By Rebecca Bulnes
By Lee Zimmerman
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"I like Miami girls, bro, over any other chick," he admits. "I can't disclose on the European girls, but pussy is pussy at the end of the day."
The Mr. Nice Guy Records label head, New Times 2013 MasterMind Award winner, party DJ, and producer also has a busy Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week ahead of him. He's throwing a label party at the Catalina Hotel, doing a Hot Creations DJ set at the Ice Palace, and playing in a charity basketball game.
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New Times: Shit's gonna be busy in Miami. But you've also got a show coming up in Mexico, right?
Jesse Perez: Yeah, I'm playing in Juárez. I'm taking my AK with me. I'm actually staying in El Paso, and they'll pick me up an hour before the gig and take me through customs and the border. I could walk through any hood here. But there, it's different. I hear their parties are off the chain, though. So I'm like, "Fuck it. I'll do it." I got love for the people.
How was the European tour?
People in the UK know me more than people in Miami, and I lived here my whole life. I do get love at home, but when I walked in the club in the UK, they were already cheering for me. It felt good. I had friends telling me, like, "Yo, your music is big in Britain." But to see it in person is a whole other thing.
What about the rest of the continent?
It's definitely more advanced in the house scene. I think it's 'cause their weather is really shitty. They have no choice but to be indoors all the time listening to music and going to parties. Here in Miami, we have too many options, like going to King of Diamonds, bowling, and the beach.
What do you think about interviews?
They're always the same old boring shit. Just DJs talking about how they were, like, raised in a cave, listening to techno their whole lives.
How long have you been going to Ultra?
I've been hitting that up for about eight or nine years. Well, really, 11 years. Like, high school shit. I was one of them little kids into the raves that's out there now.
You did an interview with us and said you got on the Hot Creations label when you gave a demo to Lee Foss while swapping chicks at a swingers' club by the airport. Was that true?
Nah. [laughs] That was made up. I feel like a lot more people are interested in my bio than the truth. Like, they don't care if you've got talent as long as you've got the hype behind you. I look at the radio and I can't believe that some of the guys out here that are amazing are starving. They're like gods in their own league.
What about your album Tales From an 8th Street Motel?
I'm really on that sex content. That's an album on something that's not really known about outside of here. That's like a Miami thing, to go to the club and meet a chick and take her to an Eighth Street motel. There's like 300 motels out there with all types of crazy rooms, and I'd rather be spending time and money there than a lot of places.
What's up with the charity basketball game?
Oh, that's one of the things I'm most excited about. It benefits Big Hearts for Big Dogs rescue here in Miami, with a bunch of pretty well-known DJs from the house scene. It's cool to do something for a good cause.