To be a successful house music producer, you have to make tracks that DJs want to play. And, to be a good DJ, you have to play music that inspires people to move their asses. Simple in theory, but not in execution. Wally Callerio’s inherent ability to do both — and to do both well — has served him justly over the last two decades, establishing him as an artist with talent, vision and staying power in a genre that has navigated tumultuous highs, lows and growing pains in between.
With over 20 years of experience behind the decks and in the studio under his belt, Callerio has put out a remarkable 250 original tracks and remixes on over 50 labels worldwide. Most recently, his music has been released on such respected heavyweights as Defected, Cajual, Farris Wheel Recordings, Grin Music and Sampled Recordings. In addition, Callerio has earned accolades under his alter ego moniker Poncho Warwick, consistently ranking as a top annual pick for best chillout artist on Beatport.
In his role as Music Supervisor for “Unconscious Therapy,” a documentary released in April 2016 that chronicles the rise and evolution of house music via the lens of Frankie Knuckles and his fellow innovators, Callerio took on the crucial responsibility of licensing and curating the film’s soundtrack. He is also a featured artist in the documentary, alongside Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Masters at Work and a bevy of other house icons.
Possessed of an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to embrace change, Callerio has earned and enjoyed enduring success as both an artist and label-owner. Los Angeles-based Dufflebag Recordings, which Callerio launched in 1998, has been churning out deep and funky grooves suffused with soulful vocals since its inception, and the label boasts an impressive roster of artists that includes Demarkus Lewis, Manjane, Alysha Kid, Corduroy Mavericks, JT Donaldson, Natural Rhythm, Ryan Truman and R&B legend Jon B. under his moniker Jah Ques.
For Callerio, house music still holds just as much untapped potential as it did when he first cut his teeth on the genre in the early nineties — and he’s never been one to rest on his laurels when his passion is at stake and opportunity abounds. “I don’t try to predict the future of house, I try to give it my imagination and push with my music,” Callerio says. “I try to inspire people into making and playing the right stuff.” That drive and openness have kept Callerio prolific, relevant and on top of his game — and better still, are a promise of many good things yet to come.