DJ Funkfinger on Tongue Tied's Daft Punk Party and Why He Doubts the Robots Will Ever Visit Phoenix

Categories: DJ Dossier

Dapper Gatsby
DJ Funkfinger (a.k.a. Jay Wiggins) performs at Rips Ales & Cocktails.
Daft Punk has sorta been the focus of Jay Wiggins' world lately. Random Access Memories -- that 13-track gem from the electronica-dispensing, quasi-robotic Frenchmen that everyone's going bonkers over the last couple weeks -- has admittedly been on repeat, and the living room of the DJ's Phoenix home is "full of rejects" from attempts at meshing the act's hits with various '80s throwbacks.

And then there's the Daft Punk party that Wiggins, who performs as DJ Funkfinger, is co-hosting Saturday night at Apollo's, along with his she-jay cohort Michele "Roya" Chinichian, during the second edition of their new monthly dance night Tounge Tied. As we stated in this week's issue of Phoenix New Times, the event will feature the pair dropping Daft Punk tracks and providing patrons with robotic helmets and toys to play with all evening long.

Appearances by food trucks and an interpretive dancer (read: Treasure Mammal's Dave Driscoll) are also planned for the party, which will also involve Wiggins and Chinichian giving away copies of Random Access Memories and tickets to an upcoming performance by the Valley's resident Daft Punk tribute act, One More Time.

Plus, both Stinkweeds and Zia's will be raffling off some recent promotional swag for Daft Punk -- like a five-foot cardboard cutout of the duo, a huge vinyl banner, and other masks.

Wiggins discussed all the activity being planned for tomorrow night's soiree during a recent Facebook chat with Up on the Sun about his DJ career, his love of both Daft Punk and their new album, why he never wants to see them with their masks off, and how he doubts they'll ever make a tour stop in the Valley.

Name: Jay Wiggins

AKA: DJ Funkfinger

Current gig: DJs with Roya at Tounge Tied every first Saturday on the month at Apollo's.

Preferred genres: While I love what I'm doing at Tongue Tied with the indie dance music -- and other fun stuff -- my favorite thing is to mix it all up. I love playing the unexpected

Such as?
Tough question, 'cause it just happens...perhaps a Harry Belafonte track or something by Brandy. I have tens of thousands of tracks on my laptop, and unlike some DJs who have a playlist (or even a folder of tracks that they may play), I scroll through them all when I'm looking for that next song. Sometimes that's really nerve-racking.

How did you get into the DJ game?
I got into the game fairly late. I was pretty much into hip-hop in the late '80s and early '90s, which turned me on to the turntablists. Went to the Bombshelter [DJ's] nights as much as I could. Always collected music and have a small vinyl collection (maybe a couple thousand records) and have been collecting digital music since pretty much the beginning. No longer really collecting vinyl unless it's 45s. Namely, soul 45s.

I got hooked up with William Reed near the beginning of his night Shake! and was a resident there for a few years. We learned Serato together, along with Kevin MOB and others.

So where else have you performed locally?
I was a resident at Shake! (The Rogue), Obscura (The Ruby Room and Rips), Filet of Soul (Chez Nous) and I've guested at a number of different nights and pool parties. I only DJ events that I find fun.

What's something no one else knows about you?
People talk about "guilty pleasures." I have no "guilty pleasures" in that I have no guilt.

What's the explanation behind your DJ name?
It was a joke that stuck. The joke was, "If I ever DJ, I'll call myself DJ Funkfinger," followed by a scratch-a-record motion, and a smell-my-finger motion. [The] dumb thing stuck. I can thank William Reed for that. He started putting "Jay Wiggins, a.k.a. Funkfinger" on the flyers, and the rest is wrote. Someday, I'll drop it.

What's your favorite track of the moment?
Yikes, that's so hard. Currently, I -- like everyone else -- have the new Daft Punk album on repeat. A few weeks back I traveled to see Hot Chip in DC, which was phenomenal, and [I] love their latest album. But after the show there was a 2 Bears after-party which was equally phenomenal. My all-time favorite track might be Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up."

For a little while the Crescent was doing a "15 songs" night in which interesting people were asked to play their 15 favorite songs. I tried to do that exercise, but couldn't narrow it down to less than 24, and the list keeps growing (but here are four tracks based on Ansel Collins' "Stalag 17," which I can't decide between).

Location Info



5749 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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I'm a 54 years old Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan, Neil Young,

Brought up on all the good music from the 60's, 70's, 80's, et all.........

Never heard of Deft Punk until last week......

Once you hear their music; you can't get it out of your head....

They do have a Funky sound!

Go to the YouTubes and check out some Deft Punk Live!

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