DJ Crespo: Spoiled by Miami's weather.
DJ Crespo: Spoiled by Miami's weather.
Courtesy of the artist

DJ Crespo on Finding Success: "DJing Is a 24/7 Job"

Though Daniel Crespo spent the first years of his life in Chicago, his family's move to Miami when he was 6 years old was what shaped the performer who became DJ Crespo. "Both Chicago and Miami have a special place in my heart, but Miami has definitely become home," Crespo says. "[Whenever] I hit cold weather now, I'm like, What is this?"

The warm tropics were where he got his musical introduction. "My dad had vinyls of Otis Redding, Abba, and Gloria Estefan, but it was when my sister started playing cassettes of Southern hip-hop and Miami booty that I really fell in love with music."

Later his sister attended the University of Central Florida. When he visited her, he would hang out at the hip-hop club she formed called Elements. "It got its name from the four elements of hip-hop: DJing, breakin', MCing, and graffiti. I paid attention to how the DJ made people dance. He could communicate without saying a single word."

Those lessons, along with a burgeoning love for electronic music that was formed from attending editions of Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival, inspired Crespo to buy his first turntable. "I was a freshman at Florida State when I bought it and learned to scratch. I would knock on the door of every house party to see if I could play."

With a busy touring schedule that has him performing in Boston one day and South Beach the next, he now finds himself on the other side of that door. He has learned that DJ life is one of constant preparation. "I'm touring Europe and Asia later this year. I just got off the plane to Boston after getting a six-hour nap in Miami after coming from Hong Kong, so DJing is a constant, 24/7 job. When I have a day off, I'm downloading new music or creating new music."

He also stays busy with other passions. He's starting a mixtape series called Good Vibrations; some sessions are already available on SoundCloud. "The ones up there are just straight-up mixes. I'm going to make it more interactive with guest DJs, celebrities, and artists talking on there." He's also working on designing a clothing line of functional streetwear.

With all the constant movement, Crespo is excited to have a South Florida date spinning at E11even this Thursday. Not that he's complaining about all the travel. "The journey has been a dream fueled by something I love."

DJ Crespo
10 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at E11even Miami, 29 NE 11th St., Miami; 11miami.com; 305-305-6611. Tickets cost $20 via tixr.com.

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