Turn for the Verse

Veteran Miami DJ Robbie Rivera scratches out a living as dance track innovator

Instead of contacting labels to try and sell the track, out of shyness, he borrowed $500 from his dad and pressed 300 vinyl records. When the song started getting play in the clubs, Rivera got an order for 2000 more copies and a music career was launched. "You know, that's the only job I've ever had," he says.

But for Rivera, staying at the top is harder work than getting there. It's the reinvention thing, the struggle to keep yourself in the game and the challenge to constantly create hot, fresh music -- songs that get talked about at the end of a clubber's night. And then there's all the competition these days in a world where everybody wants to be a DJ, plus basic software programs such as Reason that let anybody create tracks from the comfort of their home computer.

"You gotta create awesome music, DJ more to keep your name out, and keep releasing dance records that DJs will play," says Rivera. "We're not talking about average records. But records that have something catchy, something where the clubber goes and parties his ass off, and during the night one song gets played and everybody goes crazy in the club. The song should be like that. And you have to do that every year for you to stay hot."

Robbie Rivera spins at the Wet Grooves party at 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 8, at the Shelborne Hotel, 1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-531-1271. He also spins at the Juicy Filtered Party at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, at State, 320 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach. Tickets range from $10 to $25. Call 305-531-2800. Rivera also spins at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, at the National Hotel, 1667 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Call 305-532-2311.

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