DJ Tsunami Talks Phoenix's LGBT Club Scene, Ke$ha's Animal, F.Y.E, and More

AKA: DJ Tsunami

Club Nights: Tuesdays at Charlie's, Fridays at Z Girl Club, Saturdays at Incognito.

Preferred genres: Rhythmic pop urban dance

How did you get started DJing? Ever since I was born, my family raised me on music. I began making DJ tapes when I was 8, doing voice-overs on Top 40 countdown shows. At 14, I began going to raves and fell in love with the music. I started doing house parties in my twenties, and also got my first club gig in 2004. It was truly my passion and endurance that has introduced me to, and kept me going in the industry.

Explanation behind your DJ name: I used to be DJ Tsunami, "The Wave of the Rave." I thought when I started out, a tagline would be cool, then it just stuck. I like to think my DJ sets are like a tsunami, slowly build and build and build until by the end of it, you are wiped out and wet!

Favorite experience as a DJ: Anytime there are smiling faces and dancing bodies I feel good knowing that people are absorbing the music I spin.

Other places you've performed: DJing at The Biz in Phoenix was a euphoric feeling on my 18-plus Sunday night, just seeing so many people sharing the dance floor, bonding, and expressing themselves.

What would you change about the Valley's DJ scene: My desire is for local DJs, promoters, and nightclubs to work collectively to create an epic scene that has no boundaries, and catches the eye of the world. There is so much talent in Arizona that does not get the exposure they deserve, people with a true heart and passion for music that get overlooked and overshadowed.

What's your opinion on the LGBT club scene? A friend once told me that the gay scene has a lot of bars with dance floors, but no real dance clubs with the focus on the music. My experience with LGBT is that some tend to be educated on the latest trends in music and fashion, and always looking ahead to what's new and next. Others love the great drink specials.

LGBT clubs vs. straight clubs: Despite the stereotypes, not all LGBT people like staying within the confines of LGBT clubs. Quite a few will journey into straight clubs because of the music they find there. There is no common thread. I'm thankful to be spinning in three different environments within the community, a gay men's' club, a lesbian bar, and an LGBT hip-hop spot. Each night offers something different. I play everything from pop to hip-hop, Latin, and dance. I've noticed in straight clubs there is usually a theme each night, and the DJ usually stays within the confines of one genre, where as with LGBT clubs, most DJs are given the freedom to play to the crowd.

How do you get a crowd jumping? In an LGBT club, you target the males. In a straight club, you target the females. That usually gets your dance floor pumpin!

Where do you shop locally for music? On any given day you can find me inside an F.Y.E store. I love discovering new tunes.

Last album purchased: As a DJ, I get a lot of promos and I prefer singles, but an entire album, the last one I remember buying was Ke$ha's Animal. I love the electro beats and outright sexuality she exudes. It's almost intoxicating, and certainly addictive.

Song currently stuck in your head: Rihanna's "Rude Boy" is the number one most requested song right now.

Current projects: I like to put out seasonal mix CDs for people to enjoy, and I have the Phoenix Pride Festival coming up in April so I'm working on my next mix. I try to have a variety of mixes available too.

Any future gigs you'd like to promote: Our Lady Gaga Birthday Blowout at Charlie's on March 30, as well as the 2010 Glamrock Summer Kick-Off Fashion/Hair Runway Show at Sandbar in Chandler on April 11, not to mention the Pride Festival, the weekend starting April 17th.

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