Every week ChiChi212 will be getting In The Booth with Manhattan’s hottest DJs to learn what makes their turntables spin. This week, one of our funniest interviews yet with Louie XIV.
BM: How did you choose your DJ name? Or if it’s your real name, why did you stick with that?
LX: To be honest, I procrastinated choosing a name for the longest time because I was having trouble committing to one that I related too. And also, let’s face it, my real last name is Mandelbaum, and Mandelbaum is not cool from any angle, so I had to find some sort of alias. I don’t remember when I finally settled on Louie XIV, but it’s a nod to my passion for history. I was a history major in college and I’ve always been really interested in the fantasy of the French Court and Royalty and the aesthetic grandeur that they commissioned and produced in the 17th Century. I mean Louis XIV (the real one) built Versailles, so he had quite the eye. And pretty ornate tastes! Anyway, aside from the whole suppression of the peasant masses, he sounded like a pretty cool and sophisticated dude! I’m pretty sure he did Ballet on the regular. He also had beautiful capes and clothing and was very focussed on that. He was a boss!
BM: Would you consider DJing a full-time job or a hobby?
LX: Full time job.
BM: What do you do during the day?
LX: Work on my sets and mixes, chase people for money, watch food network on the stationary bike at the gym, help out / distract the employees at the online magazine my sister and mom run called Stylelikeu, cause problems and have bitch sessions with DJ Kalkutta. Roam the streets in search of daywalkers. The usual.
BM: When did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
LX: I really started to take it seriously when I graduated college and realized that being a waiter / working retail would be an epic fail for a person like me. Oh, and art of course.
BM: Fill in the blank: If you couldn’t be a DJ, you would be a__________:
LX: Small arms dealer.
BM: What DJ(s) did/do you look up to and have you ever met them?
LX: I once met Mark Ronson, who is (of course) someone I really look up too. I was covering his sister Charlotte’s birthday for StylelikeU and i knew he would be there. Unfortunately at the time, I really didn’t have my act together and all I had with me were these shoddy ass business cards which a friend had designed for me. No mix, no anything else. When i saw Mark, I literally just walked up to him like a total freak and was just like, “Hi. I Love You. I’m a DJ. Here’s my card.” He was actually so sweet and was like “Cool. I’ll check out your Myspace.” I felt pretty cool as he walked away, until I realized that I didn’t have a Myspace.
BM: How would you describe your DJ style and what’s your favorite type of music to spin?
LX: Well, like every DJ and their mom says, I like and play “everything.” But its really true. I like sets that weave through a number of time periods and genres and connect all different kinds of music together. If I feel I can work it, I will attempt to pull off mixing “Teach Me How To Dougie” into “These Boots Are Made For Walkin.” I’d say my strongest suit is Hip Hop. Hip Hop is the genre I know the best and most instinctually. It’s how I started and part of the reason I got into DJ-ing the first place. I could play a Hip Hop set for 24 hours and never get bored or run out of things that I’d be excited to play.
BM Complete this sentence: I can’t go into the booth without ______________.
LX: My swagga of course!! haha, just kidding. Probably my rings. I like something pretty to look at while I’m (attempting to) scratch.
BM: What type of food do you crave when your set is finished and where do you go to get it?
LX: I usually don’t like to eat before gigs, so I’m always starving when I finish work. Unfortunately, these days I’m super into street meat. It’s sooo bad for you, but sooo good to eat. But its legit like crack. Especially at 4am. I was recanting to Kalkutta earlier today that I can literally tell you all the best street meat spots near every single venue in this city! I went through a pizza phase, but a person can only eat so much pizza. Food choices are limited 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?
LX: I’m kind of a Twitter whore, so if you follow me on Twitter, i will probably do anything you want. That sounds like a good approach that not many people have tried on me yet actually! Boobs might work too, just because that’s a pretty hardcore thing to do just to hear a song.
BM: What three songs do you wish you never had to hear again?
