1. What inspired you to start DJing?
I grew up in a strict religious household and wasn’t even allowed to listen to anything but Christian music. I could recite pretty much every lyric to any Amy Grant song on cue. Hahaha.
When I came out, I remember going to White Party Palm Springs for the first time and just having my mind blown. The music and the experience was like nothing I’d ever felt before. The pure joy, and the connection/community I felt to so many other gay men, was something I’d never could have imagined. Growing up, like many gay men, I’d felt isolated and different. This made me feel like I was part of a community of people who were like me.
But what brought us all together was this music. These soaring vocals over heavy beats… I was just inspired. I wanted to listen to it all!!!!
I remember years ago going to the Roxy to hear Peter Rauhofer, Manny Lehmen, and Junior Vazquez, and to Alegria to hear Abel and just being blown away. I was in awe of the way they just had the crowd eating out of their palms, anticipating what track they were going to play next! It wasn’t until years later, my good friend Andrew Briskin, who managed a number of DJs and artists at the time, suggested I give it a try. He saw how much I loved the music. That pretty much changed my life.
I discovered not only DJing, but the production side and the creation of the music. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
2. Who are some of your DJ influences?
I started out loving Peter Rauhofer, Manny Lehmen, Tony Moran, Junior Vazquez, Offer Nissim, Ralphie Rosario and Abel.
Nowadays there are so many DJs I love and respect! Ivan Gomez, Nacho Chapado, Luis Erre, Oscar Velasquez, Isaac Escelante, Eddie Martinez, Andre Grossi from Brazil, DJ Grind, Jeremy Blacklow, George Figares, Dan De Leon, and so many more…
But I have to say my number one is Yinon Yahel from Israel. His production is out of this world and his sound is epic! I’m always inspired when I hear him.
3. How would you describe your sound?
I would say my sound is pretty eclectic, I generally go for an edgier, circuit sound but with vocals. My own remixes and original tracks tend to have a heavy bass with some pulsing synths to really give it that edge. A good synth makes all the difference!
4. What is your favorite thing about DJing?
The best feeling in the world is when you see the crowd react to one of your productions. I LIVE for that! Music is such an expression of who we are, so when you see it touch other people, there’s nothing else like it. Those moments are the best.
As DJs, we want to take the crowd on a journey. It’s about creating a community through musical expression. When I see people dancing, laughing, letting go, and just forgetting the world outside for a few hours, I know I’ve done my job. That is what it’s all about.
5. What is the best thing about the Gay Dance community?
My favorite thing about our community, has been the relationships I’ve built with other DJs. The support and love from people like DJ Grind, Dan De Leon, Jeremy Blacklow, George Figares, Manny Lehmen, Brett Henrichsen, and so many more… That’s what’s been so touching. Everyone has been so positive and uplifting. In an increasingly competitive industry, I’ve never felt anything but love from people in the industry.
And I really need to thank Jeffrey Sanker, the Legend behind White Party Palm Springs. He believed in me before pretty much anyone else. He really made me believe I belonged in this industry! Love that man.
6. What advice would you have for any beginning DJs?
Well, I’ve been doing this for almost 7 years now, and I still feel like a beginner sometimes! My advice would be to really work on every aspect of your craft. Not just “spinning” a set, beat-matching and such. Really focus on what your sound is. What inspires you? Learn the production side of things. Pretty much every DJ who is booking those big gigs, is spending hours and hours in production creating their own tracks. It’s more than just playing other people’s stuff. Really learn to create your own sound, your own niche. I’m still learning, but it’s the most rewarding part for me.
7. What are some of your upcoming projects/ Gigs?
Next up for me is Nov 5th, I’m playing John Blair and Jake Resnicow’s Vers party in NYC! I cannot wait. There’s nothing like playing for a NYC crowd. They know their music and expect you to kill it!
Also, this week my remix for Jeremy Blacklow and George Figares Ft. Brenda Reed – To Be Able to Love (Oosterhaus Big Room Remix) was released. Its a remake of one of my favorite songs of all time! I’m so honored to be included on the Remix package!
Jeremy Blacklow and George Figares Ft. Brenda Reed – To Be Able to Love (Oosterhaus Big Room Remix:
Brett Oosterhaus’ Podcasts and Remixes: