MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ is a singer, songwriter, nightlife personality, music-video director/producer, and music-industry executive specializing in house, disco, and electronic music.
As an artist, Rodriguez demonstrates a flair for combining camp and comedy with sex and sentimentality in a manner reminiscent of Madonna, Bananarama, Culture Club, Dead Or Alive, and other fondly remembered acts from his childhood. As a pop-culture iconoclast, his playful, provocative, deceptively intelligent deconstruction and reassembly of sex-and-gender norms is perhaps best characterized as a missing link--connecting a tradition begun by Sylvester, Boy George, and Pete Burns to a somewhat different, more subtle form of gender blending performed today by Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Adam Lambert, Conchita Wurst, and a variety of others.
Rodriguez began his career as a teenager in Miami. Under his first stage name, MICHAEL ANTHONY, he specialized in freestyle music, opening for the era's greatest acts, including but not limited to NOEL, CORINA, STEVIE B, GEORGE LAMOND, LISETTE MELENDEZ, and LISA LISA AND CULT JAM. By his seventeenth birthday, he had cut a few demos with now acclaimed DJ/producer GIUSEPPE D. (WHITNEY HOUSTON, ELVIS CRESPO, LADY GAGA et al). This marked a transition to house music and a relocation from Miami to the New York City area, where he became MICHAEL M, one of the decadent club kids of LIMELIGHT, DANCETERIA, and WEBSTER HALL fame.
In 1994, under a modified stage name (ANDROGENY FEATURING MICHAEL M), Rodriguez reunited with Giuseppe for the global club smash "I Could Be This..." on STRICTLY RHYTHM RECORDS. Featured in several movies and television programs, the track's elusive, ambivalent gender politics were explored by culture critic HOLLY BRUBACH in her book "Girlfriend: Men, Women, & Drag". Capitalizing upon the stir they had created, Giuseppe andRodriguez followed up with the equally provocative "Let's Talk About Me", then "Genderbender".
Never content to duplicate previous successes, Rodriguez turned to OBA FRANK LORDS (as producer) and WAAKO RECORDS (as distributor) for the anthemic "Move Up", with remixes by DMS12, DA FREEKZ, TOM SAWYER, and VUKAS & COSTANZO. Soon thereafter, he returned to Miami, where he was quickly became a fixture of the sultry city's nightclub circuit, including LIQUID, BAR ROOM, and Orlando's TABU.
His alternatingly sordid, scandalous, and comedically strange experiences informed the development of his first full-length, Giuseppe D-produced album, DEAR DIARY. SiriusXM BPM called its eponymous, autobiographical lead single one of the best dance tracks of 2006, and other singles--including THE BEAT and DOWNTOWN--made waves as well.
Subsequent projects included: “Rambling,” (MONITOR SOUND RECORDINGS); "Techno Shit" (MUSIC OVER LIFE); “Dale" (KULT); "No Way Back" (SHAMATI RECORDS); LOSE MY HEAD, produced by GEORGE MOREL for GROOVE ON; "Guess Who's Back", produced by OBA FRANK LORDS for 4 TUNE ENTERTAINMENT; "It's Just Me", a four-track EP, also for 4 TUNE ENTERTAINMENT, featuring singles "Star" and "Skeletons"; and "The Kids Don't Know" a collaboration with EDWIN JAMES for French house label 96 MUSIQUE. This particular project, a witty meditation upon club scenes past and present, earned over 19,000 YOUTUBE views, was featured on 100 DANCE 2015 by UNIVERSAL FRANCE, and set European dance floors on fire for months.
In 2011, Rodriguez expanded into management, taking on JEI (AKA Jane Castro of VH1's "Tough Love Miami") as his first artist. Soon thereafter, she was selected by RALPH FALCON of NERVOUS/DEFECTED to be the featured voice on INTRUDER's "Amame". According to THE MIAMI NEW TIMES, the track represented "home-grown Latin-flavored Miami house at its best". Eventually released on vinyl to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of MURK RECORDS, it was followed by JEI's debut solo album, a self-titled affair on 4 TUNE with songs co-written by Rodriguez.
In 2015, Rodriguez launched his own record label and artist-development boutique, GONNABE MUSIC, with "The Never Stop EP". Produced by Italy's DANNY G, with Rodriguez contributing as vocalist, co-writer, and executive producer, the EP also featured Miami-based personalities JEI, DROZE, and CEEVOX. Emerging from that project, Rodriguez co-wrote WHEN THERE WAS HOUSE, a track by CORRUGATED TUNNEL featuring DROZE for VISION COLLECTIVE. Produced by EDWIN JAMES with an epic music video also by JAMES, the track and its many remixes represent a more mature, expensive, sophisticated sound for Rodriguez and his stable of talent. Up next, JEI has been selected by TOMMY BOY for a major new recording ("A Touch Away") that will debut later this summer. And that's only the beginning for this all-in-one dance-music mogul and his crew of talented, innovative, passionate voices.
In retrospect, the key lyrics of Rodriguez' first major hit, "I Could Be This...”
I could be this, I could be that.
I could be anything you want me to be.
What do you want me to be? What do you want me to be?
...seem to have been prophetic. Please stay tuned for more from this most compelling artist, executive, and entrepreneur.