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DJ Swayzee

Last Night, A DJ Saved My Life

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life is a weekly profile to give readers a further glimpse into the lives of Bay Area DJs. With so much local talent, itís hard to ignore the wide array of DJs and their eclectic styles. See what they sound like without headphones on, and as always, support your local DJ.

DJ SWAYZEE has been playing records for nine years and playing clubs in SF since 2004. His current and prior residencies have included Beauty Bar, Double Dutch, Madrone Lounge, MILK Bar SF, to name a few. With musical origins in both the hip hop and electronic scenes of the late 90s, he is equally adept at cutting and blending across musical styles including hip-hop, soul/funk, breaks, disco, electro, Miami bass and Baltimore club. His musical approach emphasizes live remixing and genre hopping, in spirit with keeping both the music and the people moving. See where heís heading to next at myspace.com/djswayzee.

SF Station (SFS): What got you into DJing, and how long do you see yourself doing this profession?

DJ Swayzee: I think my initial motivation was probably a selfish desire to share my taste in music with the party, but now I feel more like a vessel through which a lot of peopleís taste in music gets expressed. I think thatís true for a lot of DJs. Initially you think that itís all about playing the music you like, but in reality getting a large group of people to all dance to the same song is quite political.

A good DJ quickly becomes a savvy compromiser and a crowd pleaser if they want to keep DJing. As for DJing as a profession -- I actually work during the day as a marketing research consultant, so although I consider myself a professional at DJing, it is not my sole profession. By itself, DJing is a very difficult job to make a living from.

SFS: What do you like most about DJing in the Bay Area?

DJ Swayzee: There is a great variety of venues here that feature DJs on a nightly basis. And there are a lot of talented DJs who come here from all over the country. When you combine those two factors it means a lot of good music can be heard on any given night. It can make for a somewhat fractured scene with all of the competition between promoters, but it also means a lot of choices for the average partygoer, which is a good thing. And as a result, if you are a good DJ you can get invited to play at a lot of different parties for a wide variety of crowds.

SFS: Which venues do you dig, and why?

DJ Swayzee: 111 Minna, 330 Ritch, Mighty and The Rickshaw Stop are all great for a big room party experience, especially on nights that combine both DJs and live bands. To get a feel for the diversity of the DJ scene, I like to take a walk down 16th street and hit The Double Dutch, Delirium, Dalva and the Casanova -- you can go from party rap to punk to soul/funk to indie rock all within a block.


SFS: What artists are currently rotating through your personal playlist?

DJ Swayzee: I am like most people these days in that I spend a lot of time scanning through singles looking for my next favorite song. Looking at my iPod right now Iíve been listening to tracks from Jeremy Jay, Cut Copy, Lil Wayne, Mac Mall, Mstrkrft and Tittsworth to name a few. I also listen to a lot of other DJís mixes. Right now Iím feeling "40 Minutes in the Champagne Room" by Treasure Fingers.