Introduced to New York nightlife at the impressionable age of 15 by his older brother Cesar, Victor quickly developed an intense passion for dance music that would form the foundation for the Brooklyn nativeâ€™s remarkable career. His first taste of success came less than a decade later when Sire Recordsâ€™ Seymour Stein signed Program Two, Victorâ€™s techno production partnership, to a record deal in 1991. The relationship fizzled after just one album, though, prompting Victor to reevaluate his musical future.
After a self-imposed hiatus during which Victor explored non-musical business ventures, he found his way back to the beat in 1996 when Athena, the woman who would eventually become his wife, encouraged him to return to the studio to create his first solo record, â€œGive It Up.â€ This signature hard-house anthem and its explosive follow-up, â€œBeat Me Harder,â€ both topped the Billboard dance charts, unleashing the meteoric Calderone phenomenon. Further inspired by New Yorkâ€™s then-thriving club scene, Victor landed gigs spinning at high-profile parties on Fire Island and at legendary NYC nightclubs Limelight and Life, eventually leading to career-defining residencies at both Roxy in New York and Liquid in Miami. Then, just when he thought things couldnâ€™t get any better, Madonna called in 1998 and asked, â€œSo, do you want to remix my first single? Intrigued by Victorâ€™s innovative musical vision and sophisticated style, Madonna bestowed upon him the ultimate compliment â€“ the opportunity to remix, â€œFrozen,â€ the lead single from her acclaimed â€œRay of Lightâ€ album. â€œShe, as an artist, understands better than anybody the need to just let people do their thing, and thatâ€™s the way sheâ€™s worked with me,â€ Victor proudly explains. â€œShe just sends me the vocal and she doesnâ€™t give me any guidelines. She just tells me to do my thing.â€ Victor has since remixed nine other records for Madonna and has established an unprecedented professional and personal rapport with the Grammy-award winning artist.
â€œ Victor Calderone is immensely talented and quite amazing. He never fails to come up with fresh ideas. I love his work and I love working with him.â€ - Madonna
The success Victor achieved through his work with Madonna ultimately led to remix projects for some of the worldâ€™s top recording artists, including Sting, Gloria Estefan, Bette Midler, Ricky Martin, Elton John, Destinyâ€™s Child, Cyndi Lauper, k.d.â€ lang, Information Society. Many of these records reached the top of Billboardâ€™s dance charts courtesy of Victorâ€™s unique remixing talents.
Standing out among the many highlights of his extraordinary career is Victorâ€™s experience working with Sting. Acting on Madonnaâ€™s recommendation that he ask Victor to remix â€œDesert Rose,â€ the second single from his 1999 â€œBrand New Dayâ€ album, the British rocker not only called Victor to remix the record (something he had never done before with his music), but even went into the studio with him to re-record the vocals to match the remixed songâ€™s new dance-oriented rhythm. The song spent an impressive 80 weeks on the Billboard dance charts including nine consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
â€œ Victor Calderone is highly energetic and his musical contribution helped introduce â€˜Desert Roseâ€™ to an entirely new audience. I look forward to working with him again.â€ - Sting
Few DJs or producers have achieved the level of success that Victor has so diligently earned, and membership in this elite club definitely has its privileges. Spared from the stress of pounding the pavement in search of work and the proverbial first big break, Victor now enjoys the luxury of carefully choosing each new project from a multitude of exciting offers. This rare creative freedom has also encouraged him to create more of his own original material. Following the success of 1999â€™s â€œDo It Properly,â€ a joint venture with Grammy-winning remixer Peter Rauhofer, featuring C&C Music Factory vocalist Deborah Cooper, Victor once again enlisted Cooperâ€™s dynamic talents in 2001 to record the #1 Billboard mega-hit â€œAre You Satisfied,â€ a record he both co-wrote and produced.
