The illustrious Steve Sidewalk is in the midst of celebrating 25 years as a DJ this summer. He has been a nightlife staple, as well as one of the most in demand DJs on the planet. He is known for his high energy sounds internationally, at Fire Island, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and just about any place with Pride. He is loved for his pop-infused mixes, as well as his sheer professionalism and reliability.
Originally from New Jersey, Steve began his career doing gay youth dances, until his big break came–doing a two-year residency at Tunnel NYC for the Kurfew Party. He has worked with artists including Lady Gaga, Nick Jonas and more. Get Out caught up with Steve somewhere between Asbury Park, Miami and Fire Island for a conversation regarding his career.
Hello, Steve. As one of the leading New York DJs, what have you been up to?
I’ve been celebrating my 25th year as a DJ this summer! I’ve been spinning in Fire Island, Asbury Park, Ogunquit and Rehoboth, and of course, NYC.
Why do you believe you’re one of the busiest DJs…What’s your secret?
I believe it’s important to have a strong social media presence, and I also travel a lot. I am very active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the new Threads. Every gig I do gets promoted on all platforms, plus I post videos and reshare customers’ stories. I believe it’s important to have interaction with my fans. Also, traveling helps me reach out to new audiences and also keeps me on my toes as a DJ. What may be a prime set in NYC may be different in Palm Springs. It’s my job as a DJ to read the crowd and figure out what they want, music-wise.
What drives you?
I am driven by my love for music but also I truly enjoy entertaining people . Music really brings people together. It helps us unwind and escape the daily monotony and nonsense in our daily lives. Going to concerts for me is a total stress relief and in return I like the do the same for the people that come see me dj.
What is your favorite genre to play and your favorite crowd to play it to?
I love so many styles of music. I do love playing my pop divas. And of course, my favorite crowd is one that’s there to dance and have a good time and be respectful to the people around them.
Aside from New York, you’re known internationally and throughout the United States. Any upcoming plans to travel?
Yes, I’ll be in Bangkok, Thailand as well as Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon, in Vietnam. I plan to return to the Philippines in January and I am looking into Europe for 2024. And of course I am in Palm Springs monthly, along with Las Vegas.
How did you begin your fabulous career, and what made you decide to become a DJ?
When I was a teenager in the ‘90s, I was a promoter before I became a DJ. I’m really going to age myself here…. but i remember going into “AOL” chat rooms and promoting an LGBTQ dance with my LGBTQ youth group. My love for music naturally led me into the DJ booth for these events.
What has been your biggest challenge and your greatest triumph?
This is a challenging industry, and it’s not for everyone. It can take a lot of persistence and patience to grow as a DJ. My biggest triumph is definitely lasting 25 years in this business and still be spinning five-six night a week, plus traveling as much as I do. I’ve also been fortunate enough to play my largest nightclub venue to date for the third time, which is Echostage, with a capacity of over 3000. I did, however, DJ at Six Flags Great Adventure LGBTQ night years ago, with my music played throughout the park, which was super cool, with an estimated crowd of over 10K+
What advice do you have for up and coming DJs?
Just have fun. Don’t worry about what the other DJs are doing, because the grass is always greener. And it takes a lot of time to “pay your dues” and grow as a DJ. Also, respect your “elder” DJs. Don’t forget they paved the way for you!
When people see the name “Steve Sidewalk” listed as the DJ, what should they expect?
I want everyone to know that I care and am there to give the crowd collectively the best time I can as a DJ. I do listen to my customers, and requests are heard but can’t always be played (although tips help, haha), but it really depends on the event and the vibe. But customers can always reach out to me before and after an event via social media. I really do care. I want everyone to have a good time.
MY DJ SCHEDULE
Every Tuesday at the Spot
Every Wednesday at Ritz
Every Thursday at Rise
I do guest DJ spots on the weekends. Check my social media for my schedule. @stevesidewalk on all social media platforms
For Labor Day Weekend
Friday Sept 1st Fun Tea @ Pool at Fire Island Pines
Saturday Sept 2nd Diegos Night Club Rehoboth Beach, DE
Sunday Sept 3rd Paradise Asbury Park, NJ