Posted | Comments Off
Truth from Dare: Respect the DJ
Several years ago I had the privilege of meeting Adam Goldstein, better known as DJ AM, who died in 2009.
Something I’ll always remember about him was a T-shirt he wore that proclaimed, “DJs are Rock Stars.” Four years later, I wonder if he knew how prolific that statement actually was.
Last week I got to see megastar DJs Avicii and Diplo at XS in Las Vegas and that shirt flashed through my mind. It’s crazy to me how the DJ has been catapulted into the stratosphere — so much so that people, myself included, will fly to a different city to see them. More than a thousand people shelled out $50 each to see Diplo in action.
I’ve always appreciated these DJs’ ability to keep a crowd hyped, but never did I think that they would be anointed to deity status. DJs having 1,000,000 followers on Twitter and commanding $20,000 per gig is an awesome sign of the times.
On a local level, you might recall my blog post about attending the Red Bull “Thre3 Style” competition a few weeks ago at Ginza Nightclub. The winner for the second year in row was DJ Compose, who represented Hawaii in Seattle on Monday, Feb. 25, during the west regional final. The Addiction Nightclub resident DJ placed third; an impressive feat, as he went up against some of the best DJs from the biggest cities in the west.
Thanks to YouTube, you can peep his entire set:
It seems like a lot more people realize how important the right DJ is to a party these days. The right one can get a crowd in the door and keep them there (and make them spend more money at the bar). Even Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand in Waikiki is getting in on the act, hosting a weekly DJ discovery series called “The Mix Factor.” Interested parties are encouraged to send a demo and winners are selected to play Wednesdays at the club. For more information, visit www.hulas.com.
At the core of any DJ’s repertoire is the genre of music he or she chooses to spin. Tomorrow, Feb. 28 is the launch of “Freedom” at the Safehouse with DJs G-Spot and Soundcheck. The new party is built around music from the 1990’s, which will be a nice change of pace from played-out ’80s parties that seemed to be everywhere.
Speaking of played out — Friday, March 1, is another First Friday. I know, it feels like we just had one. I’ve heard people talk about how First Fridays have gotten monotonous, but that’s usually from people who haven’t been in a while. A number of new offerings have reenergized the legendary Chinatown party.
This Friday, I’m going to get an early start at “Bollywood” at the Loading Zone on Hotel St. The evening will revolve around art from Los Angeles transplant Heather Chapman and local artist Kahanu Fung with music from DJs Ramyt and Godiva.
After that I’ll head over to Indigo for the return of “Get Fresh.” Legendary promoter DJ G-spot has teamed up with the original Chinatown party spot to bring back the Friday night party. Long before hip bars and cool venues sprouted up all over downtown, Indigo was THE place to be, and “Get Fresh” was the restaurant’s signature party.
Not only have DJs become stars, but many established stars are also known for their prowess on the decks. On Saturday, March 2, actress Shannyn Sossoman (“A Knight’s Tale,” “40 Days and 40 Nights,” etc.) will headline the launch of “Sunset Saturdays” at the Sunset Room at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The combination of the Sunset Room’s indoor-outdoor layout and a gorgeous DJ should make for a fun night out.
While we can’t always have superstar DJs here in Honolulu, promoters and nightclubs have been doing a great job bringing them out to our islands. It seems there’s at least one name I recognize on any given weekend playing somewhere. But even if we don’t have a big name paying us a visit, there is great talent right here at home that can be enjoyed on a weekly basis.