DJ Lujan on Wild Times at Wild Knight, Opening for Avicii, and Why Genres are Pointless
Estee Aire Photography DJ Lujan lights up a local club...literally.
Perk up your ears and listen hard. If the wind is just right, you might be able to hear the sweet-sounding "ca-ching" of a cash register coming from DJ Lujan's Scottsdale pad. That's because the 26-year-old makes some bank from performing at a hot Scottsdale club.
To wit: Just last night, Lujan helped launch the brand new Dip Thursday pool party at Spanish Fly in Scottsdale. He's also frequently found on most Friday nights behind the mixers at Wild Knight during Sound Kitchen (which has become one of the Valley's premier EDM events) filling the clandestine club with his big room sound.
And believe us, he's definitely played some big rooms. Like, say, the Phoenix Convention Center this past January when he opened for Avicii during the superstar's epic gig. Lujan shared his feelings about the experience when he spoke to Up on the Sun recently, as well as why he feels his sound doesn't fit into a specific genre, and how he's living out his dreams by performing as a DJ.
"I get to do what I love," he says. If only we all could be so lucky.
Name: Jay Lujan
AKA: DJ Lujan
Current gigs: Dip Thursdays at Spanish Fly. Sound Kitchen at Wild Knight on most Fridays.
What EDM genres do you specialize in?
Well, just like how music is today I have moved past categorizing my self into genres, when I am asked this question these days I tell people that I play a little bit of everything because the type of DJ I am is all about the progression, so what I specialize in is progressive, techy, melodic, driving house, trance, and electro.
Are genres pointless then?
For me, yes, but maybe not completely for everyone. I am absolutely obsessed with tricking people when I play.
What do you mean by that?
What I mean by that is that I hear people all the time say they hate trance or they hate electro and if a song has the elements that I love in it, then I don't care what it is. So I take it upon myself to frequently educate people by sneaking in various different genres of music [into the mix]. The best part is at the end of a set when people come up to me and are like, "Oh my God Lujan, I loved that electro track you played," but I'm thinking, "Little do they know, even [though] they say they hate trance, they just told me they loved a trance track.' But I [also] think that maybe in the distant future all music will kinda blend together. Just a theory.
Do you create your own tracks or remix other artists?
Both. I am getting more and more [into] my original productions these days. But for about as long as I have DJed I have always changed almost every song I have played to make it sound how I want -- adding extra sounds, making bigger buildups, shorting breakdowns, etcetera -- all to keep the energy alive and flourishing, which is kinda the Lujan sound.
What's your mantra when it comes to DJing?
Well, I always say that music is the fuel that drives my life and soul. When I DJ -- with any of my sets, mixes, CDs, and podcasts -- I like to take my audience on a progressive journey, starting off [with] slower, chiller, feel-good music and building up to the end where I'm playing big room, fist-pumping and super epic music. This goes hand-in-hand with my beliefs in music: There is good music in all music. There is a lot of people and artists that talk bad about a lot of music that is out right now, but I am not prejudiced and like to play anything that I feel has a good sound, feeling, or just makes people dance, throw their hands up, scream and smile. I feel a good track is a good track and shouldn't be looked over because of who is playing it or who produced it.
What's on your new CD?
[It's] a mix compilation that I put together for the summer. It contains 17 tracks with six of my own original mashups, edits, and reworks, all of which I feel embody the summer vibe. I created the concept with the hopes that when people listen to it, it would remind them of a special time place or memory of a summer trip, club, festival or beach experience.