“Did you have an awesome time? Did you drink awesome shooters, listen to awesome music, and then just sit around and soak up each others' awesomeness?”
Of course, when Lizzie Caplan says this in Mean Girls, she’s being sarcastic, but that’s almost exactly what DJ Clinton Sparks wants you to do at his Awesome Party, which launched at Moon at the Palms on Saturday night. I sat down with the E! correspondent, who'll be playing 12 dates at Moon, pre-Moon to talk T.I., his new album as a singer and general awesomeness.
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You’re about to launch Clinton Sparks’ Awesome Party this week. What makes this residency more “awesome” than others?
Everybody kind of always bags on me because I use the word “awesome” a lot. I’m from Boston — everyone says awesome, but there are a lot of people in Boston who say awesome. Whenever I try to do something, I figure out what other people aren’t doing or how can I do it different or how can I stand out. And the one thing I notice about Vegas is every club, every promoter, everybody wants to be the coolest or the sexiest or they just try to be upscale. I’m not knocking those parties because everyone likes something different. And what I want to bring is something different. There are some people that … don’t really care about trying to be the coolest person in the room. They just really want to go have a good time. They want to be entertained; they want to hear awesome music; they want to have fun; they want to laugh; they want to dance; they want to drink. They want to do that and not be so overly concerned with necessarily looking the hottest.
What special elements can clubgoers look forward to?
I think way over-the-top, and sometimes I have to be pulled back because of the resources and the money and the law and just different things that get in the way from making it as awesome as I would have liked to have made it. Some of the things I was able to do at Body English were come out with a marching band, or girls in togas carrying me out, feeding me grapes or come out with, like, a boxing ring announcer. I signed a record deal with Interscope Records, and I have my debut album coming out this year as a singer, not a DJ. And my album, my music, is very Weezer, Offspring, Blink-182. It’s very fun and amusing and relatable music. On my launch will be the first time I ever perform live, with my new band, music off my debut album. I’m really excited about exposing the people that come that night.
I read that you’ll also be inviting a few celebrity friends for drop-in appearances over the course of your residency. Who’s made the shortlist?
When I was at Body English, I had everybody come through. Once you get the night crackin’, people want to come to you; you don’t even have to call them, first of all. And two, of course I’m going to have people come through on my nights, but the first night I don’t want the focus to be on who came. I intentionally didn’t invite anybody bigger; I have some smaller-name people that are coming … like newer artists that are just starting to emerge, or people in the Taryn Manning level — friends of mine are coming just to hang out.
Out of all the venues in town, why was Moon a good fit for this?
They support me, they understand my vision, I can come do record release parties here; I can have friends' birthday parties here; I can come perform here, I can test out new music here, I can try out some wacky idea that I have in the club and incorporate that into my performances on the road. They turned out to be the place. They were super stoked. It just made a perfect fit, and it made me tighter in the pants with excitement to know that they were down to do the things I was saying, even down to calling it my Awesome Party, when I explained why I wanted to call it that. Dude, everything at the place is going to be awesome, like from the waitresses wearing awesome T-shirts, to drinks having awesome things to them, to having better hotel rates on the night I’m DJing, so you get an awesome rate. When I’m in that building and I’m a part of the Palms … me being there makes the Palms more awesome. That’s my intention.
You’re a man of many talents — DJ, producer, radio personality and so on — what do you enjoy most?
I get that question a lot, and I don’t have one that I enjoy most. It’s kind of like saying, “What food do you enjoy most?” You know what I mean? Different days you’re in the mood for different things. I’m all over the place. I have a mind that never stops working. As a matter of fact, it torments me. So I’ll be in there working on a beat with somebody, then I’ll get an idea for a blend. So then I go and start working on that blend, and as I do that, I think of something funny and I start writing down sketch comedy. As I’m doing that, I’ll think, “Oh, this would be incredible if I was able to talk to Pepsi and pitch this marketing idea for them.” As I’m doing, that somebody drops a spoon in the other room and the sound creates an idea for a song for me, so I get back to working on a song. My mind is always working, and I’m always thinking about ideas, to the point where sometimes it overwhelms and annoys people.
You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Who was the most fun to work with?
I have a really good time hanging out with Akon. I have a really good time hanging out with Pitbull. Even the first time I interviewed T.I. years ago, he must have had a long day or he was just being a tough guy rapper. I said something wise ass to him live on the radio, and he looked at me straight-faced and he’s like sizing me up. Then he finally broke a smile and was like, “Yeah, I like you, man.” Before the interview was over, we both were doing the running man in the studio.
Mark Adams is listings editor for Las Vegas Weekly.
-- Originally published on LasVegasWeekly.com.