With the amazing success of Breaking Bad, Albuquerque, New Mexico has recently become a place many people around the world are a lot more familiar with. Although you won’t find Walter White, there is a DJ who will get you turned up faster than throwing a Pizza on a roof. DJ Sez is cooking things up on the radio and controlling the night life in a way that would make Heisenberg proud. We recently caught up him to learn more about the chemistry of the ABQ.
What is the music/club scene like in ABQ?
The music and the club scenes in Albuquerque are different than most larger market scenes. For one thing, it’s illegal to have bottle service at the nightclubs that are not inside of the casinos. Another thing is we are behind in fashion and music by a few months. What’s hot in LA will now, will take a few months before people here will be into it. When I play the different venues here, I find playing all genres in my sets to be most effective. I go from hip-hop to salsa/reggaeton to edm and occasionally shock the crowd and drop an 80s hair band song or the chorus of 90s hip-hop hit to be really effective and keep it moving!!!
What are 3 big songs there right now?
How did you land your radio gig?
While living in LA, I was flying back and fourth between ABQ and LA playing clubs. While I was here, I would always pass out mix CDs to everyone at the clubs and then go to local music stores and leave stacks of them for the locals to grab. A friend named DJ 3, who happened to work for KISS 97.3 at the time, gave one of the CDs to the program director. From there I got my own weekend mix show on Friday nights. I eventually progressed to another ABQ radio station, Z106.3, landing a Monday – Friday mix show from 5-6pm.
How has being on the radio helped your DJ career?
Radio is very beneficial because you have the opportunity to reach hundreds and thousands of listeners every day that you normally would not reach. They get familiar with your name & start following you on social media and going to the clubs you play at. You also get to connect and network with record label reps and the major music artist. This is a good look and you get put on to all the new stuff as it comes out.
You moved to LA for a while, what did you learn from your time there?
While in LA, I picked up the business side of being a full time DJ from being around fellow DJs I looked up to. By watching what they do and how they do it, I learned the importance of networking, building followings, promoting, reading your crowds, music programing, and also how to brand your self as product so that clubs want to book you. There is definitely a lot more preparation involved to DJing than just showing up to a gig and pushing play!! I found the more work I put in at home in the studio (making my own edits and bootlegs to sound different from the rest of the DJs), the better the results and response I would get from the crowds!! Also, I found that when I surrounded myself with DJs that were more advanced than me and more successful it helped me grow and advance more quickly. I learned to never really be satisfied with where I was and to always want more to keep advancing!! I was lucky enough to pick all this up while out in LA and then bring back the knowledge to ABQ to use it to my advantage to stand out!!
How do you stay in shape?
I do a lot of jogging, running stairs and TRX. Also, I make it a habit to go to the gym first thing in the morning when I wake up so it gives me more energy though out the day. It helps me to stay awake while sitting in the studio till the sun comes up working on radio mix shows and club edits.
What are your fitness challenges with DJ life and how do you combat them?
When you workout, your muscles rip and tear, but when you intake protein right after a workout and sleep at night, your muscles heal and repair themselves. This is what allows them to grow. Being a DJ can be tough on the body because the sleep patterns fluctuate so much. Often times I have to stay up all night and don’t get the full amount sleep my body needs. I found I had to master the art of power napping. I have to take 15-minute power naps throughout the day to substitute for the sleep I lack during the night.
Give me 2 tips for upcoming DJs?
When you first buy all your DJ gear, make sure you buy the best of the best right away. It will last forever, you will be able to sound your best, and you won’t have to re-buy something better than what you all ready have later on. Also, I find when you pay too much attention to everyone else it can distract you and slow down the progression of your DJ career. If you pay less attention to the other DJs and focus mostly on learning all the aspects of DJing you will be more well-rounded. Improving your scratching, beat matching, creative transitions, music programing, and having a strong social media and Internet presence will allow everything else to fall into place. The fans, club gigs, radio opportunities, etc. will come to you naturally
Where can we find you?
If you’re in ABQ you can listen to my mix show on z106.3, Monday – Friday from 5pm – 6pm. Fridays I’m spinning at Casa Esencia & Saturdays I’m at Qbar. You can also find me on social media: