THE GRAMMY WINNING DJ/REMIXER/PRODUCER TALKS ABOUT HIS CAREER, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND FUTURE GOALS
By Celine Ikeda
A native New Yorker, Hex Hector grew up in Washington Heights, a primarily Latino neighborhood located in the northern part of Manhattan. Hector, who’s always had a passion for DJing, started working in music in his teens and gradually became a music producer in his late 20s. His first notable hit was a remix of Tony Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart”. From that point forward, Hector couldn’t be stopped. He remixed memorable hits such as “I Will Survive” (Diana Ross), “Waiting for Tonight” (Jennifer Lopez), “A Rose Is Still a Rose” (Aretha Franklin), “Heartbreak Hotel” (Whitney Houston), produced “I Will Go With You (Con TePartiro)” (Donna Summer), and even won a Grammy in 2001 for Remixer of the Year. Anolie interviewed the legendary DJ/producer on his career, his accomplishments, and future goals.
You are basically a legend in the music industry. You’ve created some huge musical hits and worked with the biggest names in music, such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Aretha Frank¬lin, Britney Spears, Deborah Cox, etc., you’ve won a Grammy, and the list goes on. What still keeps you motivated in this business?
I’m not motivated at all by what’s going on in the business. The current EDM sound is just not for me and complete¬ly devoid of any kind of soul. On the flip side, I’m kind of feeling the new “Deep House” stuff coming out of the UK. It might be time for me to pump out some original four to the floor stompers.
Which artist(s) would you like to work with again and why?
I like to keep moving forward. I may re-tread some former ground and work with an old vocalist I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past. As to who it is, I’m going to keep hush about it for now.
Which contemporary artists would you like to work with and why?
Lynn Lockamy. I love her deep, raspy voice. [It] reminds me of Ella Fitzgerald meets CandiStaton.
How do you connect your house/soul style to the more poppy/clubby remixes you’ve created?
I don’t. I’ve always viewed my pop studio career as a separate entity from my live DJ career.
When an artist or record label approaches you on a project, what is your remix-creation ritual?
There is no ritual. Every project is unique unto itself. Some projects require live instrumentation, others a completely digital sound, and some a hybrid of both. Many mixes call for singers to come in to the studio and re-cut vocals with me. There really is no method to the madness..
Do you prefer when the client is with you every step of the way or would you rather have creative control and present them with a final product?
I always have complete creative autonomy when handing in mixes. If things need to be changed after the fact, then I’ll address it accordingly.
If you had to choose, what are the five remixes that you are the most proud of? Why?
I can’t choose. [The] fact is, I didn’t care for most of the stuff I worked on. After having worked on a mix for sev¬eral days, [and] hearing it for 12-16 hours a day, by the time it was over I was done with listening to those songs. [I] hated them actually! LOL!
How old were you when you started producing club tracks?
I was a bit late to the production game. That was started in my late 20s.
Who were some of your influences music-wise?
Trevor Horn, Rollo & Sister Bliss, Larry Heard, Kraftwerk, Frankie Knuckles, Kenny Carpenter, Larry Levan, AfrikaBambaataa, Charlie Chase, ShepPettibone, Clivillés& Cole, Mark Kamins, Vince Clarke, Junior Vasquez, Wally Badarou, Quincy Jones, Giorgio Moroder, Marshall Jeffer¬son, Cerrone, the Body & Soul DJs and Masters at Work to name but a few.