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Joey Arrigo Is Raising Temps This Summer

Photo by Kyreto

Joey Arrigo Is Raising Temps This Summer

With his fiery new dance single, “Get Down”

By Larry Olsen

Joey Arrigo discovered his love of dance at four-years-old when his sister was enrolled in ballet.    “I stood at the door of the class with fire in my eyes, desperate to be in it myself,” he recalls. At five-years-old, he discovered a VHS recording of Cirque du Soleil’s 1989 show Nouvelle Experience and was so captivated by it, he taught himself the contortionist act – or rather, a simulation of it – that he reenacted for his family in his living room.

Twenty years later he would find himself in the real Cirque du Soleil, featured in their Kooza show and playing the principal character in Volta. He has since appeared in Disney’s Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure and Canada’s So You Think You Can Dance.  

This summer, Arrigo is combining his love of dance with a newfound passion in music. He’s out with “Get Down,” a track inspired by his love of 80s synth pop and early 2000s pop, about learning to succumb to movement and pleasure.

We love your new look, Joey!
It is a very honest look at who and where I am in my life at 32 years old. I wanted to take this opportunity to show myself and everyone around me that bald is sexy. Sure, I don’t have the full hair I once had, but I’ve learned that I have a great shaped skull, this pretty face, brows shaped to the gods, a full beard and a body that continues to serve me in so many ways. 

It’s a delicious mix of masculine and feminine.
That I get to define!  As long as I am able to feel good about the way I look and connect to my appearance, it only makes sense that this is who I am supposed to be in the moment. 

You are best known for your work in Cirque du Soleil.
Being a part of two Cirque du Soleil shows, traveling on tour with the company for six years, was a huge achievement for me as a dancer because it was something I had wanted since I could remember. It was the driving force behind my motivation as a young artist and it felt like reward to be able to perform on those stages. 

Did you make any mistakes in the beginning of your choreography career?
My brain always resorts to doing more to try and please audiences. It took me a good while in my artistic existence to honor stillness, breath, and simplicity. I was able to bring this learned aspect of dance into my choreography. The majority of audiences won’t understand the complexities and high-level skills it takes to perform advanced technical skills. They will be impressed by it, for sure. But choreography that is jam packed with stuff, inevitably, falls flat.

What inspired you to step up to the mic and sing? 
I joined the cast of Rock of Ages in Toronto and sang with artists from the music industry. Through discussions on techniques and skills, I began to embrace my identity as a singer.

How did you choose the sound for your own music?
My latest track, “Get Down,” was produced by Velvet Code with So Fierce Music Productions. The sound came from the energy we wanted the song to exude. We wanted this electric pop, rock sound that brought sexual energy that made people want to dance.

It’s a very catchy song!
I wanted to create something that people would hear just once and instantly feel connected to.  Anytime I play the first few beats of the song for anyone, I watch as they find fire in their eyes as that dark sexy energy takes over them.  It is exactly what we wanted!

The remixes are fire too.
I wanted “Get Down” to exist and thrive on all types of dance floors. We collaborated with some of the most amazing DJs working today including DJ Dan Slater, Ray Rhodes, Shimmy G and Virasco, Erick Ibiza and GSP.

What is it about high energy dance music that makes people forget their problems?
We feel good when we have a rush of energy through our body. Escaping to the dancefloor gives our bodies that treat of pleasure to rebalance ourselves and embrace energy that allows us to live lighter and happier.

If you could change one thing about yourself, Joey, what would it be?
Nothing! Me is pretty fucking awesome. 

On what occasion do you lie?
I’ll lie to save someone from getting hurt.

If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would you live?
I always have the fantasy of learning Japanese and moving to Japan.  

Can you tell us a little about your work with CANFAR and why it’s so important to you?
I recently become a national ambassador for The Canadian Foundation for Aids Research and I am planning to use my platform to share how art played a huge part in helping me process my diagnoses. I had a safe space to talk through my journey and to use my skills and passions to help me learn about what my mind, body and spirit are going through, while at the same time, I get to share with others and relate to their experiences as well. 

What is your message to someone who has been newly diagnosed?
HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence; it is a chronic condition. You get to keep being your sexy, charming self while spreading love, acceptance and awareness of HIV for everyone in your community. Everybody has moments that make them reevaluate their life. Most people don’t think about those things until later. It is a blessing to gain a beautiful perspective on the world around you. Life is full of opportunity that can all be yours.

What’s next for you?
I want “Get Down” to be spinning at every club all summer and for the next twenty years. I want to create more music with 10x the budget and I don’t want to have to pay for it myself!  Where are the rich sugar daddies who like art and sexy gay boys?   

Are you looking for someone to Get Down with this summer?I recently separated from my partner. It was difficult because I love him more than anything or anyone in the world, but we are at different stages in life and want different things. While I welcome as much romance, love, passion and connection into my life as I can, the only person I’m going to get down with this summer… is Joey.

Joey Arrigo’s “Get Down” and its remixes are available on Spotify, Apple Music and 
streaming platforms via So Fierce Music/The Orchard/Sony Music Entertainment.  Visit GetDownwithJoey.com.  Follow Joey Arrigo on Instagram @
getdownwithjoey.

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