At the age of 22, Jesse Marco is one of the most sought-after DJs on the scene -- soundtracking the late-night romps of big names like Kanye West, Tom Ford, Jay-Z and (just this past Thursday) Russell Simmons, to name a few. Since spinning on his first set of turntables at the age of 12, the kid DJ found himself under the wing of the late DJ AM, beside the venerable Mark Ronson and quickly claiming his place as a veteran tastemaker. This month alone brings Marco's diverse Top 40 to Motown mix from his local buzz club residencies at 1Oak and GoldBar to London, Paris, LA and Sundance.
Niteside caught up with Jesse Marco about what it’s like getting musical requests from Prince, being the DJ-du-jour at Avenue -- the model and bottle service fever that is his current Thursday night staple -- and how we’re not the only ones sick of hearing “Tik Tok.”
What did you do last night? I DJed at Funday at GoldBar. Best party in NY right now.
What are you doing tonight? DJing at Butter.
What's your best nightlife encounter? If I had to pick a recent one, doing shots of tequila with Jay-Z and the Yankees after they won the World Series. Or Prince telling me to play Madonna, Gloria Gaynor, and Stevie Wonder -- in that particular order.
What's your advice for Lindsay Lohan with yet another paparazzi car incident? Watch out for those dudes with cameras, I think they might be trying to take your picture!
You've worked alongside both DJ AM and Mark Ronson. How would you compare your DJing style to theirs? What is the most important thing you learned at either of their sides? Both Adam and Mark have been the most inspiring and influential people when it comes to the way I approach DJing. Both [are] tastemakers in their own right, Mark would often times surprise me with blending different genres together that might not fit in the first place, as well as creating a standard for when and where to do these blends in the New York setting.
Adam always reiterated that it was very important to practice, which I'm extremely thankful for. [He] created a totally new style of DJing, and I think any DJ, whether new or old, was influenced by his artistic approach. Adam also really taught me how to scratch and use wordplay -- where you're mixing a phrase of a song that might match the song title or lyrics in another song. Most importantly, Adam would remind me to have fun with it. A lot of seriousness goes into the business aspect of DJing and the industry in general, but at the end of the day, I love what I do and get paid for it, and that's fun for me.
What would you say is the hottest track spinning in NYC right now? I'd say "Empire State of Mind" -- Jay-Z. Or this ridiculous "Tik Tok" song.
Since you began your residency at Avenue, have you learned anything? How is it different from playing assorted gigs? My residency at Avenue pretty much allows me to play whatever I want and gives me the ability to test out certain songs in the hardest market in the world. It's safe to say if I play something new and it goes over well, the record has the potential to become a lot bigger.
You're traveling a ton these days. What would you say the differences are between the nightlife scene in NY, LA, Miami & Paris? NY is the most fun by far. It's still a bit stuck in its roots in terms of traditional club music, while scenes like LA and Miami revolve a little more around new wave, indie, electro stuff. Paris is by far my favorite. It seems like anything you do there can go over and you can be as wild and crazy with different genres from oldies to hip hop to rock to opera music or something.
What's a place that you love but are apprehensive to share in fear of inducing over-population? I like GoldBar. Sundays at GoldBar are my favorite.
Do you have a lucky record or some other keepsake that you have with you while DJing? "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" -- Larry Levan Remix.
Any other projects going on that we should know about? I've [recently] remixed songs by Peter Bjorn and John, Flo-Rida, Neyo, Ryan Leslie, Star Trak's Chester French, Weezer and Paulo Nutini and am working on remixes for Mike Posner and Drake, as well as a few of my own original projects that focus a little bit more on the nu disco electronic sound.