“The duo of "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez are the preeminent production/remix team in house music, their nom de plume Masters at Work standing behind dozens of the biggest club hits and remixes of their time. Effectively soundtracking the American nightclub scene of the 1990s, Vega and Gonzalez blended their love of the disparate music coming from New York's underground clubs during the 1980s -- disco, the freewheeling garage scene, emerging house and hip-hop styles, Latin freestyle -- to enormously influence the mainstream dance sound as it coalesced during the following decade. Besides their productions, remixes, and appearances as Masters at Work, Vega and/or Gonzalez are also involved in a good dozen other projects (including Nuyorican Soul, KenLou, the Bucketheads, and the Untouchables), many of which appear on the duo's own MAW Records label.
Both Vega and Gonzalez were born to parents living in New York (the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively), though of Puerto Rican heritage. Consequently, both were early influenced by the Big Apple's fertile salsa scene during the '70s. (Vega's uncle is the renowned salsa vocalist Hector Lavoe, and his father played saxophone in Latin groups for over 30 years, while Gonzalez's father, Hector Torres, is also a salsa expert.) During the early '80s, both were noted DJs around New York, though Vega immersed himself in house and freestyle while Gonzalez entered the rap scene. (The separate interests came in handy later, as dance fan Vega concentrated on songwriting and groove-making while hip-hop head Gonzalez programmed beats and samples.) The pair also worked separately as producers, and Vega had already made a name for himself working on dozens of freestyle tracks and remixes by Nice & Smooth, Information Society, and India. Gonzalez, working as a mobile DJ with a team calling themselves the Masters at Work, founded his own Dope Wax Records and worked on production for all of the major New York dance labels: Strictly Rhythm, Nervous, Cutting, and Big Beat. In 1987, he loaned out the name Masters at Work to Todd Terry for the 1987 single "Alright Alright" (a huge club hit), then Terry returned the favor one year later by introducing him to Vega.
Grammy Award Winner Louie Vega and four collective Grammy nominations with other awards including the most recent Pioneer Award at the 2017 International Music Summit (IMS) Ibiza, have further acknowledged their quality productions. The award was presented by the renowned radio host and DJ Pete Tong of the BBC, who notably stated the industry is currently going through an “MAW revival” in his featured presentation. With such a rich history of productions, remixes and sold out shows and multiple awards, these accolades only further fan the fire of this production duo, who show no signs of slowing down.