Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Weekend: Don't Celebrate the End of Summer

Celebrate the BEGINNING of Fall. Not sure why everyone is all 'bummed out' about summer ending when the best time of the year is Autumn (Especially in NYC). We got so much to look forward to:

- The colors of Autumn are just beautiful
- The aroma of home cooked meals are better.
- Halloween: best Holiday ever!!!
- central park: nuff said
- Love feels espcially good this time of year.
- Fall Clothes. Fall Fashion.
- The air is crisp and fresh.
- Hot lattes, taste better than Iced ones, and hot chocolate is much yummier than milk chocolate.

With that said, I'm spinning all weekend to Celebrate the Beginning of Fall!


Sunday Sept 4th: World Famous Copacabana 9pm-11pm
Monday Sept 5th:BBQ at Beekman Beach Club 4pm
Tuesday Sept 6th Skyroom Times Square 7pm-2am


Sunday, August 21, 2011

8 Reasons Why I Love Adele


I know I'm not special for this and I also know it may seem that I'm a little late to the party, but I have become a little more careful and selective with the artists that I choose to praise on this blog. There are several qualities I seek in an artist to determine their "greatness". As of late, Adele has truly encompassed and superseded all of these characteristics.


8: The song "First Love". Ok , we get it: Adele has had her heart broken and she has written a lot of music that reflects her inner torment. Truth be told, I'm not really into "downer" music. The idea that an artist can only be great if they suffer is (in my opinion) BS. So, with that said I do realize that Adele does write about her pain a lot but in midst of all of this, she still has a sweet tooth for happy moments. "First love" demonstrates her range. It's almost as if she puts her emotions on a diet and delivers a super sweet and light song about love. It's a refreshing piece of sunshine in midst of her dark and deep debut album.

7: I am going to collect a lot of cash as I have started to bet that Adele will be taking home at least 5 grammys in February.

6. She is beautiful....but really.... she is. Of course she is a little "thick" but it drives me crazy when people claim one of the reasons they love adele is bc she became successful even though she is considered "fat" and "unattractive". What kind of person can love and admire someone for that? She is beautiful. Clearly we all see and feel something very special about her so let's just leave it at that people.

5. Of course any artists that can create a masterpiece as great as 19 at the age of 19 gets some serious 'kudos'.

4. Her Voice (Nuff Said)

3. She considers the Spice Girls to be a huge influence over her career. C'mon how many credible artists today would be able to admit to something like that!!!

2. Singer, Songwriter, Musician Producer: Even though we do tend to take these credits for granted, we shouldn't.

1. The song "Rolling in the Deep" . She is an artist that is known for her solemn ballads and has successfully managed to write a flawless club anthem. "Rolling in the Deep" is rich with soul, vibrance and over all "umph"! She gets the people passionately moving on the dance floor. I am a DJ so of course that is my #1 reason for loving Adele.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trust

Trust can be a delicate subject and everybody has their own interpretation of trust. I was always raised to believe that trust (much like respect)can only be earned. Trust cant be given, demanded or taken. With that said I spend almost every gig earning the trust of the crowd. I need for them to trust my expertise, to trust that I am there FOR them and that I know what I’m doing and how I’m going to do it but half of the time, I don’t have a clue. I don’t know if I will get them dancing and I don’t know if I will bring good energy into their night. All I do know is that I can because most of the time I want to and that is kind of all that matters.

Every now and then I might come across a group or crowd that just won’t give me a chance. I could play all the 'right' songs in the 'right' way, but something just wont let them surrender their hang ups for just one night. Maybe I started the set in the wrong way and even though I tried to change it as fast as I could, they just won’t get over the fact that I even thought of playing a 'color me badd' song. Or maybe it was the kind of hip-hop I played at one point, (too aggressive) or it could of just been that I was too inaccessible with those rare grooves and lounge tracks. It is possible that I may spend the rest of the gig just trying as hard as I can, and I may never really have their trust and faith in me as a DJ. But when I leave and go home for the night, I know that I did the best that I could. No matter what, I still put in the effort and I never stopped trying until the very last song. Some may say that those nights are just failures, but in truth I believe those nights make me stronger and make me a better DJ.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Opener

On Saturday night I had a gig at one of my favorite venues in New York City, the Empire Hotel Rooftop. My gig was from 9-11pm and my set was followed by DJ RYO (who is someone I know and respect a lot). As the opening DJ, I have the responsibility of creating a good vibe but at the same time it is important to NOT 'upstage' the DJ that comes on afterwards. It is really rude and really poor DJ etiquette to 'rock' all of the current hits and club bangers before another DJ gets on during prime time club hours. On a Saturday night, at a "mainstream" venue, anything top 40 is just an easy 'cop out'. Anyone can play the hits back to back and get all the love and attention for it but most DJs actually consider it to be very tacky.

People seem to have this idea that being great is the same as being 'the best'. But greatness is also really about checking our egos at the door and doing what is best for the moment. People who are truly successful have the ability to see beyond themselves, the ability to see the entire picture. In my opinion, the opening set (when done right) is actually a lot more challenging than the headlining set. The ability to engage the crowd with out monopolizing the energy in the room requires a great deal of skill and grace. Every DJ has and will open for another DJ but only the best will actually take the time to not get caught up on who IS the best.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jay Did it Again

If somebody told me ten years ago that Jay-Z would become one of my favorite artists of all time, I would of scoffed. I did appreciate his music in the early 2000s but there was no way for me to possibly anticipate the way in which I have fallen in love with him and his music over the past decade.

I did have the opportunity to meet Mr. Shawn Carter a few times, all of these experiences were exceptionally pleasant. Being a genuinely good and respectful individual is apart of the overall criteria when I choose my favorite musicians and artists. I do believe that Jay-Z has changed and evolved a great deal since he started in the business and it seems he has grown a lot. With that said, it was in the early 2000s that I noticed he was starting to take a great deal of social responsibility with his work. Most notably would be his collaboration with Punjabi MC in 03. ("Love Kills War When Will They Learn!"). At a time when people of South East Asian or Arabic descent were becoming victims of discrimination and social profiling, Jay-Z made a bold and powerful (yet slightly subconscious) political statement by collaborating with an artist like Punjabi MC. His collaboration with Linkin Park had a similar effect in the sense that it helped our impressionable youth to explore music beyond their "social boundaries". Both of these musical partnerships were very risky yet they were tremendously successful which is all apart of the formula that makes Jay-Z such a remarkable artist.

The most important aspect in determining my favorite artists would obviously be the quality of music and performance. Jay-z's unplugged concert featuring the roots was another risky venture. But the broadcast successfully shed light on the importance of musicianship and instrumentation in creating a strong musical experience. This emphasis on live music and musicians is unfortunately not as common within hip-hop music as it should be. Jay-z's most recent solo album The Blue Print III featured all original material performed and recorded with musicians.

Now all of the above was actually enough to consider Jay-Z as one of my favorite artists of all time. But his recent collab with Kanye and their homage to Otis Redding simply sealed the deal! The song "Otis" is like a serving of a perfect appetizer that literally has me drooling for more. I honestly believe it is the only Good record that is out now. I have been tempted to play it more than once in my set and that's pretty serious since I have a big rule about never repeating a record. What can I say! I love Jay-Z and I love the song "Otis"! Yes, I know all Jay and Kanye do is talk a lot of sh-- in this track, but right now for some reason it just really hits the spot!