A union of mind and body characterizes Junior Sanchez’ attitude toward the sound he creates and the results he seeks. “Music should make you move and at the same time make you think,” he declares. Precocious beyond his twenty-two years, his constant desire to reinvent his sound has earned him respect worldwide as one of the most innovative young producers-DJs today.
Junior’ upbringing contributed to his artistic philosophy and flexibility. His family from Bahia, the musical center of Brazil, moved frequently within New Jersey exposing Sanchez to a wide variety of taste and attitudes. “I have never listened to just one type of music,” he reminisces. “Between moving and having five older brothers and a sister with diverse tastes from ABBA to freestyle to disco to industrial new wave, I learned to appreciate all kinds of music early on. I began to see how they all worked together.”
Another source of musical inspiration was his mother whose huge collection of records and no-nonsense work ethic provided the foundation and inspiration to purse his dreams. “She made me believe anything was possible. Even when I was young, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.” That light first shined through a producer named Tony Rodriguez, a roommate of one of Junior’ older brothers. Rodriquez had produced “Fly Teta” under his name Jose Chinga. The popular Latin freestyle track influenced Junior in more ways than one. “Tony started it for me. He gave me my first crate of records and showed me what a studio was made of.”
Junior’ attraction to the music business grew and he found himself promoting parties for famed New York clubs Limelight and Shelter. As a member of the NASA (Nocturnal Audio Sensory Awakening) babies, a collective of young DJs and party promoters, Junior became well known within the New York club scene. Along with DJs such as Jason Jinx and Odie, Junior was exposed to new, more experimental sounds. “The New York underground enlightened me and expanded my understanding of house music, more minimal based dance and techno.”
While only seventeen, Junior did A&R for independent New Jersey label Rufftrax, signing producers like James Christian and B.O.P. His ear to the street brought him to a rising star when he met the up and coming producer Armand Van Helden in 1992. Their bond was forever cemented the day they realized they had been sampling each other’ work.
This relationship has generated a positive ripple in the latest generation of Latino producers. The two formed the Mongoloids, a collective of house producers-DJs committed to creating imaginative music and sustaining strong friendships within the cutthroat music industry.
While working with Erick Morillo at Double Platinum Studios, Junior met Harry Romero. Mutual respect led to creative energy. The duo joined forces and formed Nitebreed Productions, named after the Clive Barker horror movie about a civilization that lives underneath a cemetery. The dark this an appropriate choice. Successful remixes of Aaliyah’ “One In A Million” – Atlantic and Zhane’ “Request Line” – Motown have generated recognition and increased demand for his talents.
Junior’ first solo project “Junior Sanchez Presents The Bionic Traxx”, released maturation in early 1996 on Strictly Rhythm also marked a musical maturation for him. “Finally I had gained access to the equipment I long sought. This allowed me to reach new levels of creativity and to develop my own distinct sound.” When he is not working on tracks as Nitebreed, or touring with Roger Sanchez and DJ Sneak as a part of the S-Men trio, Junior is busy building beats and dishing up new flavors. “I know it sounds like a cliche but if you work hard at anything and you believe in it, you can achieve it. It is all about having the drive.”
Junior’ work on the club anthem “B with U” (featuring soul diva Dajae) has propelled him into international prominence. Junior’ latest endeavor is starting Cube Recordings, a new Masters, and Les Rhythm Digitales in addition to some of Junior’ own productions.