SAN DIEGO -- San Francisco-based DJ Tristan Jaxx is looking to become more of a presence in San Diego, with this weekend's launch of "Pump'd" at 1202 nightclub, which he is promoting. While Jaxx has spun in San Diego before, this new night will give him a consistent spot in the local scene.
Working as a DJ for about five years, Jaxx says he has been interested in house music since he was 18 years old. The crowd is what gets Jaxx pumped up, as he enjoys tailoring his music to the crowd in front of him.
The 31-year-old native of Boston is taken (sorry!) but doesn't mind showing a little skin in the DJ booth.
Read more about this hot DJ below:
Where can people find you working?
I am the resident DJ for Chaos at BeatBox in San Francisco, which is monthly. Updates on that event can be found HERE. I’m also starting a new monthly residency at 1202 Nightclub in San Diego called Pump’d, where we’ll be trying to bring more of a circuit sound to the city with the help of Shaun Flak (creator of Church at Babycakes). I’ll also be headlining CLIMAXX, the annual after-hours party I produce to close out the Folsom weekend in San Francisco. Also, I’m producing and headlining a new event this year called Ascent that will be a high energy after hours party to close out the SF Pride weekend.
When did you start spinning, and why?
I started deejaying about five years ago but have been invested in house music since I was 18, when I began collecting tracks. I used to go to friends' house parties and play music from my iPod and people always appreciated my taste. It made me want to go futher and learn to mix the songs together and create my own sets full of energy to entertain people on the dance floor.
Vinyl or CDs? Why?
I started with CDs. I have always focused on going into the club and letting the crowd guide me to my music. It was a hard task with CDs because I could only bring so many and my handwriting is atrocious. I now spin with my laptop using Serato Itch. It lets me have the freedom to play any song in my library and not have to deal with my creative writing.
What type of music do you spin?
My sound has always been high energy, whether I’m spinning at a tea dance, primetime or after hours. I transition songs into each other so heavily that it keeps the energy constantly elevated. My brand of visceral house music is a blend of deep, pounding sound, larger-than-life vocals and vast and voluminous instrumentals. I spin a blend of electro/house/Top 40/after hours/tribal/progressive (and even a sprinkle of trance at times), while maintaining a signature sound that is easily identifiable as my own. I literally spend hours each day scouring the internet to keep my finger on the pulse of what is fresh, energetic and exciting and I never limit myself to specific DJ’s, styles, genres or geographic regions.
What type of music will you NOT spin?
You never know where music may take you creatively. I never want to limit myself.
What is the most bizarre song request you have received?
The only one that comes to mind was “Black and Yellow.” I had no clue what they were talking about and they gave me this dumbfounded “how do you not know this song” look. I listened to it later and was like, “oh, hip hop.” Great and talented artist, yes, but not for a house tribal night.
What song do people request the most?
Anything by Rihanna or Britney Spears. I prefer to call them suggestions though since I try to make the songs work in my set if I can but can’t guarantee that they will and won’t sacrifice the journey my set is taking for a suggestion. I'm all about making sure people have a great night and I’m always open to the idea that they may clue me in on a great idea.
Do you adjust your music to fit the crowd? How?
I feel the crowd out if I want to get away from Top 40 and move towards less commonly known house tracks. I like to see how the crowd reacts to a song. Are they dancing maniacs? Leaving the dance floor? Barely moving? It's my job to make sure the crowd is enjoying every song I play and if I notice the style of my set isn't working, I'll take the music another direction.
What is the funniest thing you have seen on the dance floor?
I love it when people come up to me to say hi but in the middle of their sentence start dancing because they love the music so much that they walk away from talking to me and head back to the dance floor. That always puts a smile on my face. Other than that, there is always crazy, random chaos that tends to ensue when I spin; from bar napkins thrown into the air at a peak moment for dramatic effect to people having dance-off’s in the DJ booth behind me to people wearing event decorations for dramatic effect. When I spin, I like to make people forget pretense and social expectations and just dance like no one is watching.
What is the most scandalous thing you have witnessed while spinning?
Music can bring out the sexual beast in people and let's just say hands wander. On the plus side, they are still dancing. :)
Which venue or party was your favorite?
My favorite has to be Chaos. It's the event that made me who I am today. BeatBox (where the event is held) has so much heart and we do it all for the crowd and the love of music. I'm looking forward to saying the same thing soon about Pump'd.
What do you love most about being a DJ?
Making people happy and helping them forget their daily issues or drama and just getting lost in the music. Guests pay to have a great night and I will give it to them. Anyone who comes out to hear me DJ knows there is no question that I love what I do and I work very hard to give everyone a great night every time, no matter where I spin. I can’t stop smiling the whole night and it’s probably the happiest people ever see me. I live to be a DJ.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get into your profession?
Work hard and never let people bring you down. It's a tough industry and if you want to be a DJ you have to focus on your work. Also, always respect other DJs for their efforts.
What song best describes you and why?
I would say “World In Your Hands,” which I produced a rework of (available for free here). The song describes everything I am as a DJ. It’s all about waiting all night to give people an intense journey and having people in the palm of my hands with my music, letting the rhythm control them and feeling like the world is in their hands because the music is around them. Let the fun begin.
The first Pum'pd event at 1202 is this Saturday, March 23. DJ Marcel Hetu opens, followed by Jaxx. Cover is $7. 1202 is located at 1202 University Ave. in Hillcrest.
Listen to one of DJ Tristan Jaxx's tracks