Known for spinning a party where most of the people are nearly naked, this dapper DJ works the ones and twos while dressed to the nines. Debuting in NYC at a sushi restaurant, making his name in Miami, and now getting ready to bring the beats to a monstrous Halloween kiki in Hell’s Kitchen… here’s the story of Joe Pacheco!
Thotyssey: Joe, hello! Thanks so much for chatting with us today! It’s getting a little chilly out… are you okay with this, or are you an Endless Summer DJ?
DJ Joe Pacheco: I’m most definitely an Endless Summer DJ; all you have to do is take a look at my closet and see I perpetually live in the summer.
Gurl, the struggle is real! At least it’s almost Halloween… any costume plans yet?
I’m still debating that. I don’t usually get dressed up for Halloween, so it’s still a big ol’ question mark!
Actually, as far as wardrobe is concerned, you do seem pretty high fashion in general. What’s the story behind #DoItDapperly look?
My goal was to establish a signature–not just sound, but a look. It’s no secret, there are a lot of DJs that serve body and play great music. But it’s a tried and true formula used by many people, so it would be hard to get noticed as a new DJ. Regardless, I don’t have that perfect body (lol), but what I did recognize was that I have always been influenced by fashion; after all, I did graduate with a degree in accessories design.
While a majority of DJs were taking their clothes off, I thought it’d be genius to do the polar opposite. Sure enough, this little hunch of mine worked. I started wearing suits in unconventional colors, and people really loved it. It got to the point where I would get asked “will you wear a suit again for the party?” Now people just know to expect it.
I also wanted to communicate the message to the public that you don’t need to conform to be accepted. Being so intertwined in the circuit scene, I get insecure all the time; you’re in a world full of people that are featured in magazines or videos with perfect looks, and you end up feeling inadequate. I feel like when I wear a suit, I’m letting my audience know that this is a safe space where it’s not about physical aesthetics; it’s about the music and positive, uplifting vibes. Nightlife is an escape from reality for most people; I want everyone to leave with a memory they can cherish once the lights come on.
Beautifully said, and a brilliant way to stand out! Although on the downside, you must sweat your balls off on some nights.
I sweat in places I didn’t know I had… but luckily, the cameras don’t capture that. Lol!
So where are you from originally, and how long have you been a DJ?
I am a native New Yorker, and I’ve been DJing for a little over three years now.
Tell us how you broke into the biz.
It honestly all started as a weekend trip to Miami with my best friends, Labor Day Weekend, back in 2015. We had gone to a party called Urge, and that had been such an epic experience for me between the music, the production, and the venue itself. The moment I walked out the door, I looked at my best friends and said that I would learn how to mix a set somehow, and go from there. What started as a simple kiki between friends turned into this wildfire!
It wasn’t until 2016 when I entered a DJ contest for White Party Palm Springs that I started getting recognized as a DJ. After competing and making it as a finalist, people began to see that I was taking this seriously, and wasn’t pursuing this out of a whim.
What is your music of choice, both as a DJ and as a general consumer?
As a DJ, I focus mainly on progressive and tribal house with an urban and Latin twist. I love the fusion of these sounds because there’s an element of surprise that generally catches the crowd off guard, and the people live for those moments. As a consumer, besides house music, I’m a sucker for Brazilian funk–give me some Anitta, Iza, or Gloria Groove, and I’m a happy camper.
Are you Brazilian?
No, I’m actually Dominican and Puerto Rican, but I get that often because my last name is a very common Brazilian and Portuguese last name.
Gotcha. What was your first New York gig?
Ha! My first gig was actually at a sushi restaurant called Bamboo52. It used to be on 52nd between 8th and 9th. My best friends and I would joke about that party being “circuit and sushi.” It was my first opportunity, and I couldn’t have been any happier to be given the chance to share what I loved doing, but live for the first time. There’s something about spinning live and seeing the crowd’s reaction first hand that just doesn’t compare to someone giving you a shout out online about a set I would post on Soundcloud.
That must’ve been fun! I have heard some shady anecdotes about what it was like to work at that restaurant, though.
Lol! It was always a pleasant experience interacting with staff, though the upstairs neighbors complaining about the volume did put a damper on my nights sometimes.
That always blows my mind. Who moves on top of a restaurant or bar in this city and then complains about the noise?
It’s sad how frequent of an issue it is, to be honest. It really is a struggle to find a quality venue to hold parties that focus on great music because there’s always someone complaining about noise. I guess that comes with the territory of a city where everyone is stockpiled on top of each other.
I’ve been noticing more of a shift towards Brooklyn, and it makes sense; it’s not as condensed. The venues can function freely without annoying tenants since the venues are usually in a different area than residential areas.
Well, one party in Manhattan where we can usually find you spinning these days is Big Banana Thursdays (from Miguel Colin & Alan Picus) at ReBar in Chelsea, every second and fourth week of the month. That’s evolved into a popular, sexy underwear party complete with a naughty VIP room! How do you like working there?
I have a great time working that event. I always admire parties that have a clear direction with marketing and branding and stay true to it. It’s great to be able to offer a midweek event because that is a gap that needs to be filled in nightlife; there’s always someone looking for something to do during the week, so it’s a great moment to just unwind and have a good time.
Do you ever find yourself distracted by all the, er, bananas?
On occasion, a jockstrap might catch my eye, lol… but I’m usually too focused on enjoying the music to really care.
Very admirable! And this Halloween Saturday, you’ll be at the Copa for a Resnicow & Picus circuit party, Laboratory, along with DJ Dani Brasil! How do you think that’s gonna go?
I think it’s going to be a very exciting party. I know a lot of people have been wanting me on a main stage for some time now, so this is going to be a great moment–and it also being Dani’s NYC debut, you know we’re going to really give it our all with the music.
Have an a amazing night! And finally: how do you respond when you are deep in a Pacheco groove during a gig, and a patron comes up and requests a “Britney throwback?”
I actually don’t mind it at all; I try to always have a well-rounded sound that includes a lot of Top 40 remixes. My goal is always to create a musical experience that the crowd can connect with. Sometimes it’s tough because there is only so much music I can keep on my flash drives. Nevertheless, I’ll always be transparent with a patron and inform him or her that I don’t have a particular track, but always invite them to come back with another request if they think one up.
Joe Pacheco DJs Big Banana Thursdays every second and fourth Thursday at ReBar Chelsea (10pm). Check Thotyssey’s calendar for a full list of his upcoming gigs, and follow Joe on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Soundcloud.