I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Larosa for some time and nothing makes me happier than when one of my fellow Hofstra alums gets the opportunity to pursue what they really love. After years of New York appearances and a recent trip to Miami, I finally got this silent stud to open up about his passion, drive and plans for the future…Enjoy!!
TipsyTraveler: Tell us a little about yourself.
MichaelLarosa: I am 22 years old and a recent graduate from Hofstra University. I am a native of Long Island, NY and proud of it, definitely the greatest city in the world. Of course DJing & Producing is my passion and a dream job but until I do make it big (which I plan to), aside from booking myself at various venues for my nighttime work in New York, and in my home studio as much as I can making tracks.
TipsyTraveler: Vodka or Beer?
MichaelLarosa: …Jack Daniels.
TipsyTraveler: Why did you become a DJ?
MichaelLarosa: I grew up with music my whole life. My father was in a local Long Island band called Tusk back in the day with Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Quiet Riot, etc.), the guy is an incredible drummer. So basically I was instilled with music through my father. I taught myself to play Guitar, Drums, Bass, and little piano. My musical genre preference was always extremely broad and would listen to anything, and yes I would be the kid in grade school getting yelled at to take my headphones off in class. I started by using free software downloaded off the internet and just mixing song back and forth with my computers mouse lol, it was pathetic. So one day I just spontaneously took a ride to Guitar Center and spent a lot of money on new DJ equipment and I fell in love. I figured why not if I love music so much? It certainly was a great investment to fuel such a passion, and possible profession. I started as an Open-Format guy, spinning everything from Hip-Hop, Pop, Top 40, while practicing turntablism and all that but that defiantly got old, which is why I just stuck with house music; the parties have so much more energy and of course the music is so much better.
TipsyTraveler: Yankees or Mets?
MichaelLarosa: Are the Mets still a franchise? Yanks all day!
TipsyTraveler: Who are your favorite DJs?
MichaelLarosa: My list always fluctuates but I’d have to say the guys who are constantly up there for me would have to be Chus & Ceballos, Steve Lawler, Victor Calderone, Peter Bailey & Richie Santana (Mind Control), Boris, & Mark Knight.
TipsyTraveler: Who are your favorite remixers / producers?
MichaelLarosa: I’m obsessed with a lot of drum sounds and driving bass lines. I spin a lot of Tech-House with Disco infused tracks that sample a lot, it is definitely the fad right now in the electronic music industry. I’m definatlly a fan of DJ Chus, David Penn, Supernova (Italy), Gary Beck, Manuel De La Mare, DJ PP, & Peter Bailey.
TipsyTraveler: Bert or Ernie?
MichaelLarosa: Very Funny. Bert of course, it’s my fraternity pledge name. ”Rubber Ducky, Your the one!..”
TipsyTraveler: Who inspires you? What inspires you?
MichaelLarosa: Of course all the artists who are traveling around the world, doing what they love to do and making millions of people happy. It is certainly a goal of mine to get to that level and tour around the world but more than anything would have to be my close friends and following I have developed yet far. They all show such strong support whether it be coming to all my gigs and supporting my music. They all know who they are really love and appreciate all of them.
TipsyTraveler: What is on your iPod right now?
MichaelLarosa: I like listening to live sets and podcasts of various DJs. I usually stay on top of Mind Control’s and Pacha NYC podcasts along with some local guys like Jean Pierre and Palz & Garcia.
TipsyTraveler: What do you feel is the most challenging thing about being a DJ?
MichaelLarosa: The competition and the industry itself. Its sad but there defiantly is a correlation with the fact that its not even about talent anymore and only the promotion and “how many people you can bring down.” There are so many great DJs all shooting for the same goal I am and it only makes it harder to get to the top but it definatly motivates me to work harder and try to separate myself from the rest. Of course you need talent but you need to develop a following make yourself original.
TipsyTraveler: What New York clubs have you played at?
MichaelLarosa: I have done a lot of venues throughout Long Island and New York City but to name some of the more notable ones; Pacha NYC, Webster Hall, GLO Nightclub, Warehouse 5 (Bridgeview), Cienna (Astoria), Savannah Lounge, Slate NYC, Touch, Catch 22, La Pomme (Penthouse Magazine Party), etc.
TipsyTraveler: Who is the most inspirational person in your life (dead or alive)?
MichaelLarosa: Definitely my parents. They support me 100% with whatever I put my mind to, especially my father since he is familiar with the music industry.
TipsyTraveler: How do you choose tracks for your mixed CD compilations?
MichaelLarosa: I am finding new and new music everyday. There are so much tracks out there and so hard to choose which to use when it comes down to mixing songs in the same key and making sure the CD flows correctly. Like I said previously, I am a big fan of sample use in tracks which is why if you listen to any of my “So you Like House Music?”, I compose clever Intro’s to each CD that mixes the original sample of the track into the the following song, I guess you can say thats my signature for those mixes.
TipsyTraveler: What would you like to be doing in 5 years time from now?
MichaelLarosa: Having produced enough original tracks to hopefully start my own label and have done collaborations on tracks with at least one of my favorite Producers/DJs.
TipsyTraveler: What is your favorite venue to spin at? Where would love to spin?
MichaelLarosa: Webster Hall main stage is always a good time and the place is always packed but so far I’d have to say Pachita, the top floor of Pacha NYC. The sound system is clean and vibe is great. As far as where I would love to spin, I definatly want to get to a point in my career to be booked at an Electronic Dance Music festival such as Ultra or Electric Zoo. My top clubs I would want to spin at would have to be Pacha Ibiza (Spain), Space Terrace (Miami, FL), & Space (Mykonos, Greece).
TipsyTraveler: What was the best piece of advice you have been given?
MichaelLarosa: Just be myself and focus on making myself original. Everyone wants to be a DJ today but whats going to get me to the next level is separating my self from the rest and develop my own unique sound.
TipsyTraveler: What advice do you have for fellow amateurs wanting to become DJs?
MichaelLarosa: Be yourself, develop your own sound that people recognize you for. Focus on building your following and show face at as many venues and parties you can. You can be better than an Erick Morillo but without networking, you are nobody in this industry. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!! Just keep sticking to it and do what you love because you are the only one who can make a difference.
PS: There has been a request made (by myself and Miss Casey Beaudet) for a remix of Michael Bolton’s - How Can We be Lovers? The lyrics are poignant and honest…hoping to see that out early this Spring Mr. Larosa!!
Website: www.djlarosa.com Facebook: :::LaRosa::: Follow: @LAROSANYC