Since childhood, a good time meant gathering with family and friends and dancing late into the night. I went to my first club at age 12 in New York City, and snuck into my first club in my hometown of Boston when I was 14. As you might imagine, my idea of a fun night out was shaped by these experiences. To this day, the most fun I have in terms of partying is hitting the clubs with friends and having an epic night.
What was the allure of a club? The music, and the way the sound just seeped into your chest and started pumping as if your heart was on steroids. One of my earliest memories from going out was entering the main room of this club and realizing how powerful the bass was. I walked in and my leg started moving involuntarily to the beat of the bass. I literally could not stop my right knee from lurching back and forth. It was an incredible experience to think that this music at this volume with this amount of bass could literally force someone into movement.
My biggest frustration over the years has been going to clubs and parties and listening to uninspiring dance music filled with flat hammering beats, muddled rhythms, and cheap synthetic sounds with no vocals disguised as some awesome “underground sound.” Please! It’s underground because it’s bad. No one above ground wants to listen to it, so why are you playing it at the club?
Not until 2001, when I went to Spain for a study abroad, did I realize the potential of having an epic club night if the music was on-point. I can’t underscore this point enough: no matter how great the DJ, or how cool the venue, any night of partying is absolutely 100% defined by the quality of music. Period. End of story. No argument.
Song selection is everything.
I used to DJ, but realized that it was never the hours of practicing mixes that got me excited. It was listening to that new track that you knew was going to be awesome and an absolute hit at the party. You can have Emeril or Julia Child in the kitchen cooking, but give them awful ingredients, and they’re not going to be able to cook a masterpiece. Same goes for music and DJs. I don’t care if Tiesto or Armin Van Buuren is spinning at the club. If they select awful music to listen to, then you’re not going to enjoy the night.
Song selection is everything.
To that end, in 2008, after another summer spent abroad, I started compiling lists of ten of my favorite dance tracks, which I published on Facebook. I called the playlists “Best Beats” and published nine editions of them. That eventually evolved into The Hot 3, which has now evolved into The Hot Six.
The goal was to promote a certain style of dance music that I thought was a cut above the others. Music that is fun, funky, sexy, uplifting and just HOT. I love vocals because a crowd reaches its peak of insanity when it is singing along with a track. I love beats that are edgy and funky and make the whole track groove. I love Hip Hop, Latin, and Middle Eastern infused sounds. I love any track that makes you want to party like a rock star. It’s hard to define, but easy to spot once you hear it.
Over the years, good dance music has been hard to find. Growing up, dance compilations could cost over $30 for some “great” imported album from Europe. Of the 26 songs, there might be only 2 or 3 worthwhile tracks. What. A. Jip!
My answer to that is The Hot Six where instead of you paying ridiculous prices for an album of 2 worthwhile tracks, I spend the hours listening to countless albums, tracks, and radio stations to bring you the very best, six at a time. These tracks are the ones worth playing at a club, and worth purchasing.
I love to share with you what I’m listening to, and would love for you to share with me what you’re listening to! So send me your comments and playlists!
Enjoy the music and remember to Keep it Hot and Keep Dancin’,
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