This Is How Bombossa Records Boss Harry Romero Plays
New York resident Harry Romero has a wealth of history within the scene. As a DJ, he has toured the globe several times, playing in some of the finest clubs. As an artist, his substantial discography of prominent releases speaks for itself. Labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Subliminal Records, Gossip, Sondos, Perfecto, Maya, Ovum Recordings, Defected and Toolroom have released his original production & remixes over the years.
Harry is a prolific DJ and spins house music internationally week in and week out. Here we pick his brain regarding his personal preferences for DJ equipment, clubs and more in this feature. Harry Romero – How I Play.
1) Are you more of a DJ or Producer?
I consider myself smack in the middle. They both fuel each other. My gigs spark ideas that I bring into the studio and I play what I make.
2) When did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
I knew pretty early on. At first it started hanging out with my older brother and his friends deejaying at local parties and high school dances. They moved on with their lives and I stayed the course. Don’t know how or why it panned out that way but it did. I became obsessed with going to record shops and having enough money to buy a record or two. Money was tight in the early days! For me it was a challenge to mix records and to jump from genre to genre. In those days, late 80’s early 90’s, it was common to play everything from hip hop to Funk and Soul records. But I was the happiest playing House and Freestyle.
3) Who or what inspired you to become a DJ?
Besides the early days of playing little house parties here and there I would say what really inspired me were names like lil Louis, Tyree, Steve Poindexter, DJ Pierre, Inner City, and the rest of the Detroit and Chicago crew. This music to me was so cutting edge at the time and it truly captivated me. It was new, exciting, and fresh. Although I’m born and raised in New Jersey my roots are deep in those early, Midwest sounds. Then came the whole New York/New Jersey jump off. People like MAW, Todd Terry, Todd Edwards, Tony Humphries, Frankie Knuckles (Sound Factory Bar NYC), Mood II Swing, Danny Tenaglia, Junior Vasquez, and list went on and on. Truly an amazing time in music history to be alive and present of such greats. These names are the foundation of my sound.
4) Describe what makes a good DJ in 3 or 4 words?
Knowledge, foresight, connected, patience, and balls.
5) Who to you is/was “The DJ’s DJ”?
Josh Wink. He understands the journey. Whether it’s a short set or long set he will take you there.
6) Describe your preferred DJ set-up.
3 Pioneer CDJ’s, Pioneer 2000 mixer, good tops and good bass. I want to swim in the music.
7) Do you use a laptop? If so, what platform/program
8) Why do you choose this way of playing?
It makes sense to me. Everything is there at my finger tips and its all live with no sync. I keep 1 CDJ loaded with acappellas and EFX equals drama at a moments notice.
9) Any special, unique, crazy things on your rider?
10) Beverage of choice while playing?
Coronas and water.
11) Favorite country(s)/club(s)/city(s) to play?
It really changes all the time. Had you asked me 2 weeks ago and I would have said a little spot called BOONDOCKS in Houston. Club was full of eager, forward thinking clubbers. The energy was dope and somehow the tempo never went past 123bpm. But it really does move from place to place. I love it all.
12) Do you Sync, What’s your view on this?
No sync. To each their own.
13) Any DJ Controllers?
14) Favorite or “go-to” EFXs while playing?
Delay on pioneer mixer. I’ve work that thing to the bone!
15) Big festivals or intimate clubs? Why?
Both. They all have their special places for me. The festivals are cool because it’s a sea of people going nuts. I feel like a rock star. Lol. Intimate underground spots are my playground. It’s where I have the eye contact with the people I’m trying to make dance. Nothing like it.
16) Read the crowd or just pound it out?
Read read read. Leave your ego at the door.
17) Ever miss CDs or Vinyl?
I’m really not that much of a purist. I’m good with my USB sticks for now.
18) How do you maintain your music library?
I use a program from PIONEER called Rekordbox. It’s very similar to iTunes but it’s all integrated to function with the Pioneer CDJ. Makes my life a whole lot easier.
19) AIFF, Wavs OR MP3 — WHY? Is their a difference?
Personally I try my hardest to play either WAV or AIFF. I hear the difference between those 2 formats and a 320 MP3.
20) Any Tips for aspiring young DJs?
Educate yourself, go out and listen, and be creative.
21) Do you do any of the Obligatory DJ Poses?
I used to when I thought it was the thing to do. My favorite was the invisible cross pose. I somehow got caught up in that whole BS but thankfully that ship has sailed. I’m back to being comfortable as myself. I will occasionally crack a smile.
22) Best Gig in the Last 12 Months and Why?
Houston at a club called Boondocks. I played their 3 year anniversary and it was one for the books. The vibe was sexy, funky, jazzy, latin, and we all danced together. It was a party.
23) Where can we catch you play in the coming months?
NYC, Vegas, Dublin, London, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Ibiza, Mykanos, Barcelona, Bali, Bangkok, etc etc etc.