Interview: In the Studio

Interview with Bobby Shaw

1. How did you first get started in the music industry?
I had met most of the dance promoters while I was a bartender in the late 70’s at one
of New York’s most influential music clubs, The Barefoot Boy. Deciding that this wasn’t
what I desired for a future, through the help of New York DJ Tony Smith, I was able to
land a job in the TK Records mailroom working for Ray Caviano, probably the leading
dance promoter in the business at the time.

2. How long have you been in the music business?
I started at TK in 1978 and therefore, it’s 31 years

3. Who are some of your favorite artists?
Madonna, Sylvester, Patti Labelle, Donna Summer, Bob James, Grateful Dead, Talking Heads

4. What are your favorite music labels?
In no specific order: Prelude, TK, Perfecto, Sire, Fantasy, & Curb, & Rhino.

5. Who are some of your favorite DJs?
Nowadays, it’s always a pleasure to go listen and shake to Danny Krivit. Past jocks who I
loved to hear were Larry Levan, Mark Kamins, DJ Buc, Richie Rivera and Tony Smith.

6. When did Bobby Shaw Promotions begin?
January 1999.

7. How many number ones have you had over the years?
I don’t have a count of how many were accumulated in my major label days but since I
have gone indy, somewhere in the 165 vicinity.

8. Which songs/remixes are your favorites?
The first remixes that come to mind are Frankie Knuckles’ remix for Chante Moore’s This Time
and Larry Levan’s remix for Lace’s Can’t Play Around. Other fav’s include Phreek’s Weekend,
Two Tons Of Fun’s Just Us/I Got The Feeling, & Chaka Khan Ain’t Nobody. Nowadays, I admire
Peter Rauhofer’s, Dave Aude’s, Ralphi Rosario’s, Johnny Vicious’ and DJ Escape’s work.

9. What makes a great remix?
The combo of a great song, backed by great beats, with a smooth transition from beginning to end.

10. Have you received any awards during you music career?
Yes – I won best independent dance promoter at the Winter Music Conference’s International
Dance Music Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2009. I’m also the only record company executive to
have ever won the AIR competition (late 80’s).

11. What do you feel defines a track or song as dance music?
It’s all relative, as one can dance to anything.

12. What do you feel is the future for dance music?
Through good and bad times, people will always dance. It’s never going away, just the sounds
will always evolve.

13. What are your favorite clubs?
There is no competition for my all time favorite club as The Paradise Garage was my life.
Nowadays, there are slim pickings and I don’t have a favorite venue although Body & Soul
and 718 Sessions are my favorite parties

14. What are some of the key elements that you look for when you are considering
promoting a song or a remix?
The number one factor is that the song has to have a hook. I also take into consideration the
notion of whether I would play it if I was dj’ing.

15. What do you feel makes Bobby Shaw different from every other music promoter?
I prefer to remain mum on this one.