GuySpy always brings you the best of everything in gay and pop culture. This time was no exception. I had the fortune to interview San Francisco‘s own DJ GRIND (born Stephen Massey), who I also call a friend. I found out what was new in his world.
Tell us how you got started DJ’ing?
I fell in love with dance music when I was coming out in NYC in the early 2000’s. I was on the dance floor when Junior Vasquez, Manny Lehman, Victor Calderone and Peter Rauhofer reigned over The Roxy. Those guys gave me an appreciation of taking a dance floor on a journey. In 2007, I started a music blog for my friends called “The Daily Grind” that featured my songs of the day. My blog following grew and eventually led me to try my hand at the decks. In October 2010, I DJ’d live for the first time and created my very first podcast. “The Daily Grind” became DJ GRIND.
What is the most memorable experience you’ve had in your DJ career so far? Good and bad?
One of my favorite moments behind the decks was opening for Kylie Minogue when her 2011 “Aphrodite” World Tour came to San Francisco. Sharing the stage with a legend – and one of my all-time favorite artists – was a real dream come true.
Worst experience – Whenever the power goes out or the equipment breaks. It’s a DJ’s worst nightmare.
What do you feel when you’re spinning?
There’s an overwhelming sense of joy when you’re able to connect with an audience and create an experience on the dance floor. There’s honestly nothing quite like it. I see DJ-ing as a form of self-expression, and I view it as a real privilege to share that form of expression with others..
Your work takes you around the globe. What’s your favorite country/city?
Well, I’m based in San Francisco, and I’ll admit that I have a special affinity for my magically gay city by the Bay. That said, there’s something pretty perfect about a day on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, or a night out in Madrid. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Will we see any original dance remixes from you anytime soon? Ala Miley, Katy or other artists you like?
Absolutely! I’ve been fortunate to partner with and learn from an incredible young producer based in Manila named Toy Armada. We’re both big fans of uplifting anthems. Over the past year, we’ve developed a great musical chemistry working together – producing official remixes for Kimberley Locke, Natascha Bessez, Jessica Sutta and Melanie B, among others. We’ve also released a number of bootleg remixes, including for Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding. We’re already working on several projects that’ll be released in early 2014, including a brand-new production of a classic circuit anthem.
You’ve been on the road a lot over the past few months. Any highlights?
I’m just finishing up a three-city tour in Asia, one of my favorite regions to visit as a DJ. In addition to playing fantastic gigs in Beijing and Shanghai, I was honored to travel to Manila, Philippines to perform alongside Toy Armada for a special event benefitting victims of Typhoon Haiyan. For Thanksgiving, I’ll be heading back to Mexico for the first-ever PARADISO Circuit Festival in Playa del Carmen. It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest party weekends of the year, with an incredible lineup of talent from around the world and some of the best venues in North America. I can’t wait!
What else do we expect to see from you for 2014?
I feel incredibly grateful to have several big projects and events already on the calendar for 2014! I’ll start the year in Los Angeles as one of the headliners for Masterbeat New Year’s Weekend. In February, I’ll be heading to Syndey for my first-ever Mardi Gras. Then, in March, I’ll be making my Winter Party Festival debut alongside Danny Verde at the famous Beach Party on Miami Beach. In April, I’m honored to join Wayne G and Ralphi Rosario for the White Party Palm Springs 25th anniversary Tea Dance. And, in May, I’ll be heading to Dallas for Purple Party! It’s a busy Spring – and I can’t wait!
For more on DJ GRIND follow him on:
Website: www.djgrind.net, Facebook: www.facebook.com/djgrindsf, Twitter: www.twitter.com/djgrind, Podcasts: http://djgrind.podomatic.com, iTunes: http://iTunes.djgrind.net, Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/djgrindsf