Junior Sanchez - How I DJ
Growing up in the unassuming suburb of Belleville New Jersey & now residing in New York, at 11 years old boy Junior Sanchez resorted to using hand-me-down records and two of his parents’ old stereo systems to create a makeshift DJ rig. By age 15, he was already DJing at some of the hottest underground clubs in NYC and perfecting his craft as a producer. Fast forward Juniors ever-evolving and forward-thinking style has attracted positive attention from artists spanning all genres. Over the course of his career and has produced and remixed material for Madonna, Shakira, Katy Perry, Good Charlotte, Placebo, The Bravery, Daft Punk, Gorillaz, Blaqk Audio, Hot Hot Heat, Roisin Murphy, Felix Da Housecat, The Faint, New Order, Emiliana Torrini, Jamiroquai, Giorgio Moroder, Moving Units, Les Rhythmes Digitales, and countless others along with many high profiled house labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Toolroom, Size Records, Inhouse, Nervous, Moda, ITH, Azuli Records, Yoshitoshi Recordings, Junior London many others.
Available now on Traxsource.
Are you more of a DJ or Producer — or one in the same?
I think they both go hand in hand, but DJing is what led me to production, so my love for DJing will always be such apart of my musical DNA makeup, but I was born to be in the studio! :)
Describe what makes a good DJ…
A good DJ to me is being able to really make people connect with you without compromising one’s musical integrity, so you can be in a situation were it’s not necessarily your comfort zone and still rock the place and make people understand were your coming from and make them have a good time, you’ve won. And of course being technically gifted and having a great ear always helps.
Who or what inspired you to become a DJ?
I started DJing at a young age, it all started from going out to places like Sound Factory Bar and hearing people like Little Louie Vega, Frankie Knuckles, Kenny Dope, Todd Terry and places like NASA at the Shelter in NYC hearing, everyone from Moby, to Richie Hawtin to Derrick Carter.
When did you know you wanted to DJ/Produce?
When I was in my early teens, my first record came out I was 16.
Who to you is/was “The Dj’s DJ”.
Derrick Carter is hands down my favourite DJ and has been for a long time! And of course, Knuckles, Levan, Mancuso.
Describe your main and preferred DJ set-up.
2 USB Sticks 2 CDJ’s A Mixer and a crowd!
Do you use a laptop? If so, what platform/program?
NO, Just 2 USB Sticks with a a lot of music.
Any special, unique, crazy things on your rider?
Just a dope soundsystem! :). Ohh and I request socks sometime because if you’re on the road for a while it’s good to always have a fresh pair of socks! :)
Beverage of choice while playing?
Coconut water, Sugarfree Redbull and a lot of water.
Favourite country/club/city to play?
So many great places, but of the bat. Spain , England, and Australia without a doubt , all have very healthy great musical and underground scenes.
Do you Sync? What’s your view on this?
NO! I don’t have to nor do I need to, I actually enjoy DJing and working. If you need to sync and you don’t actually know how to technically mix/DJ. I think you should at least learn how to really traditionally beat match and learn how to play , and then go ahead and find what suits you.
Read the crowd or just pound it out?
Most definitely READ THE CROWD.
Big festivals or intimate clubs? Why?
I prefer Intimate clubs just for the immediate connection the DJ has with the crowd and the intense feeling a DJ get and the close proximity you are to the crowd/people.
Ever miss the vinyl days?
I do because I loved the physicality of owning and holding vinyl, but do I miss lugging around record bags all over the world Hell No! :)
How do you maintain your music library?
My entire music library is on external hard drives and also in my laptop. excluding all the Vinyl I own of course.
Use WAV or MP3 while DJing — WHY? Is there a difference?
I use both, I prefer WAV, but I will not play anything under a 320 mp3, is there a difference? Yes. Can an average club goer know what that difference is? NO.
Any Tips for aspiring DJs/Producers?
Be true to oneself, find what motivates you, make music that inspires you and not for anyone else, stay creative and do not follow the herd!
How do you combat the “Everyone is a DJ” mentality?
I don’t let it effect me, I’ve been DJing for so long that it is what it is, I’ve seen actors, rockstars, athlete’s, doctors, all become DJs its just the nature of the beast, we all know who are the real DJs and who are aren’t.