Q: How did you get your start as a DJ?
A: It was a circuitous path! I was a restless, music-obsessed student at Georgetown's School Of Foreign Service. I left GU for NYC, where I landed a publishing deal as a songwriter with Sony Music. At the same time, I started spinning at Manhattan clubs, playing at just about every major venue in the city, including a long-running residency at the Roxy.
Q: How did you get into event DJing?
A: It happened pretty organically. In quick succession, I was asked to DJ an Armani fashion show, a Food & Wine Magazine event and a Comedy Central party, which led to many other clients and events. Soon I started getting wedding inquiries. After a while, I added two other DJs to the company.
Q: What types of music do you play at events?
A: It varies so much from party to party. I’ve been a music junkie as long as I can remember...and I’ve got tens of thousands of LPs/CDs/mp3s at my fingertips in any genre you could imagine.
For cocktails and dinner, I tend to play an upbeat, loungey mix. Maybe some current indie tunes, a bit of midtempo soul/electronic, retro Brazilian/French tracks, classic American jazzy vocals…a blend of music that's right for conversation and mingling.
For dancing, it’s really all about reading the crowd and making the right choices - pulling from a massive collection of current EDM and hip hop, classic soul/disco, the good stuff from the ’80s/’90s/'00s, salsa, reggae, new wave, indie pop and just about anything else you could imagine.
Q: There are a lot of DJs out there. What’s one thing that sets Gotham DJ apart?
A: One of my goals as a DJ is to bring an elegant, fun and stress-free atmosphere to every event. I’ve found that I really enjoy the process of working with the client to create the perfect sonic experience for the night. Sometimes a client has very specific input, sometimes not. Either way, the meetings that take place during the planning stage are the key to figuring it all out. Then once the party begins, everyone can relax, dance and enjoy the night.
Q: Do you approach wedding DJing differently?
A: To tell the truth, I was leery of weddings at first. I assumed that most brides were looking for that “wild and crazy guy” and it didn’t really seem like my bag. But when a friend of Kate Spade’s called me to talk about her upcoming wedding, she assured me that she wanted the opposite. As with most weddings, the guests would be running the gamut from teenagers to octogenarians…and she really wanted someone who could spin for everyone.
Since then, I’ve done many high-profile weddings, including several featured in the New York Times. It’s funny that I was initially reluctant to do them, because now I love them. It’s a challenge to mix so many disparate types of music in a few hours. The trick is to do it in a way that makes sense. And while the musical menu at a wedding tends to lean towards the familiar, it doesn’t have to be corny. There’s a difference.
Q: You Recently Added a Partner DJ — Adam Brandt — To your Company. What’s He like?
A: He’s amazing. He lives and breathes music. He’s so intuitive — and is able to shift between weddings, corporate and fashion gigs with ease. He’s gotten nothing but rave reviews from clients. There are so many mediocre DJs out there and when I met Adam, I knew I had found a kindred spirit.
Q: DOES EITHER OF YOU EVER DJ OUTSIDE OF NYC?
A: Absolutely. Most of the events Adam and I do take place in Manhattan or the Hamptons, but between the two of us, we’ve spun at parties in London, Amsterdam, Aspen, LA, Paris, Berlin and the Caribbean.
Q: How do potential clients book you (or your other DJs) for events?
A: Email GothamDJ@gmail.com. You’ll get a response within 24 hours.