Minutes before he takes the rooftop stage at Drai’s Beachclub, 38-year-old Paul DelVecchio meets me in a balcony booth in the indoor portion of the club. He’s wearing a LeBron James Lakers jersey and his signature exaggerated aviator sunglasses, and he looks the same as he did when he was first introduced to the world on MTV’s Jersey Shore almost 10 years ago. He’s become what he set out to be back then: a headlining DJ touring the country, an instantly recognizable star—IRL he looks exactly like the cartoonish caricature you see on posters and signs—and a Las Vegas resident to boot.
You’ve been playing Drai’s for a while but really become the face of Drai’s Beachclub this season. I love that. I love my name to be synonymous with this place. Lots of people all over the world see me DJ because I come to their [cities] on tour, so when they come to Vegas, it’s like, “When’s Pauly D gonna play?” And I’m here all the time. It’s my home base.
Has your set changed a lot over the years, or do you notice musical tastes shifting in Vegas clubs? It’s a little bit of everything. What you notice about my crowd specifically is it’s a huge mix of people. It’s hip-hop, it’s dance, it’s rock; they’re older, they’re younger, they’re all over the place. It keeps me on my toes. I don’t have to stick to one genre all day. All the pool parties are good vibes, positive music, a lot of dance, and then I go into the hip-hop and I like to surprise them with the rock songs. I love open format.
That’s why Drai’s is such a great fit. Being a DJ, you have to please all these people who spent money to buy tickets. It’s a new crowd every time I’m here, and they rely on me to play the stuff they like. I’ll be that guy.
How long have you lived in Vegas now? Six years.
Does it seem that long? It doesn’t. It has flown by. I think I was in my house one day last month, on the road for spring break. But there’s no place I want to be more. Look at that rooftop. It’s lit.
Tell me about your new dating show, Double Shot at Love. It’s really dope that I was able to do it with Vinny [Guadagnino], my best friend, and get to show that aspect of our lives. I hear it a lot: “How could you ever have a girlfriend? Look at those crowds!” I actually go in-depth on that in this show. You can see I’m not for everybody, but I’m for somebody, so you get to see that.
What’s your mentality going into that experience? Is it tough to be sincere about dating when it’s on TV? I’m not an actor. I can’t act. I’m genuinely there looking for love with an open heart, but of course I have to watch out for their intentions, because these girls are trying to be on TV. It’s the same for me in real life. I go out there and there are a lot of girls, and I’m just trying to find the ones that are trying to date me for me. It’s tough. I always say, being in the public eye has its good and bad. I feel the good outweighs the bad, but not in relationships.
If only you could turn off your celebrity. Like a switch. But I’m not mad. I’m happy.
Maybe if you take the hair down a notch. Maybe.
DJ PAULY D April 20, 11 a.m., $40-$60. Drai's Beachclub, 702-777-3800.