Miami native DJ D!Marco (a.k.a. Dimarco the Great) can be regularly spotted on deck at AeroBar, Coco Deville’s, and Klutch. We recently spoke to Ricardo Barea (that’s his real name) about the exclamation point in his moniker, how he balances producing and DJ-ing, and his fascination with social media.
What's the story behind your great DJ name?
I remember that day very clearly. Before I ever played a record at Klutch, Aerobar, Gemma, Coco Deville’s, or Lucky Strike I worked on studio projects with artists for over 10 years. About five years ago I was working with a hip-hop and R & B artist with whom I started most sessions by listening to some vintage soul records (on vinyl) seeking inspiration. I added some bass, percussion and keys using my software patches and started harmonizing some lyrics into existence. I recorded the reference vocals, added some turntable scratches effects and the song was done 20 minutes later. I asked the artist what he thought of the song and he looked up at me and spoke only one word – Great.
I see you’re on twitter (twitter.com/dimarcothegreat). Are you obsessed with social media? What kind of impact has staying connected had on your career so far?
Obsessed?!? Well I think nowadays obsessive compulsivity is a good habit to develop in regards to your promotions activities. By nature I’m a little more introspective and shy than most social MVPs, and tend to really shine more within small groups or in one-on-one situations. That being said, I love having about 20 simultaneous conversations on my Blackberry switching between my AIM, BBM, Twitter and Facebook apps. I love social media because it’s easy to create something and tell all of your followers, fans, DJs, labels, promoters and critics instantaneously as it happens. It helps me feel spiritually connected to the collective consciousness of my circle and get immediate feedback on what I’m making, thinking and doing. But beware - sometimes you should not write everything you think on Twitter - you know who you are.
What is your most memorable Miami nightlife moment?
Before I got back into the DJ scene two years ago I spent almost every waking moment in the studio. Composing, arranging, producing, writing and recording were the mainstays of my daily activities for the past 10 years. Then I joined a record label called Majic City which helped me become a more prolific frequenter of the nightclub scene. I was submerged into the world of bouncers, velvet ropes and bottle service. Every night I went out to a new club. I vividly remember walking into the central VIP area in Mansion one night with my label mates, they were very excited to see this guy DJ AM spin. Three bottles of Dom Perignon, Absolut and Patron later I hear AM doing the recognizable scratches from the intro of the original Salt n Pepa record ‘Push It’.
I was amazed that this kind of creativity existed in the DJ field and without delay (after AM’s set) went back to my apartment, pulled my Technics 1200’s and beat up Numark mixer out of the closet, and began listening to music and putting together records in new creative ways I had never thought of before. I succumbed to the fatigue of my experience that night around 8 a.m.
So you seem to have an expertise in the process of making music. Can you tell us more about the connection between producing and DJ-ing?
Working in the studio and in the entertainment scene has afforded me a lot of amazing experiences and opportunities. From the years I worked in NBC /Telemundo on the production staff for the Latin Billboard Awards to the studio sessions where I have met, produced, recorded and/or remixed artists like Rick Ross, Field Mob, Damien and Stephen Marley, Cool-n-Dre, Brandy, Trick Daddy and Trina (which has led me to become a member of The Grammy Recording Academy), I have always been enveloped around creative individuals and environments. Producing in relation to DJ-ing is a symbiotic process whereby each one benefits off the knowledge of the other. As a DJ you get to develop a natural instinct for what people respond to and it translates well to the production decisions you make in the studio.
Any big plans for the future?
I am currently working on multiple personal projects. My ‘Eclectro’ Mix Series, HouseCalls and GTA. I am very excited with the direction I am headed with a group me and my partner DJ EFX have created called GRAND THEFT AUDIO. It’s sort of a dynamically charged Miami-based Electronic Band duo that spins and performs our own remixes of popular records and amazing new originals. Imagine Daft Punk Live meets AfroJack and the Electro artist’s movement. Coming from a Hip Hop/R&B /Soul background, we carry a very edgy and innovative approach to the way we’re making and promoting our own flavor of Electronic dance music. We are revving forward, ready to ‘synthesize’ a unique sound to fuel the culturally complex Miami Arts & Music landscape. And I just recently signed off on a deal which gave me the opportunity to DJ at the Bayside Stage during every Miami Heat home game. I bring a 15-foot screen and two 50-foot LCDs and broadcast the game, MC, and video DJ after each game for a couple hours.
Catch DJ D!Marco on Friday’s at Lucky Strike on South Beach, 1691 Michigan Avenue, Miami Beach. Visit his website at www.dimarcothegreat.com.