On Point With: DJ Joe Pacheco

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks, Joe!


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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.

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