The Two-Time Grammy Nominated Producer and King of the Gay Dance Floor Spins the Miami Party and Releases an Album That Celebrates his 30-Year Career By Mark Monteroso
“Coming back to Miami to kick off 2017 brings me back to where it all began for me,” explains Tony Moran. “Miami is where I started my career in music and from there, I’ve been able to branch out around the world, doing what I love, connecting with people and playing great music. I really believe that 2017 has some great things in store for me, as a DJ and as an artist. I’m especially excited about my new album, “Moodswings” and premiering some of the tracks at Urge.”
Moodswings is Tony’s new double album of pop anthems. It draws inspiration from his thirty years in dance music. “I’ve been honored to work with hundreds of talented artists throughout my career,” he continues. “Singers, songwriters, producers from all musical genres. It’s been an amazing spiritual journey that has allowed me to discover how soothing, stimulating, challenging and empowering music can be.”
Tony divided Moodswings into two collections — a down-tempo “Feel” set followed by a high-energy “Move” side, reflecting his duel musical styles. It features 14 original dance songs and 14 original pop, R&B and alternative productions, sung by Tony’s favorite vocalists including Martha Wash, Kimberly Davis and Jason Walker. Photographer James Franklin
Clubgoers at Urge, the Miami event Moran will spin on New years Day, will be among the first to hear the tracks live. “It’s going to be a cosmic experience times three. There’s nothing like experiencing the music live and in-person,” says Moran.
Live music is such a big deal for Moran, he even insisted the artists working on his album record the songs in-studio. “Too often in today’s digital world, artists work remotely. It’s convenient to be able to collaborate with people from all around the world but I prefer face- to-face collaboration, over dinner, in a studio, or any place where the artist and I can look into each other’s eyes and connect.”
Tony connected in-person with many amazing collaborators on Moodswings, including out musician Matt Zarley and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. He counts them as part of his collaboration bubble that he describes as a mutual admiration society. “We have a strong belief in each other’s talents,” Tony explains.
He also enlisted his select stable of vocalists for Moodswings, including Zhana Roiya, a background singer for Mary J Blige, Bette Midler and P. Diddy. On the album, Tony offers Zhana the opportunity to step up to the lead mic in the pulsating and hypnotic single about soaking in pleasure, “Lick Me Up”. “She is ready to take the spotlight,” Tony confirms.
Jason Walker appears twice on the album; in “So Happy” and “Say Yes”, two songs that both reached #1 on Billboard in 2016.
Ryan Shaw sings “Let’s Start Again Tonight”, Tony’s favorite track on Moodswings. “It has a touching story line that applies to how I pursue my personal vision and dreams,” Tony explains. “Of course I’ve had my share of failures and disappointments, but I never let them stop me from starting again and learning as I go.”
Tony Moran began his career with childhood friend Albert Cabrera in the production duo, The Latin Rascals. Their re-edited versions of hit songs spliced together gained major airplay on dance radio, bringing them to the attention of acclaimed music producer Arthur Baker. Baker hired The Latin Rascals to remix hits by Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper.
Soon after, Tony and Albert were offered a contract with Fever Records to write and produce a song for the label’s new act, The Cover Girls. The result was “Show Me”, Tony’s first top 40 gold record. It helped establish Tony and Albert as leaders of Freestyle, a movement in music that expressed the voice of a new generation of Latinos.
As Tony grew and evolved, so did his ability to produce music that continues to electrify audiences all over the world. Tony has worked with Cher, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Luther Vandross, Barry Manilow, and Patti Labelle, among others, yielding more than fifty #1 Billboard dance chart hits.
He takes great pride in discovering new talent, too, and is especially thrilled to introduce his latest find, Kimberly Davis, on Moodswings. Kimberly — a talented singer who tours the world as the lead singer of Nile Rodger’s group, Chic — appears in six tracks on the album, more than any other vocalist, and is the only one with songs on both the “Feel” and “Move” sets.
“The greatest thing about working with an amazingly gifted independent artist like Kimberly is having the freedom to create something wonderful without the restrictions of a time clock or the worry of a budget,” says Tony.
“You’re Good For Me” featuring Kimberly Davis is scheduled to be the next single release from Moodswings and Tony says it was birthed from pure, spontaneous creativity.
“The entire album has allowed me to explore a wide range of ideas I believe in. I have discovered that whether a song is down-tempo or high energy, the overall theme of all of my music is love. Music is love.
And to Tony, Miami is love. He recalls a funny incident in Miami from long ago. “I was DJ’ing at Club Crowbar with DJs Chus & Ceballos and on the way to the venue, I banged into a telephone pole and got a huge knot on my head. I was so embarrassed. But, somehow, I managed to pick myself up and find my way to the club. I ended up turning it out that night! It taught me an important lesson: the show must go on! Even with a banged Photographer James Franklin up head.
Tony Moran spins Urge on January 1, 2017. Moodswings is being distributed nationally through Mr. Tan Man Music and globally via The Orchard/Sony. It will be available this month on iTunes and everywhere music is sold. For more information on Tony Moran and Moodswings, visit www.mrtanmanmusic.com