Every week ChiChi212 will be getting In The Booth with Manhattan’s hottest DJs to learn what makes their turntables spin. This week: DJ Alan Liao.
BM: How did you choose your DJ name? Or if it’s your real name, why did you stick with that?
AL: Alan Liao is my real name. I wanted to stay true to my identity.
BM: Would you consider DJing a full-time job or a hobby?
AL: I am fortunate that my hobby is my full-time job.
BM: What do you do during the day?
AL: I don’t have an exact routine, everyday is a surprise for me. I love spending time with my girlfriend, whom is also in the same industry so we work on similar projects together. I am also working a lot in the studios producing my tracks.
BM: When did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
AL: I’ve always been involved with music. I studied music at Souza Lima Conservatory in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When I was 14, I snuck into a club with my older sister. The owner allowed me to stay under one condition; that I didn’t move from the DJ booth. From that moment on, I was fascinated by how much impact the DJ had on the energy of the crowd.
BM: Fill in the blank: If you couldn’t be a DJ, you would be a__________:
BM: What DJ(s) did/do you look up to and have you ever met them?
AL: I’ve always appreciated the music of Laidback Luke, Calvin Harris, Steve Angello, Bob Sinclar, Tiesto, and others. But I have my own style when I’m djing.
BM: How would you describe your DJ style and what’s your favorite type of music to spin?
AL: I play all types and ranges of house music. I know how make different types of crowds dance. I mostly play vocal house with energetic beats. I like adding house music classics during my sets. I become my music when I dj and I think the crowd feeds off my energy as well.
BM: Complete this sentence: I can’t go into the booth without ______________.
AL: CD’s, which has become more and more rare. As a house music DJ, I’m not a big fan of djing softwares and laptops.
BM: What type of food do you crave when your set is finished and where do you go to get it?
AL: I crave everything from sushi to steak but unfortunately there’s not a lot of choices at 4am.
BM: If someone wants to request a song, say because it’s their birthday, how should they do it? With cash? Via twitter? With the song written on their boobs?
AL: The best way to request a song is being direct and quick about it. Try to leave out the small talk and also know how to accept the answer “no” sometimes. One basic rule is please don’t ask a house music DJ to play hip hop.
BM: What three songs do you wish you never had to hear again?
1- Alejandro by Lady Gaga
2- Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
3- Poker Face by Lady Gaga
BM What three songs am I missing out on by not having them on my iPod?
1- I Remember by Kaskade
2- Mr. Brightside by The Killers
3- Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap (Tiesto’s Remix)
BM: If you could produce a song for any artist who would it be and why?
AL: Bono Vox from U2. I’ve always been a big fan of his music and humanitarianism, besides the fact that everything he touches turns into gold.
BM: If you could curate the soundtrack to any movie, what would it be?
AL: I would love to work on a large production and love story like Titanic. I’m a romantic at heart.
BM: What’s your dream gig?
AL: Main Stage at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
BM: What’s your favorite city to DJ in (aside from New York?)
AL: It would be in my hometown Sao Paulo, Brazil. The energy there is something I can’t describe here in words, you gotta be there to understand.
BM: What are your favorite clubs to spin in NYC?
AL: In NYC, I enjoy djing at Greenhouse, Juliet, Covet, Pink Elephant, Kiss & Fly, Tenjune, Marquee, Cielo, Pacha, Hudson Terrace, Highline Ballroom and many others.
BM: Would you ever play Hanson in your set?
AL: I am always open-minded to music.
BM: What is the worst part of nightlife?
AL: The worst part of nightlife is dealing with people who live in a fantasy world and don’t realize that sometimes nightlife is all smoke and mirrors. Respect, honesty, loyalty and real friendships are something that many people in nightlife take for granted.
BM: What is the best part of nightlife?
AL: I’m not a morning person so the best part of nightlife is that it happens at night.
BM: What’s your next career move or will you DJ forever?
AL: I will always enjoy djing. I just graduated from SAE Institute in NYC and I’m working on music productions right now.
BM: Any projects you’d like to promote?
AL: I’m working a lot in the studios, new tracks are coming out soon, so stay tuned. I’m also launching my website www.djalanliao.com.
BM: Where can I stalk you in the internet?
BM: Where can I listen to your mix tapes?
BM: What’s your fun fact?
AL: I’m really good at impersonations.