Miami Music Week is once again overflowing with spectacular events, but one of the perennial Places to Be is without question the two-day SiriusXM Music Lounge. Setting up camp for the second year at the 1 Hotel on South Beach, it’s a free-flowing, friendly atmosphere with postcard-worthy scenery where superstar DJs love to hang, do interviews, and are just as likely as not to spontaneously jump up behind the decks to perform with their famous friends.
Anchoring the Lounge, as usual, will be host Geronimo (no last name), who has been with the satellite radio broadcasting company for 16 years, and who as vice president of music programming for electronic and dance formats is the man behind choosing the playlists of your favorite SiriusXM dance stations, with a little help from his talented crew, of course.
Geronimo, who lives and works as a radio personality in New York, is psyched to be back in Miami. He talked to Miami.com about this year’s MMW experience.
What can we expect at the SiriusXM Lounge this year?
Every year, we kind of step things up a little bit, and what we’re excited about are the unique collaborations with different artists from different worlds, whether it’s future bass or some of the deep house guys or some of the trance guys. But everybody comes together, and it’s just sort of like our big thank you to the industry and the subscribers as well.
Do you have any specific performers locked down yet?
Most of this we haven’t announced yet, but some of the names who are performing are Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike and Hardwell. Those are just three of the names – I believe there will be about 20 others.
Do you actually make a schedule, or is it a situation where DJs just stop by and say, “Hey, mind if I step behind the decks?”
It’s a little of both – we actually have a schedule, but the best part about it is that a lot of these guys have relationships, and they just sort of want to jump on and play with each other. It’s fun to watch it, and the listening experience is equally as exciting, because we have hosts there, describing what’s going on almost like a sporting event.
What’s the venue like?
This will be our second year at the 1 Hotel, and it’s been really amazing, with being on the beach and having the ocean and the backdrop. What’s exciting is that people pass by, walking or biking, and they just stop by and there’s this unbelievable party going on right on the beach.
What are some of the highlights from last year?
Last year, we closed out with Deadmau5 playing live with Eric Prydz, which was really amazing. Both guys are pretty iconic, Deadmau5 both controversial and iconic, and having them play together was really amazing. Having discussions with them getting this all together was no easy task, just because of scheduling, but both guys really enjoyed playing with each other. We also had Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike play with Steve Aoki, sort of a reunion of a project that they’ve done before.
The Lounge is only for two days this year – why?
We also broadcast the [Ultra] festival, so what we all agreed on collectively was that we were gonna go heavy and concentrate on the festival. So we actually are broadcasting that third day, but we’re doing it live at Ultra. For the first time ever, we’re gonna broadcast live before the doors even open and have DJs play, almost as a pre-show to what will then begin at 5 p.m. Friday.
How do you find the music for the SiriusXM dance stations?
Wow – literally from every corner of the earth. I mean, I get in music from managers, labels, the artists themselves, whether they’re independent or signed. I get songs from kids in their bedrooms who are producing it from Third World countries. It’s truly, truly amazing, and the best part of my job is hearing music that I’ve never heard before, and actually no one’s heard before. And the even more exciting task of playing it on the radio and having it work and succeed never gets old, ever.
So you have the power to break a new artist?
Yeah, I would say as a company we do. I would love to take full credit, but luckily I have a really great team that works with me.
How many EDM stations are there on SiriusXM?
If you wanna include our Studio 54 radio channel, which plays dance music from the ’70s to the 2000s, we’ve got six, including a couple that are online. And Tiesto has his own channel, which is called Club Life Radio.
What do you like to listen to when you get tired of dance music?
Believe it or not, I don’t get tired of it. I have really odd taste, but I love hip-hop at heart –Chance the Rapper, A Tribe Called Quest. And I like some old-school rock – I would not turn down tickets to see Bruce Hornsby if you offered them right now.
If you go
When: 3-10 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 23
Where: 1 Hotel South Beach 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach