Best Circuit DJ of 2000 by the readers of TheCircuitDog.com, Roland Belmares
storms the East Coast this spring headlining the Cherry Six Main Event at
the Old Post Office Pavilion on Saturday night.
motto certainly helps explain his recent rise to fame on the party circuit:
My main objective throughout the night is to always try to keep it
fun, he says. I dont ever want to get too hardcore or
too cheesy, though. Seeing everybody having a good time just that
whole camaraderie, especially in the peak hour of the night when everybody
is thinking the same thing, and then that one song comes on and everybody
just screams thats the biggest thrill for me.
bug bit Roland just after he came out in his hometown of Austin, Texas in
1995. After he discovered gay nightlife, he says he fell in love with
dance music all over again. It was interesting to see how we interact with
music, how big a part of our lives it is. I was in awe of how the DJ could
just take the crowd on a journey like that. Then to go to a circuit party
and see it at the next level I just became captivated by it all,
and I just had it in my blood.
immediately started buying many of the records that he would hear in the
clubs, sometimes spending nearly his whole paycheck on them. He also became
a bit of a DJ groupie, hanging out near the DJ booth and asking about the
records he liked. After making tapes at home for himself and then his friends,
people began encouraging him to start DJing at local bars.
performances eventually caught the attention of circuit promoters, and next
thing Roland knew, he was traveling around the country spinning for thousands
of revelers at some of the circuits most prominent events. He also
moved to Los Angeles this past summer to live with his boyfriend, Ken. When
hes not traveling, Roland works part-time at Perfect Beat Records
so he can keep up with the music and interact with his peers
without all the distractions of a nightclub. Roland finds his hectic travel
schedule often involving two different cities in a single weekend
to be exhausting, but hes not complaining. Once I get
going and the crowd starts to react, he says, its like
it doesnt even matter anymore because Im having so much fun.
Of course, when I get home on Monday, its like, I just want to stay
home one weekend.
look like things are going to slow down anytime soon, but Roland finds comfort
in the many wonderful friends he has made along his travels. When he finally
met his idol, Manny Lehman (who casually invited him to hang out with him
in the DJ booth one night a few years ago), something special happened.
Hes the one I credit with the turning point in my career,
Roland proudly reports. It was White Party 98, the Closing Party
[Palm Springs] it was the most fun I have ever had. I had a lot of
the same songs he played, but I never thought of formatting them like he
did, and playing them at certain times throughout the night the way he did.
That whole experience changed the way I think about music and formatting
my night. Roland also credits Neil Lewis and Victor Calderone as major
rising DJ also demonstrates a notable philanthropic streak that beautifully
compliments his musical talents. I like the fact that what Im
doing can help give back to the community, he says of performing at
community-building fundraising events like Cherry. Its not always
about playing the gigs that pay the most for me. I like being able to give
back to the community, and I just feel like this is a small part that I
can give back.
performance on Saturday night leaves you wanting more, you can take him
home with you (well, his music anyway) on several continuous mix CDs. Dance
1 and Centaur Records, both Cherry sponsors, showcase Rolands musical
style on Dance 1, Volume 1 and Global Groove, Thrill, respectively. Roland
also recently singed a five-CD contract with 4Play Records that kicks off
with him mixing the seventh installment in the popular Circuit Sessions
Roland warms up for Cherry at Boston Hopes Tea
Dance the prior weekend, and will be headlining the Reunion
4 main event during San Franciscos Gay Pride, as well
as the Memorial and Labor Day events in Austin. You may visit
Roland on the Web at www.djrolandbelmares.com.