For any DJ and bedroom producer, the ability to “hustle” is often the most underestimated, yet most important factor in determining whether they will fade out or successfully make their mark on the industry. Good hustle is the epitome of both the man and monumental career of international DJ, Roger Sanchez. From humble beginnings in New York City, digging in dusty crates of old vinyl and spinning at house parties in Corona, Queens, to dominating the dance floors and headlining festival main-stages in every corner of the globe.
The crafting of Roger Sanchez, the DJ, started in the late 80s, where as a young man he was enticed by the explosion of Hip-Hop that was taking over the city. Embracing the culture as a b-boy and graffiti artist, he would hit parties on the Bronx River, and before long, his friends had him trying his hand on the wheels of steel. In a time and place where Hip-Hop, House Music, and “turntablism” all collided in a perfect storm of creativity, opportunity, and sick beats, Roger seized his moment and began to build his empire on vinyl and slip mats, starting with a few singles and expanding into a massive collection of over two thousand original productions and remixes.
Releasing music under a multitude of monikers, including the S-Man, Roger S, The Nu- Solution, Underground Solution, DV8, Ego Trip, El Mariachi, The Funkjunkeez, Tribal Infusion, Twilight, and Transatlantic Soul. Roger has been able to maintain the essence of his sound while still using each alias as a tool to expand on various fresh and experimental sounds, allowing him to remain fluid and cutting edge across decades.
So many successful endeavours would have never been possible without a rock solid work ethic, something that Roger prides himself on. From the very beginning, he was a dedicated crate digger, searching for obscure samples and breakbeats in influential NYC record stores like Rock & Soul and Vinylmania. His infallible work ethic, paired with the firm foundation of art and culture that he gained from the Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture took control of the wheel as his passion for music expanded, driving him to start hustling mixtapes on the sidewalks of Broadway in order to finance his earliest gigs. With the encouragement of his father, an engineer, Roger abandoned his plans for a career in architecture and decided to devote all his efforts to his music.
His first 12-inch, “Dreamworld” came out on the Outer Limits imprint in 1990 under the name Egotrip, and was the turning point that shifted his focus from simply playing music to producing. Shortly after, he released “Luv Dancin” for Gladys Pizarro, under the name Underground Solution on the iconic Strictly Rhythm label. It was this release which led to his first tour. Roger hasn’t stopped since, using his decades of experience to build enticing remixes for a wide range of artists including Michael Jackson, The Police, Diana Ross, Jamiroquai, Maroon 5, and No Doubt, for which he won a Grammy in 2003 for Best Remixed Recording for the song “Hella Good”.
Always motivated by that innovative spirit, Roger was an early pioneer of podcasting and was awarded the first-ever Best Podcast Award at the International Dance Music Awards in 2007. He currently hosts Release Yourself, a weekly terrestrial and online radio show and podcast that features not only his own productions but also features up and coming tracks and artists. It attracts over 20 million listeners around the world and is broadcast in over thirty markets on every continent, and if that weren’t enough, he creates many of his podcasts and mixes from the road.
Roger has captained a series of releases on labels such influential labels as Strictly Rhythm, One Records, and Defected over the years. He further extends his influence by helping release the music of new artists on his labels Stealth and UNDR THE RADR and through his own personally built production studios.
His latest label, UNDR THE RADR, launched in 2014 with his own ‘Dangerous Thoughts’ track, also saw the collaboration ‘Drop The Needle’ with Man Without A Clue & Kevin Knapp. Collaboration with Huxley (‘The Calling’) and Tough Love (‘In The Name of Love’) followed suit, continuing the theme of exploring new ground that was shown with his ‘Amour’ single for Riva Starr’s Snatch label. In addition to a barrage of dark, dirty house music, UNDR THE RADR also brought the revival of his infamous S-Man alias, focusing on dark and raw club music.
Alongside UNDR THE RADR he also relaunched his Stealth Recordings label in 2014 and released the hit, ‘Remember Me’ (feat Stealth) as Roger Sanchez, which exploded onto the scene as Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune and continued into a global radio and club hit, picking up publishing deals with Ministry of Sound – Australia, Ego – Italy, We Play – Germany, Blanco Y Negro – Spain, and beyond.
He has followed up the album release with a whirlwind tour of shows that are have taken him to dance floors in the far corners of the world and allowing him to return to his second home, the White Isle. Having prominent residencies in Ibiza since 2000, Roger took a break from the island in 2015 and has returned in full force in 2016, beginning with the Space Opening Fiesta and continuing throughout the summer with Creamfields Ibiza and monthly Glitterbox appearances at Space, as well as shows at veteran clubs, Pacha and Amnesia. 2016 has also brought him back to the festival stage with numerous summer festivals appearances from London, to Croatia, to headlining the NYC Downlow stage at the iconic, Glastonbury Festival.
In 2018, Roger continued to rise as he established his UNDR THE RADR club residencies in 1-800 Lucky in Miami, Schimanski in New York and La Suite in Marbella. Expanding his involvement with Glitterbox and Defected in Ibiza, UK, Croatia and across Europe. He recently reformed the S-Men (alongside DJ Sneak and Junior Sanchez) for their release “Who We Are” on Defected.
Roger is an artist who is always moving forward, re-defining house music. Despite his success, he remains humble, real, and true to his roots. The S-Man sums it up perfectly when he states: “I’m always moving forward, but never losing sight of where I’ve been.”.
Now on Radio Gain, on air every day at 11.00 a.m. CET