This weekend we all celebrated Turkey Day and found ourselves thankful for one thing or another. I would say I am thankful for the talent-packed weekend Pacha gifted to New York City. Erick Morillo & Danny Teneglia tore up Thanksgiving Eve and AN21 & Max Vangeli killed it the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Night, however, belonged to DJ Chuckie and Nervo.
This night I was lucky enough to interview the leader of the party people, king of the Dirty Dutch, the man himself, Chuckie. As I walked into the lobby of his hotel, I passed the Nervo twins, who were on their way to get their set started at Pacha. I took the elevator up all the way to the suites and knocked on Chuckies door. As I walk in, I see the DJ on his laptop in the zone, preparing his set for the night. I sit down on his couch, next to a window with a view of the New York skyline. Before we start the interview, Chuckie says ‘This is what I’m doing tonight!’, hits a button on his laptop and throws his hands in the air. A Dirty Dutch mix of Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Where Brooklyn At’ comes blaring out of his speakers. I knew he was ready to do some special for New York, and he did.
The night was packed with Dirty Dutch anthems and radio friendly remixes. Chuckie knows how to put on a party. The dance floor was jumping the whole time and the booth was as animated as its ever been. At one point, Chuckie introduces guests AN21 & Max Vangeli who stopped by just to hang out in the booth. The night ended in recklessness as ‘What Happens In Vegas’ comes on, Chuckie jumps in the crowd and crowd surfs on top of his biggest fans.
So you’re fresh off the plane in New York, you just did a show on BBC Radio 1 – In DJs we trust, what can you tell me about that show?
Bascially BBC Radio 1 called me in January and told me they want to give me my own show. They said they love the music I play and they would love to have me in the BBC family. They gave me a spot to play whatever I wanted, they don’t even get involved in the music as far as the selection. I have total freedom to play whatever I want so I played everything between electro-house, tech-house, and whatever else I wanted to play.
You are about to play Pacha’s Thanksgiving Night Party – what are you thankful for tonight?
I am more than thankful for the fact that I am back in New York. I have a monthly residency in New York but it is more like a VIP kind of club. Not everybody is able to get in because it is a high price entrance and have to dress properly. So tonight it is for the ravers. It is time for the real ravers to come out and go crazy tonight. I am really thankful that we actually sold out Pacha tonight.
I saw on twitter tonight you had Thanksgiving dinner with 50 cent, how was that?
Some people from G-Unit I am cool with. Whenever I am in New York I hit them up. It all started one day I had a meeting with the A&R of G-Unit, and then we had dinner and stuff so we became friends. Every time I’m in New York we just hang out.
Any chance we will see some sort of collaboration there?
Yeah, you know. First I need the connection with somebody. So we email and exchange a lot of music. I even ask the A&R ‘do you think 50 Cent would like this’ or even if it is a good track for some other artists on the label. To me it is important to connect first and than find the right music to make.
Your new single ‘Who Is Ready To Jump’, currently #7 on beatport, its an amazing party track. What is the history behind this one?
What happened was I was playing at Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas, and I knew they were recording my set. I always wanted to do something with ‘Who Is Ready To Jump’ and because I knew they were recording my set I grabbed the mic a couple of times and said it. I wanted to sample it from a live environment and EDC was the perfect situation for it. At the end of the set, I downloaded it from the internet, started to chop up the samples and make the track. This goes all the way back to June, so I sampled my own voice and made it a track.
So that was a great way to follow up the success of the last single!
Definitly, ‘What Happens In Vegas’ is so inspired by Vegas. This one is more festival big room kind of track.
How can you describe what – Dirty Dutch Blackout – is too anyone who doesn’t get it yet?
So we have been doing Dirty Dutch since 2004. I wanted to have my own kind of party. I wanted to do a party with my own entertainment, my own lineup, my own musical direction, so I started Dirty Dutch and the club tour. I did 15 tour dates and they had 20,000 people in total. So then I said, if I can have 20,000 in one tour, let me try 5,000 in one venue. So I sold that out and said, why not try 20,000 in one venue. So we did that and succeeded. Blackout is the theme; every year we have a theme. I wanted to go more dark. Even the line up is dark, DJs like Knife Party. It is so strong in Holland so we are able to sell out, even if the economy is really shitty.
How is the work flow different for a dirty raw Chuckie track versus a more mainstream Chuckie track like the ‘We Found Love’ Remix?
First of all, I look at what kind of record the original is. Then I see what kind of vibe I add to the record. In Rihanna’s case, the original melody fits the vocals so perfect that I don’t want to change the melody, I just want to make it sound better. So I made it a big room kind of vibe. Sometimes its like, if I go too crazy, the vocals won’t sound right. Then, you have other kinds of tracks where I do the typical Dirty Dutch thing. I like to keep diversity in it, when I play I don’t want to play 4 hours of the same sound.
If you had to pick DJs like yourself, lets call it Chuckie’s All-Star team of dutch DJs, who would it be?
It is all about reinventing the game. I am always looking for the new and fresh. Surprisingly, right now I found some talent not only from Holland. I’m working with this guy Gregori Klosman, he’s from Paris. I am also working with Betatraxx from LA. I am working with these new guys from Holland called Glow In The Dark. Together, I think its something new and something fresh.
You must be thinking about 2012 already, what’s coming up new and exciting?
First of all, this year was all about dropping some clubs tracks. I made ‘What Happens in Vegas’ without even thinking about radio success. Next year I want to drop some more radio oriented songs. I want to do some more vocal stuff. I have some pretty sick stuff lined up now. I just finished up a new single for T-Pain featuring Pitbull. So I am going to do more production for pop artists. I will also be dropping my club stuff as well. I’m gonna do my residencies in New York, Miami, and Vegas again. I am really looking forward to next year.