Last weekend at Beekman Beach Club, we had the opportunity to hang out with DJ/Producer John Paige, before he opened for Eric Prydz. We saw him kill it at Juicy Beach a few weeks earlier and were excited to hear what he had to say. Paige was super cool and humble, and based on our conversation you’d never guess he had recently toured with Avicii. Check out our conversation below and be sure to check out DJPaige.com to see what he’s up to.
TBM: Thanks for taking some time to sit with us today.
Paige: My pleasure
TBM: How was Spinning at Identity Festival earlier today?
Paige: Crazy! It was a sea of Neon. The energy was crazy, they were just there to wild’ out.
TBM: Did you stick around for any of the other sets?
Paige: I stayed till about 9 o’clock, so I saw everyone but Eric (Prydz), unfortunately.
TBM: Whose set were you most impressed with?
Paige: Arty’s set was I guess…Beautiful. It was every direction; Electro, Progressive, Euro. It had bits of everything and the crowd was loving it. Basically, I loved his set.
TBM: So, onto a little about yourself; When did you get into DJ/Producing music?
Paige: I’ve been DJ’ing since I was 12. My dad was a Disco DJ back in the day. He got into carpentry when he had me, so he left his equipment in the garage, and never really told me anything about it. One day I came home from school and I opened it up and started mixing Sugar Hill Gang with Disco records and I haven’t stopped since. I went to The School of Audio Engineering on 33rd and Broadway, and I’ve been DJ’ing for about 10 years now.
TBM: How would you classify your style? Do you think you fall into a particular sub-genre?
Paige: I kind of gave it a name: Techtro, if that makes any sense. Every day my mood is different so I don’t know what I’m going to play but I love the hard wildness of electro, yet the drums and the groove of tech house. I grew up on dancing, my first favorite DJ’s were Boris and Victor Calderone. So the underground days where you don’t know nothing, and you’re just there to dance. So, If I can’t make you dance, I’m not doing my job. Putting your hand up is one thing, but doing that and dancing at the same time is the most amazing feeling ever.
TBM: Who are some musical influences in your life?
Paige: Daft Punk is a huge influence, Michael Jackson as well. Right now I love Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano. I’ll never forget how Eric Morillo is still killing it to this day. Danny Tenaglia as well. The list is endless.
TBM: Do you want to share any stuff you’re working on?
Paige: I have a single coming out with Debra Cox called “Higher”. It’s got big room vocals, with huge synth breakdowns, and also a really crazy electro/dub section. A perfect mix of everything. On August 17th I have my debut at Pacha NYC, and Debra Cox will be performing.
TBM: You mentioned to me earlier that you don’t have a planned set for tonight. There has been a lot of discussion about certain DJ’s having pre-recorded sets. What are your thoughts on the “Press Play” controversy?
Paige: It’s not fair. It’s just not right to the audience who come out to see you. They come to hang out and vibe off you. How is a DJ supposed to vibe if his set is pre-recorded? How do you know how they are going to react to a song or the following song? For me, it takes away from the fun. I have super ADD, I black out from Adrenaline, and I’m there to rage; so if you’re playing it out, what are you really doing?
TBM: TheBeatMill recently posted an editorial about the concept of PLUR and how the newer generation of fans may not be completely grasping the idea. What are your thoughts?
Paige: I learned about PLUR a few weeks ago at Juicy Beach Governor’s Island from @sirpluralot and I think it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t think it’s necessary to wear the bands (Kandi) to be considered PLUR, but I think spreading the love and the feeling behind it is what’s key, because house music is about uniting through love and being able to escape the weekly bullshit that everyone goes through. Whether you want to wear a bracelet, hat, or shoes that represent PLUR, then by all means do it.
TBM: What’s your favorite local venue?
Paige: Definitely Pacha. Pacha is the Mecca of NYC scene. I think it’s every DJ’s dream to spin at Pacha Ibiza and Pacha NYC. The staff and management are amazing and all about the scene and industry.
TBM: You must love seeing everyone get down and dirty in the pit.
Paige: That’s what it’s all about! It’s all about the horn too!
TBM: What aspects of festivals and outdoor venues do you enjoy?
Paige: I like that people are there for the day. You don’t come for just a few hours, or arrive at 1AM to leave at 3. They are there to rage from the minute they get there to the minute they leave. Artists get to showcase their edits or original mixes for however long. There aren’t really restrictions on the DJ’s which I think is cool.
TBM: Many are noticing that the EDM movement is different from other music industries due to a closer connection between artists and their fans, any thoughts?
Paige: I like to make sure that every set or every production that I make has love in it, be it vocally or in the beat. It comes from my passion. It’s a feeling that’s so addicting that it becomes a way of life. It’s not just a genre of music, it’s underground generation. I think the reason it stands out so much is that Hip Hop and that stuff can be negative, degrading to women, and financially irresponsible. House music really unites everyone in a non-materialistic way.
TBM: If you could choose a DJ/Producer to collaborate with right now, who would that be?
Paige: At the moment it would be Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano. I think they’ve found a beautiful, yet dope way to spin. You’ll see them and not know what they’re going to play; but you’ll know you’re getting rocked from beginning till end.
TBM: I had the pleasure of seeing SJRM at Pacha NYC a few weeks ago and agree that they’re skill of crowd control is top notch.
Paige: And they’re sexy as hell.
TBM: Is there any message you’d like to leave with your fans?
Paige: You can stay updated on DJPaige.com. Look out for my new tracks titled “Higher” with Debra Cox and “Leave It All Behind” with Alexis Beshada.