Everyone ready to party it up Halloween style this weekend in Atlantic City? The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort on Saturday night should be particularly exciting because it was just announced that the Mystery Guest for this crazy occasion will be….Lil’ Kim! And DJ KoKo will be there spinning the night’s soundtrack!
The Rochester, N.Y. native seems uber thrilled to be back on the east coast to take over the ones and twos for one of the hottest parties of Halloween weekend in Atlantic City this year. He’s been a Las Vegas resident since 2008 after making the move with the hope becoming one of the biggest DJs in the country. It paid off, man. It paid off. He’s been taking over residencies at Sin City hotspots ever since and has been the musical entertainment for many-a-celeb over the years. He even creates his own music and has produced stuff for top TV networks and radio stations. Sounds like there’s nothing musical this guy can’t do. We talked to him a bit to find this (and more) out. Naturally, we were curious. Check out the interview below.
TAC: How did you get your name, DJ KoKo?
DJ KoKo: This one time I was in a fight and I knocked out 2 guys at once and everyone just started calling me KO KO………..kidding, it’s a part of my last name, not a very cool story.
TAC: LOLz. We like you. You’re funny. You are a top DJ in Vegas as well as Atlantic City. How do you play to these two crowds differently?
DJ KoKo: I’m from upstate NY and started DJing on the east coast originally, so I have a really good idea of what type of music will work in the clubs out here. Vegas is a little different, people from all over the world with different tastes in music come there to just go nuts, so I have a little bit more room to mess around with the format.
TAC: What do you think makes you different from other DJs in Atlantic City and Las Vegas?
DJ KoKo: I like to think my versatility, ability to read and surprise the crowd plays a big part. If throughout the night I can continually make the people open their eyes and unexpectedly think “whoa that sounded crazy” while keeping the energy high at the same time, I feel like I have done my job. I also play a lot of my own original records and edits, just continuing to stay original is the most important part to me.
TAC: Finish the sentence: My favorite song that can make ANY crowd dance is:
DJ KoKo: DMX- Party Up (Up In Here) gets them every time. It is a classic record and the energy is undeniable even if hip hop is not your thing.
(We’re pausing for a second for a couple minute dance party.)
TAC: Sorry, moving on. You are known for mixing all types of music. What’s a combination that you have found doesn’t seem like it would go together, but is really a great beat?
DJ KoKo: I’m a big fan of old school and rock as well. If it’s the right crowd, I like to sprinkle in both of those genres throughout the night in the right spots so people can sing along to the classics. It keeps things fun.
TAC: Can you give us a crazy story you have experienced while DJing a celeb party?
DJ KoKo: I would have to say one of my favorites was here at The Pool After Dark. I had the opportunity in the middle of the night to perform one of my original records to a packed house while having the legendary, Grammy Award winner Fatman Scoop as my personal hype man on stage, crazy moment.
TAC: In addition to being a DJ, you are also a recording artist, music producer, songwriter and performer. How would you describe your original work?
DJ KoKo: If I had to pick one word I would say catchy. I am a fan of almost every genre of music so I like to stay versatile and create different types of sounds, but also keeping it a bit Pop at the same time so it can appeal to a broader audience. One day you may catch me working on an Electro club anthem, the next I will be writing a R&B love song. It all depends on my inspiration at the time.
TAC: How does being a DJ help you in your other careers?
DJ KoKo: It helps a great deal actually. Being in the club and observing people, seeing how they react to certain songs really gives me an idea of what type of sound people are into. A lot of the times that translates into inspiration in the studio and helps me to create music that people are going to love.
TAC: What celebrities would be on your bucket list to work with as opening as a DJ and a music artist?
DJ KoKo: I would have to say on the Hip Hop end it would be Jay Z and Kanye West. I love almost everything they do and growing up and seeing their sound evolve over the years and continue to stay original is inspiration in itself. On the Electro Dance side of things I would love to get in the studio with David Guetta. He has been a pioneer in crossing over dance music to the main stream and I feel like we have a very similar mind state on creating records.
TAC: What do you hope your life looks in 10 years?
DJ KoKo: I just want to be successful in all aspects of what I do with positive people around me. I think that my producing, songwriting, and DJing will eventually all evolve with each other and bring things to the next level. If I could be in the studio everyday making all different types of music with the heavyweights and still be touring spinning monster clubs and festivals, while at the same time making a solid living, that would be a dream.