Where’d you get your nails done?
Kleur Nails, out of LA.
So you’re from L.A., and you’re a DJ.
What’s your favorite thing about living in LA?
I can go to the beach, I can go to the mall, I can go skiing, hiking, all in a matter of two hours.
What are you doing in New York?
Working. Here for a gig, DJ-ing. I travel a lot.
What made you become a DJ?
Love for music. I have a massive music collection, I used to work at a record store. My grandparents own a record store. I think it’s just in my DNA.
In order to prepare for an event, do you plan ahead of time or do you get there and improvise? Or both?
Both. There’s a lot of pre-planning. There’s never a time when a DJ’s not planning. If you’re a real DJ, you’re always working on your set, reorganizing playlists, deleting songs that you realize don’t work, adding new material. I have 10,000 songs in my laptop, and then another 90,000 in my computer at home. I like to improvise as well. You can’t do it all off of a playlist–it feels too restrictive.
How do you read the crowd?
Telltale signs if people are enjoying themselves are: the dance floor is packed, hands are in the air, people are screaming and signifying and hooting and hollering. And you know, of course, if you’re having a rough one and trying to figure what will get them dancing–people usually clear the dance floor–you try and mix it up, try a different genre.
Is it a super-stressful job, or is it primarily enjoyable?
If you don’t know what you’re doing it can be stressful. I’m not going to lie: When I first started I had no idea [what I was doing]. I was a bit of a closet DJ at first, so I had a little bit more experience than some of my peers. It’s got its perks, and it’s got its moments of total disaster, especially if you have technical difficulties. There are definitely elements that you can’t control.
What’s the soundtrack of your life right now?
That’s always the ultimate question. Danceable electronica is always on rotation, so Subtract, Little Dragon. I like disco and new disco, Ten Sync. Toro Y Moi is cool. Beach House–they’re awesome. I listen to a lot of old-school hip hop too, that never really gets old. Reggae. And world music. I have a huge collection of world music at home. And jazz: Dinah, Billie, Ella–they’ve all been on replay recently.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading A Renegade History of the United States, which is a history lesson from the gutter up. It talks a lot about brothels, how ruthless Americans were before the American Revolution, how we were fornicating in the streets, and how there was a bar per person in New York City. It’s kind of gluttonous.
Why do you like it?
I love history. There’s something fascinating about history that you can’t find in any movie or any fiction book.
I’m also reading this book Shantaram–it’s such a good book. It just takes your imagination to places you couldn’t really imagine it going. It gives you such a great appreciation for India. I could go there just based on reading this book. I already had a fascination for India, but this book totally solidified it. It’s on my bucket list. I’m going to go to India.
If you had a life philosophy, what would it be?
Currently, it’s go at your own pace.
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