In an age of quick gratification and the instant attention switch, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez is a name respected for both quality and consistency. Over the last 25 years, the four time Grammy-nominated DJ and producer has been astounding audiences across the world with his fusions of house, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, funk & soul, reggae, alternative pop and broken beats. By releasing literally thousands of original tracks and hundreds of remixes, Kenny has earned a reputation as a living encyclopedia of beats as both a solo artist, and as one-half of the legendary house duo, Masters At Work.
At an early age, Kenny began absorbing the hip-hop beats being played at local house and block parties in Sunset Park, Brooklyn where he grew up. He began his musical career as a buyer for a local record shop called WNR Music Center, where he broadened his musical knowledge and found his love of “diggin” for records. To date, Kenny’s collection totals over 50,000 records. In the late 80’s, Mike Delgado, a good friend and partner of Kenny’s, organized a series of parties under the alias Masters At Work which the two of them would play at. Brooklyn DJ/producer Todd Terry attended these parties, and soon after, Kenny would cut school to watch Todd work on beats and record with singers and rappers. The combination of working at the store, learning how records were produced, and being around creative people influenced Kenny to begin his own productions.
Over time, Kenny had built up the Masters At Work brand from its party-origins, and in 1987 the club hits “Alright Alright” and “Dum Dum Cry” were released by Todd Terry under the Masters At Work name. In return for the releases, Todd introduced Kenny to “Little” Louie Vega, another talented young Bronx DJ. In 1990, Kenny and Louie officially began a creative partnership, appropriately dubbed Masters At Work (MAW), and their sound quickly became a force in the clubs. They were soon sought after by artists and labels, and eventually remixed everyone from Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross, to Madonna and Daft Punk. With Louie influenced by salsa, house and freestyle and Kenny by hip-hop and reggae, the two went on to become labeled by many as the most revolutionary house production team of the 90’s.
Kenny’s breakthrough as a solo artist came in 1995. One night, disheartened by the music that was being released throughout the business, Kenny went home and pulled out a series of classic records, and after three days he’d produced an entire album, The Bucketheads. This was a huge turning point for him, as one track on the album, “The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)” broke through the European pop charts and became his first major solo hit. Under different aliases, Kenny went on to release numerous projects on influential labels like Strictly Rhythm, Freeze, Nervous, Henry Street Records and TNT. Starting in 2000, and over the next decade, Kenny also went on to create classic remixes for the likes of R. Kelly, Shirley Bassey, The Jackson 5, DJ Gregory, Aaliyah, Soul Fuzion, and Kanye West.