This post is part of the “Meet the Locals” series where Party with a Local finds out the nightlife tips and city secrets you need to know from local nightlife experts around the world.
From Indonesia to Amsterdam, and Nicaragua to Costa Rica, this jet-setting New York DJ has seen it all. But which city is the best place to party in? Meet Yellow@TheLight, and find out his favorite spots and hear what he has to say about following your dreams.
1. When did you start DJing? What are your ambitions?
I began DJing when I was 12 or 13 with a “DJ in a Box” kit that I saved up for by delivering newspapers for a year, but I began taking it more seriously when I was in college and studied music production, studio recording and some theory.
However, it only began to take off when I began working with Pacha NYC in 2008 as a bartender. I would beg Rob Fernandez over and over to let me play... until finally he did! Things took off slowly, playing gigs in the basement, late nights and super early timeslots. There was lots of unpaid gigs, and a LOT of listening… though that was great actually - I got to hear the top 100 DJ’s play every Friday and Saturday which ended up having a great influence on me and the music I played then.
My ambitions now are to just to keep enjoying every step of the process of being a DJ and producing music (which is harder than it sounds). I’ve been really fortunate to play some amazing shows alongside some really talented people through my travels, and I’ve learned that the journey is more important than the final destination.
2. What is so distinctive about your sound?
Personally, I think the one thing that is distinctive about my sound is how deep it always ends up being. This has lead me to write a lot of melodic, really bass-y tunes that always have some sort of underlying theme, pretty breakdown, or message to go along with it.
I’ve also been really influenced by traveling, mainly for surfing (which is probably my favorite thing in the world next to music). I always end up booking gigs in all sorts of different places (Indonesia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Amsterdam, etc.) and meeting amazing people out there who have turned me on to a bunch of great music along the way.
3. What is your favorite NYC hang out?
In NYC there’s always something going on depending on which niche you’re into. I just went to the Diynamic party in The Brooklyn Hangar and it was awesome. Other than that you will always find me at Schimanski supporting my Pacha people, who are still killing it over there. Output also always has a great lineup and a Funktion One sound system. Brooklyn is always fun if it’s the right party, and I’ve got a lot of old friends that still play all around the city, so I stop by and play with them when I can.
It’s awesome to see the private/loft/warehouse parties popping up more and more in Brooklyn, as they cater a bit more to that underground sound that I’ve been playing and writing recently.
4. Which is your favorite city to party in? NYC or somewhere else?
While NYC will always be home, there are so many great places to go out and party in. I think my favorite place in the world to party is definitely Indonesia. The vibe out there is just amazing, the people are beautiful, everyone is living the dream and my good friend DJ Khan and I were playing 5 hour Back-to-back Techno Parties every two weeks @ Jenja, which is a wild place with a great sound system.
There’s something awesome about waking up and surfing the best waves in the world in the morning; eating local food for lunch; having a Bintang on the beach and playing some disco records for the evening; and then playing deep techno in one of the best nightclubs in Bali until the sun comes up.
I’m pretty sure I could live that life forever.
5. What is your inner party animal?
Probably the Souf Afffrican Lion, which is pretty fitting, considering South Africans are some of the wildest party people I’ve ever met in my life. Such Legends.
6. Any other last thoughts?
I think that no matter what, having a great sound system makes me more excited than anything. It makes all the difference in the world. That, and watching a full room of people dance and be moved by music that you wrote, that’s probably one of the greatest feelings in the world. Its all about making yourself happy, and empowering other people to do the same. I’m always living the dream, especially when traveling, DJing, and surfing… I think that people should follow their dreams a bit more and appreciate their goals and experiences, because at the end of the day, it’s all that really matters.