DJ Mister Richard has been churning out beats in clubs since before most millennials could walk. That's what makes his Cruise Control event at the Eagle so special. It's a mix of dance hits and remixes from today and years gone by, infusing the monthly event with eargasms from across the decades.
He's been at the helm of Cruise Control for a year, so the March rendition on Friday is special. It marks the one-year anniversary and Mister Richard is ready to make it a special night.
The monthly event started simply enough. The Eagle offered Mister Richard the night and the veteran DJ jumped at the chance to step into the booth at the Midtown bar. After all, the Eagle holds a special place in his heart.
We talked with him about the Eagle, his music and what fans can expect during Friday's special anniversary event.
You're about to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of Cruise Control at the Eagle. How did the event start? Where did the name come from?
The Atlanta Eagle management offered a DJ residency for the fourth Friday of each month and I didn’t hesitate to accept.
Regarding the event name, it’s a triple entendre. Cruise as in gay bar cruising and I’m in control of the soundtrack. Cruise control as in the automobile technology. And then my website slogan is "Better Dancing Thru Technology." I’ve made my living implementing useful applications of computer and digital technologies. Bringing that expertise to the bar and club environment is a real passion. Button pushing that hopefully pushes some of your buttons. Saturday gigs are usually themed "Collider / SuperCollider / Superconducting SuperCollider."
What was your concept for Cruise Control and how has that progressed in the last year?
Just provide a fun night filled with good music. With access to some tracks from the great producers and remixers, you’ll be hearing current hits along with familiar classic tunes and also the latest and greatest that will be chart toppers next month. The trademarking of the name and logo were recently completed. I’ve started designing my own ads and that has been a fun, creative outlet as well.
How would you describe your sound to someone who's been living under a rock?
My sound is primarily vocal house in the progressive / tech / future subgenres. Male vocals work great at the Eagle. I also love dance classics and great covers and remixes of classics. I’ve been DJing off and on since the late 80’s, so I have a huge, 30 plus year collection of dance tracks and like to throw some of those in from time to time. I can go from downtempo to circuit as the occasion requires it. My website has a section for mixes and I post links for most event recordings there if anyone wants to have a listen.
What inspires you in the DJ booth and what's your secret to reading a room?
The joy you see on faces while dancing is probably the biggest and best inspiration. Being able to assist in invoking that emotion is a real honor. Love the advances in DJ / VJ / lighting technology and digital DJ / VJing has also been a real joy. The Atlanta Eagle is one of the few dance floors I’m aware of where the DJ is also responsible for the lights so those will always be adding a visual accent to the music if I’m in the booth.
Reading a room is half visual and half intuition. If you don’t enjoy dancing, you don’t need to be in the DJ booth for starters. It’s not hard to tell what’s working and what’s not. If you have any control freak inclinations, it’s a great fit for you.
What's your favorite song or artist to play at the moment (and why)?
The last eargasm I had was for the Dirty Disco remix of Carrie Underwood’s "Love Wins." Just read the lyrics and then listen to it loud! For pure personal listening, "Phoenix Lights" by BB Hayes with Lady Abstract is a current favorite. Also loving remixes from Drew G, Dirty Disco and always Barry Harris.
What is it about Eagle audiences that's so special?
For starters, they’re at the Atlanta Eagle, which is special in itself! Most large U.S. cities have an Eagle, but Atlanta’s is probably one if not the oldest, at least at the same location. They make everyone welcome and that’s reflected in the diverse clientele you’ll see there. Never a cover, great dance floor, friendly bartenders and good conversations on that incredible deck. I met my husband Michael there in 1996 so the Atlanta Eagle will always be special to me. If you haven’t visited, check it out. It’s an Atlanta treasure.
What should fans expect at the 1-year anniversary event on March 22?
Come help me celebrate a personal milestone and get there early. I’ve got something special planned to help remember the evening. A big thank you to the Atlanta Eagle and Project Q for all you do for Atlanta!
DJ Mister Richard headlines the Cruise Control 1st Anniversary Party on Friday at the Eagle.