Jesusdapnk has spent the better part of his life slammin’ grooves and makin’ tunes out of San Diego, California. Jesus’ early tunes have been released on Salted Music, Nurvous, and local SD label, Late Night Jackin. We’re def feeling his jackin’ house for this latest Hometown Heroes episode.
Download and interview below…
Interview with Jesusdapnk
How did you initially get into DJing and house music? Do you recall a specific moment of inspiration or was it an evolution?
My music career has definitely started out as an evolution of commitment and talent. I got into Djing at the age of 17 and producing when I was 15. Ive always been a musician, I started out playing drums since I was 9-10. I was always influenced by funk, jazz, rock and disco. My influences mainly came from my father, who owns a huge collection of disco, funk, and rock records. My father would always take me along with the whole family to swap meets/markets as a kid on Sunday’s and we would search for the coolest records available, and leave with a giant stack. During many family parties, holidays, etc my father would play the records and everyone would enjoy them. Many consisted of Barry White, Donna Summer, Kool And The Gang, Electric Light Orchestra, Deep Purple, Wayne Newton, Oldies etc etc. My mind was full of music at a young age. Being the youngest in my family I was constantly kept up to date with modern music… My brother was more rock oriented, while my sisters were more in the club scene. I was about 12 when my older siblings would go out to the biggest Tijuana clubs, and they would always introduce me to music that was being played. Some of the music consisted of tracks from Daft Punk’s Homework and Discovery albums, Frankie knuckles, lots of tiesto, Shiny Disco Balls, lots of disco house edits, etc etc… this introduced me to the world of electronic music. As I got older I kept up to date with electronic music, around the 2006 era Justice was what was in at the time, and other electro based djs were what the scene was mostly about. I experienced electronic music during the transition and growth of new sub genres within the electronic scene (Until it oversaturated into cheesy EDM and reverted back to true house music). During this time, I was just into music… all I wanted to do was make music… as a kid and even now as adult I faced tons of criticism, judgment, mental abuse and more… music was my only getaway, and my only stress relief, my sanctuary. I would get home and start producing for hours, and be able to clear my mind with the love for music. When I was 15 I didn’t have much money to purchase my own computer, or hardware or programs… Id have to ask my mother to borrow her Ibook G4 to produce on garageband. Using garageband taught me so much about recording, mixing and arranging my own music… I felt confident and started sending out demos at a young age to various of my favorite artists at the time. These demos weren’t the best, but I received lots of feedback from the artists Id send them too, with positive criticism that made me a better producer in the end. At the age of 17 I invested money into Logic Pro and already had the program somewhat understood since I had been using Garageband for about a year and half, even though there is so much to learn in the world of producing (to this day I learn new features and skills). During this time I felt confident to start showcasing tracks, and dj skills in events… In late 2009 I partnered up with my close friend Aldo Peralta aka HAUSEN to form our Dj/production tech-house/electro duo AltronicArsenic. Aldo and I started playing monthly shows in Tijuana at venues such as Revue, and Chupiteria… later on we played random shows at Mezcalera and other venues in calle 6ta, Tijuana… from there aldo and I wanted to advance and perhaps even play in SD more than TJ, as it was becoming a hassle having to cross over to TJ via trolley and coming back at 6am-7am from 6-8 hour underpaid DJ sets… In order to grow we had to start getting booked in the states. During this time the San Diego scene was mostly all electro and raves… I reached out to one of my sisters friends Rodrigo Cortes (as he was working for many raves in SD) to see if there were any available shows for an AltronicArsenic showcase in one of the San Diego raves. We got our first show in the states and we were some of the only artists on the rave lineup that was playing house, tech house with a hint of electro. We instantly started growing a small following in SD. We started playing more shows on a daily basis and connecting with more artists… eventually Aldo pursued a career in dentistry while I stuck with the music. I didn’t want to take over the AltronicArsenic name as It was something Aldo and I developed, so I started new… I went under Jesusdapnk during 2012 (my alias for Deep Jackin House/TechFunk). Starting a new project I already had the experience, production skills, connections, needed to commence on the right path of music. I was still underage and wanted to play/educate the San Diego nightlife to my music. In 2013-2014 I met Memo Rex who was hosting a weekly open genre night at el camino (eventually becoming Techno & Tequila), Memo had told me that management wasn’t sure about electronic music being played at the time… but we went for it and it turned into a success! Eventually becoming a weekly Thursday party that allowed for expansion and a small revival of electronic music being played in San Diego. The Jesusdapnk brand became more known with locals and I started to concentrate more on production, so that I can play outside of my hometown. I got into the studio asap and started sending demos out to many labels, eventually getting signed to various labels around the world such as Nurvous, Lisztomania Records, Jump Recordings, i! Records, Induction Muzic, Myriad Black, and many more… this then allowed expansion of my Jesusdapnk name throughout many countries and clubs, with some of my original tracks reaching top 10 charts on Beatport, Traxsource and even gaining support from some of the biggest names in the Electronic music world. I started getting booked more around the United States, and Mexico. Now at age 25 I feel as if I live 2 lives… its hard being able to simply live off music. Monday to Friday I work at a Health Clinic from 8am-5pm assisting patients with their medical needs, and after work I go to the studio and work on tons of music. The music world for me is all about balance, staying relevant in music by talent, putting 100% positivity in everything I do, and going into things with out expectations. I am staying committed to production, working hard, collaborating with many artists , and now even working on my own label.
