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Kike Roldan: “The Beauty About ‘Connected’ Is Its Fusion Of Music Styles”

Kike Roldan: “The beauty about ‘Connected’ is its fusion of music styles”

Part founder of Speakerbox Productions, current EG Artist and boss at KR Entertainment, Kike Roldan has built his own path to success.

We sat down with him to talk about his music, the scene in Miami, and what to expect at Hernan Cattaneo‘s Symphonic Show ‘Connected’. You can find ticket’s for Connected here!

Electronic Groove: Hi Kike, thanks for the time. To get things started, can you give us some insight on when you decided to dedicate your life to music? How did it all begin?

Kike Roldan: Hello my friends. It all started at a young age when my parents signed me up for piano. I had always been a music lover, especially Latin music. When I turned 19, I started working as a night-club promoter in Bogota, where I had lived most of my life, and the DJ thing started to interest me.  I opened my own club at 21 and practiced every day. Then I grew to love electronic music and started playing in many nightclubs in the city. My older brother was living in Miami since then so I decided to move here to search for the American Dream, become a DJ and produce musical events.

EG: So you’ve been playing for quite some time now. In your opinion, how has the Miami scene evolved in the last decade?   

Kike Roldan: I moved to Miami in 2003, and at that time there were 2 or 3 big electronic music clubs. There were very few local and international DJs back then if you compare it with nowadays. At that time it was the Global Underground progressive house artists who reigned over the scene, such as Sasha, Digweed, Cattaneo, Warren, Seaman, Howells and Deep Dish. House DJs like Erick Morillo, Sandy Rivera, Harry Romero, and Robbie Rivera, and trance DJs like Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, and Talla were the kings of the scene. The best-known local DJs were Ivano Bellini, Roland, Oscar G, George Acosta, and David Padilla. The sound was more compact and unique, there were no platforms like Beatport or Soundcloud or even digital music, which would later help many artists grow. Everything was tightly shut, there were no opportunities for rising Djs. In 2006-2007, when the internet and technology took over, the Miami scene was able to bring new artists with different musical styles, mainly German, Italian and of course the sounds of Detroit and Chicago. I remember perfectly when minimal first arrived, and I felt very uncomfortable with it since it’s not my style of choice. Minimal appeared along with techno, then tech-house, and suddenly all this music medley happened. There was also the EDM wave, thanks to Djs like Guetta and the Swedish House Mafia (who were underground house DjJs back in the day), and festivals like Ultra were also very influential in EDM’s takeover. I miss the music my initial years, I think it left a mark on me and I look at it as the best era in the city. You could listen to incredible tracks that never grow old and are still played today, it’s very difficult to find that musical quality nowadays.  There is an enormous number of Djs locally, most of them get lost in the way and quit, a big majority are only doing it because of the trend/fame instead of out of talent and passion.  Today, technology makes the Dj’s work easier, but it will never replace the heart of those real artists who create those magical nights.

“The biggest rewards come from the heart of the people who admire you, thanking you by dancing and enjoying the music”

EG: Do you hold any residencies in town?   

Kike Roldan: From my experience, I’ve never been a fan of residencies, I think that, in a city like Miami, having a residency makes the Dj burn out and get stuck. I’ve seen many great Djs in residencies where they can’t grow since the club you work for will not let you play anywhere else. I have friends who are very good Djs and want to play in different parties but have to turn down offers because of their residencies. I’ve had some past residencies in Treehouse, Trade, Aero Bar, even in Club Space, but I never let my contracts tie me down and make me play exclusively at one club. I only have one residency at the present time in a partnership with Electronic Groove. It’s a party concept called MIXING where we invite various local artists to share their sound and create this honest, fun, and creative atmosphere. It has really become a celebration of music and life and I’m quite excited about it.

EG: As you said before, you’re also into event production. What have you been working on lately?    

