Miami DJ and producer Jesse Perez is making some moves in our town, and he’s getting recognition for his music and label from giants in the scene like Marco Carola. I linked up with Jesse to talk about his latest release, his record label and hoes getting dick. Excuse the expletives, please.
Check out the whole EP, “That’s Real Mothafuckin Talk” below, and click here to buy it on Beatport.
This is your first time delving into deep house. I love it. What’s the deal with that?
I just like to express myself. I don’t like sticking to one format. I’m always making different shit. “Thinking Back On My One Room Shack’, or “Walking On A Rainbow” are perfect examples of that. I played all the instruments in those tracks. Its not something you can drop at a club but it’s something that defines myself as an artist. The EP I dropped this week features two deep house tracks. It’s my interpretation of deep house. It’s not deep like the typical “118 BPM I’m opening for some hot shot” kinda deep. But it’s just my way of saying “Hey, the cool DJ isn’t on yet, but don’t worry you can still grind to this shit meanwhile”. I wish Beatport had an “Ass Clapping” genre. I’d put all my tracks in there.
I hear such classic Miami 1995 booty mix sounds in your music. Am I right? What are those Miami sounds, and why do you incorporate them?
Yeah, I definitely try to have a 90′s Miami feel on most of my tracks. I was born and raised here. Growing up in Miami during the 90s was the best! I remember watching music videos on The Box or calling Power 96 to request songs like “I Wanna Rock”, “Journey Into Bass” and all those other jams from local Bass /Booty artist. That’s when miami rap artists were making some dope shit. Teens in that era were doing the “One Leg Up”, straight grindin’ on hoes at a 15s party. That shit was fun. So I try to keep that kinda vibe in my music. I think it’s something locals can relate to. Nashville runs Country, New York runs Hip Hop, Miami runs BASS. I’m from this muthafucka, so I’ll keep reppin’ it the way I experienced it.
How do you choose names for your songs? “This Hoe Gonna Get Some Dick” is pretty hardcore for a song name.
I try to keep myself different from other artists. There are a million songs named “Eternity”or “Sunrise”. Yet, there is only ONE song you can find on the net called “This Hoe Gonna Get Some Dick”. If you find another link with that title, make sure your parents or little sister aren’t next to you when you click on it, because that’s definitely going to be a muthafuckin party!
When did you first get into music and how did Djing and producing come about?
Music runs in my blood. My mom is a piano teacher, so I grew up surrounded by pianos and keyboards. When I reached middle school, I was learning the saxophone. I had a really dope band teacher then. We were playing tracks like “Purple Haze” by Jimmy Hendrix. It definitely played a major part in my interest in music, but it wasn’t until I attended Homestead High that I met Willy Chin from Black Chiney who would later become a world renown reggae DJ. He introduced me to the Acid production software after I showed him some mashups I had made using the sound recorder app from windows. His Cousin “Supa Dups” (who just won a grammy for his collab with Eminem) was making some cool tracks with it, so he suggested I start writing tracks with it too. That was in 2001. I started DJing house parties the following year, mostly playing hip-hop. A few years later I started working at a local record store called “Music World”. I met Ariel G there and shortly after, we started djing at hip hop clubs together. During this time, we were both making house tracks too. Ariel started Behold Recordings a little later and the rest is history. I did most of my early tracks on this imprint, before starting Mr. Nice Guy.
Tell me about Mr. Nice Guy, your record label, and how it got started.
I was making music for many years before I decided to start Mr. Nice Guy. I just got tired of shopping records that I knew were good, but labels felt they weren’t fitting to their sound. In addition, labels now a days don’t give artist a proper release. Most of them focus more on building these “10- 30 track compilations” / “soundtracks for the summer” that fucking suck, rather then pushing an EP that would help an artist receive more exposure.
So I just decided to make a label (Mr. Nice Guy) that would not only do things the right way, but would also contain dope material that is different from everything else others are doing. In just a matter of 8 months we’ve made some major noise. I’ve worked really hard on coming up with creative ideas to market our material. “The After School Special Vol.1″ promo video is a perfect example of that. It’s definitely on some other shit. I’m already starting to see people bite that idea. Souvenir presents: In The City… what a major fail. Try again homies!
Who are some other artists that you promote with Mr. Nice Guy?
Right now I’m really trying to push Hectik Rivero & Mika Materazzi. They’re both born and raised here as well and they are making some nasty ass shit. Like straight whipping it out and slapping muthafuckers with it! Marco Carola has been destroying every event he plays with their bomb “From A Jar”, and “Overtown Boogie” is a must in every set I play. If you’re a local Miami DJ or Electronic Enthusiast, you should definitely pay attention to these guys. They’re handing out baby-making instructions with every track they drop.
