As the founder of Uniting Souls, Ramiro has actively worked for over two decades to build community through dance music gatherings and artistic expression, not only as a DJ, but also through his roles as company owner, director of events, record label manager and A/R. Director, to be a supportive and artistic mentor to many in the community, including emerging artists.
Ramiro receives much love from the community, producing and performing at over 1,000 events and counting, including club nights, underground warehouse parties, arts events, boat parties, park parties, and major area festivals like Cascadia, Photosynthesis, Hempfest, Decibel, Seattle. Erotic Arts Festival, PrideFest and Seattle Pride Parade. As Uniting Souls Event Director, Ramiro specializes in creating world-class events renowned for their insatiable and uplifting vibes on the dance floor, showcasing local, regional and international talent, as well as promoting inclusion and diversity.
In the early 2000s, Ramiro performed in and co-produced Future Funk’s annual performances at the internationally acclaimed Decibel Festival in Seattle, as well as the legendary Magnetic/Kinetic series of events at the Pacific Science Center. Ramiro also served as ACA University director, talent pool, and production team member at the ACA World Sound Festival 2000 in Acapulco, Mexico, a 3-night multi-stage event on the beach, which featured a strong lineup. international talent, including Moby performing live with a ten-piece band, Carl Cox, Danny Tenaglia, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Little Louie Vega, King Britt with Lady Alma Horton, Gilles Peterson, Infected Mushroom, Nick Warren and dozens further.
Ramiro is a creative force behind the Uniting Souls Music record label, with a string of Top 10 releases on Beatport and Traxsource. The label features annual sales in over 70 countries and license agreements with some of the world’s leading labels and services, including Toolroom (UK), Balance (Australia), Voltaire & Recovery Tech (Germany), Exotic Refreshment (Poland) , Beaubar (Belgium), NordicTrax (Canada) and San Francisco’s seminal label Om Records. USM releases have charted by the likes of Green Velvet, Claude Von Stroke, Mark Knight, DJ Heather, Doc Martin, Catz N Dogz, Mark Farina and many others. Ramiro has also recently returned to doing vocals, with a Beatport Top 10 track titled “Be See Seek” produced by labelmates Jordan Strong and Tony H, featuring Ramiro’s repeated mantra of “Be The Light, See The Love, Seek Connection and Share”. the gift.”
Through his DJ sets, Ramiro aims to raise the mood on the dance floor, inspiring connection and celebrating the special bonding experience we all share through music and dance. Ramiro’s mixes and sets each tell a story, working the rhythm and bringing love, creating a space where EVERYONE feels welcome. Ramiro’s affinity for and ability to connect with the dance floor is amply evident during his intentional and vibrant sets enjoyed by thousands of dancers year after year. You can catch Ramiro at his long-running monthly nightclub, Diggin’ Deep, every last Saturday at Seattle hotspot Monkey Loft, as well as at the summer Aquafunk boat parties.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing Ramiro, and this has been the result.
What was the first thing that attracted you to the world of electronic music? Do you remember an event that made you see everything in a different way?
I remember stepping onto the dance floor at my first Wicked party in San Francisco in 1992, and immediately the music grabbed me (early 90s acid house), but it was the welcoming feeling of community that really drew me in. It felt liberating to be part of a large, diverse gathering where everyone was encouraged to just dance and be free and be themselves. We were fortunate in the SF Bay Area to have so many talented, creative friends who pioneered the early rave days – ComeUnity, The Gathering, Dubtribe Sound System, Doc Martin, the Sunset/Pacific crew, the Wicked crew (Jeno, Garth, Markie, and Thomas), and so many others, who would haul their TurboSound system up&down hills and sand dunes to throw full moon parties at beautiful beaches and park locations, underneath the Golden Gate bridge, and at underground warehouse venues, doing it all for the love of the music and the vibe, and creating a safe space.
Since you got into this professionally, what did you discover at a national, international level? And what helped you grow the most, including believing in yourself?