While it is nearly impossible to capture the essence of a live performance on a 74-minute CD, compilations do allow DJs to portray the music of the moment in a practical format that can reach even the most remote listeners. As part of a multi-record deal with Tommy Boy Music, Victor released his first beatmix CD, â€œE=VC2,â€ in 1999. Volume 2 followed in 2001 with sales and popularity of both compilations far exceeding all expectations. A third installment is forthcoming that promises to be darker and more progressive than its predecessors.
Victorâ€™s studio work may have jump-started his career, but itâ€™s his live performances that truly showcase his boundless energy and mastery of the turntables. â€œDJing is a major release for me; itâ€™s something I need in my life,â€ he insists. â€œIt goes hand-in-hand with the production work and the studio work. If youâ€™re going to be producing dance music, youâ€™ve got to be out there playing it and be in the clubs, so itâ€™s very important to me.â€
Victor also understands and appreciates the importance of continually evolving as an artist. While he still enjoys remixing and playing select mainstream records, audiences will notice a distinct difference during his future live sets. Relying less on the diva house vocal anthems that dominated many of his past performances, Victor has reinvented his musical style and will now treat listeners to an edgier and more progressive sound. He will also focus on producing more original underground tracks to compliment his latest transformation.
Shortly after leaving his three-and-a-half year residency at Roxy in May of 2001 to explore other creative avenues, Victor staged his most ambitious spectacular to date. Dubbed â€œCaligula: A Roman Orgyâ€ and presented during Gay Pride Weekend in New York City, this massive dance party was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom and featured, among others, performances by Cyndi Lauper, Deborah Cooper and a 50-piece orchestra that played Brainbugâ€™s â€œNightmareâ€ and Tim Rexâ€™s â€œRelentlessâ€ live for 5,000 appreciative fans. Caligula boldly raised the bar for future events and will now be held annually the last weekend of June.
Victor expanded his rÃˆsumÃˆ in 2001 with bimonthly residencies at Stereo in Montreal, Canada and Tribal Sessions in Manchester, England. He also traveled overseas for performances at TLV in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cuvo Paradiso in Mykonos, Greece and Lâ€™Enser in Paris, France. He has also arranged the music for the past several Dolce & Gabbana runway fashion shows in Milan, Italy. At home in the United States, Victor spins monthly at Crobar in Miamiâ€™s South Beach, occasionally travels for special events around the country and is patiently waiting for the right opportunity to resume a residency in New York City.
Despite his many professional accomplishments, Victor still has some dreams to fulfill, particularly his desire to work on motion picture soundtracks. He is also currently working in the studio with a female vocalist he recently discovered to help develop her burgeoning career while further exploring the down-tempo side of electronic music. Victorâ€™s Sensory Mix of Madonnaâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Tell Meâ€ and his Calderone & Quayle Dark Side Mix of â€œWhat It Feels Like For A Girl,â€ both experiments in ambient electronica, garnered critical acclaim and impressed Madonna so much that she featured his version of the latter song on her Drowned World Tour.
Because his talent is so prominent, it is easy to forget that Victor Calderoneâ€™s career achievements are also the result of his true spirit of determination, as well as his dedication to perfection and persistence in an ultra-competitive industry. His many years of hard work and monumental success are only overshadowed by his sincerity, modesty, unwavering commitment to his craft and fierce devotion to his countless fans. A profoundly influential and inspirational talent, Victor has entertained millions of people, generously donated to charitable causes and earned the utmost respect of his peers, all while boldly pushing the universal limits of originality and ingenuity.
During an earlier interview, Victor summed up his prolific career perfectly when he modestly proclaimed, â€œIf it wasnâ€™t for the audience and the fans, I wouldnâ€™t exist, so I wouldnâ€™t have any right coming off to anybody like Iâ€™m anything special. Iâ€™m very grateful for all the support and everything thatâ€™s been going on in my life. Itâ€™s been amazing and Iâ€™m very happy.â€
â€“ Written by Matt Kalkhoff -