New 'You'll Never Stand Alone' Remix...

[11 Alive, Atlanta Report]

DJ Tony Moran: Tears of Triumph

Reported By: Sean Rowe
Last Modified: 4/5/2005 4:36:38 PM

“I don’t restrict my whole musical journey from the pilot seat. I’ve been a passenger so many times.”
-- DJ Tony Moran

It’s a handful of hours until his latest late-night gig and DJ Tony Moran is fresh off of another plane and resting up in another hotel room of another nationwide chain.

Recent stops: Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach, Winter Party at Palm Springs and last Saturday’s tribal tantrum at Atlanta’s own Masquerade. Next stops: the Mezzanine in San Fran, Krave in Vegas and the wide-open-spaces Colliseum in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The highlights, so far?

“I’d never played on a boat until I did an Atlantis cruise,” Moran said. “You’ve got 2,000 people dancing on a deck. All the elements that are so beautiful outside.”

“I did a panel on Thursday and Friday at Winter Music Conference and then I went to Houston from there. After Atlanta, I’m going to San Francisco the day after. I definitely have to try to sleep on that plane.”

A rest in-between?

“I got back from Palm Springs on Tuesday late night and I left on Friday, so about three days a week I’m home,” said Moran, who cools his heels in New York.

For nearly two decades, Moran’s rise to fame has read like a who’s who of music’s grand dames (and, some dudes, too). An accomplished writer, producer and re-mixer, Moran is best known for being able to re-work a Top 40 template into heart-pounding dancefloor drama.

Touting his latest success, the double-decker “Tour de Beats” release, Moran is still riding high on his smash hit “Waiting for Alegria,” remixes for Jason Walker’s “Set It Free” and Kristine W’s “I’ll Be Your Light,” and a leaked re-work of Whitney Houston’s “You’ll Never Stand Alone.”

Yes, this is in addition to Moran’s original “You’ll Never Stand Alone” anthm of yester-year. Funny how time flies in clubland.

Moran said, “I wound up remixing that for myself. I just loved that song. I had finished [an earlier] remix and [Arista Records] had chosen to shelve it.”

The label chose to release the Houston-Enrique Iglesias hookup, “Could I Have This Kiss Forever.” Anyone else hear a pin drop?

“I wound up doing a new version [for 2005], I gave it to a couple of DJs. Now, it’s all over the Internet,” he said. “I’m really happy that people really liked it. It not coming out was a missed opportunity for Arista at that time.”

That was then. This is now.

Standing bronze, buff and bare (okay, just shirtless), Moran unleashed a barrage of his signature body-breakin’, booty-shakin’ beats while on the 1’s and 2’s at the Masquerade in Midtown last Saturday night. Wave after wave of afro-centric tribal beats washed across the largely gay male crowd swallowing up the remains of the dancefloor.

Track after track effortlessly built and peaked, spinning highly textured tales of love, loss and laughter for almost six hours. His first outing at Masquerade, Moran only asked for an impromptu volume check at one point and later dealt with the boom of an amp giving way under the relentless beat.

“I like to play very energetic, instrumental tribal beats. I also like to play vocals. I do whatever I feel people are comfortable with,” Moran said. “I cannot devote it to just the stuff that I love. I won’t be a jukebox for everybody.”

“I’m not somebody out looking to educate people. Education is for you to do on your own. I want to play things that are going to make people dance. I love singing to those songs, putting my arms up in the air, hugging my friends in the huddle,” he said.

The rising sun signaled the close of Moran’s most recent stop in the South – but, not before he dropped his latest venture with the original dancing queen, Donna Summer.

“It’s really rocking! I love the music that I make, don’t get me wrong,” Moran said. “It’s the same way I felt when I did ‘You’re So Beautiful.’ I kept pressing her to get her to put it out.”

Another repeat offender, Deborah Cox looks to return to Moran for a remix to follow up his work on her most recent straight-to-dancefloor single, “Easy As Life.”

“I’m really excited about the new one,” he said. “Even though we started it, that doesn’t always mean that will be the single. I’m still working on it. The demo vocals are done, so far.”

Moran said Cox and other in-studio projects are likely to have to wait until he gets a break from his current tour on the club circuit. With a laundry list of summer and gay pride events around the corner, that could be a while.

“I work with different singers all the time, but because of just right now, everybody’s gay pride is going to be happening in the summer, I’m only going to be working on certain remixes…not developing a lot of new talent until after the summer,” Moran said.

Still, Moran says he’s already set his formidable sights on a new compilation from the Tommy Boy label and working with some new vocal talent striving to make their mark on the house scene.

“There are four or five different people that will be on my next Tommy Boy compilation.”

With his sights set squarely on the future, Moran confides there’s one remix in his past that even eclipses his outstanding work with artists such as Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Jennifer Holiday and Patti LaBelle.

“Janet. ‘Together Again’.”

“That record, I kid you not, when I finished it, I was like in tears,” Moran said. “When I work on a remix, I don’t have a whole plan. It’s a journey I start with whatever I’m feeling. In this case it was the verse [sings] ‘There are times when I look above and beyond…’”

“Right after I finished it, I gave it to a couple of DJs, and I was in Mardi Gras in Sydney and just going out with my friends and there were thousands of people everywhere and the song came on...,” Moran said. “It just became a 10,000-person huddle. It was just a moment when everybody opened their hearts to everybody. I thought it was so pure and beautiful. I just stood there in tears.”



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