Five Minutes with PLAYBOI (#1 promoter in San Jose)BD: How does it feel to be the #1 promoter in San Jose?
By: Berni de Nina
PB: How does it feel?… hmm…, um well I guess it feels great, but honestly, I guess it boils down to a lot of hard work in the past. I mean, I didn’t become some promoter and started calling myself that like some of these other clowns..haha. I took this on the serious level 2004/2005, but I started having parties when I was 18, already drawing like 500-600 people to county parks in San Jose, and they were like mini-festivals. I was young, ambitious, and loved to have fun, that’s a whole other story. There’s a lot to it, and you can see that. People see that, if you are genuine or not. You can be hot for like 2 months or for several months or have a handful of good parties. Then, you can look at established promoters past track record of promoting and see years of insane parties. It’s all about adapting, but that’s all apart of hard work, knowing how to adapt, what’s hot, what’s new, what can you “make” new and exciting, that’s all part of the job! If you can’t do that well, then you won’t last. But also, I’ve always tried being a perfectionist. It sucks, but it’s kinda true. Always trying to be the best etc., etc., blah blah.., It’s hard, and I honestly discipline myself hard, and you can only be at the top for so long, but hopefully by that time, I’ll be on that next level ishhh…BD: At what point did you feel you wanted to expand from San Jose to bigger cities like SF, LA, and LV?
PB: Um, well, after getting serious in 2004/2005, I was like, okay, now time to set goals. First was to be the best in San Jose. Honestly, San Jose was lacking hardcore any life of nightlife. I came in, and in 2 years, conquered the town, doing many crazy parties, learning about new things, adapting, etc. But I always did start thinking in the back of my mind, I need to do SF, then LA, then Vegas. I just wanted to go everywhere, and get wild. Show people insane times, have a blast. That’s honestly what I’m all about.., I love making people have good times. It’s just in my blood I guess? But being a little perfectionist and skeptical person, I told myself to wait till the perfect time, when I’m really ready to go in SF and do damage, I didn’t wanna get laughed at by other promoters in SF and say things like, oh this Playboi guy is hot in SJ, but not SF. And believe it or not, I don’t know how many people I heard that from. “Playboi SF is another Monster”. Um, okay I got common sense. So I know that, thanks for re-iterating it like I didn’t go to school haha. Anyhow, started RockstarSF in 2007, and that opened up the door for Rockstar Las Vegas (only on big weekends), which opened the door for more things, and hopefully they’ll keep opening till Rockstar is Officially Nationwide. That’s the plan and one of my goals still to be crossed off. San Diego is next .. Tim Ortiz!…(wink wink) hahaBD: How did you evolve from Promoter to DJ?
PB: Man this is another story, Basically, I’ve always been the guy that loves music. Guess it goes with making people party. Honestly, back in the days, I used to carry a full 200 cd case, I’m talking, when I was like 18, 19, 20. I was the DJ, bringing my cd case and playing all the jams all night at whatever house party every weekend we would be at, but always like on a cd player..haha. Hilarious. Anyhow, by 2007 came around, I did my fair share of hopping on the turntables at my own parties, and started doing more and more mixing. By end of 2007, I made up my mind and wanted to DJ. My friend gave me his turntables. 2007 Christmas, got a Macbook pro, AND Serato, BAM, that was it.., I was hooked. Practiced everyday for like months.. Now I’m happy to say I can rock a club anywhere and I am.BD: With the DJ-ing, comes producing. Do you think you will ever want to produce your own music?
PB: Hell Yes!…it’s funny, but every time you try or do something new, you wanna do another thing new with that. (laughs) But yes I do.., I’m really into house, which a lot of people probably don’t know. But I’m really into hip-hop as well. I seriously have like post-its all over my desk of mash-ups I’m gonna make, and ideas of house/electro remixes. I’m getting Pro-tools or Ableton here soon. Just moved, so things were out of place, but now I’m ready to rock. Once I get the hang of it, I’m gonna be dishin’ out new sick tracks left and right…, I love working hard….BD: What's behind the drive to continue your success with Playboi Presents?
PB: I honestly don’t know.. haha, it’s gotta be my drive, my motivation. I have a high metabolism. That might help haha. No, but I’m always striving to make exciting new events 24/7. Meaning, okay, I mean honestly, you can ask anyone that knows me, if anyone hangs out with me, I’m non-stop talking about a new idea or something revolving around a party. My friends think I’m weird, but whatever..(chuckles). But, I love combining many elements into making something new, and striving for new dope ideas to make the people go crazy.BD: Who are your mentors/idols?
