• What was your first gig like?
A: Back then I would practice at home regularly in a cold garage for years (family car park, not sure what you call it in the UK). One day I went with a buddy to a local bar/club & saw a DJ doing a good set. My friend Jason walked up to the DJ and asked him if he would be ok giving me a shot (he didn't tell me he was going up). The DJ said, "Sure, if he can get his records here by midnight. My friend told me what he did, we flew home on the freeway, I grabbed 1 record bag & made it back in 20 mins. I did a 30 min set & held my own. That was it for me.. I was hooked!
• When did you pick up your first decks?
A: 1998. That was the year I graduated High School. At first I only bought one turntable though because I couldn't afford the other. I worked for a few months & finally picked up the second one & an "American DJ" mixer. The Technics were brand new & have been on mobile shows & home studio with me for 15 years now. I believe they are also the pair that are were customized by www.pimpmyturntables.com & used on the "MikiDz Show" by the master DJs that drop guest sets.
• Who are your favourite DJs?
A: ALL of the DJs listed here: http://www.djcity.com/mikidz . Plus a few more haven't been. Basically too many for me to mention but that list will give you an idea of my favorites.
• Who are your favourite producers?
A: At the moment I would say Mustard in LA is THE guy who's name draws me to a track. This dude single-handedly changed the sound of the west coast. Dr Dre & Kanye West are icons in the production game. Noah "40" Shebib, Stargate, Dr Luke, A-Trak, Avicii, Kronic & Krunk (from Australia), J. Cole, Hardwell, Pharrell, Zedd (He's a BEAST on the keys), Lil Jon (a close friend & an brilliant businessman), LA's "League Of Starz" crew, and many many more.
• Best crowds in the US? I know your LA based, but Vegas must come close?
A: I'm an LA guy all day everyday but every now & then I'll take that 45 min flight to Vegas to study the scene. I have a ton of close friends that DJ these mega clubs for THOUSANDS of party goers every single night. It's amazing to see the level of concentration & skill it takes these guys to rock for these crowds up to 6 hours straight. I mean non-stop energy. I also like DJng the college parties across the US. My boy's DJ Danny West & Daniel Clarke throw what are known as the legendary "TCU" parties in Texas. If you're ever in town look them up... & be ready to see 21 year old college kids throw all the rules out the window.
• DJcity has gone global as a brand and a successful business. As one of the guys that started it, what are the main perks of the job for you? Pre-release music? Better gigs? A: Meeting new people and soaking in cultures around the globe is the biggest perk. I know I'm lucky to be in a rare position that allows me to come up with ideas & have the support team with resources to execute them. All of the in-house DJcity staff is handpicked & incredibly sharp!. We get emails from places around the globe asking to work with us that I could've never imagined. A few weeks ago a group of DJs from Africa hit me up asking our www.youtube.com/tvdjcity series "The Cutting Room". That is a perfect example of an original idea that our team created which the global DJ community embraced & is now connecting us with local DJ teams around the globe. This is why we are the # Digital DJ record pool in the world. It's a site for DJs run by DJs. #NumbersDon'tLieCheckTheScoreBoard"
• Anymore plans to expand the business? I really respected the fact you stuck with 12s for so long given that its an industry that is based on very specialist music nowadays.
A: Yes. We will be making announcements about our newest ventures early 2014. We pride ourselves in being innovative in the digital world but always stay true to our roots. This is why we still go back & throw down a cut session in the middle of the work day or share music right before the weekend hits & we all scatter to our individual gigs. We keep each other on our toes & push our DJ skills & knowledge to their limits. The only difference is we do it on a worldwide level :) .... That said, if any DJ is ever in LA & wants to just come chat with the team, hit us up & let's build. Our door is always open to positive & forward thinking people.
• Your favorite gigs of 2013? I know you have been round the world with music so there must be some far away party places that we don't know about yet.
