Two decades ago this week, Roger Sanchez‘s “Another Chance” was well on its way to becoming the biggest hit of the New York house legend’s career.
Released in July of 2001, the song was swirl of disco strings, 4/4 beats, a wistful melody and lyrics (sampled from Toto’s 1983 hit “I Won’t Hold You Back”) that ruminated on what would happen if one was, simply, given another chance to love. Altogether, the track was dreamy, transportive, memorable and just a little bit melancholy. (A sweet, also sort of sad video from director Philippe Andre turned up the dial on this nostalgia even more. Check Sanchez’s cameo at the 1:22 minute mark.) In clubs, “Another Chance” worked early in the set, at peak time and at the afterhours. Two decades later, it functions just as well.
“Another Chance” didn’t actually reach the Billboard charts in the U.S. at the time — due to, Sanchez says, not getting a proper Stateside release. Across the Atlantic, however, the song was a smash, hitting No. 1 in the U.K. and Romania and becoming a top 10 hit throughout Europe. It’s since been streamed 35 million times, a highlight of Sanchez’s career, which has also included playing all of the world’s biggest and most influential dance festivals and winning a Grammy in 2003 for his remix of No Doubt’s “Hella Good.”
As part of the anniversary celebration, “Another Chance” has gotten a propulsive, toughened-up edit from Dutch house wunderkind Oliver Heldens, which is out today (Sept. 10) via Ministry of Sound. Here, Sanchez reflects on “Another Chance,” the best advice he’s ever gotten and why following his heart has served him well — see the conversation and listen to the new remix below.
1. Where are you in the world right now, and what’s the setting like?
I’m in London on my U.K. tour, and It’s going great! Events are firing and the vibe is very upbeat.
2. What is the first album or piece of music you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
Vinyl album, First Choice’s “Let No Man Put Asunder.”
3. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid, and what do they think of what you do for a living now?
My father was an engineer, and my mom worked at a watch factory. Both have been very supportive of my career, especially my father who told me in college that I should follow my heart regarding my career choices.
4. What was the first song you ever made?
5. If you had to recommend one album for someone looking to get into electronic music, what would you give them?
Massive Attack‘s Protection.
6. What’s the first non-gear thing you bought for yourself when you started making money as an artist?
I bought a very comfortable sofa for friends to hang out at my place.
7. What’s the first electronic music show that really blew your mind?
Kraftwerk live was amazing.
8. When you first released “Another Chance” did you know how special it was?
At first I didn’t realize the impact it would have until I started playing it out and getting a huge response every time. Then I thought, “This could really be something..”
9. Why do you think the song has endured the way it has?
I think it has an emotional quality that connects with people.
10. The video for the track is iconic, and still so sweet. What are your memories of that project being made, and of the first time you saw the finished product?
I remember shooting my scene at Centro-Fly in New York, and Philippe the director being very excited about the project. When I saw the finished video, I just knew he had nailed it.
11. “Another Chance” came out just two months before 9/11. Did that tragedy in any way affect the reception of the song, or the way audiences received it, or the way you thought about it at that time?
I didn’t really view the tragedy as a component to the development of the song at the time, but in retrospect, it may have provided a bittersweet way to cope with loss for some.
12. This song was a huge chart hit in the Europe. Why do you think it performed differently on the charts there than it did in the U.S.?
It didn’t have a proper release in the U.S. at the time, so the focus really was in the U.K. and Europe.
13. You could have chosen any producer to remix this song. Why was Oliver Heldens the right one?
I wanted a fresh set of ears to give a very different perspective for the remix, and I really like what Oliver does. I think he definitely rocked it on the remix.
14. What’s one thing you’d like your fans to know about you?
I enjoy playing and creating music for them as much today as I did when I started.
15. After decades of playing clubs, how do you still get yourself excited to play a set?
I still love the ability to connect to different audiences, so each set is brand new and exciting to me.
16. You’ve been in the scene for more than two decades. What are the biggest changes between the dance world when you were starting out and the dance world now?
The internet and the speed of communication is the biggest change. Things move much faster now.
17. Finish this sentence: the most exciting thing happening in dance music right now is ____?
Being able to go out and experience it live again.
18. What’s the best business decision you’ve ever made?
Following my heart and doing what I love.
19. Who was your greatest mentor, and what was the best advice they gave you?
My father has been my greatest mentor and literally encouraged me and gave me the freedom to follow my dreams by being supportive of my own decisions
20. One piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
You will have amazing moments and extremely difficult challenges ahead — learn from all of them and change nothing, for they will make you who you are and will become.