"Introducing an emerging designer creating captivating leather fashions."
IKEMEN #29: JAY XERO
IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang
"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"
Name: JAY XERO
Jay xero is an up-and-coming Brooklyn producer. He brings a practiced attention to detail and broad knowledge of the electronic music scene to the tables, keeping the in-crowd dancing ‘till the wee hours of the morning. Catch him at “DIG,” his monthly party in NYC, happening this Saturday, 2/21 at Up & Down in the West Village. Twelv caught up with Xero to find out what makes him “spin.”
1. What brings you to NY?
Jay xero: From music to fashion to nightlife, new york is the epicenter of progress. i wanted to be in the middle of it all.
2. Where is your favorite place in NY?
Jx: All of it, honestly. every neighborhood is unique, and that's what makes new york so special. it's a melting pot, but without having the usual consequence of losing one's individual identity.
3. What is the best part of (your current job) being a producer?
Jx: Doing what you love for a living means you don't have a job, in my opinion. it's still hard work, but it's fun. and for me, to watch people dance, smile, and let loose is greater than gold.
4. Tell us about your past working experience.
Jx: Since college i've been pursuing music... i've had some odd jobs to stay afloat, from modeling to catering to selling my things on ebay. it wasn't always cushy but it was all worth it. I met some great people along the way with whom I'm still close.
5. What is your greatest professional achievement?
Jx: Opening for nicole moudaber at BKWRHS or playing in spain. both were milestones for me and made all the long nights in the studio worth it.
6. What are your career goals?
Jx: as long as I can write and perform music that makes people happy (and ideally keeps me out of debt), i'll be happy. continuing to travel is a plus, too.
7. What did you learn from being a producer / DJ? (your last work experience)?
Jx: Every thing is for someone, but nothing's for everyone. learning how people's tastes evolve based on outside factors is fascinating, and it's always a challenge to stay up to date. I love a good challenge.
8. What do you like to do outside of music (work)?
Jx: I love to play soccer, snowboard, cook, read... mostly, I like to expand my mind in one way or another. No matter how old or young you are, there's something to learn.
9. What are you most proud of?
Jx: I'd say that i've stayed true to myself and my goals. it's easy to feel pressured to mold to the norm, and basically lie to the world about who you truly are. there's such beauty in imperfection - it's a shame our society celebrates conformity so much.
10. What are your lifelong dreams?
Jx: To do what i love, and spend as much of it with the people I love.
11. What five words would describe you?
Jx: Driven, curious, positive, loyal, happy, verbose.
12. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jx: On stage making people dance away their woes.
13. How did you get started DJing?
Jx: I grew up studying classical percussion, playing in bands all over. early in college, I "fake DJed" a party for my fraternity because I knew how to hook up the PA system. I got hooked on the immediate audience feedback and immeasurable energy of the dance floor.
14. Did you always want to work in (the) music (industry)?
Jx: Always. i applied for one job in consulting after college... mostly to please my dad, though I knew it wasn't for me.
15. What is your favorite thing about DJing?
Jx: Helping people forget the stresses of the daily grind... watching it fade away with every thump of the kick drum.
16. Where did you get the idea to start your "DIG" parties?
Jx: It grew organically. my friend Aleksey had a monthly opening at a club he curates, so Tasha (DIG co-founder) and I put a team of friends together to help promote it. the crowd was great, the ambience was fun, fashionable, and welcoming, and we realized we had the opportunity to create something that people truly looked forward to - it's basically a gathering of friends that keeps getting bigger. everyone's a friend at DIG.
17. Can you explain what "DIG" stands for?
Jx: We were thinking of names, and we asked ourselves "what kind of party would people really dig?" It was perfect, too, because it's reminiscent of the 70s and 80s, when disco gave birth to house, which became a cultural revolution we're still feeling today. it's a timeless sound about enjoyment, welcoming peoples' differences, and letting go, and we try to relay that in our parties.
18. What is your DJ set like at the "DIG" parties?
Jx: It always varies a bit, but I keep it mostly to groovy, fun, and rhythmic house; basically, any song that makes you move and do that "Awww yaa" one-cheek-up sneer.Definitely swing by our party this Saturday 2/21 at Up & Down to see for yourself!
INTERVIEWED & WRITTEN BY: SUSAN SCHELL
PHOTOGRAPHY: CHIAKI KATO(FIRST PHOTO - 4TH PHOTO), TASHA TONGPREECHA(5TH PHOTO AND 6TH PHOTO)
INTRODUCTION: JASON GREENSPAN