– This is a guest post written by DJ Fly Guy as part of our on-going series with SMIRNOFF’s Master Of The Mix. Make sure to tune into the season finale this upcoming Monday June 3rd at 12 Midnight, only on VH1.
As a professional nightclub DJ, when you stand back and think about it…Miami is the perfect city to establish your career and brand. Everyone, domestically and internationally, travels here at one point or another throughout the year to party…and party hard. I’ve been fortunate hold resident DJ slots at some of the top venues in this city and help orchestrate the “soundtrack” to thousands and thousands of people’s vacations. There are many factors that go into making a venue dope in terms of deejaying there (i.e. the staff, the service, the sound system, the lights, etc). Here are my top 5 venues I have spun or currently spin at in Miami (not in any particular order).
STORY Thursdays: Headliner Market Group: Every Thursday night Headliner Market Group brings some of the biggest artists in hip-hop to host #STORYthursdays and after only a few weeks, it’s already being dubbed as one of most exclusive weekly parties in Miami. The venue itself is designed incredibly with arena-style skybox VIP tables; the DJ booth is big enough to do cartwheels in. The lighting technician is masterful at the way he marries the light show to the music that I play. The service and staff are impeccable. Everyone from the security guards, to the bar backs and bottle girls, treat me with the utmost respect. The building itself is historical for Miami nightlife; Once known as Opium Garden, Prive’, Amenia, Rockers Island and so on, some of the biggest DJ’s from Miami have all spun within those walls; so it’s a incredibly fulfilling feeling to be part of the equation in that venue today. We make #hiSTORY. Follow @StorySobe
Recess: The Daytime Party at The Clevelander: About a year and a half ago, I noticed there was a void in the south beach daytime party scene. I had checked out a couple of parties at different hotels on the beach, and there was one common denominator. It was always house/EDM music. There was no where in the city where you could go out in the daytime and hear old school hip hop, funk, and soul music. So I reached out to The Clevelander hotel and explained to them the concept I created called RECESS. When you think back to what recess meant to your youth, it meant, a break from being indoors, couped up, doing work. It means it was a time for playing and having fun; laughing and joking with friends. Starting this party with no partners and no real marketing budget was a big risk for me but I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. I was amazed at how the word of mouth spread about it and how many people came religiously every Saturday afternoon to hang out and meet new friends and just enjoy the ambiance of being on the rooftop of the Clevelander hotel, in the heart of south beach, overlooking the ocean. So many guest DJs came through and spun and showed me love. DJs like: 9th Wonder, E-Feezy, Tony Touch, Affect, Griot, Entice, Nasty, Phife (from Texas), LS One, Johnny Walker Red, 360, A-Train, Epps, Iron Lyon, Walshy Fire, Tone Rock, Ohso, Jay Clipp, Mad Lynx, Noize, and more, all came and had the freedom to spin music they normally don’t get to at other venues around the city, and it helped to differentiate my day party from all the others. I’m grateful to all of them. Some of the top promoters on the beach would come there and hangout before going to their designated parties later that night. Doing Recess at the Clevelander definitely help me establish my brand and put me on a lot of people’s radar. It’s like the saying goes… “If you build it, they will come.”
Room Service: Restaurant Lounge: Friday nights are one of the busiest for south beach. Every Friday at Room Service Lounge I DJ a party called Do Not Disturb Fridays. It’s a Headliner Market Group/Phil The Mayor event that brings out some serious star power every week: Meek Mill, Shaq, Uncle Luke, Tahiry, Kevin Hart, the list goes on. For a venue that only holds about 400 people, the energy created in there makes you feel like your in a huge nightclub as opposed to a Restaurant-Lounge. The bartenders are supreme mixologists that incorporate fire-spitting into their routines that always makes for a great visual effect. The cuisine is like soul-food with a latin flare to it. I eat there at least three times a week. For a DJ, Room Service is the perfect synergy between a sexy ambiance and a high-energy party scene. Follow @RoomServiceMia
Classic Sundays: Love Hate DJ-Bar: To be featured on this Season of Smirnoff Master of the Mix was something I never envisioned and will always be grateful for being a part of. I have to pay homage to Love Hate DJ-Bar and DJ Self Born. It’s at that venue that I started deejaying back in 2009 every Sunday for three years straight at Classic Sundays. The dope thing about Classic Sundays is DJ Self Born and Mark Gordon of Good Vibes Ent. created an atmosphere where this is no dress code and no cover charge to attend the party. It’s going into it’s sixth consecutive year, and last year Self Born took over ownership of the establishment. For me to hone my skills there on that platform was a tremendous boost for me as a DJ. I’ve gotten a lot of gigs based on other people being there on nights I spun and after a year away from Love Hate, I’m finally back in the DJ rotation there. That place is one a a handful of spots where a DJ can play music from any genre, any era, on any night, and it be well-received by the crowd. And Classic Sundays is where it all started for me. Follow @LoveHateMia
The Bohemia Room: Grand Central: Grand Central is another of those venues that is driven by the music and the deejay who plays it. Right over the 395, steps away from where the Miami Heat play, is this awesome event space that reminds me of venues in the northeast. I’ve been spinning Ingrid B’s spoken word event, The Bohemia Room, for three years now and it’s so gratifying. I get to create the vibe and mood of the room before during the poet’s performances, and by the end of the night, the after party kicks into high gear. Ingrid B may just be the best host I have ever seen based on how she engages with the crowd and livens everyone up. It’s one of those events that I look forward to going to work at. The Bohemia Room has had a lot of different venues in the past 11 years but the way the staff and owners show so much love, Ingrid has finally found a “home” for her event on Wednesdays, once a month. And with the majority of the crowd being women, it’s right up my ally when it comes to setting the mood for them. From erotic poetry to slam contests, The Bohemia Room is an incredible musical and spoken word experience. Follow @TheBohemiaRoom @GrandCentralMia
Disclaimer: This is a promotional post sponsored by SMIRNOFF and Master Of The Mix, which again airs Monday Nights at 12 Midnight on VH1.