DJ Crooked has been a cultural force in Las Vegas for more than a decade, bringing New York style and flavor to the local music and fashion landscapes. He might say he feels like one of the scene’s veterans, but he’s still making moves and leaving an impact.
Crooked spent another active year spinning in clubs in Vegas and beyond, and 2018 also saw some restructuring of the KNYEW fashion brand he created with DJ Neva, so it definitely felt like time to check in with Crooked to feel the flow.
On returning to the renovated Palms to spin at Apex Social Club: “You’ve got the inside/outside thing, the booth is right in the center and it’s really dope. There were so many girls [requesting] different stuff; they wanted reggaeton and stuff from the ’90s. It’s obviously a different energy from the megaclubs, and you bounce around genres a little more. There are so many different age groups and backgrounds in the room so you have to switch it up and keep it open. There were people singing along to Stevie Wonder and then going into Beyoncé and Tyga, and you can’t really do stuff like that in another room.”
On his new creative urges: “I hate to sound like the disgruntled DJ, but I think this year has been one of the worst years for club music I’ve experienced. I haven’t had that urge to produce, but recently I’ve been getting it because of what I’ve been hearing. I’ve just been breaking down these songs and thinking, ‘This could have been dope, but they did this instead of that’—examining the organization of these songs. ... I’m working on a lot of stuff, but you probably won’t hear or see anything until the summer.”
On closing the KNYEW Las Vegas store: “The hardest part was managing people. I’ve been talking to other retailers, and it seems like it’s really hard to find the right workforce now, the right people. They want to blame it on millennials, but I don’t think that’s it. I think kids are so smart now; they just don’t want to work for anybody. If they learn something, they want to apply it to their own brand, to themselves. There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit there.”
On new fashion opportunities: “[KNYEW] has always had a very strong following online, and now it’s a lot easier. Since we closed the store, all these other projects started popping up—different brands wanting us to do this or that—and there are so many cool projects coming up in the next year. I’m really looking forward to it."
DJ CROOKED November 10, 11 p.m., $20-$35. Apex Social Club, 702-944-5980.