Agent 21 Spotlight: Put My Record On – Part 1

25 Apr

steveaokiMusic is an art and the artist is the DJ. Each DJ interprets music and makes it their own. In Las Vegas, resident DJs make the nightlife. They read the crowd, play their sound and keep the party going all night long. Did you know there are over 100 resident DJs in Las Vegas? How do you know what sound each one brings? How do you know where they play? How do you know they’re good? Well… I am here to help you with that. I am letting you know their sound, background, small insight of who they are, and where to experience them.

Over the course of the next five days, I am featuring 43 Las Vegas resident DJs leading up to my event at The Bank Nightclub, this Friday, April 29 with DJ Karma. Details of the event will be included daily along with a teaser of which DJs will be featured the next day. I am extremely grateful to each DJ that took the time to be a part my feature and am proud to present this spotlight to you.

Today’s DJ line-up: Steve Aoki, E-Man, Freddy B, Girl 6, Mighty Mi, Jace One, Finesse, and Karma. 

Steve Aoki
XS and Surrender Nightclub
steveaoki.com
www.twitter.com/steveaoki
www.facebook.com/djaoki

A21: Hometown:
SA: Born in Miami, grew up in Newport Beach, went to school in Santa Barabara, now in Los Angeles.

A21: Describe your sound. 
SA: Produced dance music. My album is very different than what I have out now, “Turbulence,” “Wake Up Call,” Travis Barker for his album Mystic, new noise remix, warped, all very aggressive dance music, edgy dance music. My new album, coming out is more song based, writing with singers and vocalists and structure differently than dance. It’s structured around the typical song, different take to my production also diverse where I am at as a producer.

A21: Who were your influences? 
SA: I was more of a rock guy. My roots are core punk music. My influences are punk bands, Minor Threat, Ozzy, Born Against… I was in punk bands myself. I’ve been in a studio recording live music since I was 16. I have been involved in production for over 15 years.

A21: Is there any specific you would like to work with? 
SA: Yeah, there are tons of people of I would love to do music with. You know, across the board all different singers and songwriters. In my album I have Kid Cudi, Travis Barker, will.i.am, Black Starr, Wynter Gordon, Chiddy Bang, RedFoo from LMFAO, a bunch of different artists.

A21: What was your first gig?
SA: In 2002, I DJ’ed at a club called Three Clubs in Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd and Vine. My friend was a bartender and told me “come in and DJ Steve cause I know you have a crazy record collection.” Which I do have a huge of collection of punk and hard core records. So I went in with my records and he taught me how to spin records in three minutes. It wasn’t beat matching, it was like, “okay, left turn table, put the need down, press play.” When the song ends, push the fader over, press the button, and the needle starts there.

I was a radio DJ so I had a record player. So for me to play with two record players back then was like amazing. I had record players not turn tables, I didn’t know what to call them. I was playing punk records in a bar to a bunch of people sitting down drinking beer, they were just confused.

A21: You have a double bachelor’s in Women’s Studies and Sociology, why those majors?
SA: I’m not to say that I’m not that frame of mind now a day because it’s still a part of me. In college, I was very radical and politified about taking action from the education of what I was learning. Either through rallies, students protest, or bands, I was always in very political bands, vocal and senior of the bands. Honestly, women’s studies department was the most radical department in school. My fourth year I wasn’t hanging out with students, I was hanging out with the teachers, graduate and more politically active students.
I took school very seriously. I actually got accepted to two PhD programs after I graduated, but I didn’t take that route. I was in school, my goals were to stay in school, become a professor and write books that influence people and do research. I still have lot sympathy towards the movement.

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing? 
SA: Back in 2002 is when I got my PhD acceptance and had to make a decision that was going to change the rest of my life. Either stay in school, or take the other route because once I started in this world there was no turning back, so mind as well dive in deep.

I was also heavily involved in my label. I started developing my label in ’96. I was already 6 years in with the label and put out records that did really well. I was in bands, I was doing music. That music world I was involved in was a non-money making decision. There was no money-making in the career decision I decided to jump into. But also with academics there is no money, professors make shit. It’s really two different decisions that were acts of love. I didn’t think I would make any money in either one.

But my drive, my passion, made me stick with my label. And the new artist I signed at the time, The Kills from England were amazing duo rock group. I wasn’t a DJ then or know what a DJ was or DJ names. I was a rock guy. In 2002, we put out The Kills, 2003, I signed Bloc Party from England, 2005, did a deal with Vice Atlantic and sold 350,000 albums. Now 2011, we have over 200 records on the label, full time employees, involved as a business through many genres. The last four years been putting out mainly dance music, bloody deep roots, master crafts and artists in that caliber, my own productions, but still put out rock and hip hop and other kinds of left of field music.

