Local Master DJ Danny Estrella
Danny Estrella is a top DJ in the New York City area. His company, Music 2 the Max (a.k.a. M2M), located on Staten Island’s Hylan Boulevard, is a one-stop shop for musical entertainment.
M2M works with its clients to create the perfect atmosphere for any occasion, providing choices in music, lights, video, side performers, guest interaction and special effects. Throughout each party, M2M will include songs from artists that all age groups will enjoy. Danny has extensive mixing experience that’s taken him from NYC to Philly, Las Vegas and beyond. We got a hold of him to find out what makes him tick.
Industry: What are your roots?
DE: I was born in Queens in 1981, bounced around from Ecuador, back to Queens and Jersey City. I’ve lived in Staten Island since 1989.
Industry: Was there anything during your childhood that influenced your becoming a DJ?
DE: I wanted to make “mix tapes” for my Walkman. So, my brother-in-law (who DJ’d as a teen) convinced me that getting records is the way to go. He gave me his old stuff and it took off from there.
Industry: When did you start DJ-ing? Can you describe your early experiences?
DE: I started around 1995 (8th grade) doing school dances and teen nightclub parties. It continued from local clubs to city clubs and friends parties to bigger productions. I saw the pros and cons of dealing with club promoters and dealing with mobile entertainment companies. That led me to start up M2M, choose a manager and start a booking agency.
Industry: Do you consider yourself only as a mobile DJ or do you prefer club DJ-ing as well? What do you do more often?
DE: Well, “club” to me is just like “mobile.” I started doing clubs, then looked further into mobile once I found out that most promoters at the time were unreliable. After learning how to deal with the promoter and other DJs’ egos, I was able to get involved with some solid club owners and event promoters. I’ve played and produced with respected entertainers such as DJ VICE, DJ AM, MTV’s DJ D-Wrek, DJ Scribble, DJ Klutch, Jonathan Peters, Richie Santana, and the list goes on and on.
I’ve DJ-ed in cool, exclusive spots throughout the country, like Touch and One (NYC), down to places like VooDoo and Whiskey Bar (Vegas). I’ve even played out in India….yes, the country. That’s mobile! Mobile was equally as tough, but easier to manage. So, after helping to establish a local popular company, I started my own. Now I’m able to book my fair share of weddings, corporate events, Bar Mitzvahs, and the ever-so-popular “SUPER” Sweet 16s. I do an average of three a week. Nothing too crazy, but if it does get a bit busy, then our company has a great staff to sub-contract the events. I enjoy emceeing too.
Industry: Where is your favorite place to perform?
DE: I like places where people don’t know me at all. I like Vegas and the Bahamas because they’re both warm vacation spots, filled with strangers ready to party. Also, oddly enough, I enjoy DJ-ing the in-store events at Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s. But a definite favorite is Danny Boys on a Thursday night. I DJ it whenever I’m available or whenever I want to practice some different types of combinations.
Industry: What kind of music do you play? What kind of crowds do you play to?
DE: I play a wide range of music because of my background in the “mobile” DJ world, but it really depends on the crowd and the purpose. Right now, I’m working on a mix for a company in Chicago that has in-office training events for 50-200 people. They asked me to put together a set with some mixes that will cover ages 25-45. So, that means the music has to be consistent. I’ll mix together classics, popular and new…but not too new. Stuff like hip hop, Top 40, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s usually works well. On the other end of the spectrum, I also do guest spots playing House and Electro for a Radio Show based out of Miami called the Porterhouse Show.
Industry: What’s the dating scene like for DJs What’s the best pickup line you’ve used or heard?
DE: Really? (He laughs) That’s a funny question. For the most part, girls are pretty cool to approach if you’re the DJ, but my friends usually reap the benefit of that. I used to get the funniest questions from girls just so they could spark up a convo with the DJ. like, “Hey do you know that song that goes….blah blah blah,” and I’d laugh and they’d ask again. Before I know it the girl wants to wear my headphones because her friend wants to take her picture with the DJ. Dating is tough sometimes, because if you have a girl who’s insecure, she’ll get jealous over anything and say something like “Oh my God, do you have to meet with bridesmaids? They’re such flirts!!” Or, they might say, “Yeah right, you’re going to Vegas for work!” I must say, I had a few like that, but I’m lucky to have the confident and trusting girl that I do now.
Industry: What was your most bizarre event? Did it interrupt the party/show?
DE: Well, I had my laptop freeze on me a few times when I made the transformation from vinyl and CDs to MP3. A handful of times, the music shut off and it would take thirty long, silent, nerve-racking seconds to get the music back on. But now I’m all set and up-to-date.
Industry: Have you ever gotten a bizarre request or was asked to do something you couldn’t or wouldn’t do?
DE: Only on a mobile gig. A close friend of mine asked me to introduce her bridal party with weird and offensive nicknames. Another couple asked for midget wrestlers to be the entertainment for cocktail hour at their wedding. This weekend, I have to DJ a huge Sweet 16 with a midget “Slash” (Guns N’ Roses) impersonator. I’ve had requests for introductions with tigers and elephants. There’s not much that my company and I won’t do. If the client or company wants it and it’s available, we get it.
Industry: Do you have a signature style or theme? What is it and how did you come to it?
DE: Well, as a local mobile DJ, I helped to bring back the turntables at private parties. It’s more of a show and people really enjoy it. In the club scene, I have a wide range of music selection and therefore adjust very well to the crowd. For example, I was vacationing in the Bahamas and my friend told some locals that I DJ. They asked me to DJ at one local place for a few songs. After two mixes, the headlining DJ invited me to perform the next night on stage with him at a bigger venue. I played some classic and current hip hop and rap, but they weren’t expecting me to drop classic and current reggae. When I played Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” straight into “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley, the place erupted. Then I dropped three very big records currently out on the radio there. They didn’t think a little white boy knew reggae so well.
Industry: What is the best advice you could give anyone thinking about being a DJ?
DE: Oh yes, like five things!
1) Have a career to fall back on. It’s a tough biz, but always stick to your goal as a DJ.
2) Don’t get caught up in partying too much. Focus on being skillful and promote yourself. Nowadays, it helps to get gigs as or with a good promoter.
3) If you have a style, keep it and if you’re good, believe it! If you don’t believe in you, no one will believe in you.
4) Don’t burn any bridges, you never know where you’ll be working or who you’ll be working for.
5) Get Serato!!!!
Industry: How can your fans learn more?
DE: My Facebook profile is under Danny Estrella. That’s where my events, guest spots and sponsors are listed…or call 877.462.6357.