When you look up at the DJ on the decks, you instantly imagine they do it every night. Not everyone.
Some DJs have day jobs, believe it or not. If you can imagine, they take off their sunglasses, put down their drink and drive to work at 7 a.m. in a white-collared shirt. What they play in their car is probably different than what’s in the office.
That’s why I found it fascinating that DJ Plez Jones, who works full-time at Verizon, did the latest remix for house legend Crystal Waters’ latest track ‘Be Kind’ which was co-produced with StoneBridge.
How, I wondered, would a part-time DJ from Pittsburgh get to work with one of the biggest house legends of all time? DJ Plez Jones seemed to be in the right place at the right time, specifically DC. It got me asking Plez Jones about his take on one of the oldest electronic arts and recording the music video for the official remix of ‘Be Kind.’
What was it like working with Crystal Waters & StoneBridge? (Crystal is such a legend!).
It was such an honour and privilege to work with the queen of house music and the Godfather of Swedish house. I had the chance to meet them both face to face in DC on Nov 14, at Toro Toro lounge where stone was DJing. They are both down to earth and friendly and full of hose music wisdom (over 50 years combined). The biggest thing they have both taught me is that you take charge of your own music! Make music from the heart, music that is good for the soul. And that you brand your own style, your own sound, and if it’s good, people will champion it and believe in you and support you.
What did you want to bring to the track? What was your approach?
I wanted to bring a funky and energized house track to the table. Stone didn’t give the stems to anyone but me, so he already saw something in me that he liked. My approach was to pay homage to Crystal and make a track that would impress Stonebridge and I always visualize my tracks in the club peak hours. Honestly, I sent it with no expectations and he said he would listen to it the next day. 15 minutes later he, said he lied and that he listened and loved it. I was told by a Grammy nominated producer that is would be an underground classic. So we will see.
What is the electronic music scene like in Pittsburgh? Are there many house musicians?
Pittsburgh has a very close knit house family. With hip hop being the dominator, house music has to take weekdays instead of weekends. No, there are not a lot but the ones that are here are very talented.
And I only DJ at one location in Pittsburgh since I focus on national and international gigs.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a four track EP with the singer/songwriter Fredah Soul from Sweden, as well as the second track from Kaye Fox (recent credits Tyga’s new album) and L.A. singer Tarra Layne, who is a rock/pop sensation on the west coast. I just had a show at WVU at Cellar nightclub where I filmed the official music video for the remix of “Be Kind,” after that, preparing for a UK tour in April 2015. I also do RnB and soul music. I have a single on a compilation out in the UK. I also have a 4 Track Soul EP coming out in Jan 15 on TeeGee records.
What’s it like being a DJ with a day job?
It’s difficult to say the least those late nights can definitely catch up with you the next morning. But it’s a necessity I am not a big fan of a starving artist so it helps support me and my musical career and dreams. Actually, I am thankful and blessed that I’ve been at the same job for 18 years and it’s been able to do just that.
Check out DJ Plez Jones on Soundcloud.