Los Locals: Recommendations from PHX’s DJ Melo

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In this new column, we talk to culture makers and shakers around the country – people doing cool things in nightlife, photography, fashion, music, booking, etc. – about their opinions on the best local bands, venues, parties, and….. hangover food, because obviously.
This time: DJ MELO, who will be performing 2/8/14 at REMEZCLA PHX, so don’t forget to RSVP.
Check out some of his collaborations here: DJ Melo – The Collaborations. (Think 2wice Records)

My name is Jorge Melo, I go by the name DJ Melo, I am a Latin male & live in Peoria, AZ.

What do you do in Phoenix?
I DJ in Phoenix a couple nights a week & I like to check out fellow DJ’s nights/parties when time permits.

Describe your style.
I come from a Hip Hop background but have also been influenced by Latin & electronic music. I like to play what I feel like playing at the moment as a reflection of my mood. I’m not too into having a packed dancefloor, I like to DJ at chill/lounge spots. Creating a “vibe” is very import to me as a DJ.

Tell us about one of your craziest Phoenix nights?
Man, Ive been living here for over 20 years now. So many crazy nights. I remember walking home but walking the wrong way. Getting dropped off at events & not even being sure if I had a ride home, with a DJ crate too haha. Anytime the crew got together at Headquarters back in the 90’s ended up being a crazy night. One time my homie Damian drove the car on to the off ramp on the freeway, we ended up dangling off the edge. So many crazy nights I better just keep quiet…

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What local Phoenix bands/DJs should we have on our radar? Why?
Djentrification is always a treat to catch on the turntables. So creative & strictly vinyl. Plus he has great taste in music. Another all vinyl dude is the homie DJ Smite. He has tons of records I’ve never even heard of before & it’s fun to watch him do his live loops & “Cumbia Crunk” remixes. There are tons of great DJ’s in PHX. My Sidebar dudes Mane One & Kris The Fist are no joke, Pickster One, DJ M2, Josh One (Slick 76), Riot Earp, DJ Organic, Tricky T, Pablo Gomez, Dehga, Pete “Supermix” Salaz, Senbad, Tranzo, Clavo, the list goes on & on…

Best venues for live music?
I do a monthly 90’s party at the Crescent Ballroom and the sound there is awesome. I also opened for Cafe Tacvba there & always enjoy to see bands there. DJ wise, I gotta say Monarch Theatre is the best place to catch touring DJ’s.

Best Latin place to get hangover food?
I like to go to the Salsitas by my moms house.

Which bars/clubs should we avoid if we’re going to Phoenix?
I dig most places in Phoenix, there’s still a few places I haven’t got a chance to check out but overall I wouldn’t avoid any places in Phoenix. I DJ one night a week in Scottsdale but it’s at a restaurant, I see there are tons of clubs around there but I’ve never really been to any.

Where can we party with you?
Sidebar Sundays, Hanny’s in Downtown Phoenix Thursday & Friday’s, AZ88 in Scottsdale on Saturdays, Crescent Ballroom, Bar Smith etc…

Most inspiring person?
Without getting too deep, I gotta probably say both Dave Nada from Nadastrom & DJ Sabo from Sol Selectas. I’ve had the chance to spin with them in DC a couple of times at the Moombahton Massive parties. Both these dudes have been pretty supportive over the last few years. I remember approaching Dave Nada in 2010 on Soundcloud & asking him if Moombahton was something he wanted to keep to himself & he was totally into the idea of having the sound grow beyond what he was doing. I dropped a couple of releases in 2013 on DJ Sabo’s Sol Selectas label. One was a collaboration with him called “Crema e Gusto” & the other as “Kingman Fire” with my partner Pickster. Sabo has been a huge influence from running his own label to traveling the world playing Latin & mid tempo dance music.

Best hidden gem in Phoenix?
I was working last year delivering medical equipment & there was this spot 45 minutes east of Phoenix that I used to deliver to. Can’t remember the name, it might be called Gold Canyon. Anyways, it’s like a mountain or a cliff I really can’t describe it but it was beautiful to look at.

Favorite Spanish curse word?
¡¡Hijo de la chingada!!