A21: Favorite Spot to Spin? 
SA: One spot would be America because it’s my own home field, but other than that Asia and Australia. I love Australia; my fan base there is really amazing. In Asia, my fans there are amazing but Asia is like Europe, where you fly a couple of hours and you are different country, language and culture and as an artist it’s amazing to see.

A21: Favorite Spot to party in Vegas? 
SA: I’m going to have to say Surrender and XS; those are my resident DJ spots. I just signed a deal with XS and my first gig was amazing. The whole crowd was up for it. The XS crew gave the Dim Mak experience for Vegas apparent -Dim Mak Mondays floatable baseball bats, t-shirts and hats, crushing on the promo.

Surrender is awesome. I love the crew there to death. Sean Christie, Shecky Green, Wayne Crane, Pauly, they are all my homies. I love them. It would be hard for me to leave because of them. I love the club. I am involved in developing that club and music; directing since day one. We have an amazing line-up of DJs in the club. It’s great to see a nightclub take a risk as to take me on for Vegas. I’m not a commercial house DJ. I’m not going to play the hits and the big records that everyone hears. I’m going to do my thing, but they hired me and signed me on because they saw something special in that. I always thought it was a risk. They took a risk on me and it worked. You bet on the weird looking horse and pray and if its win, you win a lot of money.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
SA: Um… five years where I see myself is where I will not be. Every time I’ve imagined myself in a position I have imagined five years before, I’m a different completely place. So I just stop thinking that.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
SA: Always just be you. Be you and the best you can be. Don’t try to be other people and have fun. That’s it. Be yourself and have fun.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
SA: Most of my music is on iTunes and Beatport. I have a radio series on XM on the Electric Area (channel 80) every Saturday at 9 p.m. You can hear new mixes there and my music. I’m always updating my Facebook Fan Page with new songs, video, and when I change my socks. (On Twitter) I do a lot of college updates so I will try to get to the city early enough (when touring). I’ll get to the college campus and I’ll do live tweeting on the campus like, “Yo, at noon I’ll be at the campus bell tower and bunch of kids will show up.” Then tweet “1:00 me and 25 kids are going be in the science lab” and we ambush the lab. It’s a great time.

A21: I really enjoyed interviewing and talking with Steve. His character is completely genuine, respectful, and very intelligent. If you have not been able to see one of his sets, I recommend experiencing it for yourself. 

DJ E-Man
Jet and Haze Nightclub
www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-E-man/15763838027
www.twitter.com/djeman

A21: The name your parents gave you?
E-MAN: Emmanuel Coquia

A21: Hometown:
E-MAN: Born in Annapolis, Maryland, but raised in Long Beach, California.

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
E-MAN: DJ E-Man is the first part of my real name. Actually my high school teacher called me E-Man first and I ran with it.

A21: Describe your sound.
E-MAN: I consider myself a “Party DJ.” In other words, an “open-format” DJ, I play it all.

A21: Who are your influences?
E-MAN: My DJ friends growing up, DJ Curse, Melo-D, Icy Ice, Julio G and Tony G.
Who would like to work with? I’d like to rock a club one day with Dr. Dre, but him as a DJ. He has been a DJ before as well.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
E-MAN: I started when I was 13 years old so it’s been a while.

A21: What was your first gig?
E-MAN: I remember it well. When I was 15 years old, I did my first ever mobile gig at a wedding. My dad helped me drive, set up and even helped me with music selection, love him for that.

A21:  If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
E-MAN: Definitely running an airport or airline, I went to school for that.

A21:  Favorite spot to spin at?
E-MAN: More like favorite country to spin at, Japan! They embrace and respect the DJ there. They amaze me by singing all the lyrics to the songs I play and many of them don’t even speak or understand English. Music is definitely the universal language.

A21:  Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
E-MAN:  Besides my hotel room, Haze at Aria and The Bank @ Bellagio.

A21:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
E-MAN: Either programming a radio station or managing artists.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
E-MAN: Very simply… practice and know your records. Meaning, know your music and the parts of each song. Take what you learn and make it your own.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
E-MAN: They can check me out at these various websites: www.worldofeman.com, www.power106.com, www.radiobigboy.com, www.unrivaleddjs.com.

