This Colombian born beatmaster got his NYC start in Jackson Heights, and is now on the roster of the City’s hottest venue of the hour: DJ Jovanotti Banguera!
Thotyssey: Hello Jovanotti, Happy New Year! How was your weekend?
DJ Jovanotti: It was good — nice first “Pop Rave” of the year at The Q, and some free time to rest after so much work.
What was your favorite track that you played?
“Do it To It, “by Acraze and Cherish.
Yes, that one is fire! “Pop Rave” is the Friday night party at The Q, where all three floors feature a dance party! Where were you?
The “SPEAQEASY Room,” on the second floor.
That’s where all the “action” is at! Do the cute boys and their “business” ever distract you when you are DJing, lol?
Not really! When you’re there mixing live, you can’t be distracted. I’m connected with the people I see dancing, who enjoy every song I play for them. You have a playlist prepared, but sometimes there are moments when the flow of those who are dancing deserve that song that they don’t even expect. I see many cute guys, yes… but what I like to see is them dancing.
So you are originally from Colombia… what was it like for you living there, and was music always a part of your life?
Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries in the planet. Music was always part of my life. In high school I was in the dance team; then in the parties, I liked to have always a nice playlist for every party. I started going to parties where really nice DJs play music like Roger Sanchez, Eric Morillo and Carl Cox. And after these parties finished, I liked to come home and continue the party… so I had to prepare special playlists. In the middle of some of the parties I met some DJ friends in Colombia, and one of them started to teach me how to use a controller and play the music. So there I wanted to learn more. [So that’s why] I’m here!
How long have you been a New Yorker?
Where did you start DJing in the City?
I started at Hombres Lounge [in Jackson Heights, Queens]. I came there looking for a job as a DJ; the manager let me play music one Sunday in the happy hour. He liked it, but I played only house music that day and he told me “I need from you some Latin music, too.” He liked the Guaracha music that I played, but for the bar he needs Latin. So I told him, “it’s okay, I can bring you Latin, too.”
I started to look for more Latin beats and listening to the DJs in the area. And I started to build my Latin style. The part that I loved was playing hip hop; I’ve never done [that] in Colombia. I could see more nice combinations [from local DJs] of the music that I didn’t want to do before.
If it was entirely up to you now, what might a DJ Jovanotti night sound like?
I’m thinking of the best way to answer this. I’m Latin, and sometimes I wanna say something… but only know the words in Spanish, because in English it doesn’t exist. Now, it’s a moment like that. A Jovanotti night’s sound is like a conga, Latin drums… like I say in Spanish, Sabor… it’s that thing that makes you stand up. I love a song that is produced by a duo, Pele & Shawnecy: “Better for My Brain.” That track could define what sound I am!
So, how fun is it to work at The Q?
Working at The Q is amazing! They are bringing great DJs–giving the place to new faces and old faces, joining forces to bring these special parties. I think it’s a combination of everything: the dancers, the drags, the sound technician… everyone gives a big support for the team.
Do all you Q DJs get to hang out and kiki ever?
I know some of them, and we support each other in the parties where we play. So after the work, we like to continue with some [more] party!
Do you have a “Craziest Thing I’ve Seen Go Down at The Q” story yet?
I think something crazy is having a DJ in the restroom! The “BathHause” at the Q Saturdays, and some special parties, you can find a DJ there. The people enjoy so much that; I’ve played music there, and I saw many things happening in the restroom… you know what I mean! But one of the most nice things is to see the people dancing there for long time, enjoying the music! Everyone says, “this is weird… but really nice!”
So aside from weekends at The Q, you’re also frequently spinning there on Wednesdays for their new party “LatinQ.”
It’s a very fun night; I’m making a team with great Brazilian DJs [producer Diogo Ambrosio et al] and beautiful drag queens [Pietra Parker et al] that bring an amazing show. We are trying to give a good reason to the people to go out for a party on Wednesday.
Also, a Mexican fusion restaurant in Astoria called Fresco’s Cantina, which has gained popularity over the years thanks in part to its drag shows, is getting a larger space better equipped for shows and parties: Fresco’s Grand Cantina! You’ll be part of the new brunch shows there.
This Wednesday they will make a soft opening; I’ll be there playing music, and the idea is to bring the same activities [they did] in the other restaurant. For Sunday drag brunch, I’ll be there playing some music. Some of the queens that I’m so happy to work there are Stasi, Essence, Roqué and Chicky Gorgina.
Another Diogo Ambrosio Brazilian kiki you’re part of is “Pegaté,” which is usually the first Saturday of every month at Rebar Chelsea.
Yes, the next “Pégate” should be on February 5. You have to come! The Latin music is the theme of the party, but I have the space during the night to bring all the old pop songs there were very popular in 2000s.
By the way, my readers definitely wanna know: are you single!?
Im not single; I have one of the most special men in the world.
Aw, congratulations… and sorry readers, lol! To close: do you have any advice for new DJs who want to make it in LGBT+ NYC?
First I wanna say thanks to you, to give me this moment to talk about how I’m living this dream.
My best advice is: believe in you, no matter what people say. Believe in you like Kanye West believe in him, lol! But please don’t think you are a God; don’t forget to connect the emotions of the people with the music. Playing music is not just following a playlist! And the last thing: work hard. Everything in the life comes when you really work hard.
Thank you, Jovanotti!