World famous artist Ralphi Rosario talks
about his music, his remixes, the Madonna
you know he worked on ... and some you don't know (yet).
The MadonnaTribe Team had the privilege to interview one
of the most talented Dj a one of the biggest remixers in
the business and a true dance/house music legend: the amazing
Ralphi's career is chockfull of creativity
and accomplishment, admired by his many devoted fans, colleagues,
and friends in the music industry.
Ralphi, who maintains a DJ residency in his hometown Chicago
has been giving his golden touch to the hits of many famous
artists and recenlty had the chance to remix Madonna's
latest single release, Love Profusion.
Ralphi, so how did the dance music bug bite you?
Ralphi Rosario: It was 1976-77, and 'Disco'
was in its infancy. I was bitten by Donna Summer...."Spring
M-Tribe: Which are your favourite
musical styles and how much of that can be found in your
Ralphi: I love Disco...And The melodies
that it has always delivered... Love the 'tech' sound of
And of course Latin influences, here and there... Dance
music has always been 'sexy' to me...
Thats usually what I try to deliver everytime I work on
M-Tribe: Which was your first commisioned
Ralphi: Bang Orchestra "Sample That"
for Geffen Records...
M-Tribe: When labels commission a remix
to you, are you usually sent just the artist's acapella
or sometimes it might happen to actually work with the artist
on the remix?
Ralphi: All vocal parts, and original production
parts are sent off to me.
There may be elements the original producer used, that I
may want to weld into my mix. In the remix world, we seldom
work WITH the artist...
In some cases, we MAY ask the artist to come back in and
maybe sing some extra stuff to add to what I already have...
I've done it on many occasions, and usually the artist has
a blast with it!!!
M-Tribe: Do you listen to the original versions
of the songs you are about to remix? Do you usually take
inspiration from those or they a reminder to do something
Ralphi: I tend to use BOTH of these pallets
when I'm painting a picture.
There maybe things in the original production that I like,
and on the flip side, I like to spend a night of spinning,
and bring the energy into my studio, and do something
If you hear the 'Love Profusion' mixes, you'll find a
nice easy feel of Madonna against the live bassline and
keys, and on another mix, I gave it an edgy feel, more
tech, drums and club appeal against the song...
M-Tribe: Along with DJ Abel you formed
the duo Rosabel and remixed songs for Cher, Everything
but the Girl, Pet Shop Boys and Gloria Estefan. Tell us
more about the artists you have remixed, do you have any
Ralphi: Let me straighten this out for
ya.. Rosabel was responsible for the Gloria Estefan stuff,
but I worked on EBTG and Pet Shop Boys Solo. Rosabel (Me
& Abel), have worked on numerous others, like Donna
Summer "I will go with you" and Cher, just to
name a couple. As for my personal favorite, it would have
to be Donna Summer "I will go with you".
This being the case because since SHE bit me with the
dance bug, years later, I hear her crooning her song through
my studio monitors!!! You don't know how many times I
just played her accapella over my system... I was in awe....
Same thing happend when we were working on Cher.
I was amazed at how awesome these icon women of music
history sounded! Even upclose!
M-Tribe: Among your creations, what is
your favourite remix or the one you're particulary proud
Ralphi: I have a mad crush on what I
just did recently, for Rod Stewart. I just completed remixes
for his classic "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"...
I love the production work I did on it; I did a version
that Incorporated some of the original Disco version.
I was able to pick and choose parts to use in my mix from
the Original 1979 version!
Love Profusion was your first official
Madonna remix, how did it happen? Did you expect it to
Ralphi: Actually it really wasn't
my FIRST Madonna record/remix.
Back in the mid 90's I also did 'Bedtime Story'...
It was a bit too underground at the time. It was strange
because I tested it soo many times in my DJ sets, it went
over extremely well! But in the end, it wasn't accepted.
But for me it was all about the experience, not the glory.
Just in the last year and a half or so, I really was aching
to do another Madonna record. I need to prove my worth!!
I spoke with my A&R director at Warner, and he asked
me which one I would pick to do.
I picked 'Profusion' because the tempo was great around
her, it was a simple melody, but I felt it just need a
bit of beef! LOL! I submitted the finished product, and
It was September of last year when I completed it.
I tested it several times at my resident club here in
The very first, first draft of the mix, I scrapped, and
started from scratch. (Yes folks, there IS ANOTHER mix
of 'Profusion' that was never given to the label!!)
After waiting for what seemed to be months, I finally
got a phone call. My Warner rep told me that Madonna's
manager flew all the mixes over to her in the UK.
She heard them, and accepted all of them!
This was they day I was waiting for....To prove even to
Goddess Madonna, MY WORTH!!!!! LOL!
M-Tribe: Did Madonna had any imput in
the creation of the remix or gave any special instructions?
Ralphi: Not really... I was just told
to do what I do best, and to the best of MY OWN ability,
I wanted NOT to deliver something typical.
I was happy that I had the chance to follow my own insticts
and direction for the song, and that she herself welcomed
it. It meant, and still means alot to my craft of producing
M-Tribe: You transformed the song into
a classic house club anthem. Madonna fans were recently
digging these kind of remixes for a change to the ones
that sounded too techno.
How did you approach the song and what was the idea you
wanted to develop?
Ralphi: Outside of past remixers that
had the chance to work a 'house anthem-ish' kinda feel
on Madonna, (re: David Morales, and even Shep Pettibone
who actually produced 'Vogue' with her), I myself wanted
to deliver at least one version that just said "Ahhhhhhh".....LOL!
I heard the live bassline,.. The pretty chords... House
drum work, around the song in my head.
And as I began to build, It came together. And I finally
got the breath of 'House Anthem' air I wanted. It was
M-Tribe: You did several versions of
your Love Profusion mix that we can mainly divide into
the House Vocal ones and the Big Room ones that are bit
Were they targeted to different audiences?
Ralphi: Yes... I love making Big room
tunes & tracks, and I myself can appreciate not only
just House music, but 'hands in the air' stuff too.
M-Tribe: Were the remixes released on
the Us maxi single, which came out a lot after the first
European cd single, done at the same time of the main
"Ralphi Rosario House Mix"?
Ralphi: Yes they were.
But as an added bonus, I did a LONGER version of the BIG
ROOM DUB for the maxi cd here in the states.
M-Tribe: You also did a remix of the
song Erotica and used vocals from the early version of
the song known as You Thrill Me. Was that a creation for
you personal collection or it might end up on some official
Ralphi: Its something personal. I have
alot of 'special' things like that from different major
artists that I've worked on. I even have an unrelased
version of Cher!! I like to keep those under my hat because
it makes my DJ sets special, and I would like for it to
M-Tribe: Do you have a favourite Madonna
song of all time that you would like to remix one day?
Ralphi: I have 2!! Yes......"Justify
My Love" (The vocal performance that she did on the
'BEAST WITHIN' mix HOTTTT!!!). "Rescue Me" is
the other one... Love the vocal delivery she did....Tooo
M-Tribe: What are you working on right
now and which are your future projects?
Ralphi: Right now, and coming soon are
remixes I did for; Rod Stewart "Do Ya Think
I'm Sexy" (Classic....AGAIN!), Barry Manilow
"Copacabana" (Long overdue classic brought up
to date!), Angel "How Can I Lie?"
(Great independant track from this new talent).
M-Tribe: Thank you Ralphi, it was a pleasure
chatting with you.
Ralphi: Lots of love and thanks!
A huge thank you to Ralphi for being such a cool person
and for his help.
If you want to know more about Ralphi Rosario and what
he's up to lately be sure to check out his official website