Phlava on Changes to the Scottsdale Nightlife Scene, Spinning in Strip Clubs, and Why Paris Hilton's DJ Set Was Horrible
If you miss out on Phlava's set tonight at Red Revolver Lounge in Scottsdale, don't fret. The renowned local hip-hop DJ will be cold kickin' it live at both Sevens Lounge in Glendale or Club Miami tomorrow, followed by his regular Sunday night slot at Amsterdam. Plus, he's one of two residents of the infamous Tits and Turntable night at Bottoms Up Gentleman's Club, where he and Felix Fresh mix beats and boobs every Monday.
Petey Wheatstraw DJ Phlava
Phlava (known to his mama and papa as Michael Johnson) is one busy cat, due entirely to his ample skills as a turntablist and rap selecta. It's also why he was a staple of Valley hip-hop radio for years -- including a longtime stint on 101.5 Jamz -- and a hit in local clubs.
Up until last weekend, he also pulled a weekly gig at Pussycat Lounge. Sadly, like neighboring joints Myst and Suede, the place recently shut it doors as the latest casualty of the ever-changing Old Town scene. Phlava dished on these recent club closures during a recent chat with Up on the Sun, as well as his opinion on Paris Hilton's notoriously execrable DJ set, and a few other topics.
AKA: Michael Johnson
What genres do you specialize in?
Phoenix/Scottsdale are the only cities I've been that separate DJs into separate bubbles. I spin whatever's paying that night. I spin hip-hop, R&B, classics, dancehall/reggae, house, electro, Top 40, Baltimore/Jersey/Philly club music, and go-go.
Where do you perform?
Thursdays at Bobby Qs (hip-hop), Fridays at Red Revolver Lounge (R&B, hip-hop); Saturdays at Club Miami (Top 40, house, electro) and Sevens Lounge (hip-hop, reggae, Latin); Sundays at Amsterdam (EDM); and Mondays at Bottom's Up. [My] travel schedule starts back up next month: House of Blues Las Vegas in September, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City in August or October.
How many miles do you rack up on your ride each week getting to all these gigs?
I use a cab for every gig, but it's a lot. My gigs go from 80th Avenue and Glendale all the way to Scottsdale every week.
Bet that gets fairly expensive.
Not really, and it allows me to drink responsibly. Also, I can sleep on the way there or back home.
So Monday at Bottoms Up is Tits and Turntables, right?
Yes sir. Me and Felix Fresh.
Is spinning at a strip club as awesome as it sounds?
It's still the strip club feel but with a DJ mixing [and] cutting. It's a job, somebody's gotta make the sacrifice. Seriously. It's a little different for me, not the half-naked women but the format.
Does your significant other mind that you're working in a strip club?
[I'm] single. The baby mama laughs about it though.
So how is the format different?
I never thought I'd ever DJ a strip club, but Felix and DJ Astonish laid out this format that's not too bad. I have to play slower, but I can trick out the songs a little. Gotta let songs play cause people are getting lap dances. That's different than how I play at clubs. The strip club allows me to let loose as a DJ a little bit, don't have to rotate a dance floor and worry about the club stuff. Just play, get the girls amped up and make dudes throw money and ladies throw money.
8501 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