Their names are Anthony Riggi and James Piros— but you can call them by what their fans scream: Riggi and Piros.
With well over 66 thousand followers on their “verified” Instagram, wrecked repeat buttons on SoundCloud, and a record deal with Armada Music—record label that is home to names like Hardwell and Armin van Buuren—DJ duo Riggi and Piros seem to be dropping beats and taking names wherever they go.
Riggi, one half of the musical pair, took the time to explain the journey that turned their last names into headlines.
Born and raised Jersey boys, the two grew up just shy of an hour north from Monmouth County in Clifton, where years trace back to their first encounter in first grade.
It all started where most premature friendships begin: At recess over a friendly game of basketball, when they were just “Anthony” and “James.”
What set this friendship apart from other elementary interactions was not only their instant connection, but also their passion for all things music at such a young age.
“Since I can remember, our whole lives revolved around music. We were, and still are, completely obsessed,” Riggi said. “We started to play instruments and joined the school band in elementary school.”
Continuing down memory lane, Riggi went on, “When we were 17, back in 2012, we started DJing and producing music together and clearly, named ourselves Riggi & Piros.”
A year later, after releasing a handful of free music on their SoundCloud, they got support and positive feedback from all the top DJ’s in the world such as Tiesto, Hardwell, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, and David Guetta, just to grace the surface.
In 2013, they caught attention from a talent management company called, “Buygore” Management, which ultimately led to their record deal with Armado.
“It all happened in a blink of an eye, but after we got signed, the stars aligned,” Riggi explained. “We began touring around the world, playing shows, gaining fans and credibility. That’s really when our lives changed pivotally.”
Riggi & Piros have collaborated with artists and household names such as Lil Jon, Waka Flocka, Deorro, Borgore, Borgeous, DJ Carnage; they have official remixes on iTunes for artists such as Tiesto, The Chainsmokers, and Steve Aoki to continue the name- dropping spree.
And speaking of big names, a memory Riggi will sometime catch himself replaying in his head occurred the night of the McGregor vs Mayweather fight, just a few months back.
“James and I were watching Connor McGregor’s after party footage on TV, just hanging out,” Riggi said. “We were so caught off guard when we heard a familiar sound; Connor walked into the party, jamming to our song ‘Keep Rockin’.”
Connor McGregor is “definitely the biggest inspiration” in Riggi’s life.
That moment would be in Riggi’s “top 2 most surreal moments,” where both events seem to tie for first.
Up to par with McGregor rockin’ to “Keep Rockin’” is when rapper, Lil Jon, contacted Riggi & Piros to collaborate talents and make a song together. “I grew up listening to Lil Jon all throughout my life,” Riggi let on. “Having a song with someone like him is still unbelievable to me.”
Most 22 year olds are preparing their cap and gowns for graduation, but success for these two looks less like a diploma and more like a turn table.
Ironically, Riggi’s mom was the one who encouraged him to pursue his passion for music, but they each had separate visions in mind.
“She was definitely all for it to be a side hobby. When my parents found out I wasn’t planning on going to college and doing music full time, they were not happy to say the least,” confessed Riggi.
“It was hard to convince them everything would be okay, since DJ- ing and making music isn’t the typical career choice. It was very risky to take this route but looking at the way things are going, I am so grateful.”
Commonly mistaken for a Monmouth student, Riggi proves us wrong; he has never attended college and is completely content with that.
“Whenever I’m not touring, I find myself at Monmouth because most of my hometown friends go to MU,” He said. “I’ve met so many amazing people here so it’s like my own version of a college experience and home at the same time.”
Frankie Mirabella, a senior business management student, pondered before he spoke about his close friend.
“Most of our memories aren’t, like, PG,” Frankie said while laughing.
After searching for his words to form into sentences, Frankie took a more serious tone.
“Their music gives off a really good vibe. As a musician myself, it’s great to have Riggi as a friend because we are able to listen to each other’s sounds and in turn, it helps influence our own music writing.”
Considering the substantial credentials and rising fame, Riggi remains humble and maintains a solid friend group.
Sydney Lasquinha, a senior psychology student, recalls the first time she realized her friend was famous.
“I met Riggi in the Bahamas during Monmouth’s spring break last year. He was handing out ‘Riggi & Piros’ stickers and I grabbed one not really reading into it,” Sydney said, laughing as she remembers her story. “Next thing I know, some kids run up to me, freaking out in awe, asking where I got my sticker.”
When Sydney answered “Riggi” to the strangers’ question, they laughed in disbelief.
“Turns out Riggi was famous!” Sydney concluded. “I knew he was good at music, but I never knew the extent of it. He barely talked about himself and never bragged.”
So what’s it like being called the next Chainsmokers? “We would definitely take that as a compliment,” Riggi said with a wide smile. “Those two guys make awesome music and are basically on top of the world right now.”
Riggi continued on to mention if someone compares them to the Chainsmokers, then they are definitely “on the right path.”
“Actually,” Riggi said, jogging his memory. “A few years back, The Chainsmokers asked us if we were down to work on a song together. We Skyped them and the first thing they told us is that they think we are the ‘Kings of Big Room house’ which is a type of dance music.”
It was the greatest compliment the duo has received, especially coming from the type of musicians they aspire to be.
At the end of the day, record deals and big names aside, the boys are simply thankful that they get to embark on this journey together.
Hearing from Riggi’s other half, Piros explained, “At first we were doing music separately and we thought, wait…why not combine our work together? And look, I guess it was a smart choice!”
Piros said he feels utterly “blessed” to be able to do what he loves for a living with his best friend; the feeling is evidently mutual on Riggi’s end.
If you didn’t catch the hint, basically, keep Riggi and Piros under your radar. Today, they may be house music’s hidden gem, but as for tomorrow, anything goes.
Last words of advice: Prepare yourself for Riggi and Piros world domination. These boys will be the silent assassins of the music charts.
In the meantime, download their music, learn the words, vibe with the beats, and follow them on social media for updates @RiggiandPiros. Your ears are welcome in advance.
IMAGES TAKEN from Riggi & Piros Instagram