Interview with a DJ
Letters: Hi Joe! We’re very excited about having you back in Rehoboth Beach for Sundance 2015. The last time you were here was for the Love dance. You played two of them, right? What do you remember about those events?
Joe: I remember those events being very well produced and the crowd being very receptive to the music I was playing, so that's always good. Coming back to Rehoboth is always something I look forward to.
Letters: You are currently living in New York. How are you inspired by the city?
Joe: Yes, I'm constantly inspired by New York and the energy and life of this city. So many creative people here in all walks of life.
Letters: What do you consider to be the highlight of your career?
Joe: I don't know. I think having my first single, "Bye Felicia" reach top 5 on the Billboard Dance Chart was a huge moment. It was the first time I really felt like an artist.
Letters: What is your favorite event to play, and why?
Joe: Every event is special in its own way, but I do love playing in New York because it's where I call home. But Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, San Francisco, Brazil—the list goes on—I have special attachments to each city and each of them stir up something different from me emotionally. So it's really hard to pick.
Letters: How has the focus of your career changed over the years?
Joe: Well, when I first started, I wasn't producing my own music, I was a "textbook" DJ if you will. But in the back of my head I knew I always wanted to make my own music. So now that I produce, the way I connect with people is equal parts the journey you take them on the dancefloor, and also, playing my own tracks for them and having the crowd know what it is and connect to me in that way as well.
Letters: Tell us a little about the artists you’ve worked with over the years?
Joe: Well, when you remix something you don't meet the artist. It's only when I started to write and produce my own music that I started to personally connect with these amazing talents. So far I've recorded songs with Frenchie Davis, Inaya Day, Jason Walker, Abigail, Mitch Amtack, and so many more. It's really made me fall in love with music again, honestly.
Letters: You are officially a Billboard Recording Artist. Tell us about your 2014 dance hit “Bye Felicia.”
Joe: It's funny because that is not the track that I ever thought would be my debut single. But it was a moment in time and I struck while the iron was hot. I don’t think it's something that will be part of my set for a while, like my current single "You Are My Family" with Inaya Day, which is a song and not so much a club track. Family is something I can see myself playing for a long time because I can see the emotions it creates on the dancefloor. So yeah, Felicia was fun and I'm definitely proud of it. But it's kind of one of those records that was what it was, if that makes sense.
Letters: Are there other DJs who you especially admire? And why?
Joe: Of course, but I don't want to name anyone because I have so many DJ friends and I don't want to leave anyone out or make someone feel excluded. They know who they are.
Letters: Dance is many things to many people. For some it is a spiritual exercise, for others it’s just a fun party. Do you have a philosophy about dance and about what happens to a crowd on the dance floor?
Joe: For me as a DJ it's about bringing people together and tapping into emotions. When I say emotions, that doesn't necessarily mean every song will make you think or be deep in meaning. Tribal rhythms stir up emotions, but so do meaningful vocals or powerful chords and melodies. I try to strike a balance in my set, but there always has to be some emotional core for me because otherwise what's the point?
Letters: What’s happening for you next? Do you have any future plans you can share with us?
Joe: I have a lot going on. Right now I'm focusing on my current single, which I wrote, with Inaya Day "You Are My Family." The remixes are out now and there are more on the way.
Letters: What are you most looking forward to about Sundance?
Joe: Coming back to Rehoboth. It’s been a while.
Letters: Tell us one thing that nobody knows about Joe Gauthreaux.
Joe: Hmm... I think I've put out into the world everything I'm comfortable letting people know about myself. I guess if I had to pick one thing, which I think you can figure out by listening to my podcasts, is I’m a romantic—hopelessly most of the time. Love and relationships are things that fascinate me the most and what keeps my brain running at 4 a.m. in the morning. Don't know if that's new information, but there ya go.
Letters: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We can’t wait to hear the “super magic” night you’re going to create for us this Labor Day in Rehoboth Beach!