DJ Kyko Talks Latin Clubs, Pitbull, Too $hort, Spring Break, Snoop Dog, and More

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Name: Miguel Morales

AKA: DJ Kyko

Current schedule: I'm at Sky Lounge on Saturday nights, and at PHX Nightclub probably every Friday with Surge Nights.

Preferred genres: For the most part I'm doing a lot of hip-hop, current Top 40 stuff, and Latin music as well.

How did you get started as a DJ? I've always liked music because my mom was a big fan of Motown and stuff like that. So I've always listened to music my whole life. Me and my sister liked recording different songs off of the radio onto cassettes. I would DJ, playing each tape back and forth like I was a DJ. At 15, I went to Circles downtown with my allowance and bought records. I used to mess around with my dad's record player, acting like I was scratching, so my parents bought me some turntables from a yard sale. I started doing little house parties here and there and got going.

How do you differ from other Latin dance DJs? I think every Latin DJ has their own taste in music. When I spin Latin music I put a little more energy into it, more of a hip-hop/Urban feel to it. Some DJs will frequently do only Latin music like bachata or merengues and won't slick it up to where you get a little bit more energy out of it. So, if you didn't like Latin music at all, I'd get you dancing because I give it more of a hip-hop feeling.

Why have Phoenix's downtown clubs exploded in popularity in recent years? I think it came from all the clubs being diverse. They all started doing their own genre, each catering to its own clientele. So every time you'd downtown, you'd see one club specializing in house and underground nip-hop next to another club that with nothing but hip-hop, and then a Latin club. So all the places started working together and not trying to fight for the same kinda clientele.

Sky Lounge is always packed on the weekends. What it like DJing for a crowd like that? It's close to 600 people every Saturday night. So I get my energy based on everyone else's energy. People screaming when I play certain songs or seeing people dance makes me want to keep them dancing all night. Normally we close at 2 a.m., but I try to push it all the way to 3:30 sometimes because people like to dance.

Preferred poison while DJing: When I drink, it's usually Negra Modelo. I also like Jack Daniels single barrel.

Best experience as a DJ: I've gotta say being in Ensenada during spring break is by far one of the best experiences that I've ever had. I was DJing at a club one night three years ago when the manager of came up and asked, "Do you know a guy named Too $hort? He's here and wants you to play his songs and some stuff to rap over."

Worst experience as a DJ: Everything I've done - good or bad -- I've considered to be a learning experience, so the worst time I can think of is when it rained all over my equipment while DJing outdoors.

Most requested track: Every three or four songs, it seems like I'm playing a Pitbull song because he's really pushing that urban/Latino-type music. He's generalized all the Latin music and put a lot of hip-hop into it. Not only can Latinos like Pitbull, but anybody can as well.

Where do you get music? From My12Inch.com and DJ City, for the most part. They're both digital record pools. Also from labels sending it directly to me.

Where do you shop locally? As far as getting vintage vinyl, I go to Trax in Wax to find older stuff.

Last album you purchased: It had to be Jay-Z's album, The Blueprint 3. I'm a big fan of Jay-Z, and have everything he's done.

Track currently stuck in your head: Actually there are two songs that I think about all the time and I'm eager to play, "Maldito Alcohol" by Pitbull and "Gangsta Love" by Snoop Dog.

Current projects: My latest mix that I am going to be putting up soon called On Rainy Days. It's gonna be one of those albums that anybody can just listen to on a rainy day and kind of feel good. A lot of old school hip-hop mixed in together.

Any other upcoming gigs? I'll be DJing in Ensenada at Papas & Beer during the first week of spring break.

Where can you be found when you are not DJing? I like to sit at home and just practice different stuff that I do. I love Sushi too.

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