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DJ White Mike
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Nov 20, 2009
Incorporating everything from indie rock to disco in his mixes, DJ White Mike is a definitive San Francisco dance party sensation. Currently working on The Projects — part blog, part promotional company, part media company with Nisus the Movement and Hacksaw Entertainment — there seems to be nothing but success to look forward to in his future. DJ White Mike recently shared his humorously whimsical outlook on his career thus far with SF Station.
SF Station (SFS): When did you start DJing?
White Mike (WM): I started collecting vinyl when I was three years old in what I will call my Bozo the Clown phase, which was unfortunately the first of many clown-related phases. But it wasn't until college that I decided to try my hand at DJing. I bought some crappy all-in-one DJ kit and it was only a few months before my equipment and all of my vinyl was stolen.
I'm not going to name names but I'm pretty sure that one was an inside job. Anyway, it wasn't until I moved here to San Francisco a few years ago that I decided to pick it back up again and really put all my time into trying to master it. I'm still pretty young in the game but I'm grinding!
SFS: Any story behind your DJ name?
WM: Well, my original handle was DJ Sparklebrite but I got a lot of grief from the original Sparklebrite and his entourage in the Dirty Dumpling Crew out of Long Beach. At that time, I was one of a few white guys in my circle of friends. My friend Jullian started calling me White Mike and that caught on, so I just made it my DJ name. It might not have as much street cred as Sparklebrite, but I've learned to get over that loss.
SFS: You often play at Beauty Bar, which is a great little spot. What draws you to it?
WM: Beauty Bar is a lot of fun. It attracts a diverse mix of people, which means I can get creative and draw on a range of different genres and genders throughout the night. There's also a good crowd of regulars, which adds a familial feel to the whole place. It just got remodeled and now boasts more glitter per capita than any bar in the city. But feel free to bring your own when you visit. We can never have enough.
SFS: So I hear you once played a swingers club?
WM: Yikes. That was like some comical nightmare. I could spend the entire interview talking about that experience. In a nutshell, I realized that while DJing in a nightclub you are aware that you have some small influence over how much of your audience is going to get laid, here there was a very direct and visible correlation between my performance and the ability of these aging sexual adventurers to meet and grind on their partner for the night.
My decision to bring only swing music was not a good one. Thank God there was plenty of alcohol!
SFS: What track do you play that you know will get people to bump and grind?
WM: Definitely not anything in the swing-dancing genre. But when I bring a girl over to my house I like to put Ginuwine's "Pony" on loop until she gets the hint. Then I transition into "Bad Touch" for awhile and momentarily into The Cranberries' "Linger," before finishing off with The Police's "Don't Stand So Close to Me." Wait, were you asking about out at the club?
SFS: Not important. Have you any words of inspiration to younger DJs who want to get in the game?
WM: I would say a good strategy is to be given birth to by someone famous or start having regular sex with someone famous. That one always works. Or get famous doing something other than DJing — conservative radio talk show host, for example — and then use your star power to start booking DJ gigs. You won't even have to learn how to mix! Other than that, I'm not really sure what you can do.
Visit The Projects online at http://www.theprojects.com.
by Christina Li on Nov 20, 2009