Roberto “Robbie” Rivera (aka Wicked Phunker) is a prolific house music producer and DJ born in Puerto Rico. He has an extensive catalog of original productions and remixes to his credit, ranging from tribal to progressive house, as well as incorporating garage and Latin elements. On October 28, 2009, DJ Magazine announced the results of their annual Top 100 DJ Poll, with Rivera placing number 95.
Rivera grew up in Puerto Rico, and was a fan of freestyle and Eurobeat when he bought two turntables to teach himself DJing techniques. Rivera performed at weddings and school party gigs, eventually leading to nightclubs at age of 16. After high school graduation, Rivera attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to study music production and was introduced to many different digital audio tools including the popular Pro Tools program. While in college he released his first record, “El Sorullo”, a track influenced by Latin house music. The track became popular in New York City and Miami and his career was underway.
In 2000, Rivera’s track “Bang” became a huge hit, making it to number one on the United Kingdom dance chart. The track also made it on to several dance compilation albums and was used frequently during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The song became popular enough that it gave Rivera some face time on Top of the Pops and MTV. Rivera started his own label, Juicy Records, and recorded mix CDs for Max Music, Filtered, and others. Rivera produced his first album Do You Want More? for Ultra Records and Independence in France. The first single “Which Way You’re Going” reached the number one position on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Songs chart and was released on the UK label Toolroom. The track was created in early 2003 when Rivera contacted lyricist Ned Bigham, Jean-Jacques Smoothie and Timo Maas; it was the first completed song and lead track which was inspired by Coldplay’s hit “Clocks”.