About Dennis Romero
Romero has been writing about dance music since 1991, when he started reporting his first stories on raves and techno culture, URB magazine, and ecstasy for the Los Angeles Times. He has subsequently written about the dance culture for The Philadelphia Inquirer, New Times Los Angeles, LA Weekly, BPM Magazine (where was news editor), and LA CityBeat, where he still pens "Groundswell," a column published every other week. He's been out front on artists and concepts, writing about Moby and The Prodigy in 1992; gritty after-hours parties and commercial mix-tapes in 1994, the superstar DJ phenomenon and drum 'n' bass in 1995; the Chemical Brothers, Jason Bentley and Organic 96 in 1996; The Crystal Method and London clubbing 1997; Sasha and John Digweed's progressive house phenomenon in 1999 (for the defunct L.A. New Times); the rise of trance and American super-clubs in 2000 (also for the NT); superstar VJs in 2002; Danger Mouse and the year of the mash-up in 2004; and British rapper Lady Sovereign in 2005.
As a journalist, he started young, freelancing for the Los Angeles Times' now defunct Westside section in 1989, and even writing for community newspapers as far back as 1986, when he was a high school junior. At UCLA, he was The New York Times' "campus correspondent." In 1992, a college internship at the Los Angeles Times turned into regular freelance duties, and Romero was tapped to participate in the Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Los Angeles riots. He was hired as a staff writer at the Times a few years later, at the age of 24, and was soon promoted to an elite committee of "senior journalists." After leaving the Times in 1998, he went on to work for the weekly New Times L.A., and soon became managing editor of grooveradio.com. When the dot-com money ran out, he moved to City News Service, covering the Los Angeles Police Department from its Parker Center headquarters building. For nearly three years he wrote breaking news for the wire's television clients. In 2003 he was hired as "senior writer" at LA CityBeat, a new alternative weekly with a circulation of 110,000. He helped the paper establish an annual "e-music issue" that endures to this day. In 2005 he was offered a job at Ciudad magazine, an English-language glossy from the people behind Los Angeles Magazine, Texas Monthly and Power 106 FM. Last year he won New America Media's highest honor, topping the investigative/in-depth category during its first annual Ethnic Media Awards in Washington, D.C. Ciudad closed in June, 2008. Romero now works behind the scenes at KTLA News in Los Angeles.
Romero grew up in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. His father, Fernando Romero, is a former musician. Fernando Romero was also the Mexico correspondent for the San Diego Tribune and later worked for the Los Angeles Times as a section managing editor. Dennis Romero's mother owned a business on the coast, and he grew up surfing the area shores of Pacific Beach and La Jolla. He also DJ'd as a teen-ager, soaking up everything from new wave to hip-hop and true electro. His first 12-inch records inlcude Art of Noise's "Close to the Edit" and Inner City's "Big Fun" (complete with a sticker on the outside wrapping that proclaims, "Detroit Techno!"). He still has a (bad) mix-tape he made circa 1986. Danceblogga is a way for him to stay connected to the dance scene and to get ideas for his dance-music reporting.
Browse some of Romero's favorite non-dance journalism:
- Anti-illegal-immigrant Latinos, 2006
- Downtown's transformation, 2004
- The intractable Skid Row, 2004 (Note that this shares a notion of neglect with Steve Lopez's noted Skid Row columns in the Los Angeles Times, which this predates. Lopez's work has resulted in a police crackdown.)
- Sampling outlawed, 2004
- Porn's foreign-relations problem, 2004
- Kelly Slater, 2003
- Westside gangsters, 2003
- Import street scene, 1997 (This piece was later mimicked by a Vibe magazine article that became the optioned basis for The Fast and the Furious.)
- A surfing legend, 1994