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Phillie Ocean

Last Night, A DJ Saved My Life

While some DJs remain entranced in their art during their DJ sets, Phillie Ocean is a DJ whom entrances the crowd with his bubbly personality and party music. A brilliant mash-up DJ who has the uncanny ability of giving a fresh-faced take on old school sounds, Phillie O has progressed into a staple at the famous Look Out Weekend and 80s dance party Barracuda at 111 Minna. Spotted by SF Station at his residency at Double Dutch a day before New Year’s Eve, Phillie O is a clear demonstration of a DJ who never fails to bring the beats, dance moves, and most of all, a universally appealing party, no matter the day or night.

SF Station (SFS): How did you get into DJing?

Phillie Ocean (PO): As a kid music and DJing were always fascinating to me but I could never afford the equipment. I had a couple of friends in Vallejo where I grew up that were scratch DJs and I kind of just picked it up from hanging out with them. That was probably 1999, from there everything just progressed.

SFS: Why the name Phillie Ocean? The Phillie, I think I can guess.

PO: I think one of my friends started calling me Phillie Ocean after hearing "Suddenly" by Billy Ocean; the name stuck. I think it has a nice ring to it.

SFS: What and whom are your sounds inspired by?

PO: When I’m spinning I really just want to get people hyped. I love just being able to build up a crowd’s excitement. When the crowd’s going crazy I get more into it. I just wanna make sure everyone’s sweating as much as me!

SFS: I like how you incorporate new school with old school. How would you describe your sound?

PO: I grew up the youngest of eight kids. As a kid I was listening to Earth, Wind and Fire, EPMD, and the Dead Kennedys just because that’s what my siblings were into. DJing-wise, I like to put that in my sets. Why can't I mix Fugazi with Too Short into a Bmore remix? I like to keep things interesting. I can't just play all the latest radio hits; to me that's boring.

SFS: As a DJ, what is important for you in order to bring people together?

PO: Free drinks, fresh DJs, and a slammin' sound system!

SFS: You work with some sick DJs, who are some of your favorites and why?

PO: The guys that I play with are all sick! With L.O.W (Look Out Weekend) we have nine DJs, all whom have a similar sound but at the same time are still original in our own styles.

SFS: Do you do this as a full-time gig or part-time?

PO: Not full time, I'm a manager at 111 Minna Gallery also. I still find time to spin quite a bit. I'm always workin'!

SFS: What's important to become a successful DJ? Any words you live by in order to stay innovative and fresh?

PO: I just try and stay positive and original; I'm lucky and thankful to be doing what I’m doing. Don't hate!

Catch Phillie Ocean this Friday night at Blow-Up, at his residency at 111 Minna, or just check him out at