Peach Party Atlanta is quickly approaching, and with a stellar line-up, it promises to be one of the biggest series of events for dance music enthusiasts in Atlanta this year. Opening up this year’s event is New York’s DJ Sin Morera. Morera, who has worked with DJs such as Junior Vasquez and Shep Pettibone, is returning to Atlanta after over a year, and he’s coming in the midst of a wave of new work. I had the opportunity to talk with Morena about his background as a DJ, his recent activities and more.
How did you get your start as a DJ?
I have been on the decks for about 15 years. I started with vinyl and am stuck on digital turntables today. I can’t seem to get along with the computer just yet – I still knock it. I feel anyone can try and be a DJ with the sync button. That’s not a DJ! But I give my thanks to Jimmy Murtagh, a good friend of mine – NYPD shark of a man – who bought me my Techniques 1200, way back when. But I am a DJ last and a songwriter first, the producer…this just pays my bills, but I love it. It lives inside of me. It’s in my veins.
How do you keep your set fresh?
I am constantly working on music. I travel a lot for work around the world, so I get to listen to all types of music, from ambient to world to dance, so I take little elements from here and there and create my own ideas, almost like food when a chef throws everything into a cooking pot. It’s the same thing for me. But you’ve got to be on top of your game because there’s always someone right behind you. Plus, I am pretty competitive. I like a challenge; I love change. Evolving with all.
What have you been up to in recent months?
Well, my single “Heartbeat” was released last October, and it kinda has a life of its own at this point. The Cube Guys came on board and did an amazing job on a remix for us. The record is about a toxic relationship and when you hear the original, it spells out some of the things that were done during this lovely time in my life. I laugh now, but then it was a very painful time. The second single is the B-side of “Heartbeat” so the drama still continues, but this time the record is about being on top and the other party losing it all.
I am in studio mode. I’ve always said I am a DJ last. I am a songwriter and I channel what I feel into poetry, then melody comes to life after. As a kid I always wrote. It’s my gift from God. I’m working on my own label. I’m writing a book as well, about my life, and how I grew up. Other songs include a new dance record with Jon Secada and hopefully much more!
You just finished a gig at the Life Ball in Vienna. Can you tell us a little more about that experience?
Life Ball is the biggest charity in the world for HIV and AIDS. I am proud to be part of this [charity] that is held in Vienna, Austria in May every year. This year was the 20th anniversary.
I met Gary Kessler, the founder of the Life Ball, during a dinner and a private event, and we hit it off. Then he asked me to spin the main stage – the Red Ribbon – which was an honor. In front of 40,000 people…of course, I lost it; it became a tearjerker for me. So this year on May 19th I did it again. This time I had the opportunity to work alongside Antonio Banderas, Jon Secada, Deborah Cox, and President Bill Clinton to name a few. It’s a massive event. It’s like the Olympics meets the Oscars. A little guy from Jersey doing this? As Mom says, not bad.
How does it feel to return to Atlanta for Peach Party?
It feels fucking great! I am excited. Atlanta is a great city and I’m happy to be back after a year.
You’ve worked with Junior Vasquez, one of the biggest names in the industry. What was that like?
Junior Vasquez is one of my musical mentors as a DJ. I always say this, and I’ll say it again – he was my therapist when I couldn’t afford one. I would just sit at the original Sound Factory back in 1989 and dance and listen to how he created magic. To this day I haven’t felt what I felt back then. The man will always be magic to my ears. How he made three or four records work on the turntables was incredible to me. He will always be the bitchy old man, but in my eyes he was the greatest DJ of them all alongside Frankie Knuckles. There was always a balance for me between the two. And of course, there’s Shep Pettibone, the man who wrote and produced “Vogue” for Madonna, or wrote it with her I should say.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to buy property in Florida, maybe buy a warehouse and build a gym, build my studio, continue to write songs from the heart, and retire as a DJ. I want to spend more time with my parents and newborn nephews and nieces. I want to continue to see the globe and just chill. Life is short and today I’m finally at peace with myself, and no longer angry. Though people will still piss me off, there will always be a [part of] me, where if I have to kick ass, I will! I am rough and tough, inside and out, but I am also a softy.
DJ Sin Morera plays at the Peach Party Friday, June 15 at the Heretic. Ticket prices for the weekend start at $100, and are available online here.