Photo by DutchMasterz
Club and party goers all know that the jump off doesn’t get started until the right music is played to set the vibe. It’s the responsibility of the DJ to keep the party people in the spot and hyped on the dance floor. There are several well known DJs in the game like DJ Khalid, DJ Laz, DJ Kid Capri, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Entyce (just to name a quick few) have built a career on doing exactly that. But where are the young guns that the main guys will have to pass the torch too someday? I think we found the perfect candidate to lead the next wave of party rockers. Although he may be young in age, he has already put in some serious time earning respect from several well known names in the industry. He is on the fast track to the top and has the grind to keep him there once he arrives. It’s my please to introduce you to Mr. Generation Next himself…DJ Legato.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us DJ Legato. First off, let the people know the meaning of your name.
(DJ Legato) Legato is actually a musical term and when used it means, smooth & connected; without breaks between the successive tones. When I saw that meaning I thought to myself, “that name is so versatile” and that is what I had in mind when becoming a DJ was versatility.
Very unique meaning to a name. How was it growing up in Brooklyn, New York and do you still currently reside there?
(DJ Legato) I was born in Brooklyn and stayed until I was about 5 years old. Most of my family are from and currently live in New York now so I do visit often. I currently live in West Palm Beach, Florida but my heart will always be from New York.
When did you get bit by the DJ bug?
(DJ Legato) Ever since my early teens I would go to house parties and teen parties and noticed how the music being played had so much influence on the way the rest of the crowd would act and feel. Whether it be a live DJ or even a CD playing; the feeling that the music gave the people was so unexplainable and at that point I knew I wanted to be the person controlling the mood of the party.
You’re a young dude with major league grind. Where did that drive come from at such a young age?
(DJ Legato) Well, once you feel that sense of loving what you do at any age, the drive begins right away. I look up to a lot of deejays and when I see the success they have achieved I know in my head I want to accomplish the same if not greater. And why not start at a young age!
I feel you on that. How did you and the Babalu Bad Boys (of radio station The X102.3 in West Palm Beach, FL.) hook up and what influence have they had on your career?
(DJ Legato) Honestly, I was the kid around school during the middle school and high school days who was known to always know where the hot house parties were going down at. Sooner or later I got connected to the Babalu Bad Boys Street Team and I started helping with street promotion for a Teen party they were hosting at the local skating ring.
Describe to me your style of Dj-ing.
(DJ Legato) If I had to describe my style of Dj-ing in one word it would be DIVERSE! I have promoters who tell me they love my style because I seriously play for EVERYBODY! I feel if the promoters can bring a wide range of ethnicities and cultures together I have the opportunity to play it all. Of course you have parties & promoters that stick to a certain genre of music for their following so I have to appeal to their request. I have done parties from House & Techno to Latin & Top40 and of course your popular Hip-Hop, Reggae and R&B.
I hear that you have the game on lock from the Treasure Coast to the Palm Beaches. Give me a few club names/cities that you have rocked the house for.
(DJ Legato) Wow, I have only been dj-ing for a year and I can say I’ve been all over Florida. Club Skye in Tampa; Fusian Ultra Lounge in Orlando; Ambar Nightclub in West Palm Beach; Iconz Nightclub in Orlando; Mokai Nightclub in South Beach; Temple Mega Lounge in Tampa; Mystique Lounge in downtown West Palm Beach. I felt really blessed when a promoter booked me out in San Francisco, California at this club called Apartment24. When I rocked the crowd there people were coming up to me saying, “You’re from the east coast? You’re really good!” All I could do was thank God for the blessings.
Damn you have been all over in a short period of time and that’s a huge compliment coming from the West Coast. You’ve also opened up and worked with some big names in the industry. Who were they and what was your experience like working with them.