A: The international trips I've taken this year are usually meetings with existing & future Djcity partners. The actual gigs i've been doing are US based with 80% of them being in LA. Whenever I bounce around the globe I hit up several clubs each night & just listen. It's the best thing I can do to understand the local culture. One of my favorite trips this year was to Tokyo, Japan. Man! talk about ahead of the curve in every aspect of any industry. The food is amazing! the people are very kind & respectful. If you're ever in Japan look up my boys and the boss dogs of the country Cho-G, Yuki, DJ Nucky & Benkay. I can't wait to go back!
• Any plans to hit the UK again soon? Play is holding it down well over here.
A: Now that DJ Play is 100% in control of our branding in the UK I've been shifting my focus to the rest of the world. Play is one of the brightest people I have ever met & has all of my trust when it comes to making decisions about our marketing & partnerships across the UK. Australia & the rest of Europe are areas I am focusing on at the moment. We also launched our DJcity New York branch this year headed up by DJ Latin Prince. Google him, his resume speaks for itself. I was born in El Salvador & my family moved us to Los Angeles, CA before I was 1 year old. I'm fluent in spanish & eventually will be adding Latin America to my areas of interest for potential growth. On a personal note, a few of my buddies and I may hit up the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. You're going to see me check into a lot more places in the next few months on my socials!
• Do you guys run a link up in the US like we try to do here? Its a good day out!
A: Not us DJcity but our friends in LA throw an event known as the "Fire Poo" out here that caters to the DJs like the same way the Link Up does in the UK. Fire Poo is basically a bunch of DJ buddies gathering for beers & hot wings. We all swap contacts with new DJ friends & build from there. These events are positive & great for the culture.
• Favorite spots in LA for food and drinks pre club?
A: There's a mexican spot right next to our Djcity office in Culver City, CA called "Cinco". As authentic as Mexican food gets in my opinion. I've taken my good friends MistaJam, CJ Beatz, Jordan Crisp & Play here before. They fell in love with a latin drink known as the "Horchata" & can't wait to come back for it. "In-N-Out" is an LA hamburger chain that in my opinion tops any burger joint in the world. Shots Fired!!....
• Do you have one favorite club gig? One that will stay with you until you hang up the headphones?
A: 2 actually... A new years eve party I did (2007-2008) for a local club called QC's I was the resident of for about 3 years. I had made the decision to leave the club at it's popularity height specifically on that night earlier in December. I had the itch to travel & just couldn't because I was scheduled to be there Thursday - Saturdays. 4K people in front of me & I was in control of the decks the whole night. I mean this party was INSANE. I will never forget that night as long as I live. The other was gig with Play at Tup Tup Palace for Lovedough on a Thursday in 2012. By this time I understood what worked & what didn't in the UK compared to the US & felt very comfortable. A lot of local DJ buddies came to hang out & Play & I had a blast that night. We talked about it for weeks afterwards. Time to plan out round 2!... Maybe we'll put together a concert or something?!? hmmmm.... :)
• Biggest act you have opened for?
A: I've been lucky to open up for lots of major arists but being from the west coast I would have to say Snoop Dogg a few years back. They crowed loved the old school gems I played that we all grew up on & after the set I got to enjoy the show as a fan. Good times!
• What goes on the Phenom gig rider? A: Take care of my friends that come to visit me whenever I do a show at the door. That's all that I ask. If they give my friends any trouble, I have no problem stopping the music until security gets it's act together. Other then that.... I'm an easy going DJ that can pretty play on any setup.
• Do you get to see many bands at all, or is that part of the industry a different scene altogether? A: It's actually a very important part of my job. I need to keep my ear to the streets & in LA acts perform 7 days a week. I'll usually be out checking out a DJ set or a rapper or a band at least 5 days out of the week.
• Plans for 2014 for you?
A: Repeat everything you've read above. Maybe i'll squeeze a week or so in for a small vacation in some tropical island.