President’s Day Weekend is all about celebrating our country’s leaders. On the gay dance floor, it’s DJ Joe Gauthreaux who leads the pack, weaving tribal, EDM, and progressive house with commercial vocal anthems. Inspired by DJ Chus, Peter Rauhofer, and Brazilian producers like Mauro Mozart, Enrry, and Rogerio Lima, he says his goal is to keep his sound fresh and the floor’s momentum pumping. “The worst thing a DJ can do is get stuck in a certain sound for too long,” he says. “Music is constantly changing and evolving. If you don’t change with it, you’ll get left behind.”
It’s why, six years ago, Joe Gauthreaux decided to dabble in production work. In that time, he’s worked with some of the biggest dance artists in the biz including Kristine W, Jeanie Tracy, and Tony Moran. Last year, he made the leap from club to major artists, remixing for superstar acts like Ne-Yo, The Wanted and even Justin Bieber. “It was for ‘Boyfriend’, the first single from Justin’s new album,” Gauthreaux explains. “At the time, nobody had heard his new direction. I was excited to have the opportunity to present his voice in a clubbier production. I think my favorite thing about that project is that I helped show people in the dance community that Justin’s a real artist with talent and a great voice.” Joe Gauthreaux spins the Presidents Day Weekend Party at Heretic Saturday, February 15.
David Atlanta: Is it true you attended the Grammy’s?
Joe Gauthreaux: I happened to be in Los Angeles this year so I got to see it live in person, which was crazy! Of course, the wedding part of the night was so moving. The whole arena was cheering during the commercial break. It was one of those moments that I was so happy to be there and get to witness it in person.
DA: We’re celebrating leaders this President’s Day. How did you become a leader of the dance floor?
JG: Well, first of all, thank you for considering me to be a leader on the dancefloor! I just play the music I like and hope the crowd does too. I wish it were more complex, but it isn’t. I’m simply being myself.
DA: What advice do you have for up-and-coming DJs?
JG: Always be one step ahead. Don’t get too caught up in the trends. Keep changing your sound to keep people interested.
DA: DJing to thousands has got to be stressful. Is there anything that keeps you up at night?
JG: There are so many things that keep me up at night because by nature I’m a worry wart. Right now, my biggest fear is that a really bad snow storm will prevent me from getting to work. I’ve never watched the weather more closely in my whole life than this winter. It’s been crazy.
DA: What are you currently working on production-wise?
JG: Actually, I’m working on releasing my first single. I’ve written about five songs and recorded with some amazing artists. I’m just trying to figure out which one I want to release first. I’ve been working on this for a while and am very excited about finally being able to release my own tracks. It’s what I’ve been working towards all these years.
DA: Will you be bringing any new beats to Atlanta for President’s Day?
JG: Oh yes. I always struggle with what to put on my podcast and what to hold back for my live sets. I can promise you there will be a lot of surprises.
DA: Finish this sentence: When I think of Atlanta, I…
JG: …think of all the friends I’ve made here. It’s nice looking out on the dance floor and recognizing all the faces.