What’s the scene like in San Diego? How is it unique?
The music scene in San Diego is expanding a lot. Not just simply with house but all genres. The beauty of San Diego is the culture… being next to Tijuana, Mexico and Los Angeles definitely allows for connections to be made and nonstop networking. Some of the best artists I know are from Tijuana! Some being 4004, Never Dull, Soul Of Hex and many more. These artists definitely need more exposure in San Diego. A bit of criticism I can say is that more people need to be educated on the difference of an Artist and simply being a DJ. Those who know who they are and claim what they are will always earn my respect (being a DJ or artist). Though I sometimes see a local producer who spends hours in a studio, investing tons of money into equipment and gear, has flawless DJ skills, and committed 100% opening for one who is clueless about the art of production and has basic skills Djing for a packed dance-floor. Things like this confuse me… I feel like the San Diego electronic life needs to be more open and allowing actual producers to showcase their work at the set times that are well deserved. Original productions tell the story of someone, and makes sets more memorable and interesting. I think there are tons of event companies and promoters that invest in producers overseas that no one really knows when there are already so many amazing producers in San Diego that are overlooked… some being Lefthook, Domar, Paul Najera, Jr Quijada, Oboe, Paulo, Miguel Rios, Sam Rodriguez, Jesse Austin, Matthew Brian, and many more! I do see the San Diego electronic nightlife expanding and reviving, I am confident that this city will give good exposure to these artists who deserve it… this is only the beginning. San Diego is becoming more expensive to live in for a reason… not just because of the perfect weather and having so much culture but simply because more things are being offered and more events are coming… the city will always want to make a profit off that. San Diego’s music market is now bigger than ever, and has the future to expand… now areas like Chula Vista, Barrio Logan, North Park, IB are reviving and opening more bars and venues for music to be played and exposed.
Do you have any residencies? What parties/clubs in SD would you recommend? What about restaurants?
I currently am a resident for the Who’s Who, Perfect Dose, Coastal Glow, and still do events for the Late Night Jackin crew. This past year I have concentrated more on production, but I am always supporting events, when I can. For the remainder of the year I currently have many releases coming out! I have 2 VA vinyl records dropping this year one on Lisztomania records and another on Sundries, I also have a remix coming out on Induction Muzic, I have a collaboration with Ritmo Du Vela coming out on Lisztomania Recordings (Digital), and I am currently collaborating on another EP with Rivka M as well. Im also working on my second EP for Arturo Garces’s Label Jump Recordings. Lastly I have a Jazztronic EP coming out on Marinated Music, featuring vocals by my girlfriend Ivonne Calvillo. I cant think of my favorite restaurants at the moment, but I am a big fan of speak easy bars… I am also a big fan of Ac Lounge, because its a bar/venue that lets you have fun to the best house music with out judgment or criticism, every one there is there simply to have a good time and dance with out care.
A dream gig for me is to be able to play overseas (europe/asia/etc)… Europe is extremely expensive, I feel like once one gets booked to play a DJ set across seas (w everything paid for), it allows for an amazing feeling of success, a feeling that the hard work has paid off. A feeling that is not easily earned and can become a rare emotion that only happens once in a lifetime.
What’s one track that’s lighting up dance floors for you right now?
A track that is lighting up dance floors for me has to be one of my original productions. My track ‘Place To Be’ [Jump Recordings]. Because it can be played through any House set and increase the vibes of a party intensely! It can also be dropped in a deep house set as well, just to bring up the pace in the set.
Tell us about your mix…
My mix is basically a jam sesh… a jam sesh of my favorite tracks out at the moment alongside many originals. Its a mix that just flows and can make many enjoy the beauty of House music.
Drink of choice…
Anything with Mezcal! I love mezcal… its the best!