Tony Moran set for July 2nd Pier Dance in Provincetown

by David Foucher
Thursday Jun 30, 2005

Tony Moran never seems to get much sleep. Between jetsetting from city to city on the circuit and cutting records for the likes of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Cher, the affable latino music producer is consistently short on rest. But you know what? He absolutely loves it.

But it?s probably a good thing that I caught Tony when he was freshly rested.

?Hey,? he exclaims, ?I did get a full night?s sleep last night, so I?m ready to go!?

It takes a minute to get used to Tony?s infectious energy. Like his music, it overtakes, envelopes, and ultimately makes you smile.

?I?ve gotten used to this,? he states of his schedule. ?The airplanes, the hotels? it probably won?t be like this for the rest of my life, but for now the adrenaline I get from playing records for people live is a real great thing for me. I feel like I?m 20-years-old again!?

Moran is set to spin at The Pier Dance (4 p.m.- 9 p.m.) on Saturday, July 2 at Macmillan Wharf in Provincetown.

And his life might be compared to the partying life of a boy in that age group ? Tony Moran is one of the most popular circuit DJs in the world at this time, and an accomplished music producer in his copious spare time.

?I was only 19 years old when I cut my first commercial song ? it was 1987?s ?Show Me? by the Cover Girls,? he recalls. ?But I?d already been Djing for years. And I felt like I had to focus on one or the other, and at that time it seemed that playing the clubs was going to take away from those parts of my life that were most successful.

?So, I chose. It was hard, because I got all my ideas from the streets and from spinning live for people. But I did it, and I got successful. But after 15 years of that work, I started feeling like a hermit. It didn?t matter who the artist was; I was starting to get a little bored.?

So the manic music maker dug into his past and reinvented himself.

?At first I was just playing around,? he shrugs. ?But then they asked me to play Crobar Chicago, and Miami. I wasn?t sure if I even had my groove on yet, but when I did it, it was like riding a bicycle. I started being less concerned about whether I was doing good, and just concentrated on what I was doing next.?

It?s quite a change for a man who was contemplating retirement before he even turned 40.

?This has been a whole new chapter for me,? he states excitedly. ?And I found that it energized the other parts of my life. I started writing ?You?re So Beautiful? for Donna Summer, and I was working with Gloria Estefan and Deborah Cox again. I got really into the work again. I don?t have as much time to spend on that side of my life anymore, but when I?m there ? three or four days a week ? I?m putting in 100%.

?It?s like my fourth wind. The music has changed, you know, many times over the last few decades. And it?s been great for me to come to the realization that I have to change also.?

Ultimately, thought, there?s a pattern in the high-energy life of Tony Moran: it?s about the music.

?I do what I want to do,? he asserts. ?I make music. I play records for people. Wherever that moves me, that?s where I?m going to go. I did three cities last weekend, three countries the weekend before.?

Perhaps for aficionados of dance music, Tony?s life has its obvious rewards ? yet fame and fortune at the level of a DJ/music producer are tempered by the limited public knowledge of the creative entities behind the diva voices, and his affection for his work derives from another source entirely.

?When you go to a circuit party, you experience something totally unique,? he muses. ?We all dance to the same music, in the same room, but we enjoy it differently. One guy might be big and buff, the other guy not. One guy might be drinking, the other guy not. But they?re all loving the music. And I love watching them dance. I feel like I?m connected to them through the music that drives me. And I don?t have to have a certain profile or a huge mansion in the Hollywood hills to appreciate it, to love it.?

When asked the obvious questions regarding his work with recording industry heavyweights, Tony sets in with enough stories to keep their fans in rapt attention.

?Cher,? he begins, ?is very guarded. She?s very nice and brilliantly talented, but she?s guarded. I worked with her on ?Body to Body, Heart to Heart? and it was a great experience. But when I worked with Celine, we were hugging and kissing in the first five minutes. Everybody is different; with some you can be down-to-earth, with some you can be cool and with some you can have great fun. Having the insight to understand these artists is what makes you successful.

?And in some cases, you?re just awestruck. I spend time in the studio with Luther Vandross? and I just couldn?t critique him because every time he opened his mouth I wanted to just cry. You reflect on this stuff afterwards and you think, ?Wow, I just did that!? But when you?re actually there, you try not to think about it too much.?

Perhaps it is Tony?s sensitive handling of celebrities that has cemented relationships spanning the years; or perhaps they simply lust after his ability to draw from their tracks a dance floor anthem megahit. His friendships with them paid off handsomely in the release of his newest CD, ?Tony Moran: Tour de Beats.? The CD features singles from luminaries Suzanne Palmer, Deborah Cox, Reina, Kristine W, Deborah Cooper, and Vernessa Mitchell? making it arguably the must-own dance compilation of the year.

?I?m really happy with it,? Tony says of the double-set. ?I say that all the time. It was hard trying to get all these artists on the same CD, but everyone was just totally with me on this. They were happy that I wanted to showcase their work. And at the end of it I was able to mix it in one shot.?

Beg pardon?

?Totally one shot, I just did it,? he confirms. ?Then I started perfecting it and a day and a half later my boyfriend called to scream at me and tell me that if I didn?t go to bed he was going to send security to get me.?

He laughs: ?At that point, I realized I was done!?

Tony Moran spins at the Pier Dance on Saturday, July 2 from 4 p.m. ? 9 p.m. at Macmillan Wharf, Provincetown. $55 at Will Call; $60 at the gate. $75 VIP upgrade at the gate. VIP includes private bathrooms, two complimentary drinks and VIP area. Will Call located at The Wired Puppy, 379 Commercial Street, from noon ? 4 p.m.


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