He’s lived in Las Vegas for a few years and now calls Orange County home, but Sean Perry will always be a New Yorker.
“When I came up in the early ’90s in New York, everything in the scene around me was hip-hop. The golden era—that’s what I started on,” he says. “Once I got into the club scene [outside of New York] it was so weird, because you’d walk in and the openers would be playing bangers and burning the main DJ. When I was coming up in New York clubs I did crazy spots like the Tunnel, with 10 rooms, and I’d DJ in the bathroom.”
Working his way into groundbreaking NYC venues like Tunnel, Limelight and Palladium provided Perry with an extensive dance music foundation, something he says is missing these days. “Opening in those clubs was an art. You had to have real knowledge of music. Technology has been a gift and a curse, because it’s so accessible to everyone. Some [DJs] do their homework, but some are so eager to get in the game, they don’t.”
Asking Perry—who’ll be back in Vegas this weekend for a set at Heart of Omnia—for a favorite new track isn’t easy; he really is old-school. But “Unforgettable,” from French Montana with Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee, grabbed his ear early.
“I sent it to all my DJ boys in the beginning of the year telling them it was gonna blow. It has that dancehall vibe that is coming back,” Perry says.
Know what else it has? NYC roots. “French came up in the South Bronx, so that’s an added bonus. There are not that many relevant rappers repping New York anymore.” Sean Perry at Heart of Omnia at Caesars Palace, July 1.