DJ Freddy B
First Food & Bar, Encore Beach Club, Blue Martini
www.facebook.com/theoriginalfreddyb
www.theoriginalfreddyb.com/
www.twitter.com/_freddyb
www.myspace.com/theoriginalfreddyb
www.esnips.com/user/freddyb

A21: The name your parents gave you?
FB: Fred William Burau IV

A21: Hometown:
FB: Massillon, Ohio

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
FB: People just started calling me Freddy B, I can’t remember who, but it stuck!

A21: Describe your sound.
FB: I sound like me. I try to stay away from norms which can be challenging. I am constantly evolving.

A21: Who are your influences?
FB: My parents brought me up on the most diverse collection of music, and experiences. I am very grateful for that!

A21: Who would you like to work with?
FB: Many names come to mind, but I would truly enjoy going bonkers with Aoki.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
FB: I had to stop and count on my fingers. Eight years and I can’t believe 8 years have passed this fast!

A21: What was your first gig?
FB: In Ohio, Curve Nightclub, in Vegas it was a MyCitySocial.com event.

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
FB: Living on a beach running a snack shack and enjoying simplicity with good friends and family.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
FB: I enjoy everywhere I go, but there will never be an experience quite like my residency at 7 Martini in Ohio.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
FB: I think I partied the hardest at Prive when it was open.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
FB: Using my notoriety for something good in the world, and of course, continuing the craft.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
FB:  Learn music, learn how it’s built. Be creative. Be yourself.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
FB: I try to keep my website, TheOriginalFreddyB.com, as up to date as possible. I occasionally post sets or mixes, but nothing for sale yet.

DJ Girl 6
Voodoo Lounge, Studio 54, Luxor Pool 
www.twitter.com/djgirl6
www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-GIRL-6/26506873996
www.facebook.com/djgirl6
http://www.vimeo.com/20189874

A21: The name you parents gave you?
G6: It is a well-kept secret and no other Vegas publication has it – no joke, ALEXIS blah!

A21: Hometown:
G6: Seattle, WA

A21: How did you choose your DJ Name?
G6: In Spike Lee’s movie, Girl 6, the lead character (a phone sex operator) used a number instead of her name to remain anonymous. I, on the other hand, am far from anonymous, adopting the moniker because the movie reminded me of the harsh realities behind going “all in” to pursue your dreams.

In the beginning of the movie Quentin Tarantino solicits Girl 6 to remove her blouse while auditioning for a role in dramatic film. Identifying with the piercing blade that divides sexuality from industry, I chose the name as a reminder of the struggle many women endure to be seen and heard in their chosen field; namely me.

A21: Describe your sound.
G6: Like a happy heart attack. Hard bass warms your chest from inside and works its way down through your limbs making your fingers and toes tingle. Yeah baby! (Heehee) I’m into sounds more than songs. What I play can also be affected by who is in the room. I’m not so bull headed that I will plow through a set of house with a bunch of hipsters in the room. When I have my way, I play a lot of house, electro, and tribal beats. I have my self-indulgent 90’s new wave days too full of ABC, the Cure and Depeche Mode too (shhhh).

A21: Who are your influences?
G6: Princess Superstar, Larry Tee, Aoki, Fashen, Q-Bert

A21: Who would you like to work with?
G6: DJ Enferno. Just started, three weeks into it! I’m doing some video remixes for him and some visuals. We have a “master plan” in the works too, but its top secret.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
G6: About 10 years.

A21: What was your first gig?
G6: It was a New Year’s Eve show at the Rainier Community Center in Seattle (like a Boys and Girls Club). It felt like I was half babysitting and half DJing.

A21: If you weren’t a DJ what would you be doing?
G6: I’d be an attorney. I was in HighQ, MathAthletes, KnowledgeBowl and Debate. I actually graduated from law school and passed the bar. To me it was like sports. I have always been very competitive and practicing law brought out the gamer in me. I always thought it was fun.

A21: Favorite place to spin?
G6: Womb in Tokyo, it’s a superclub with an excellent sound system and attracts an open minded crowd. They don’t need the same twenty songs they hear on the radio. They are down for the journey.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Vegas?
G6: Wow, that’s a tie. My friends work at XS and they are BOMB ass DJs so that makes it a good time. Also, the outdoor pool at XS brings an unparalleled experience. Yes, I do get into the pool – I have no inhibitions about it. The first time I met DJ Warren Peace, I forgot my bikini bottoms and had to walk out in a thong and bikini top… memories). My other two favorite DJs there are DJ Pizzo and DJ Fabian. They never fail to impress me.

