Groove Cruise captains, the wait is almost over! The 2014 Groove Cruise Los Angeles is just days away! As you make your final preparations for this truly unique experience, think about the journey that many of the artists have taken to get on the stages of the world’s largest floating dance music festival. The path that Erick Morillo has taken to the top of the dance music world is one to fully appreciate. He is one of the most influential recording artists and DJs to ever bring his talents to the studio and stage. He’s not an overnight sensation, but instead a hardworking fixture of the genre that has been doing his thing for over two decades now. As the producer behind Reel 2 Real’s 90s classic “I Like To Move It”, Erick has achieved popular music success while mixing the sounds of latin, hip hop and house music. He’s been a resident DJ at Pacha in Ibiza for over ten years now and is still one of the only American DJ’s to hold a residency at Ministry of Sound in London. Erick spent this summer away from the decks- working in the studio on new music and getting a breather from a touring schedule that has been known to include thirty shows in one month. Now he’s back to performing with his residency at LiFE SLS in Las Vegas and of course his upcoming headlining set on the Groove Cruise LA this Friday. We caught up with Erick before the Groove Cruise sets sails to find out what he has in store for the lucky captains attending the festival this week!
Rabbits Black: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us before the Groove Cruise LA set sails this week. You’ve had an interesting summer compared to your usual schedule at this time. Get us caught up on what you have been doing.
Erick Morillo: I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio finishing up on several projects. I’m really excited on the production and the upcoming releases. Unlike previous summers, this summer I decided to vacation for several months in Ibiza and take a break from the usual summer touring madness. It was a great Ibiza summer. I had the opportunity to enjoy the island as well as the chance to listen to great music. There were a few special shows that I did such as Ultra Croatia, Space Ibiza 25yr anniversary and an all night special set at Ministry of Sound in London. However, for the most part, I spent the time relaxing and in the studio.
Rabbits Black: We loved your set at Ultra Croatia, especially the inclusion of Breach’s Jack, one of our favorite tunes from last year. Do you ever feel pressure to make your sets “new” and “fresh” by including recent hits or do you think your core fan base will groove to your set no matter what?
Erick Morillo: Ultra Croatia was great! It was a pleasure playing at the Carl Cox stage and catching up with my good friend Carl. The energy was amazing and the vibe was awesome! As for my sets, I’m not one to focus on playing just the latest and hottest tracks but rather creating the Morillo sexy house sound by playing the new, the old and everything in between and making sure everyone has an unforgettable time!
Rabbits Black: With most of your time this summer being put into the studio and exploring the island of Ibiza, can you let us in on the new material you’ve been working on? It’s been about a year since we’ve heard new music from you.
Erick Morillo: I just finished several projects including original productions and several remixes. In the fall, ‘Devotion’ a track I produced with Harry Romero featuring Shawnee Taylor will be released on Subliminal / Ultra Records. I also finished a project with Carnage and Harry Romero titled ‘Let Your Freak Out’ which will also be released this fall.
Rabbits Black: So new music this fall. That’s great to hear! What about those remixes? Are they available now?
Erick Morillo: There are several remixes I did as well. I just finished the Natasha Ashworth ‘Back To You’ and Alina Artts ‘High Enough’ mixes. They are scheduled to be released soon but you can hear the mixes on my Soundcloud page. I’m working on several other projects including mixes for Aiden June & Gia so stay tuned!
Rabbits Black: As you mentioned, you’ve only been playing select shows this summer. You’ve obviously been picking your shows carefully, so why The Groove Cruise and why now?
Erick Morillo: The Groove Cruise has been on my radar for a number of years. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Groove Cruise and the great vibe that the fans create year after year. This year the timing was perfect! As luck would have it, I had the October 3rd weekend off and it was time to rock the Cruise! In the past I’ve played on several cruise parties but I keep hearing the Groove Cruise is a different beast! I’m really looking forward to hanging out and playing to the Groove Cruise faithful!
Rabbits Black: The Groove Cruise faithful come from all over the world! Over your career you’ve probably performed for many Groove Cruise attendees in Ibiza, Mykonos and all over the US. What makes a show and crowd enjoyable to play for?
Erick Morillo: In July I played the Space Ibiza 25yr anniversary in the old terrace. The old terrace is magical! I had many great parties there and the 25yr anniversary was no exception, perhaps one of the best parties to date. The fans really give it their all and the party tends to take on a life of its own. It was 7:30am, the lights were turned on and the place was PACKED! No one wanted to leave and although I had played a 4 hour set, I was ready to keep it going another 10 hours! Sadly the club had to close but the energy in that room was electrifying.
Rabbits Black: That sounds amazing! The crowd’s energy is what made the party so special.
Erick Morillo: I know the Groove Cruise faithful are going to bring the energy! I hear the energy on the cruise is amazing so I can’t wait to experience the vibe and play to an energetic Groove Cruise crowd.
Rabbits Black: You’ve been doing this for awhile, way before electronic dance music had this type of mainstream success and press. What are your thoughts on the current explosion of new genres and sub genres, from dubstep to trap to the newest craze future house.
Erick Morillo: I think all of the attention dance music is getting is all good! The U.S electronic music craze has changed the dance culture and at the end as young kids get older, they’ll continue to enjoy good quality house music.
Rabbits Black: While we are on the topic of your amazing longevity in dance music, what’s the number one thing that keeps you coming back to the tables again and again?
Erick Morillo: I truly love my fans! There is no greater feeling in the world than playing in front of a large crowd and feeding off their energy! There is no other place I’d rather be then in the booth, with an amazing sound system and my fans dancing all night and day to my music!
Rabbits Black: The Groove Cruise is known for it’s amazing theme parties. This year you are headlining the Catalina Luau! Give us an idea for a great theme party.
Erick Morillo: Costume parties are always fun! It allows people to dress up and for a few hours forget their problems and enjoy the moment. A sexy Pimp and Hoes party would be a great idea!
Thanks again to Erick Morillo for taking the time out of his production and touring schedule to talk with us. The Groove Cruise Los Angeles will sail from Los Angeles to Mexico over three days starting on October 2nd. The 2014 Groove Cruise LA is the largest Groove Cruise music festival yet! Erick will be playing the Catalina Luau party as the headlining act on Friday.
Join us this Wednesday at LURE Nightclub in Hollywood for the Official Groove Cruise LA Pre-Party. Use the promo code: RB to get $5 off on your ticket. Head on over to Want Tickets to grab yours now. Proceeds from the night benefit the Whet Foundation.
You can follow Erick on his Soundcloud page for new music. Make sure to follow The Groove Cruise on Facebook for the latest cruise updates. Check out our other Groove Cruise primers and exclusive content on the Groove Cruise Festival Guide page.
Come to the Rabbits Black party at DJ RJ Pickens set, winner of this year’s #GCDeck10 DJ Contest, for free Rabbits Black swag. We’ll see you onboard!