(DJ Legato) During BET Spring Bling 2009, I opened for Dj Prostyle (BET 106 & Park, Heavy Hitter) and that experience was amazing as he is a very humble guy and has inspired my career tremendously. More than the Dj aspect Prostyle’s partner Boricua Jimmy is more of the business side of the industry and he actually spent time to give me advice and put a lot of sense into my head that still helps me till this day. During Super Bowl weekend 2009 in Tampa Bay, I had the pleasure of opening for Dj Khaled (WeTheBest, WEDR 99Jamz) as well as Dj Christion (Terror Squad) and that was amazing to sit there and open for what people already claim to be greatness from Khaled. After that club party I was introduced to Dj Nasty (NastyBeatMakers, WJHM 102Jamz) and he asked me if I wanted to open for him at a private party for an NFL football player. With only a year under my belt those are all major accomplishments to me!
Yes, I most definitely agree with you on that. Tell me about your radio show at University of Central Florida where you currently attend.
(DJ Legato) I hosted my own show at WNSC on the campus of the University of Central Florida and the reality is at first I did not get this gig because I was not a student at the university. My passion and drive for this was so strong though that I gathered up a friend who was attending the school and he signed the correct paper work for me to be a co-host. After the first week the station manager noticed how serious I was taking it and allowed me to have the main role anyway.
SIDEBAR: I have a niece that attends UCF by the name of Voguelais Jones (Shout out to my niece!)…don’t suppose you know her. But also, a very famous athlete has a son that attends there by the name of Marcus Jordan. Can the kid ball like his pops and what went down with the whole Adidas vs. Jordan brand issue that split the campus…from what I heard?
(DJ Legato) My opinion is that if he could ball like his pops he would have been recruited by the same college (University of North Carolina) and he didn’t; so that tells you a little something on that one. As for the Adidas vs. Jordan brand issue, I think everyone wanted to wear Jordan because I mean who wouldn’t!? But Adidas had paper work to prove they should stay so legally they probably had the rights.
Thanks for answering that question, now back to business. I understand that you are on the air at FSU also…right?
(DJ Legato) I only did one guest spot on WVFS 89.7Fm in Tallahassee. I was looking up other radio stations and noticed FSU had one and I got in contact with one of the Hip-Hop host who allowed me to do a guest spot on a weekend show. Even though it was only once, hard work pays off because recently the host noticed some of the success I’ve been having and got in contact with me.
I told ya’ll this kid has major grind! How is your internship going at CBS Radio in West Palm Beach, FL?
(DJ Legato) It is actually going great. I have met and worked with some awesome people in the radio business. It’s funny because as an intern you have to be ready to do anything at anytime and one day I had to work early in the morning at like 6am. It was right after I was done doing the club where I did not finish playing until about 4am. I had to go home shower and head over to the station. Believe it or not, that day I ended up meeting and getting breakfast for Nick Cannon.
I just love your hustle man; more young cats need to take notes from you. Nine5Four The Magazine did a Special DJ Issue last year that featured some of the heavy hitters in the game like DJ Laz, DJ GQ, DJ ZOG, DJ Pro Style, DJ Epps & DJ Entice to name a few. Who do you look up to in the game and how hard do you think it will be for you to carve out a spot for yourself and join this elite class of DJ’s?
(DJ Legato) DJ’s like Dj Laz, Dj Prostyle & Dj Entice are hard to follow just because they have done major things in their career but they always say don’t try to be like them, try to achieve greater than them and that is my mentality. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York so I do look up to DJ’s like Funkmaster Flex, Heavy Hitters, DJ Enuff, DJ Camilo & DJ Kast One. Kast One is a big one for me because he calls himself “The Future” for the reason that he has reached success at a young age. Not even 21 yet, I represent the same movement so hopefully Kast One reads this and co-signs me calling myself “The Future” too. Hahaha!
We’ll co-sign if he doesn’t lol…but I’m sure he would. Do DJ’s beef like some rap artist do?
