The sexy import from Portugal, DJ Paulo, has been packing the dance floors and taking us on his journeys for well over a decade now. His ability to adapt to different genres of music has kept him on the top of the list of DJs worldwide. As he gets ready to spin at One Magical Weekend’s inaugural “Red Party, Unmasked” as part of Gay Disney Week, we thought it would be appropriate to sit down with Paulo for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
When did you realize you wanted to be a DJ?
I started “DJing” in my bedroom when I was in high school, making tapes for friends. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a DJ until I was in college when I was living in Paris. After that it just came naturally to me; making people feel good through music was very gratifying.
You have spent over a decade touring. What are some of your favorite cities and venues?
New York City, São Paulo (or any city in Brazil) and Tokyo are on the top of my list. Some of my favorite venues are Stereo (Montreal), Mansion (Miami), and Mayan (Los Angeles).
What have been your favorite gigs?
The Pines Party I spun at a couple of years ago on Fire Island was pretty phenomenal. It started raining 15 minutes before we were due to close and I pulled out The Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again.” It was so spiritually cleansing and everybody had a smile on their face. On the other side of the coin the few times I spun “Black Party” at Roseland (but particularly the last time) allowed me to play really dark and sleazy. It was quite an experience. I think every time I play in New York it is unique in its own way. It’s probably where I have built my biggest fan base and New Yorkers really go out and support different DJs and artists.
What separates you from other DJs?
Probably my productions and my ability to cater to different parties, whether it’s a club event, a circuit event or an after-hours event.
In such a competitive market, where with just a laptop and software and some songs, anybody is considered a “DJ”, one has to bring something unique to the table.
You have done many remixes. What are some of your favorites?
I love reworking old classics. One of my favorites is Angie Stone’s “I Wish I Didn’t Miss You Anymore”. I usually play it towards the end of my set. Recently I finished a private mix of Madonna’s “Devil Pray” that I really love.
You started mentoring DJ Alain Jackinsky. How did this come about? Have you learned anything from being a mentor?
Alain opened for me in Montreal and I saw something special in him. It wasn’t your typical circuit sound. I asked John Blair in New York City if Alain could open for me to expose him more. Between that and the official remixes we worked on together including Madonna and Cher, things just took off. We work well together as well as individually.
What I learned is that there are a lot of DJs out there that I believe are talented as producers and DJs but they don’t know how to break into the scene nor how to manage themselves. Managing upcoming artists is definitely something I plan on doing in the future.
How did Pure Music Productions start and what does the future hold for your company?
Pure Music is my digital label. I release my own productions on Beatport. There are many venues now to distribute music; that is just one of them.
Your podcasts have become very popular. For those readers who don’t listen to it, why should they?
They are a representation of what I do as an artist. Whether it is a peak time/circuit podcast or an after-hours podcast, there is something for everyone. They usually include my latest remixes.
Other than DJing, what do you like to do for fun?
I like to travel, go to the movies, hike, exercise and eat good food.
What does the future hold for Paulo?
I’ve been very fortunate. Things just keep getting better as more people jump on that “Paulo Train”. More parties, more productions and looking for and developing new artists. Throwing more “tribal b-tch” parties.
I’m going to continue doing this as long as I am enjoying it; it is my passion. There’s nothing more gratifying than making people feel good through music. I believe it was my destiny!
Don’t forget to catch DJ Paulo spinning at One Magical Weekend’s inaugural “Red Party, Unmasked” on Saturday, June 6th at Epcot. To purchase tickets for Red Party or any of the other OMW events go to OneMagicalWeekend.com.
For more information, go to DJPaulo.com.