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DJ Crespo Is About "Dance Without Drugs"

DJ Crespo is well-rounded. The Miami-via-Chicago DJ not only studied nursing at Florida State University, he's also passionate about dance music. He's shared the booth with everyone from Skrillex to Avicii, Afrojack to Steve Aoki and performed at Life in Color and Orlando's Electric Daisy Carnival.

Though he's got the hearts and ears of the college crowd, he's playing music for everyone, encouraging movement and dance in the club. His first original single, MOJO, released with fellow DJ Landis and out on Cr2 Records, made it to Beatport's progressive charts top 25 just this year. Crespo is going to be onstage tonight with Bingo Balls at Gryphon at the Hard Rock. We spoke with him about Hardwell, EDC, and the infamous Molly.

New Times: How did you start off?

DJ Crespo: I've been DJing for 6 years. I started off in college at FSU, but I was always into music. I was banging on pots, drums, anything I could find -- my mom wasn't too happy about that [laughs]. My older sister was advanced in music and always gave me to newest CDs. I was a virtual DJ and had a tool to see what it was like to blend songs. It was a profession that made sense. I bought my first pair of turntables when I was 17.

We saw you played for UCF's homecoming. Do you do a lot for college students?

I feel like I have a college following, which was my base where I started. College is a good time to start what you love. College shows are crazy.

What do you think about the whole Molly/drug craze that people associate with raves?

It's kind of scary, to be honest. I played festivals that were drug induced. I hope we evolve from a rave culture where we can just enjoy the music and not use drugs. I feel like the people doing these things are so young, like 16 to 22. I go to festivals completely sober, drinking water, and ill see kids throwing up in the corner. It honestly scares me. I think we will evolve where we can dance without drugs. But I know it's something that will always be around.

What makes you different from other DJs?

My style is unlike any. Im not into labeling as hip-hop, etc... I believe in good music and making people move. I want to make people go home and say, "Wow, that was awesome. I couldn't stop moving." My music is a little bit of everything. It's EDM based. I love throwing in oldies like Biggie and Tupac. I don't really do country though, but I do hip-hop, rock... It gives it a nostalgic feel.

You played EDC?

I played in 2010 and got to play this year which was cool, because they actually asked me to play...they recognized my production level. It was a really cool feeling.

Why DJing instead of other music genres?

I don't like to draw boundaries. It's important to make hour own channel. Some people are just restricted. I want you to come to my shows and be blown away by the dynamics.

It says on Facebook that you are supported by Hardwell, Danny Avila, Robbie Rivera and more. What's up with that?

I sent music and labels my stuff so some decided to release them. I sent it to "big guys" and some played it on sets. It's really cool. They acknowledged us and gave us a shout out. Hardwell played it on Hardwell on Air, his podcast. I got a tweet about my music being played in it. I was like "What?!" [laughs]

Who do you want to perform with in the future? I'm guessing Hardwell?

Yes, definitely! Fat Boy Slim would be awesome. I would like to play with Calvin Harris, I really respect him.

What are your favorite genres of music to spin?

Electro and progressive, trap and hip-hop. My favorite artists for electro and progressive are Showtek, Hardwell, and Deorro, for trap I like Brillz and Flosstradamus and for hip-hip, I like A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar.

Have you performed at the Hard Rock before?

I'm a monthly resident at Gryphon. It's one of my favorite places to place because of the great energy and the sound system is awesome. It's a great place to experiment. The college tour is more mainstream with songs you recognize.

Anything else you'd like to add?

My motto is that people should do what they love to do and be humble. I played in the corner of a bar and now I'm playing at EDC. It's crazy.

DJ Crespo with Bingo Balls. 11 p.m., Friday, November 29, at Gryphon, 5711 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets are $20. Ages 21 and older. Visit gryphon-club.com.

See also:

- New Party Rules for Millennials

- 10 Best Hipster Bars in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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