By Darius Baptist // Photo Courtesy of DJ P-JAY
A LOVE OF MUSIC AND STRONG DETERMINATION CONTINUALLY PUSHES ONE OF LA’S MOST PROMINENT DJ’S TO THE TOP.
YRB: When did you begin as a dj? P-Jay: I started off dj’ing around ’97-98 with my two older brothers Patrick and Paolo. Being that I was the youngest, I was very much inspired by their individual passions for it at an early age. To see them mix two songs together by using two cassette tapes was awesome to me. Looking back at that moment always makes me appreciate the evolution of this art.
YRB:What artists would you say have the music scene on lock at this moment? P-Jay: There are a lot of great artists from various genres keeping the music scene on lock at the moment.One artist that stands out for me is Kendrick Lamar, who brought his creative talents to the scene with his first album. As for the EDM scene, Kaskade, Calvin Harris, and Avicii have been droppin’ hit after hit in the music scene.
YRB: When spinning how do you determine the style/ flow of music you will play? P-Jay: Hours before my set, I go through my new music, gather up all of the hottest records out at the moment, and set them aside. With over 35,000 songs on my laptop, this process is essential! After that, I try to get to the club an hour or two before my set to get a feel of the crowd and the atmosphere of that specific club. Once I’m on I start with a heavy intro, play the hits the party people love to hear, and continue to read the crowd the rest of the night. As long as the crowd and I are on the same page, it’ll be a great night.
YRB: Have you ever been in a situation where the crowd wasn’t feeling the music you were playing? P-Jay: I would be lying if I said no. There are tough crowds out there and I can’t put my finger on a specific instance. All I can say is there is no way I can cater to every individual person on the dance floor. If the crowd isn’t feeling my set, I’ll clearly see that and it’ll take me only a second to change it up.
YRB: What dj’s have inspired you? P-Jay: Growing up and even to this day, DJs such as E-Man, AM, and Vice, to name a few, have played a great role in inspiring me to be the best DJ I can be. They along with other DJs, have taught me that, in order to survive in this industry, you not only need to have the talent and skills as a DJ, but you need to be a smart businessman and commit yourself to branding your name, in order to open up endless opportunities in your career.
YRB: What advice would you give aspiring dj’s? P-Jay: #1: Write down all of your goals and what you want to accomplish on a piece of paper, your notes on your smart phone or even on a note pad. #2: Stay motivated each and every day. #3: Never give up. #4: Stay up to date with your music. #5: Practice, Practice, Practice! There is always room for growth. #6: Network. #7: Market your music and your name #8: Support other DJs. #9: Stay humble. #10: Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t belong where you are…you worked hard to get here, so OWN IT!