DJ Chachi :: The Exclusive InternetDJ Interview

One of New York City's Top 10 DJs by Gotham Magazine speaks to InternetDJ.

Posted by MShemel on Tue Sep 23, 2008

Music News
InternetDJ: Chachi, listening to you live sets gives us a great indication of the cross-generational/cross-genre range you have, in some cases mixing different songs from 3 decades in a single minute. It's actually quite impressive. Almost every DJ plans their sets to a certain extent. To what extent would you say that you plan your sets?
DJ Chachi: I can't really say that I plan my sets very much at all. I have residencies which I play every week so I have an idea of what the room usually wants and when it wants it but there is so no set playlist ever. Just my crates in my computer which are organized by genre of music.

InternetDJ: If you do plan, do you leave yourself different options in case one direction doesn't work?
DJ Chachi: I feel you should always be able to change direction at any moment in the night. The biggest part of being a DJ is reading the crowd and being able to find that right song or vibe that fits them at that moment. So I always leave myself options on where to go musically. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to completely change the direction of your mix to appease a crowd? (For example, they responded more to one type of music than others). This situation happens constantly. Playing different venues, different cities, private events, corporate gigs, night clubs. You almost never know what youíre in for. So you try things and if they donít work you have to change your genre to see what the crowd likes. So changing my direction musically happens a lot.

InternetDJ: Do you have any classical or conventional musical training? (The reason I ask is that you manage great harmony between songs)
DJ Chachi: I played the saxophone up until 7th grade if that counts and I sang in an A capella group throughout high school.

InternetDJ: Do you consider the music you mix to be a separate genre in itself?
DJ Chachi: I'm pretty sure the proper term these days for my genre is called open format. In other words we play all of the above. I really do think it is its own genre. It takes a special kind of dj to blend so many different types of music together and make it sound smooth and cohesive like it was meant to be.

InternetDJ: Have you ever considered producing your own songs, melodies or beats?
DJ Chachi: I have never produced my own songs or beats but I do create remixes using elements of already existing songs.

InternetDJ: What kind of time commitment does your skill require?
DJ Chachi: Honestly, itís an everyday job. I spend countless hours at my computer acquiring new music, setting cue points, organizing, practicing mixes, practicing my technical skills (scratching), producing my remixes, updating my website, myspace, facebook, sending email blasts, going out to hear other DJís, there is never a day I donít do something relative to my career. Most people think we show up to gigs and hit a couple of buttons and that is it.

InternetDJ: Did any particular DJ's or artists influence you specifically?
DJ Chachi: Back in high school I used to listen to DJ Skribble every morning on my way to school. Getting older I found out about other DJís such as DJ AM, DJ Riz, Sizzahandz and DJ Vice.

InternetDJ: Of all the genres you mix, do you have a favorite?
DJ Chachi: My favorite to mix these days is electro house; favorite to listen is R&B.

InternetDJ: Do you have a particular venue or city you prefer to perform in? If so, why?
DJ Chachi: My favorite is definitely Tenjune in New York; the crowd is very up on their music, all genres, new and classic. I have a sense of freedom to play what I feel there that I donít get at many venues. I also love the DJ booth setup as I am up higher then crowd so I can see the whole room yet Iím still close enough to feel and feed off the crowds energy.

InternetDJ: Do you prefer working with vinyl or CD's?
DJ Chachi: Vinyl all the way

InternetDJ: Some DJ's complain that a lot of scratches are preprogrammed or premade. What is your take on that?
DJ Chachi: I think thatís a shame that people pre- program scratches. But in the end the cream rises to the top, people and especially DJ's will know if youíre faking it or not, and faking it will get you no respect in this game. Respect is everything among your fellow DJ's.

InternetDJ: What equipment do you prefer to use when performing live? What is absolutely essential for you?
DJ Chachi: 2 Technic 1200's, Rane TTM-57, Shure m44-7 needles, Macbook PRO, Bottle of Greygoose vodka hahaha

Related Links
DJ Chachi Profile

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