What’s it like to be the headlining DJ at Vanity, and on New Year’s Eve of all nights?
I honestly am so excited. Hard Rock has a lot of history — that’s the first residency that I had in Vegas being a Body English resident. … I got a sneak peak at how it looks, so I’m even more excited about the lighting and sound they have in there. … I’m not playing inside Body English that night, but I’m going to make my rounds in there just to walk through it and give it a goodbye — and look at the chandelier and see if I can win it, because they’re giving it away (laughing). That’d be nice in my living room.
What are your feelings about going up against two other new clubs on NYE, with Tiësto at Haze and Eva Longoria Parker at Eve?
I think everyone has their own lane that they’re in, like with Haze being Tiësto… he’s basically a trance DJ. With Eva Longoria, I think they’re going to go there for the fact of it’s a celebrity spot. … I think people know that if I’m DJing, it’s going to be a party atmosphere … an open-format set where everyone’s going to get a taste of the music that they like. … I’m not just DJing, I’m partying sometimes harder than some of the tables. The song I usually start off with is “Shots” because I’m starting to take shots right when I get on (laughing). … I think everyone knows that if they see me DJ then they know “Oh, I got to get ready for this! Eat my bowl of Wheaties before I head to the club.”
You live in L.A., but do you consider yourself a “Vegas DJ” at this point because you’ve had DJ residencies here for so long?
I’m a Las Vegas resident now because I have a house here, I have a car that I leave here. I’m totally normal out here. I’ve been coming here for six years already, and this is really where my name is branded internationally. When I was DJing in Los Angeles … it was cool if you get gigs here and there, but once you come to Vegas, that’s where the doors open … everyone comes here to party. So me DJing out here in front of these big crowds at multi-million dollar venues, it just opened up a door for me to be a bigger brand as a DJ. So I definitely consider myself a Vegas DJ. When I go to other cities, nine times out of 10 they put on the flyer, “Direct from Las Vegas: DJ Vice.” … I always claim Vegas first above anything, because I think every DJ wants to have a residency in Vegas.
You play a lot of popular club bangers in your sets. Do you get tired of certain tracks?
Definitely (laughing). There’s only so many time you can play 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and all those things. But at the same time, it is a job still — I don’t feel like it’s a job; I still can say I’ve never worked a day in my life. … But I definitely get sick of them … Then you see people smiling and taking shots and jumping up and down, it keeps your energy going. … But yeah, it hurts after a while (laughing).
Unlike other DJs with residencies in Vegas that can only spin within a particular nightlife group, you’ve been able to play across club lines. What’s the trick to gigging all over the city?
I’m lucky in the sense that the deal I do have, I have freedom to play other venues. And you’re right, almost every DJ doesn’t have that. They have to stick to their one and only brand. But I think the way I brand myself is a lot different than other DJs. ... I usually get there early, I bounce around tables, say hi to the customers. … I definitely would say that I have a following in a sense of the bottle crowd… I always go out and play these different venues and wrangle people to follow me and come back to where my home is, Saturday nights at Tao and Sunday nights at Lavo.
Why is Vegas the place to be on New Year’s Eve?
I think this is my fourth New Year’s in a row in Vegas. And every year I love the fact that people are partying in L.A. or Miami, they’re hitting me at the end of their night to say, “Yo, how was your New Year’s?” In Vegas, we’re just in the middle of our night. We’re getting the peak of the party going. We have no set time that we have to end. This is the one city across the country that the party keeps going all night and once it’s done, there’s still somewhere else to go.