DJ Dossier

Sean Essex on Creating the Perfect Mix and How Every DJ Needs to Be Unique

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Name: Sean Essex

Genres: I play house, electro, progressive, techno, and electro-trance.

What do you dig about the genres you spin? I like the energy and the bass patterns of my tracks. I'm the type of DJ who chooses a phat beat over a good vocal. But don't get the wrong idea, I like vocals, but the constant good bass beat always gets the crowd going.

How did you get started in the DJ game? I started at a young age dancing and promoting shows in the underground and rave scene in 1998. Then, I just wanted to elevate my involvement. I wanted to become that person that everyone was dancing to and feel the enjoyment of rocking the crowd. And I 100 percent taught myself how to DJ.

Do you have a mantra as a DJ? I believe DJs search for the next big room or massive just like a surfer who searches for the next big wave. Performing is addicting and we as DJs and producers are always searching for the next big performance.

Current gigs: You can check me out every Saturday at Spanish Fly for DIP, Wild Knight for Giant Wednesday shows with Relentless Beats, and out in L.A. at clubs like Boardners [and] Empire in Hollywood.

Where else have you performed? It's a long list, but the landmark clubs are Spy Lounge in Miami's South Beach, Empire Ball Room in Vegas [and] Circus Hollywood. [Locally] Freedom, Myst, Cream Stereo Lounge, Radius, [and] Marquee Theater.

What bygone local club you miss the most? I really miss Cream Stereo Lounge a lot. The DJ booth, the Dynacord sound system, the energy of the room, and the people who supported us for Giant Wednesdays and Stereo HD Fridays.

How do the crowds at Tempe and Scottsdale clubs differ? I would have to say that there is age difference, but the clubbers in Scottsdale like to dance and be noticed. And the clubbers in Tempe like to dance and be social, so there is a switch sometimes when it comes to the atmosphere. But I have respect for both, I just wanna see them dance.

What do you like more: Big club gigs or big music festivals? I am mostly a club DJ but I have played multiple festivals like Dayglo, La La Land, the Colossal and the Big Event. I like both equally.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.