You’ve been getting a lot of support for your work lately from big artists like Jamie Jones, Marco Carola and Pleasurekraft. What’s that like for you?
It’s a feeling like no other. The first time I saw a video of Marco dropping “Homie Don’t Play That” at Sunwaves, and then a few days later watching Jamie drop “Jesse Don’t Sport No Jerri Curl” at Parklife, gave me chills. You only get to enjoy moments like that once. Pleasurekraft has also been one of my major supporters. The label as a whole has been getting a lot of play, and chart support from these guys. Not too many cats in this game will reach out or shine some light on other artist. These guys are legit.
What are you up to this summer? Chillin’ in Miami? Touring at all?
I’m currently working on a ton of projects so I’ll be in my studio until August before touring Europe again. I’m also playing a few nights this summer at the Pickle, and The Cove while I’m here.
We have a Mr. Nice Guy Party happening in Miami in the summer as well. I’ll post more details about that on my fan page very soon.
Do you think Miami is a good spot for emerging talent like you?
At this very moment (July 1st 2011), there’s not much local support. You have two groups of clubbers: the ones who really follow artists and the ones that follow whatever Jackie Richie Tweets.
The one’s that are following these Tweets outweigh the ones that properly follow artists. So it makes it very difficult for artists to emerge here. It all comes down to if a club wants to make the initiative to push you — without their help, guys like myself are in the dark. Marketing directors that handle club bookings don’t care for talent. They want numbers. They want a DJ to have a promotions team. I can’t guarantee you that I’ll bring 50 heads. That’s what promoters are for. I stick to what I know best. I can only assure you that if I’m spinning it’s going to be a muthafuckin’ party!
When Oscar was slangin’ it at space and had a giant picture of him near the entrance you were forced to know who he was. Things like that help the artist. Everybody in this city loves him. He earned that shit though. But now those days are long gone. No one will get a shot like that anymore. I hope in a few months someone will step up and make me eat these words.
But right now, its all about who’s getting booked from out of town. Which is cool, I want Miami to be an Ibiza or London that has really good talent playing 7 days a week. But if we don’t have one club in this city that’s willing to say, ‘Ok, we’re going to do some big bookings from out of town, but every other Saturday night we want our local hot shot “Pepe Mandingo” to slang some dick all up in this mothafucka’ then my answer would be no, Miami is not a good spot for emerging talent.
With that said, I must mention that there are people on the other hand like Coloma Kaboomsky, that are really trying to help talent like myself and the local Miami scene as a whole.
This Scene needs more people like him that understand the value of quality and the importance of supporting our talented locals.
How has the scene in Miami changed since you first were introduced to it?
The scene here, like everything, has changed. When I first started following the scene in the late 90s, South Beach was off the chain.
The trance scene was pretty popular, and Space was just starting to move people into the downtown area. Now you have a lot more options; Brickell, Midtown, Overtown, Doral. Things are really spread out.
I’ve seen some pretty cool spots open and close in a matter of months. But I sure am glad for places like the Electric Pickle. They have helped our underground scene grow tremendously. Even people outside of Miami are recognizing us more than ever because of places like the Pickle.
But, back in the day, our best locals all had residencies. Real residencies. In the early 2000′s, when Acosta was at his prime, he was a resident at Shadow Lounge or Level, Oscar was a resident at Space, and Padilla was at The Mix.
At that time they were the best at this, and they were the guys that the younger generation would look up to. Now, things aren’t like that. The guys that we have now as residents aren’t ones to brag about. Not to dis everyone, but I’d say a good 80% of these DJs poorly represent us. Especially the ones that are doing the opening duties for some of the out of town bookings that come here. It’s crucial for our reputation to have proper representation at all times. When I play out of town, next to my name on the event flyer in parenthesis it says “MIAMI”. I’m not only representing myself but also my city. These are things that people should take into consideration if they are serious about our scene. I don’t mind doing the opening duties for some of these DJ’s that come in from Europe when I play at the Pickle, but I’ll do it to prove a point. When you come to Miami make sure you bring your muthafuckin A-game, because the opener is going to define the word “Party”. I want them to go back to their home town and say “Yo these Miami cats don’t fuck around, they really do slang some muthafuckin dick”.
On another note, consumers are becoming more open minded. I’ve witnessed all the musical trends in our scene, and the growth in listeners and music makers. There was only a few guys like Stryke really making some good techno here a few years back. Now we have hundreds of young aspiring techno producers. The scene is definitely growing. Ultra is now three days long, which means that the younger generation is really getting into EDM. Even though they’re listening to Deadmau5 or Swedish House Mafia right now, as they grow older and educate themselves more they will be the ones who will follow our underground scene and help it continue to grow. All I hope is that we move in the right direction, and keep places like the Pickle, or Space alive with real local talent. Don’t support the phonies, SUPPORT THE REAL!