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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Dec 18, 2009
Part of the dynamic force behind two of the best dance parties in San Francisco, Blow Up and Club 1994, Jeffrey Paradise is definitely living the glamorous life. With music being a prominent staple in his life since he was young, itís really no surprise that he has dabbled in everything from piano to punk bands. He recently spoke with SF Station about the 100th Blow Up party and his plans for New Yearís Eve.
SF Station (SFS): How did you get into DJing?
Jeffrey Paradise (JP): I started playing trumpet when I was seven years old, guitar when I was 15, piano when I was 18 and DJing at 21. I've always been into music. After I graduated from college I wanted to take some time off and not go straight into the working world. I wound up getting a DJ gig at Beauty Bar on Saturday nights and just fell in love with making people dance. I never really thought it could be a real job, but people just started booking me to play bigger and bigger parties and so eventually I started taking it seriously.
SFS: Who are some of your favorite artists to play at your events?
JP: I have been really digging Fake Blood, Afrojacks, Foamo, Major Lazer, Laidback Luke, Sonic C, and AC Slater ó the wild side of electro, and songs with lots of frantic energy. Also cheesy 90s euro dance!
SFS: Congrats on the big 100th Blow Up! What's the story behind this party?
JP: Well the story behind Blow Up is itís cool dance music; itís music that's about to "blow up." That's how I thought of the name. Cool music is always evolving from one fad or craze or genre or micro genre to the next. In having Richie Panic and I as the resident DJs, we create the particular Blow Up sound and don't play one genre or leap into playing music just because its trendy. We select the music we like from lots of genres and never rely on labels. We simply play cool dance music.
Ava's photography also unique in that she really captures the action of the party in a different way than taking party snap shots.
SFS: How many more do you think there will be?
JP: At least 100 more. Everyone who works with us at Blow Up is really passionate about what they do ó the music, nightlife, photography, etc. We love creating and being a part of the kind of environment at Blow Up where almost anything goes.
SFS: It always seems so fun and crazy; do you care to share any particular stories?
JP: Well there are lots of wild stories about sex behind the DJ booth and all that, but my favorite is the Hot Dog vs. Jelly Donut story.
If you're not familiar with MC Jelly Donut, he got national recognition for challenging rappers to battle while wearing a Jelly Donut costume and actually beating a lot of them. He most famously interrupting Lady Sovereign's set at Mezzanine and she backed down from the challenge and ended her show early.
We asked him to perform at Blow Up and thought we'd give him a taste of his own medicine and brought the Blow Up MC dressed in a hot dog costume to interrupt his set and challenge the mighty Jelly D to an impromptu rap battle. Of course, the Jelly Donut was excited by the challenge and a full-on rap battle between a jelly donut and a hot dog took place. Itís a classic example of what makes Blow Up such a special party.
SFS: How do you manage to stay so eternally youthful?
JP: Never use an alarm clock and do what you love. Itís funny, all my life people have told me I need to grow up, and now lots of people are asking me how to stay young!
SFS: Any big holiday or New Year's plans?
JP: NYE is going to be amazing! Our favorite band Wallpaper is performing at our other party Club 1994 at Paradise Lounge. As the title suggests itís a 90s theme party so the music will be all 90s. Our favorite drag queen Monistat will be hosting, Richie and I will DJ, plus more rooms of dancing. There will be photo booths, balloon drops and more!
SFS: Lastly, any words of wisdom you live by?
JP: Never trust reality.
Visit Club 1994: http://www.club1994.com
Visit Blow Up: http://www.blowupsf.com
Hot Dog vs. Jelly Donut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKbEgZbgEM4
by Christina Li on Dec 18, 2009