DJ Doug Gomez
1: Where were you born and did that play a role in your choice of music?
I was born in Colombia but raised in NYC since I was 1.5 yrs old. So yes, my Latin roots and where I grew up play a huge role for my taste in music. Everything from salsa and hip-hop to disco and house music.
2: What was the song that made you want to be a DJ and a producer?
Wow, there were so many, I can’t say there was one because I grew up listening to so many kinds of music. When I got into Djing, I started with hip-hop, house music and freestyle… the typical NYC sound. I knew while I was in college that I wanted to create this new sound of house music. It was new, soulful and exciting.
3: What DJ did you look up to when you started to mix?
I think the one DJ I admire the most is Little Louie Vega. From listening to him play freestyle to hearing his first all house sets. Also Roger Sanchez, back then he went as Roger S and he sold mixtapes. I wish I still had them!
4: Did you take part in the NYC rave scene in the 90’s? And if yes, what was your best rave? If not where did you party in the 90’s.
No, the rave scene was not for me. I did go to Limelight once for Disco 2000 but soon realized it was not my scene or sound. I’m more about the feeling of the music, music that has soul and makes you dance without the use of drugs. Music itself is my drug. My stomping grounds in the late 80s and 90s were L’amour East, Roseland, Palladium, Tunnel, Red Zone, Sound Factory Bar, The World, and many parties like House Nation, Wild Pitch, Soul Kitchen, Giant Step, Sticky Mikes and more. Too many clubs and jams to name.
5: What era did you feel was the purest in your travels as DJ?
90s were my favorite, the music, the fashion, the nightlife and there weren’t so many sub-genres as there are now.
6: Do you remember your first paid gig that made you say this it?! And nothing else matters. Music is my Life.
I DJ’d a party for my uncle at his garment factory, I was excited to get some cash for something I love doing. It was mostly salsa and merengue, but still fun making people dance.
7: What is your method of inspiration to making a song and how hard are you on yourself?
I get inspired from my peers, producers I look up to or music I just happen to discover. I have found that giving my ears rest and switching between projects helps me to not to get tired of the song. Giving myself breaks from working on a song allows me to hear it fresh, decide what i have works or not and come up with fresh ideas. As long as I do my best, I’m happy.
8: If carrying cases of records was not such an inconvenience, would you still play wax?
Yes, but the only reason I don’t buy wax is because most of the music I play only comes out digitally. Wax sales have plummeted compared to the 90s when I worked in the music industry but, playing digital sure makes it a hell [of a lot] more convenient. What I miss the most is going record shopping more than the experience of playing wax.
9: If you could work with any artist dead or alive, name that artist and why?
Hmm, good question. Off the top of my head I will say Sade. She has such an amazing voice, so sensuous, soulful and captivating.
10: Are you happy with state of music today, and what advice can you give a new DJ that wants to play in your sandbox of music?
I’m happy with the output and creativity coming from my peers, but I’m not happy about the sales aspect. Digital sales are practically non existent. With all the illegal downloading and streaming, there is no way to make a living as a house music producer and a record label. The few that do, depend solely on DJ Gigs. My advice to DJ’s is to not be a follower. Look, discover and search for music. Don’t play the same stuff the big dogs are playing. Find your own style and sound.