remixing as much as I used to, the music industry was changing, and I felt like I was close to retiring."
And with a gentle push from a friend, Tony ended up spinning one night at Crobar in Chicago. "All of the sudden, it hit me again. I took another couple gigs. Finally, by the time I did New Year's at Crobar Miami, the house was packed, the energy was incredible, and I wasn't really thinking about what I was playing, I was just playing. I really felt connected to the crowd the way I used to."
More with Tony Moran next week.
With you in 4/4,
DJ Tony Moran will be spinning on Halloween, Sunday, October 31 at Crobar with special appearance by RuPaul. For more info, please visit www.djtonymoran.com