XS is in a tie with Marquee’s main room only. The sound system and theatre style seating makes for an excellent overall experience. The LED wall, choreography of the screens and dancers are also sincerely impressive. The DJ lineups on weekends are impressive as well. See the theme? I’m becoming a house head (LOL).

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
G6: I just finished the first ever DJ memoir and am working out some publishing arrangements. In the next five years, I hope to be touring with the book and possibly turning it into a movie or TV series. No more reality TV for me.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
G6: Hard work always pays off. Study http://www.theburningbible.com. Know the rules or don’t play.

A21: Where can people download or buy your music?
G6: To download my videos go to Crooklynclan.net or more specifically: http://www.crooklynclan.net/cart/videos.php?_a=viewCat&catId=105.

DJ Mighty MI 
Surrender and Encore Beach Club
Facebook
www.twitter.com/djmightymi 
soundcloud.com/djmightymi

A21: The name your parents gave you?
MM: Milo Jason Berger

A21: Hometown:
MM: Philadelphia, PA

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
MM: In the 80’s, you chose your name by choosing an adjective that went with your first name….thus Mighty Mi.

A21: Describe your sound.
MM: 80% uptempo and 20% hip hop.

A21: Who are your influences?
MM: NYC DJs from the 90’s: DJ Clark Kent, Stretch Armstrong, DJ Jules

A21:Who would like to work with?
MM: Amy Whinehouse, Adele, Ice Cube, LMFAO, Steven Colbert

A21: How long have you been spinning?
MM: 20 Years

A21: What was your first gig?
MM: A classmates’ “Sweet 16.”

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
MM: Helping animals.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
MM: Surrender/Encore Beach Club/Sirius BPM

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
MM: The Wynn

A21:Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MM: Hopefully married with kids.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
MM: Don’t burn bridges, create a flow to your sets, and have good taste in remixes/mash ups.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
MM: http://soundcloud.com/djmightymi

DJ Jace One
Surrender, Blush Boutique Nightclub, Encore Beach Club 
www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-JACE-ONE/106265372749485
djjaceone.com
twitter.com/djjaceone

A21: The name your parents gave you?
JO: Jason

A21: Hometown:
JO: Long Beach, California

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
JO: Friends have always called me Jace growing up as a kid- I used to go by Dj Jace in my early dj days. There were always dj crews around the city, but I always flew solo. I added the “One” and here I am!

A21: Describe your sound.
JO: Open format, energetic dj sets with a little bit of scratching! I grew up listening to Hip Hop, Funk, and Reggae. I ventured into the Dance scene in the early 90’s, and over the years I started realizing I can combine all of my favorite sounds. Limit the rules, keep sets fresh, and pack the dance-floor.

A21: Who are your influences?
JO: I was fortunate to grow up in a city that bred the best DJs in the world. The B-boy scene was a huge movement in the early 80’s, and djing was an art form that stood out for me. The Hip-Hop movement influenced me the most with movies like “Breakin”, and “Beat Street”. Most influential DJ’s included Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster DST, Joe Cooley, as well as Dj Curse and J-Rocc of the World Famous Beat Junkies.

A21: Who would you like to work with?
JO: Bob Marley. He still lives!

A21: How long have you been spinning?
JO: Whew. Since 1995. Haven’t looked back since.

A21: What was your first gig?
JO: First gig was in Long Beach at a club called “Live Bait”. It was a Punk Rock/Hard Core Rock venue- with a sign on the front that said “No Rap Allowed”. Hahaha! They were a struggling venue, and they wanted a filler event on a Tuesday night since it was so dead. We called it Cabana Tuesdays- a Hip Hop/Reggae weekly event that lasted 5 years. We later turned that night into the one of the most influential clubs in Los Angeles. Check the stats!

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
JO: Teaching martial arts. I have a passion for teaching. I have been practicing martial arts including Muay Thai, and Jiu Jitsu for many years.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
JO: Surrender Nightclub inside Encore Hotel hands down!

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
JO: I don’t party much. I would have to say the best party is in my house, “Club Bed” featuring “DJ Pillow.”

