Ex-NBA center Rony Seikaly: My music style is underground, groovy, sexy


seikaly-music-djAfter retiring from the NBA, former center Rony Seikaly quickly started establishing himself as a DJ, as music was something he loved ever since childhood. Soon enough the dream started coming true, and today Seikaly is an international house music DJ.

“I have a unique and distinct sound. People that know my music can pick it out right away,” Seikaly recently said in a interview with Vibe.

‘Even if I’m not playing and there’s a track that comes on, my fans can say, ‘That’s Rony-style,’ you know? And that style is underground, groovy, sexy… there is always some light in it.”

Seikaly’s interest in music goes back into his childhood, when he was about 14 years old. Young Seikaly saw and experienced the evolution of house and its various genres. This goes back to the tail end of disco and the start of new wave like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Spandau Ballet. Since then, he’s considered himself not only a student of dance music, but a true practitioner from the get-go.

“One thing that I remember is that I’ve always seemed able to get a party going. Nothing has changed,” he recalled.

“I had a makeshift club in my parent’s garage and I charged an entrance fee for all the people who wanted to come. With the money that I raised, I figured I’ll improve the sound and lights. So I was always on a quest to keep improving the experience and whatever equipment I needed to get there,” he said.

seikaly-orlandoSeikaly also said he likes to bring in a variation of global elements to his music too.

“When I play tech house, it can be a tech house kind of groove but it needs to have an international flavour to it. I will always bring in either an instrument from a foreign country or a melody that ties it into me personally,” he explained.

“I grew up around classical music. And I make fun of the notion that people will say all house music sounds the same or there’s no vocals. Well guess what? Classical music has no vocals! It also sounds the same to people who don’t know it,” Seikaly said.

Seikaly also admitted that within his music, he likes to develop a story.

“I don’t need to straight shuffle all the way through for three hours. It’s a bit boring,” he said. “Each track for me is a chapter. It starts with all the stuff you would know, but then I look to venture into the unknown and go somewhere with it. Make it more of a voyage.”

A lot of that has to come down to his unique, unlikely expedition in life.

“It’s almost like a hip-hop artist. If he’s rapping about personal experiences, it comes out a lot more naturally than if he is copying someone else. So for me, it’s what is inside of me. My memories, where I’ve gone, what I’ve picked up. There are happy moments, there are dark moments, there are ups and downs. That’s where I am with the music too,” he said.

Seikaly also admitted that when he played basketball, he didn’t have time to think about the current time.

“I was always thinking destination, destination, destination. It was so much about getting to the top that I forgot all about the journey,” he said.

“I didn’t enjoy any minute of it because it was so competitive all the time, maintaining my stature, being a starter, coming back stronger, rebounding… all of it.”

seikaly-miami-dunkingWhen his playing days were over, Seikaly decided to take a different approach with music.

“I want to enjoy every minute of it and let’s see where it goes! I’m not looking to become a superstar, I’m just looking to spread this kind of music. If I can get to playing the superclubs with the big names next summer, great,” he said.

““Some people love what I’m doing, so if I can make one person smile then that’s enough for me,” Seikaly said.

Born in Lebanon, Seikaly was Miami Heat’s first original center, who was selected in the 1988 NBA draft, from Syracuse. Seikaly proved to be anything but a bust, as soon his work paid off. The 6’11 center from the Middle East led the Miami Heat into their first playoff appearance in 1992.

He played his first six seasons with the Heat, averaging 15.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 1.4 bpg in 32.4 mpg. In 1993, Seikaly set a record, pulling down 34 rebounds against the Washington Bullets.

In total, Seikaly appeared in 678 NBA games (starting in 607), averaging 14.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg in 31.6 mpg. He played for Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets.

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