Drew G. Dirty Pop and More


Long Island born Andrew Gilbert Montalvo, recognized by his stage name DJ Drew G., has performed all over the world for some of the largest audiences. He and fellow producer Brian Cua are known as the remixing duo Dirty Pop and had been chosen by both Beyoncé and Madonna to remix some of their singles. They have charted on Billboard and they also encompass the traveling Dance Party in the US.

Drew G. has played New York City’s Black Party, numerous Cherry weekend events in Washington and in 2008, a Presidential Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama. He has played Ascension Weekend at Fire Island and Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia and many other huge events.

Drew G. has a New York story. We exchanged questions and answers regarding his inspiring career….

Everyone has a story….So what’s yours?…In other words, what inspired you to become a DJ?

Well, long story short, I never wanted to be a DJ…I wanted to be a rock star. However, that all changed in the early 2000s, when my ex at the time, Caleb, brought me to the Roxy in NYC. I was terrified because at the time lol, I was a 130 lb (wet) 5’9 little twink…Chelsea boys intrigued me, but also scared the fuck out of me at the same time. Ultimately, Peter Raufoher was the DJ I idolized and eventually worked for. He was good to me and I was a stupid punk kid. I fucked up a lot and I mean a lot. And while it may have taken some time, I did eventually grow up and learn from the messes I created in my 20s. And now, in my 40s, I like to think I’ve matured and do my best to be a good role model, to be open about my failures as well as my successes and to help others when and where I can. I also do a bit of charity and outreach back home in Houston these days, and I specially focus on the homeless, being there was a brief period where I lived on the streets in NYC. 

As for when I started playing? I begged and pleaded with my family to help me buy a set of CDs. After harassing them for a few weeks, they loaned me the money for a pair and I began my journey. It feels like it happened so fast, to be honest, but I went from smashing guitars to tech and disco house almost overnight. 

I’ll be honest, I was an out of control kid back then. I had a drug problem and was undiagnosed bi polar ( I’m extremely open about this because by being open, I hope others will see that it’s OK to get treatment and that it’s OK to not be OK.) As you can guess, I was a bit of a handful and got into a lot of trouble. And looking back, I regret so much of that, but I was a kid and really didn’t know what the fuck I was actually doing.


I heard you got your start at the Cock…Explain.

Yes, while Dirty Pop initially began at the Cock in NYC (God, I miss that filthy room, lol), I had been playing for about a year or two already at the Stonewall. I was hired to play disco and I’d get in trouble for playing tech house. In fact, I may have gotten fired after punching some guy for requesting “Barbie Girl,” lol. I was a “tad” fucked up at the time lol, and um yeah, definitely not my proudest of moment, but it is funny almost 20 years later.

The first attempt at Dirty Pop was at the Hose, a very short lived venue that shut down because we were letting everyone fuck everywhere. (Sorry, just being honest). So we, Chris Ryan and Mark Afana brought it to the Cock and we began our reign on Wednesday nights in the most famous sleaze bar in nyc

Tell us what kind of music you enjoy playing?

I like the fact that I don’t stick to labels. I hate labels in every way…and I like the ability to show you whatever strange idea my ADD brain has come up with at that very moment. Maybe I wanna toss a few ‘80s and ‘90s samples in or chopping a line or two out of one song and mash it up with five others. 

I honestly never know what the fuck I’m gonna do ‘till I hit “Play”. I don’t believe in mapping out sets or even having a playlist, I just go in and be myself and let the music speak for itself.

What and where is the largest crowd you played in front of?

That’s a good question because it’s a close one , I wanna say headlining Sydney, Mardi Gras was the biggest event ever, however, if I look at videos, the crowd at Phoenix Pride was like a sea of people at the festival a few years back and I was in awe of it and it caught me by surprise.

Who do you feel is your biggest competition in the DJ world and your biggest influences?

I used to think everyone was competition and I’d get into fights and cause trouble and as I got older I realized there is truly enough room for everyone. I don’t sound like anyone else and I’ve grown to be proud of that. But I’m most proud of the fact that over the almost 20 years I’ve spent playing, there’s a beautiful community of artists who all love their craft, and I’ve learned to appreciate some healthy competition with my colleagues. 

We have to have each other’s backs in this shady industry. 

There is a famous quote attributed to Hunter S. Thompson that goes something like this: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

All of this is true lol and it can be a bloodbath if you let it be so.

In a world where the singer is featured, but the DJ is the star, what songs have you remixed for anyone? 

If we were to cover every remix that I’ve done solo, with Brian Cua (together “as” Dirty Pop) as an alias of which there’s several….Bassline ( myself and Gabe Medina ) or as Cottontail…then I’ve covered everything from Gaga to Beyonce to Ariana to death metal band Bring Me The Horizon, all with official sanctioned remixes. However, there is no greater feat than remixing the queen of pop herself, Madonna, and the fact that she chose one of our mixes to appear on her greatest hit truly blew Brian and I away. 

Where can people find you this summer?

You can find me in DC, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas etc., and we are currently shopping for a new location in NYC to finally bring the party back to it rightfully home in the Empire State’s one and only Big Apple.

Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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