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
JO: Djing. Djing. Djing.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
JO: LOVE the music that you play- djing isn’t about the paycheck. Treat every set like a painting- be precise, and have each piece represent you.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
JO: www.djjaceone.com

DJ Finesse
Koi Ultra Lounge, and Hot 97.5FM
Djfinesse702@gmail.com
www.twitter.com/djfinesse702

A21: The name your parents gave you?
F: David Ruffin

A21: Hometown:
F: Hampton, Virginia

A21:  How did you choose your DJ name?
F: It was given to me while playing high school basketball. My teammates gave it to me because they said my style of play was unique and that I had “Finesse”.

A21: Describe your sound.
F: I’m a DJ who loves all sounds and music, therefor when I perform I try to mix a vast majority of different kinds of beats. From old school rock all the way to new era house and hip house.

A21: Who are your influences?
F: Funkmaster Flex, Kid Capri, & Warren Peace (my mentor)

A21: Who would like to work with?
F: Will.i.am, I feel that the guy is musically inclined and is able to bridge djing and producing so well its inspiring to me to someday be a producer as well as a DJ.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
F: Since 1991

A21: What was your first gig?
F: First paid nightclub was club RA inside the Luxor

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing?
F: I would have most likely gone to a barber school and got my license to cut hair and eventually opened up my own barbershop.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
F: Probably Prive and the spot I’d like to spin at would be Tao

A21:  Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
F: Tryst, because the type and style of music the DJ’s play.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
F: I see myself as being a successful DJ and being called a resident DJ at a high volume nightclub. As well as starting my own DJ management group and opening up my own barbershop.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
F: Learn your craft and know your business behind it because promoters will take advantage of you.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
F: Either at www.kvegas.com, www.djmixzone.com, www.soundcloud.com/djfinesse, or http://twitter.com/djfinesse702.

DJ Karma
Bank, Haze, Bare and Liquid Pool
www.twitter.com/djkarmaLV 

A21: Hometown:
K: Born and raised in Las Vegas.

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
K: It’s been my nickname since I was 14 years old, just something I’ve always believed in and lived by.

A21:Describe your sound.
K: High energy, a blend of hip hop and house styles with scratching, effects, and mc work to maximize crowd response. Always been humble in that I play what the people want to hear, not what I want to hear.

A21: Who are your influences?
K: DJ David Christian, DJ Riz. DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Q-Bert, DJ AM

A21:Who would like to work with?
K: I’ve pretty much have opened for or worked with every DJ out there, except for the best of all time, DJ AM. Wish I could go back in time and work with him.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
K: 16 years, ever since I was 15.

A21:What was your first gig?
K: Lots of house parties and raves, before there was clubs in Las Vegas.

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
K: Producing music full time. I’m also a singer/songwriter…so I’d be concentrating full time on my guitar and drum playing, singing, and recording.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
K: Haze nightclub, my Thursday night residency. The booth and sound system are the best I’ve ever been around.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
K: I have the most fun when I’m the DJ, so any night I’m spinning at The Bank or Haze. It’s hard for me to be at a club and not want to DJ.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
K: I’d say I have another 5-7 years djing in clubs, then I will be moving on to full time music production. Don’t wanna be a 40 year old DJ in the club.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
K: Train your ears. Don’t rely on the advancments in DJ technology such as Serato. This has created probably 100,000 DJs worldwide, but to really stand out you need to have a broad musical knowledge and an ear for music. Computers can only take you so far.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
K: Send me a message on twitter at @DjKarmaLV or facebook at Robert Karma Hunter. It is the mp3 generation, I have lots of mixes that I email out daily. All you have to do is ask or come see me at Haze on Thursdays, The Bank Friday-Sunday or Bare and Liquid. I always have CDs to pass out to my supporters.

Please join DJ Karma and myself at The Bank Nightclub this Friday, April 29.  Open bar for all ladies, 10:30-Midnight, and free entry for those who RSVP at SpyOnVegas.com.

Part 2 of my spotlight blog will be posted tomorrow.  Tuesday’s DJ Line-up: Erick Morillo, Hollywood, Chris Garcia, Mike Remedy, Tina T, Relapse, Gusto, Five, and Eric D-Lux.

3 Responses to “Agent 21 Spotlight: Put My Record On – Part 1”

  1. Anonymous April 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Sah-weet-ness! Keep doin the damn thing DJ Girl 6!

  2. RSDJ KayPlaya April 26, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Shout to all the DJs making it happen!! Personally know Jace One & Finesse and must saw along with being overall good guys, there top notch when it comes to DJIng!! Much respect to the others listed as well, hope to hear sets from them soon!

  3. DJ KIDD B April 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    Love the article! Very personal about our fav. Vegas dj's. DJ GIRL 6 Do yo thang mamas!

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