In the world of dance music, there are followers, and there are leaders. There are imitators, and there are innovators. There are DJs, and there is DJ Escape.
“I don’t just play records—I play with the crowd. I’m always teasing people with samples and cuts of classics, new tracks and FX,” says Escape, who returns to NYC June 11 to spin at Club 57. “I’m all about keeping things fresh. I’m always doing mash-ups of old things and making them new, and I’m always on the lookout for the newest, hottest records. Even when I play the hits, I play them in a way I guarantee you haven’t heard them before.”
He recalls his first exposure to clubland—on the dance floor of legendary house DJ Junior Vasquez.
“Up until that point, I had been a hip-hop DJ,” Escape says. “But Junior’s music just blew me away. It opened up an entirely new world to me. For the first time, I saw that music wasn’t just one element of a party—it was the party. The people who understood that best were the gay crowds who appreciated sets filled with music you couldn’t hear anywhere else.”
Today, Escape doesn’t only spin new dance tracks, he creates them. “For the last four years I’ve really focused on the studio,” he says. “It’s like my second home now.” His original productions include remixes for legendary superstars such as Beyoncé, Donna Summer, Solange, Kristine W and Gwen Stefani. “I bring what I do in the DJ booth into the studio,” Escape says. “The same high-energy beat that you find on my dance floor is right there in my remixes and productions.”
That is why if you’re on Escape’s dance floor, you’ll know it. There are dance floors, and then there is DJ Escape’s dance floor. As anyone who has spent a night moving to his high-energy sound can tell you, it’s not a place you’ll ever want to leave.
DJ Escape spins at Club 57 on Saturday, June 11.
Facebook: “DJ Escape” for more info.
ESCAPE’S TOP 10
1. Beyonce – Run the World (Girls) (Escape/Coluccio Mix)
2. DJ Escape – I’m Talking To You
3. Adele – Rolling in the Deep (DJ Escape Edit)
4. Jennifer Hudson – Where You At (DJ Escape & TKC Mix)
5. Chad Jack vs Nasty Pig – Gag On It
6. Groove Armada – I See You Baby (DJ Escape Mix)
7. Cajmere vs Saeed – Brighter Days Yeah Ha (DJ Escape Edit)
8. Stephan Grodin feat. Ceevox – Why Can’t You Be
9. Natalia Kills – Mirrors (Chris Moody Mix)
10. JD Miller & Dave Rose – Get Used To It (Dom Capello Mix)
– GT Angelo; Photo by Rick Day