Kike Roldan: Yes, when I started my career in music, my first steps were as a club promoter, and afterwards I became a DJ. When I arrived in Miami, I started knocking on doors but was never given a chance, and I had to start making my own events, from moving speakers to picking up the trash, slowly creating a following base. Out of this necessity, I became an event planner and producer. At the moment I’m working on several projects, but the largest one is ‘Connected’ by Hernan Cattaneo on December 6th during Art Basel Week.  It is the biggest and most satisfying event in which I hope to meet expectations, thus opening more doors to other things.

EG: What should people expect from this unique event? 

Kike Roldan: The beautiful thing about this show is its fusion of music and art. It’s an event that merges electronic and symphonic music. This makes two kinds of audiences get together in one place and experience something unique. When in your life had you imagined that an underground music DJ would be sharing a stage with a conductor and 50 symphonic orchestra musicians? This was unthinkable some years back. And, best of all, is that the show will take place during Art Basel Week.

EG: How did this event come together?

Kike Roldan: I’ve had a lovely relationship with Hernan for a few years now. I’ve had the pleasure of DJ’ing with him every time he comes to Miami. My business partner at Black Flamingo, Javier Romero, asked me about the chances of bringing the ‘Connected’ show to Miami for Art Basel. So, I contacted Hernan to discuss the idea and he really liked it. The rest was pulling some strings and getting LiveNation on board.

EG: Do you prefer djing or event production? Which one is harder?

Kike Roldan: I love both, but I prefer DJ’ing a lot more. It’s what I do best and love to connect with people and make them lose themselves. The biggest rewards come from the heart of the people who admire you, thanking you by dancing and enjoying the music. A single look from a fan or from someone dancing can fill you with so much happiness that I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Event production may be more profitable sometimes, but it will always be riskier, and the stress you go through can only be understood by someone who has gone through the same thing. You have to be on top of every single detail from months before the event up to a week after it´s over.  You have to manage a lot of people, a lot of specific details, and you get very stressed from all the responsibilities.

EG: What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?

Kike Roldan: I don’t have any plans regarding music, I have just released my latest track, a collaboration with Ivan Sandhas in Lonya’s label, Asymmetric.  It came out last week. As for Dj gigs, I have plans to go to New York, Denver and Los Angeles, as well as my NYE annual event on a boat for 400 people. I’m already focused for coming festivals like the HOC Festival this November where fellow EG Artists Nii Tei and Puma will join me for an Electronic Groove sunset takeover. There’s also the III Points Festival in February, Okeechobee Festival in March, Gasparilla in Orlando in January, and I’m already planning all my WMC gigs including Rapture Festival. I also have plans to move to Spain next year and a tour in Latin America in May/June.

EG: Here are some short questions 😉

The best part of what I do is… the love of the people.

I am obsessed about/with… the moon, aliens, UFO’s, the universe.

Music is… my religion.

Your favorite music memory is when… can I mention 3?

  1. 2001: Hernan Cattaneo opened for Oakenfold in Bogota in front of 7000 party-goers and that day I told my closest friends at the time that “someday I´ll be playing records next to that guy” he’s my idol, and well… it came true years later.
  2. 2001 or 2002: Deep Dish at old Space Terrace Miami, Sharam put this song “somebody is watching me – Rockwell (original version) 11 AM, I started crying like a baby, the energy and vibe at that moment was something that I don’t know if I’ll ever feel again.
  3. 2000: Dave Seaman in Bogota, 8,000 people, first big DJ coming to Colombia. And he closed his set with Chase the Sun – Planet Funk. It was a surreal moment, I started jumping everywhere like a kid and I don’t know how I got to the stage with lots of security and asked him for the name of the song. Now we are super close friends!

My favorite time of day is… Night, after 11PM. Everything is calm, the weather is fresher than the day and the moon is shining, perfect for any type of activity you want to do.

I love it when… when people come after your set and tell you “thanks for the amazing music”.

The most important human trait one should embody is… don’t be a hater, only good vibes, support your people, support your local talent, share the love, share the music, and you will always have good karma.

I am… Jorge Enrique Roldan (laughs)… For those who didn’t know that’s my real name, aka Kike Roldan, I’m kidding, I am a Music Mind Reader, Music Storyteller, Musical Journey Driver and of course, Smile Engineer!

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