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There is one key word to remember while you read this biography of Mario Calegari…SIMPLICITY. He as a person and also as a pioneering Dj/Producer preaches and practices this integral part of his eccentric style and personality. However in life and as in music it’s not always the complicated things that make you stop and think.
Mario was born and raised in the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey with his roots and surroundings drawing him towards the world of music at an early age. His mixed South American roots stemming from his stern Brazilian father, along with the Portuguese elegance of his mother was sure to make a sublime cocktail of musical passion and soul with Mario eager to share with the world.
At the tender age of 16 Mario was given his first taste of what was to be his illustrious future by his father, who was then a pub owner in his home state, Newark. Handed over to Mario was some extra Dj equipment from one of his father’s venues, however eager and ready to learn, Mario quickly taught himself how to use and set up all this new gear by trial and error and of course a little bit of help from his family again through his elder cousins, passing on music from their disco collections.
The Djing equipment was obviously a major impact on Mario as he soon began to pursue more ideas and inspiration to feed this new addiction of music. He remembers pulling tricks at the doors of local nightclubs to try and get more knowledge and enjoyment from the music and the scene that surrounded it. More and more he began to attend events being held in the Hip House scene. But soon it was time to progress yet again, this time heading for the big and bright lights of the City, New York.
These were the days of the legendary Tunnel Night Club with one and only, Danny Tenaglia holding down his weekly residency with him quickly becoming Mario’s biggest inspiration but not just for the time being, but for life. For the first time Mario was now finally listening to what he thought was quality house music. With this new found love of house he began to find the inspirations in the likes of DJ Vibe, Rui DaSilva, Victor Calderone and Deep Dish.
So the stage was now set and Mario decided to open his first record store, “Planet Groove” in his home state in the year 2000. The contacts quickly started to grow in the dance music industry and the store soon became the local hot spot for the freshest dance music which then could only lead to one thing- his own after hour’s club in Newark, “Fuel”. It was a major challenge for Mario at first however his character led him to overcome. He slowly gathered an amazing following to attend on a regular basis to enjoy house music at its finest. There is a catalogue of amazing talent that he has featured at “Fuel” with Djs such as Saeed, Boris, Chus & Ceballos, Richie Santana, Peter Bailey and AJ Crypt to name but a few, but of course never forgetting his friend and Dj Danny Way, who opened the dance floor week in and week out with great dedication “Fuel” became such a big hit that Mario would sometimes play for 15 hours straight because nobody wanted to leave! Eventually Mario’s nightclub would be the key to open many different doors for people who were involved and loved house music in the area.
You would think with all this going on in Mario’s life that he would have no time for anything else, but think again- Mario then realized that his next step was producing the music he loved and played, so he teamed up with Ray Briones, a fellow Brazilian from Queens, New York. They began producing a really high caliber of house music. But with so much house that had gathered throughout the years influencing is mind, Mario and Ray?s first official single “Dark Samba” was released by European label “Fatal Music” from Holland. Un-presumably it was a fantastic success for them. Renowned International Djs from around the world charted “Dark Samba” in there top ten charts with comments that production veterans would have been proud of.
Today, with all the hard work Mario Calegari has put in over the last decade he has culminated into one of the most successful Dj/Producers, and promoters in the USA. With his bass driven, drum pounding, progressive style of house music he is a sure bet for any party, big or small, in the dance industry. He takes control of the crowd in his humble ways and punishes them with his percussive sounds.
Love of house music, love of people, and love of dance with one magic ingredient added- SIMPLICITY, created one man: Mario Calegari.