If you have ever hit a dance floor in New York City, you have most likely turned it out to DJ Scotty Rox’s music. From Splash to The Roxy to B-Bar, Rox is a virtual dance floor institution for the community in New York City. He brings the quintessential Scotty Rox experience to Paradise in Asbury Park on Friday October 5th, and along with Miss Paradise 2018 Honey Davenport’s Taste Of Honey show, this is a night not to be missed. I caught up with Scotty as her prepped for his gig at Paradise (and recovered from spinning at Drag Con) and we chatted about everything from the working with some of the biggest legends in the game, dance floors of yesteryear and today, and what kind of music is giving him life today! 

Scotty Rox (image courtesy of TJ Sengel)

You are coming to Paradise in Asbury Park, N.J. this weekend, Friday October 5th. It has been a long time, but Asbury Park finally is getting to have the Scotty Rox experience! For those coming that have not heard you before, what is your sound like?
For me, I believe I have many different sounds and have been able to adjust to the numerous different parties and vibes I’ve been a part of over the past fourteen years of doing “Scotty Rox.” Hip-Hop, Pop, and House music I would say are my specialities, but you can always expect to hear a great beat and usually strong female vocal. I LOVE vocals! But expect to go on a journey.

What got you into the world of DJ’ing?
To be honest, it fell into my life. I was bartending part time at Soho House in the Meatpacking district circa like early 2000’s and they needed a DJ last minute. My manager was aware I went to school for Arts and that I knew my way around music very well. After her command, I went home and grabbed every CD that I had!  Yes this was back when DJs used CDs, and played the entire night. I had such a great time it just ended up being a blessing in disguise and I knew I was to become a DJ and start a career doing such.

New York City is your home base and you have DJ’d at some pretty legendary places like Splash. What are your best memories about that era?
It’s so funny you mention SPLASH. Right after i went to DJ/VJ School at DubSpot and actually learned how to mix, i put together demos and SPLASH BAR with John Blair was one of the FIRST people to hire me and let me play pop music downstairs at his legendary house parties. Those truly were the days. I was lucky enough to be able to DJ venues like Splash, Heaven, Duvet, B-Bar, Greenhouse, Roxy, Tunnel, Cielo, A.P.T, a lot of East village bars, and the legendary Limelight/Avalon. Some of my best memories I guess would be how authentic it was and the amazing array of personalities and TALENTED people I got to meet and become friends with, legend or not.

The drag queens of New York City have influenced your career greatly, and you have worked with a number of them consistently. Any favorites or favorite memories that stick out?
Oh for sure… at the beginning of my career it was a lot about the music. After Peter Rauhofer died, i feel like it shifted a little. Then RuPaul’s Drag Race started and I would say from about Season 3 on, it became a HUGE show and people started to pay more attention to the amazing queens we had at the club whether hosting or performing a number. I’ve been lucky enough to work with both legends and RuPaul’s Drag Race Girls, so I have a lot of memories that “stick out.”

That’s a lot of queens to pack into a nightlife career like the one you have had!                                                                                          I guess let me start with the legends, the ones who paved the way. I have run shows/ and or DJ’d with Lady Bunny, Joey Arias, Raven Oh, Formika, Shequida, Hedda Lettuce, Jesse Volt, Jackie Beat, Candis Cayne, Lina Bradford, and Peppermint to name a few. The one that stuck out the most was DJing the legendary Bar D’O Reunion for Joey Arias, Sherry Vine, and Raven Oh. I couldn’t believe I was a part of that. That experience was differently creative and organic. Sad I never got to experience the original! 

As for RuPaul’s Drag Race, I have worked with 85% of the girls who have been on the show. Some highlights would include when my good friend Bob TheDragQueen got crowned, another New York City sister Bianca Del Rio getting crowned, meeting and becoming friends with Detox, Shangela, Raven, and Alyssa Edwards, OH and being shouted out on RuPaul and Michelle Visage’s “What’s The T?” podcast about how I was the very first DJ Rupaul heard play her song “Sissy That Walk” in a club scene! I GAGGED she even knew, let alone said my name! (Many thanks to Bob TheDragQueen for that)!

How crucial do you feel the queens are, not just to nightlife but to the LGBT community as a whole?                                                   In the world we live in now, Drag is MOST imperative especially in the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve always said, “People come to nightlife to escape their harsh realities of day to day life. That’s why they’re here when they can drink at home for cheaper.” People come out to escape reality through music, drag performance and environment. It’s a release for all who need it no matter what you’re going through. MOST IMPORTANTLY, young LGBTQ+ community looks up to Drag Queens for guidance so they know however they feel inside and however they identify, is OK and to live your truest life and to know you’re not an outsider. #WeAreFAMILY

DJ Scotty Rox (Courtesy of TJ Sengel)

Your career has had so many peak moments. What are some of the biggest highlights that you can think of? More so, what is left that Scotty Rox wants to accomplish?
To be quick and to the point. My highlights were closing the legendary Greenhouse Sundays’ with Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny on the main floor for the icon DJ Johnny Dynell (which was when I started getting the HUGE gigs), being able to close The Roxy, as well as Avalon/Limelight. Splash and John Blair was also a major part of my journey and growth. One specific party that changed me was named DR!P @ Grace Hotel. A pool party party brought to you by legends Shequida and Lee Chappell. That party was FIRE! i’ve been so blessed and grateful ?

Who are some of your favorite DJ’s/Remixers in the industry?
So funny you ask because it changes like every week, truly. I try to go out and support my nightlife family as much as possible to see what’s up, and recently i got to hear The Carry Nation- DJs Nita Aviance and Will Automagic at OCCUPY THE DISCO party. I was just BLOWN away. So I’m kinda riding high on that experience on my iPod still. But it varies.. the list goes on and on whom inspires me and it changes. We are in NYC, I expect no less.

What artists are totally giving you life right now? DJ’s tend to be on the cutting edge of the music that is hitting the charts….
Right now, I’m having thirst for the hip-hop artists. I’ve been really vibing the old school music the new artists have been rapping and covering vocals over. All music inspires me. Its my artistic outlet to be honest. My entire life has been music starting from the days of elementary school handing my Dad his tools for fixing the cars and listening to The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel in his garage.

What inspires you to keep spinning and creating?
 Like I said, it’s my artistic outlet. After approx. fifteen years in nightlife, I’ve taken a role working as a HIV Prevention Specialist trying to utilize my degree and LGBTQ+ platform and educate and help our gay/trans youth to be responsible and know your status and know you can live healthy no matter status. That has been a main focus of mine, as it brings me security. But as for nightlife, i still DJ part time and have some amazing weekly gigs in the city you can find me at whether it’s a dance party or a drag show. I still spin and have lasted this long because I love music and what I do, and I dedicate my all every single time! See you soon Paradise! XO