With so many talented friends, and a growing community, we eventually began producing our own events, inspired by the new sounds coming out of Chicago, Detroit, New York, and London, organically blending with the US West Coast’s psychedelic vibes. This was all made possible by the support of our community of friends and artists and adventure-seekers, who believed, just as we did, in the power of music as a healing force that can bring diverse groups of people together to peacefully co-exist and celebrate life. The next natural evolution was towards producing music and offering the record label as a platform for that expression.
How did the Equinox Dreams compilation come about?
Our mission with Uniting Souls has always been to build community through music and creative expression. We aim to release music by talented producers in our local communities and in our extended networks of friends & family, to showcase them on a global stage. So in addition to featuring individual singles and EP releases, we like to curate seasonal compilation releases which give us a chance to highlight a sampling of artists from up & down the West Coast, and provide us the opportunity to feature not only veteran, experienced producers, but also younger, up&coming producers who are inspired and passionate about underground dance music.
For this Equinox Dreams 2023 Spring Compilation, we solicited on social media and also reached out to an amazing pool of talented artists whom we’re fortunate to know, and selected the tracks which we feel best embody the spirit of our mission, while representing places up & down the West Coast, from Seattle to San Diego, and everywhere in between – music from house music veterans Cory Wells, T.L.R. and Stranger Danger from Los Angeles, Terry Jasinto from San Diego, Sean Cantos & Diego Valle from Sacramento, Seattle’s Jesse Leer, monotropa & Black Velveteen, the duo Flurb from Oregon, who have been active in Portland’s nightlife scene for over two decades – as well as some inspired newcomers like San Diego’s Jaemus, and Gorio Tala from Seattle’s Grooving For Good collective.
And also Hawaii, where my label A/R partner Jordan Strong now resides with the Centered crew.
How are you living the music scene in your city with this cloudy pandemic situation?
In Washington state, we had some of the strictest lockdown policies in the country. Fortunately for us in Seattle, we have the Monkey Loft, which has a rooftop terrace, where we could hold events in an outdoor setting once they were legally permitted again. Our monthly Diggin’ Deep has been running for 14 years, and that rooftop deck was our saving grace. We weathered the rough spots, and we’ll continue to move forward prioritizing safety and consent. Thankfully, the music scene is vibrant again, but I do worry about the long-term environmental/health of the planet situation.
What are your favorite places to hang out in the city?
My favorite places to hang out is wherever our friends are. We’re very fortunate in Seattle to have a gorgeous natural landscape, with the Puget Sound, including the islands, lakes, rivers, beaches, and mountains all close by. In that setting, you’ll find a strong, supportive community, with crews like Shameless, Innerflight, Viva, Flammable, Reflect, Studio 4/4, Tremulant, Diffusion, Late Night Munchies, Noise Complaint, Fraktured, Hunt & Gather, Train Car House Party, Grooving For Good, Soulectro, People Music, Opulent Temple, Dusty Booty Ranch, and other Burning Man organizations, and so many more. Just really an amazing community of inspired artists who are at the heart and soul of the city’s music culture, producing club nights, warehouse parties, park parties, boat parties, campouts, and festivals.
Have you had time to focus on making music, spending time with your family, or planning future projects?
Balance is key, right? I’m thankful to have a loving partner and have time to run the record label, produce the shows with a supportive group of friends, the Aquafunk boat parties, and still have time for dinners and cook-outs with friends & family, Saturday brunches with our niece River, and yes – excited to share an upcoming project with Jordan Strong, titled “Love is Everything,” where I’ll be doing vocals, a song inspired by Sunshine Jones’ live set at our Mystic Vibes campout last summer. Look for that to come later this year on Uniting Souls Music.
Do you have any final words of wisdom?
I think it’s really important for all of us to remember that the roots of underground dance music are queer and black and brown, and we all need to pay homage to and educate others about this legacy, by continuing to push for equity and diversity. And for so long, this has been a male-dominated industry, we also need to push for more femme representation. Here in Seattle, there’s been some important ongoing work put forth by leaders like Emily Griffin, Mindy Christman, Chris Offutt, Jyoti B. Fly, Trinitron, Erin O’Connor-Drew, Simone BG, and many others, reminding us all to keep working to make things better. Ultimately, I think that if you just follow your heart, love will always lead the way.
Written by: Alejandro Serrano
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