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DJ Mastamonk Talks Hipster Fans, Bar Smith, Silver Medallion, Patrón, and More

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AKA: DJ Mastamonk

Current club nights: Friday at Vintage in Tempe or Dirty Pretty in Scottsdale, Saturday at Whip Lounge in Tempe, and a Sunday monthly residence at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale.

Preferred genres: Man, there's waaay too many things I like playing genre-wise right now. Really diggin the funky disco-type electro that some people are puttin out.

How did you get started as a DJ? [In] 10th grade, me and a few buddies had a B-Boy crew called D.O.A. in Tucson, we thought it would be dope to have a crew DJ for shows, so I assumed the role. Really liked doing it and started gettin into the Tucson battle DJ scene. A couple years later won a battle put on by a local radio station and had weekly mixes on their mixshows, all while still a senior in high school.

Best memory as a DJ: Favorite experience hands down has to be a tie. Both happened at the age of 17: first live on-air radio broadcast and my first club gig. The tension that I had building, the excitement, the anxiety, and eagerness to just go out and have fun playing. Sometimes I miss that because it forces you to be on top of your game, forces you to step it up a notch.

What's the explanation behind your DJ name? My arms were waaaaay too long for my body in elementary school that I would swing on the monkey bars and skip more bars than anyone else. They made fun of me and called me Monkey Arms. In middle school people started to think it was an actual nickname, the arms part dropped off and it was just monkey. In high school I was "too cool" and shortened it to Monk. When I started DJing it only made sense to keep DJ monk which later turned to Mastamonk.

What do you like best about the Phoenix DJ/dance scene? Gotta say that I like the diversity and the knowledge of music that downtown PHX has more than anything.

Where have been your favorite places to spin: Bar Smith during Fuse Fridays for Sol Martinez, I loved the crowd and overall feel of the venue. I really enjoyed myself playing there. My fave spot to play in the valley [also] has to be Dirty Pretty

What's it like spinning for hipsters? Hipster crowds are the single most brutally honest groups of people I've played for and I appreciate the honesty. I hate when you have an off set and people still tell you [that] you killed it when you know that you just sucked! Sometimes it's good to have people tell you that you had an off night. Lets you know you have a musically educated crowd that expects a bit more out of their DJs than mediocrity

How do you get a party going? Kinda usually just take a shot of Patrón and get in party mode (ha ha!), the rest just comes natural. I feel like I do my best when I feel that the crowd and I are both at the same energy level. I think energy and actually giving your audience a show is the best way to get a party going

Any other mantras when it comes to DJing? Kill it!!!!!!!

What sites do you use for music: Sheena Beaston, White Folks Get Crunk, DJ City, Discodust, just to name a few.

Track currently stuck in your head: "Gatas" by Edu K.

Current projects: Currently workin on production of remixes and some originals for AZ group Silver Medallion as well as a few of my own original tracks that I'm trying to get out. Also putting together a mix that will be released in the next month.

When not DJing, where can you be found? Home workin on music or supporting other local talent.

Preferred poison while DJing: Always the same, Ketel One and soda, and Patrón chilled with lime.

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