Via: Twisted Male Mag
When did you develop an interest in music beyond appreciating it as a listener?
When I was in my early 20’s after being a long time listener and piecing together mixtapes I kinda had a revelation. I was with a friend who was DJing an 80’s party and asked me to pick records with him before and during the gig. I ended up practically telling him what to play for every song. The crowd was dancing their asses off and I felt like I had a knack for it. So I started practicing to mix and blend.
Which artists and styles inspired and influenced you?
I gravitated toward house music around the late 90s and would listen to lots of DJ Dan, Bad Boy Bill, Armand Van Helden.
When did you begin to DJ?
I got a job as a barback when I moved to SF and asked if they needed a DJ by chance. They asked for a cd and ended up giving me Saturday nights. Started meeting promoters and other DJ’s and it just snowballed.
Do you have any great stories from when you were just starting out? Mistakes you made, gigs that went horribly awry, playing to the bartender and no one else?
Like most djs starting out I took almost any gig I could get just because I loved to play. There were obviously nights here and there that were pretty quiet but I’d still give 100% and just looked at those as practice. There was a gig I played opening for Eli Escobar who’s a huge influence of mine. My serato box crapped out mid track. We fixed it but it was the longest 60 seconds of my life and I turned beet red.
What kind of equipment did you use when you started?
First I started collecting and playing vinyl. Then I started using virtual DJ to get the feel and understand more about digital mixing. I then got into serato because you not only have to mix on your own, but you can really fine tune your mixing and get more creative. Not to mention the ease of traveling with just a laptop vs crates of CD’s.
Please describe the scene that you are involved in.
I play to lots of different scenes which I love because it lets me play different types of sets to different crowds. I play in cruisy leather bars where I can go very deep house with little to no vocals and heavy bass. Bigger room circuit parties, to daytime parties with pop seeking crowds. There I can still do house but definitely keep it lighter and use more vocals and familiar tracks.
Do you prefer to mix on a PC or a Mac?
I’ve used both but once you go Mac…
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
I listen to and look for new music all the time. I work for an online radio company so i’m surrounded by it and I often find myself going down rabbit holes digging for music. I play mostly on the weekends so come Friday I usually have a stash of new gems that I can’t wait to try out and listen to on the club speakers. Assuming they’re the right vibe for the particular parties that I’d be playing that weekend.
What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets? Is there a criteria other than pure subjectivity, for selecting what to play at a gig?
I play what I love but also read the crowd. If I see a good response to a certain song or sound I’ll stay in that realm. I still however dig playing things that might be new to people. Expose them to something unfamiliar that they may live for. Back in the days DJ’s were the only way audiences discovered new music. That may have changed but I like sticking to that idea.
What’s the best event you’ve played at/put on?
Juanita More’s Bootycall Wednesdays is always a good time. It’s a debauchery, sexy faces, and a break every rule sort of party. The kind of party that the DJ and the dancefloor serve eachother energy back and forth. Def one of my faves! Robin Malone Simmons who throws Odyssey is another one that comes to mind.
Out of all the tunes you have, which one ‘never fails?
Madison Avenue Don’t Call Me Baby is sure fire!
What’s you favourite tune of all time?
How could I possibly answer that?! Maybe Deeper and Deeper by Madonna. Not to mention the video!
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
When I’m not working sometimes I like to just have a chill night at home with my fiancee. Although I also love going out with friends when I’m not working to listen to other djs and get inspired. I love a reason to get dressed up.
So how is the scene in your eyes at the moment?
Constantly evolving. In San Francisco it’s thriving despite the sky rocketing rent increases that’s trying to force night life out. People will always find a way to dance and party.
Please recommend two DJs to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
Herve just put out a great track with Zebra Katz that’s become a staple in my sets lately.
J Paul Getto has been releasing track after track of greatness!