909originals chats to Harry Romero – “It’s always been about releasing dope music…”
Having flown the flag for house music for more than two decades, a couple of years back Harry Romero announced the launch of a ‘2.0’ phase of his career, described by the man himself as “a rebirth, not a remix”.
Since then, his career has risen a notch with stellar releases on labels such as Crosstown Rebels, Hot Creations, Classic Recordings and Defected, not to mention his own Bambossa Records, on which he has just released the Latin-influenced ‘Aye Papi’. You can download/stream it here.
During a busy summer schedule that has taken in appearances in places such as Australia, the US, Canada, Belgium, Croatia, and, of course, Ibiza, he took the time to chat to 909originals.
Hi Harry, thanks for talking to us. How would you describe your latest release, Aye Papi?
I would describe ‘Aye Papi’ as sexy party music with that Latin sound at the very heart of it.
You recently embarked on a ‘2.0’ period of your career. What are you doing differently, how has your perspective on music changed?
As far as what I’m doing differently for me, it’s come down to working smarter rather than harder. I’m definitely more picky as to where I release my music, it has to make sense for the sound as well as my overarching goals. I have a great team that helps keep me focused.
Before, I would release music just to release it and to stop it taking up space on my hard drive. Now, it’s more of a curation and always making sure all the moving parts of my career are working together.
Was that new approach prompted by the pandemic? Was that a productive time for you at all?
It was a scary time as we can all attest to. But for the first time in my career, I was a law to take a really long pause and reassess my next steps and also look back at where I’d come from. Sure, a lot of bad came out of the pandemic but I tend to look at the glass as half full.
For me, I was able to spend more time with my daughters Gianna and Tori and my amazing wife Jessica, it’s all about balance and family will always come first.
Bambossa Records recently marked two decades worth of releases. How are you positioning the label differently compared to when it started?
My first release on my label was in 1999. So it’s been a while. The idea was always to keep the label boutique. It was never meant to be a high-output release label. That ethos still holds true today. It’s always been about releasing dope music and that totally remains the same.
As well as releasing music form established artists, you’re keen to champion the next generation too. Any recent signings to look out for?
I just signed a really cool track by these two guys from New York, which is dope as NYC’s sound has always been a part of Bambossa. They go by StreetSlang. It’s an upfront club track that has all the proper elements to rock the room. We are all really excited about this release.
You recently had the chance to remix K Klass’ Rhythm Is A Mystery, and there’s no doubt that the early house/rave sound is again influencing a lot of up and coming producers these days. Why do you think this is?
I had a blast remixing K Klass’ ‘Rhythm Is A Mystery’. I wanted to use authentic sounds from that era with an obvious beef-up on the drums and arrangement. I guess good music does not expire. What I can say is that my remix really works.
Do you think that house music is in a good place in 2022? Is there anything about the scene you would like to change?
I’m glad the sound has gone more housey. I cut my teeth in this industry on the real deal house sound. For that, I’m optimistic that the new generation of producers will incorporate more song-based music. You can always make a dub, but let’s make some moving A-side music.
I think the tech-house sound has sadly been watered down to the point where the majority of the music sounds like it was made by the same person. That’s a problem, but I’m definitely aware of some new producers doing their best to change it up. I’ll keep chugging along though.
What’s next on the agenda for you?
I’m currently writing this from Ibiza where I’m part way through with my mini Europe tour, I started in Brussels for Tomorrowland and I’m about to head to Croatia to finish with the Defected festival.
It’s been a lotta fun but I’m pumped to get back stateside to get in The Butchashop studio and make some more music. I’ve got a remix coming out on Three Six Zero very soon, plus some really great releases to finish off the year for Bambossa. It’s all pretty non-stop from here, so keep watching!
Thanks Harry for talking to us. Aye Papi can be downloaded/streamed here.
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