Whichever way you look at it, you know who Sandy Rivera is. Whether it’s the words to Finally, the stunning production that infiltrates through each of his dance floor killers, or the untold mixes that have penetrated the dance charts for over 15 years..
Hailing from the music-fuelled streets of Brooklyn in earlier years, Sandy’s formative beginnings were consumed with a passion for the sounds assaulting his ears on a daily basis. Spanish funk, hip-hop beats, early electro and the burgeoning explosion of house captivated his attention and led him away from the sidewalk towards the dark and smoky halls of some of the world’s greatest clubs.
For most, it was Sandy’s modern day 2000 classic Finally as one half of Kings of Tomorrow that bought him to their attention. Featuring the vocals of Julie McKnight, the dialogue between a dead woman and God transformed through Sandy’s production into one of the most revered house tracks of all time. Licensed to a staggering 164 compilations (and counting…) it remains to this day at the top of many people’s ‘all time favourite’ lists.
It was seven years prior to Finally that a chance meeting with the legendary Burt Bacharrach led to Sandy’s foray into full time production. With funding from the man behind countless hit records of his own and an obvious eye for talent, Sandy set up Blackwiz Records and released tracks such as D’Menace, Fade II Black, Open Your Mind, My Love Is Real, Young Hearts and countless others in a prolific spurt of creativity. Come Into My Room, released on Sandy’s other imprint DEEPVISION spawned a new strand of electro disco-house sound, soon found to be infiltrating the works of everyone from EBTG (Tracey In My Room) to commercial big-hitters like Kylie Minogue.
Sandy’s solo work is equally as ferocious. Expansions, Class Is In Session, Changes, I Can’t Stop, Just Won’t Do, Lollipop, Freak, Deeper and more recently Persuasion, Escape and Dirty Sax have lit up airwaves and dance floors the world over. With three long-players under his belt – The Calling (1997), It’s In The Lifestyle (2000) and Trouble (2005) – his body of work shows the depth and scope of his ability to work across numerous genres, pulling in house, soul, R&B and chill-out.
Since the release of Trouble, Sandy has turned his hand to various compilations – including Ministry of Sound Sessions and Kings Of Tomorrow Defected ITH – and has a magnitude of production credits on tracks and mixes for the likes of Craig David, Moby, Fedde le Grand and Everything But The Girl.
Away from the plug-ins, knobs and other countless buttons that proliferate his mixing desk, it’s on the dance floor where Sandy reigns supreme. Playing to both the underground and the overground, demand for his timeless abilities has never been higher. His blend of uplifting house, chilled tech-beats, funked-up rhythms and the ability to drop down into the depths of grinding progressive house make him one of the most versatile and natural artists in the world.
With the second decade of the 21st century upon us, the name Sandy Rivera means more than just a collection of records – more than just ‘house’. It means a legendary sound split across different genres, breaking boundaries and making people listen. It’s the anticipation for what’s next, the wait for whatever tracks are just around the corner. He is without doubt the King of Tomorrow and the master of yesterday – he is Sandy Rivera.