(DJ Legato) The DJ’s that stay humble never beef. Then again you got DJ’s out there who think their stuff don’t stink and think they are better than the rest so you wind up running into haters. If anything like happens to me (which it has) I just let my performance and hard work do the talking.
What do you absolutely enjoy most about being a DJ?
(DJ Legato) There is no other feeling in the world when you see hundreds of people happy and dancing to the sounds you are playing through your turntables. It’s like when a doctor saves a patient and keeps them from dying. As a DJ, it’s up to me to keep the party alive when I get on set. When your job is done and people compliment you on a weekly basis, that feeling is always unexplainable.
What do you in turn not like about it?
(DJ Legato) There is nothing that I do not like about this job. Word of advice for everyone, the second you start guessing your choice of career or saying, “what if”, it’s probably because that’s not what you want to do for the rest of your life. I live for music! I live to keep people dancing and happy on the dance floor. I will continue to do this even when my time is up because at that point I will have worked with the next breed of entertainers.
I think you are carrying the torch for the “Next Generation” of DJ’s. How do you feel about that statement and what advice do you have for the young DJ’s out there that will be joining or following you now?
(DJ Legato) That’s a major major statement and I thank you for that huge compliment. I feel that if I am carrying the torch then my generation of DJ’s is in real good hands! Hahaha! Advice, I have for other young DJ’s out there reading this is remember this game has changed so much. There will be plenty of occasions where you’re going to have to throw your self-esteem to the side and really GRIND. There will be times where in order to prove your talent you may have to play for FREE! Once the promoters/club owners notice your talent then they know they can not afford to lose you which in that case they have to throw you a dollar sign. With that being said, it’s okay to do one or two different gigs for free but once your talent has been appreciated, that is the time you add value to it. If they want quality they will pay for quality!
That’s some great advice and I hope EVERYONE that reads that feels it. What other interests do you have outside of the DJ booth?
(DJ Legato) I am currently in school earning my AA in Criminal Justice and I plan to go to Law School. I said before that I would love to be in the music game for a life time but not everyone makes it to the big leagues so there must be a Plan B, that is just the reality of things.
Are there any special projects/performances coming up you want the readers to know about?
(DJ Legato) For my 21st Birthday (Aprill 22nd), I am planning a week worth of events in the Palm Beach area. Tuesday through Saturday, I got club events going down and then Sunday I am using my CBS Radio internship to gather a few radio personalities along with local DJ’s and promoters I have worked with to create a charity event. Sunday is bigger than any of the club nights for me just because I am giving back to the local YMCA Summer Camp Foundation. The foundation is for kids who can not afford summer camp fees and need a safe place to be when school is out.
Let me give you a BIG Nine5Four Family “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” shout out!! I knew you would have WPB on lock for that! We gonna have to come out and show support for you!! And EVERYONE reading this need to come out and show ya love DJ Legato!!!
(DJ Legato) Thank you very much!!
I love the fact that you are a humble guy; knowledgeable about all genres of music; pursuing your education and hustle to get as much experience under your belt as possible. I think you have all the tools it takes to be successful in ANY industry. Where do YOU see yourself in the next 5 years?
(DJ Legato) Where do I see myself in the next 5 years? Well, I see myself really being in the prime time of my career. Meaning doing radio, clubs, charity events, having big name brands asking me to support their product. I really want to touch it all. If MUSIC is touching the heart and soul of the people, I want to be there in the next 5 years!
It’s been very cool chatting with you my man. Enjoy your B-Day and we wish you much success in ALL your future endeavors. Any final words or shoutouts you would like to drop at this time?
(DJ Legato) I just want to send a big thank you to everyone who has been there since the beginning and has supported me since day one. To everyone who ever gave me a chance and helped me get my foot in the door. And a word of advice to anyone trying to make it, don’t forget where you came from, cause the people that were there when you were nothing, are the same people that will be there when you’re at the top or the bottom.
Also keep in touch with me: www.Twitter.com/DjLegato , www.Facebook.com/DjLegato ,