PB: Promoting, um I actually didn’t have any when I was super young like 18 when I first started having all these day mini-festivals. I honestly just did my first huge party for my birthday. That’s all it was, but was so crazy everyone that was there was like this is dope, do it again. So it was more of the people actually pushing me to do more events. I was only 18! Haha, I remember long time ago, I was like 14 or 15, my dad had a huge bbq at our house back in Modesto, and I was like damn that was fun, Dad do more of those. He was like, they’re too expensive…haha. Ever since then, I think it has always stuck with me..Also, after reading about Bill Graham’s Life in 2006, He’s also a big inspiration…, and also a friend of mine back in the day, Pauly, he used to throw FreakFest Raves in San Jose, and was part of some others at 3com Park etc. Me & him would pass out flyers together back in 1999, 2000. He pushed me a lot actually, and taught me some things when we would hang out in those days…BD: What are the key factors in making your events a success?
PB: Well number one back in the day, was super hard work. Even before MySpace came out, I honestly had a philosophy, and that was to print flyers, and hand every single one of them out. It was against Playboi rules to have any flyers left the day of the event. And that’s what it was always about. When we started the huge SOL Party at GLO in San Jose in 2004, we would print 5000 flyers, which were normal, but I would just remember passing flyers out anywhere and everywhere I could. I would hit up parking lots in the rain till I was done, I wouldn’t stop. I would stand in front of clubs 24/7 when they got out. And as soon as you knew it, SOL was a party that was Untouchable. Like we hit capacity at 11:30pm, 1300 people! Good Times.. Other than that, you have to keep yourself motivated, oh haha, GIRLS.., man, stay away from those.., haha just kidding. But they can really distract your work ethic, believe me. Also, adapt to the times… all the time.BD: How do you think the club industry has changed since you first started promoting events to where it's at now?
PB: Since 2004, club industry has actually changed a lot since then. Back then, everything was new: Vault, Fahrenheit, GLO (now Wet), Studio 8 (now Vivid), Angels (now closed). But now, in San Jose, all those clubs are still open, but not new anymore. So the scene is really beginning to turn stale again. I can see it. WET just re-opened and is doing great numbers and good talent! But still, that’s just one club. In 2004, there were like 3 good ones that all opened back to back. So to me, San Jose is hitting a stale moment. Back then, you knew or could tell who was a real promoter and who wasn’t, but with the addition of MySpace and Facebook now, everyone is trying to be a promoter, well, at least they think they are, therefore, really diluting the scene. When I first signed up on MySpace, I was like the only person posting bulletins about parties. Now I go to my bulletins, and they are ALL parties.., I mean yea, I do it a lot, but dang, its super annoying now.BD: How do you think the club industry will change in 10 years from now?
PB: For one, hopefully I’ll have a couple clubs under my belt in 10 years.. haha, The industry is gonna change tremendously. 10 years is huge. Just think of how clubs were in 1999 compared to 2009. It’s all about the adapting.. point blank! But newer technology, clubs will always get better and nicer, cuz it’s like a rat race. Who has the best club, etc , etc., People are always in competition silently.BD: Why do you think your Rockstar events are so successful?
PB: Rockstar SF I think does so well because of the elements we bring to that party. Where else in San Francisco or the Bay Area for that matter, can you get one dope ass party every 2 months consistently of insane DJs, like DJ Vice on the top floor, while Steve Smooth & JJ Flores are rockin the House floor, and you have a VIP basement rockin everything too. It seriously is where I can let my mind be free and let it go to work because I love making sick insane combos of drummers, DJs, house DJs, guitar players, and live performers, under one roof at a club. When I chose Roe in San Francisco and was able to lock it in 2007, I knew it would be perfect for the party. People don’t believe me, but promoting is an art, and has a philosophy.
Las Vegas has done well since I teamed up of course with my Partners of Rockstar LA. The idea behind that, was to have most, or a lot of the best Promoters in California to just destroy Vegas on big weekends and put together Rockstar Las Vegas. We’ve had some insane Rockstar Las Vegas events, and much more coming! Rockstar LA does great. I’m never at them, just like one or two.., but they are usually always insane, dope talent, not so consistent to where they are played out, but LA is LA. It’s crackin out there..Jerek Macias (partner) does a great job with Rockstar LA…Playboi Presents Rockstar SF at Roe in San Francisco Saturday, April 25, 2009(Click Here for more info & tickets!)