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Head Spins: DJ Justin Sheppard

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The fact that DJ Justin Sheppard is the son of a drifter makes sense

when you consider the smooth, supple soulfulness he brings to his

spinning. That he's also got a degree in computer science, however,

might not make as much sense, especially when you consider just how

dizzying he is. But this is the 21st century, and even the most

hedonistic among us must be completely comfortable with the soul of


And "hedonistic" is what Sheppard calls his style

of night sounds. And what's wrong with putting pleasure at the

forefront of everything you do? 

It was just such a pursuit which brought Sheppard down to South Beach

from Pittsburgh in the first place. Keen on music, and needing to be

closer to a more thriving scene, Sheppard shuffled out of the Rust Belt

and straight to the center of the action. But he didn't immediately

jump into spinning. In fact, he scoped out and swung with the swingers

for three years before he ever spun in a club. But when Sheppard

finally did make his move, it was made magic.

The night was a

Sunday, and the setting was Suite. Deep Dish protégé Cedric Gervais and

SFP Records spin-man Ivano Bellini were already in residence. But the

club had dug what Sheppard and done with his house parties at the

Flamingo, and decided to give him a crack at the tables. Two weeks

later Sheppard got bumped up to weekend resident.
He would go

on to hold that residency for two years. Along the way there have been

similar stands at Prive and Mansion, as well as a monthly at Envy, in

San Diego's Ivy Hotel. That's not to mention those long-running Casa

Casuarina pool parties, which brought in the likes of Gabriel &

Dresden, Kurd Maverick, Danny Freakazoid, JJ Flores, and Armand Pena as

guests on the decks. Those events blew up so much that he and his

partner Miguel Valenzuela had to move the party to the Raleigh and

rename it Therapy.
But bio bits are nothing but factoids if you

don't give 'em some spin, and Sheppard's sheer dedication to the sexy

of song is about as sinful as it gets. The Whitest Boy Alive slips out

of his "Golden Cage," Shik Stylko "Catch[es] the Beat," and Namito

makes sure "This is What You Need."

Like the man says, it's

all about the hedonism, a school of thought that tracks back to

Democritus and goes down each and every weekend under Sheppard's watch

at Hed Kandi and Segafredo South Pointe. With a slate of his own

original productions about to be unleashed by the Rhythm Freak, the

weekends are only gonna get wilder. Can you feel it?

DJ Justin Sheppard's Current Top Five:

1. "Access The Future," Andy Chatterley
2. "This Is What You Need," Namito
3. "Beniras," Nima Gorji
4. "Undernaples," Gianni Pellachia
5. "Music is the Answer(Gabriel Vezzola Remix)," Celeda and Danny Tenaglia

DJ Justin Sheppard. Fridays at Segafredo South Pointe, Miami Beach. Saturdays at Hed Kandi, South Beach. www.myspace.com/djjustinsheppard

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John Hood

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