DJ Dossier

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

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What's the craziest thing you've seen at a gig? Definitely the craziest [was] when I played at Avec Nightclub in Orange County. This girl was so excited and into my set she jumped up on the booth and grabbed me, but was wearing high heels and slipped and grabbed the table that the CD-Js and mixer were on and fell back and took all the gear with her. Luckily, she didn't break anything. But we had to hook everything back up again and I continued with my set and everybody went crazy when the music started back up 'cause no one even left the room.

What's been the biggest gig of your career thus far? The best I would have to say is when I got to play at Club Space in Mykonos, Greece. The night was amazing. But my milestone for opening a [gig] would definitely be [for] Gareth Emery who is a huge influence for my productions and my music today.

What is your dream gig? Well, my dream is to play on the main stage at Tomorrowland.

Do you ever get intimidated opening for big names like Above & Beyond or Steve Aoki? Of course, I mean its only natural. I mean a lot of these artists have made such giant moves and are so picky about the format for their openers. And you really only have 15 minutes usually to make a good impression so that you might be invited back to play with that artist. For example, I have opened for Christopher Lawrence four times, Gareth Emery three times and John O'Callaghan three times. It's a honor every time I have been invited back.

What are the FRWD parties all about? My concept for FRWD parties is about moving on and advancing in the EDM scene, for DJs to let go of their differences, just play some great music, move on, and look to the future. And also represent some great styles of music that you would not hear on the radio as well.

What must DJs do to advance the keep things moving forward? To have passion mostly. Love what you do and continue to produce tracks and keep striving to make yourself unique, even if that takes a major challenge. In the end the scene will respect you for taking a chance.

So Destination TV is going to be doing a casting call on Saturday at FRWD? I know they are doing a casting call they might film as well though.

So what's your advice to any people coming to the party to audition? Just dress to impress and be yourself.

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