LX: “I Gotta Feeling” most definitely. I have heard that song maybe 3000 to many times and the general public is not nearly as sick of it as they need to be! People, all these months later, will shout that “wooo-hooo” in unison, at the top of their lungs, at any venue, any day, any time if you play that damn song! Probably could go without hearing “OMG” ever again. “American Boy” would probably be 3rd. Even though I love it and it’s a solid, well loved party starter, I’ve just played it tooooo damn much for anyone’s good.
BM: What three songs am I missing out on by not having them on my iPod?
LX: ALL ROBYN SONGS. Literally, people do not get that she is the best Pop artist working today. She literally does not have a bad song. I really love both “Dancing with the DJ” by the Knocks and “Baby, I’m Your’s” By Breakbot. Their both like Electro-Disco hybrids which is a combination that I gravitate towards. I also absolutely adore Major Lazer’s remix of La Roux’s “Cover My Eyes.” It gives that song a whole new twist, and kind gives La Roux a urban edge which is super dope! Also just goes to show that adding those signature Swizz Beatz “Eh-Eh-Eh”‘s makes any song inherently cooler.
BM: If you could produce a song for any artist who would it be and why?
LX: Michael Jackson of course, but that’s not longer an option. I would love the opportunity to work with Kanye. I just have looked up to him so much over the course of his whole career, starting with the work he did for Jay and then all of his solo stuff. I think he is the greatest mainstream artist working today. Just getting anywhere in proximity to his mind and creativity would be an honor and thrill.
BM: If you could curate the soundtrack to any movie, what would it be?
LX: My Life Story.
BM: What’s your dream gig?
LX: My dream gig is to get booked to tour and have the opportunity to travel around the world doing what I love. I can’t say there’s a specific “gig” that is my sole dream gig. Spinning for Jay-Z would pretty much make my brain explode, so maybe that.
BM: What’s your favorite city to DJ in (aside from New York?)
LX: What could be better then New York?
BM: What are your favorite clubs to spin in NYC?
LX: Of the places I play in regularly right now, Eldridge is probably my favorite. It’s small and I really like to be able to interact with a intimate crowd like that. There’s something special about what happens when you perform in setting that’s so tight like that.
BM: Would you ever play Hanson in your set?
LX: Absolutely! And have on many occasions! “MMM Bop” is a brilliant song that everybody f*ckin loves, whether the admit it in real life or not. People are surprisingly more honest about the music they really love at 3am after some cocktails! Grown men loose their shit over “MMMbop” if you play it in the right context!
BM: What is the worst part of nightlife?
LX: The hours can mess with you. Sometimes the people you meet don’t always have you’re best interests in mind, but that’s true of any business. I guess one of the more day-to-day annoyances of working in nightlife is having to deal with belligerently drunk people on the regular. Wasted people can be the best thing a DJ can ask for in certain respects, but can sometimes forget that you’re trying to work.
BM: What is the best part of nightlife?
LX: The fun and the unity that can be created in a nightclub setting. Music (and a little liquor) can put all kinds of people on the same wavelength and when that really happens, it’s quite thrilling for a DJ.
BM: What’s your next career move or will you DJ forever?
LX: I’m interested in a number of things. One thing I’m hoping to do in the near future is take a play that I wrote a few months back and workshop it into a production. I’m also interested in expanding my production work and focussing on making my own music. I want to rap.
BM: Any projects you’d like to promote?
LX: Always wanna promote my Saturday Party, Badditude at The Eldridge. Also, StyleLikeU.com of course.
BM: Where can I stalk you in the internet?
LX: http://www.louiexiv.com/ for updates on gigs etc as well as (always brilliant) musings on pop culture. ALSO, follow me on twitter: Twitter.com/LouieXIV
BM: Where can I listen to your mix tapes?
LX: Check my Fan Page on Facebook: Facebook.com/LouieXIV
BM: What’s your fun fact?
LX: At 20, I was clinically obese. True Story!
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