Persistence, patience and being an all-around nice guy have finally paid off for DJ and producer Jeff Retro. The Florida native moved to Las Vegas nine years ago and has been working his way up the nightlife ladder ever since, even when it’s meant pulling double duty as DJ and security guard at Blue Martini, sleeping on an air mattress in a friend’s apartment and playing gigs for free.
For the past three years, he has found a stable home as a resident at Hakkasan, providing support for the megaclub’s superstars. And Retro’s dedication has now earned him his first headlining gig on the Strip: Omnia on December 17.
Retro first got the call to audition for Hakkasan days before the MGM Grand club opened. “I had 48 hours to prepare, but in reality I’d had 15 years to prepare me for it.”
For the Omnia gig, he plans to ramp up the energy in the booth to command the prime-time slot. “I’m going to be a lot more interactive with the crowd,” he explains. “Music-prep wise, I spend hours every day working on mashups and bootlegs and originals, so all that preparation I do every week has been going on for the last three years.”
Retro’s production work includes a new remix of Noel Sanger’s “No Greater Love” with a fellow Hakkasan resident (and the guy who taught him how to spin), DJ Mondo. “I’d say it’s in my top three all-time favorite records,” Retro says. “I probably have four or five copies of that record because I played it so much.” Jeff Retro at Omnia at Caesars Palace, December 17.