Miami's 5 Hottest DJs Share Their Behind-The-Deck Style

The disco lyric totally holds true: If not last night, specifically, at some point, a DJ has saved our lives on the dance floor. In a city known for its super-vibrant electro scene, plethora of clubs, and nightlife that can go on for days, the skilled MIA DJ almost fills a holy role.
And while our neck of the woods has a constant influx of the biggest names behind the 1s and 2s, it's the local mix masters that really get our groove. We've picked our five favorite DJs in the 305 who've not only got the chops (think international gigs to local residencies at our favorite venues)—but also, truly unique and incredible style. These disc jockeys share insider tips, hotspots, dressing secrets…and, of course, where you can hear them play. If this isn't the ultimate guide to getting down in Miami, we'll retire our dance card.
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Click through to meet the five oh-so-stylish music maestros who keep the Magic City dance scene jumping.
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The Electric Pickle: L. Sangre

How did you get involved with DJing? Did anyone teach you? What did you start playing?

"Well, the desire had been there for some time and it just took a while for me to actually have the audacity to try/do it. Eventually my Canadian then-boyfriend encouraged me and taught me the basics, and it all started." 

What would you describe your DJ style as being now?
"What I end up playing depends on the gig, setting, and my mood. I describe my NO NAME party as 'haus, techno, and beyond.' But in terms of my real vision for what I'd like to propagate, I'm moved by classic, deep, vocal, and acid house. Also, I love Detroit techno and the newer sounds that draw from that history. That's mostly what my party is about. The 'beyond' in my description is inclusive of all the other sounds that shaped me, and I try to include when it works for the music. This can be neu beat, industrial, tribal, and bass music."  

Besides DJing, what other things do you get involved in around town?
"I'm always either working at or partying and catching my favorite international DJs. For work, I'm the director of marketing and help with programming and booking for the BEST club in Miami, The Electric Pickle."

Where can we find you on the weekend?
"If I'm not doing something club-related, I'm keeping it low key and casual with my close friends…and doing something that doesn't involve being in direct sunlight."

When you are playing out, do you dress any differently? Or do you just come as you are?
"There is always some kind of thought put into my ensemble if I'm going 'out' out. Always dress to the nines when I'm in prime spotlight!"

Lastly: What is your must-play jam for the summer? The one you are currently obsessed with and will be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future?
"Just got a bunch of new old records, including Jomanda's 'True Meaning Of Love. This will get pretty seriously rinsed." (i.e. Played heavily.)

Photographed by Justin Namon
2 of 5
Liv, Arkadia, The Wall: DJ Ruen

How did you get involved with DJing? Did anyone teach you? What did you start playing?
"I have always been into music. I played guitar and bass when I was really young, and I went to my first rave when I was 16 in L.A. After that, I knew I wanted to be a producer or DJ. So I started watching DJ battles and practiced in my bedroom every day."

What would you describe your DJ style as being now?
"I'm pretty versatile these days. Anyone can learn how to DJ, but nobody can teach you about feeling and creating a vibe. That takes experience and musical knowledge, more than anything. I play to the crowd while trying to keep as much integrity as possible." 

Besides DJing, what other things do you get involved in around town?
"When I'm not DJing, I'm riding my bike. I'm really into cycling and staying healthy. Other than that, I'm in my studio, making music."

Where can we find you on the weekend?
"I have residencies on Tuesdays at The Wall, Wednesdays at Liv, and Saturday at Arkadia. But you can catch me traveling anywhere in between."

When you are playing out, do you dress any differently? Or do you just come as you are? What are your current theories on your gig fashion?
"I tend to dress simply and comfortably in and out of the booth. Fitted jeans, a T-shirt, a jacket, and a fresh pair of Vans are kind of my uniform. Dress the way that makes you feel comfortable, but worry about how you sound first."

Lastly: What is your must-play jam for the summer? The one you are currently obsessed with and will be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future?
"Skrillex and Damian Marley, 'Make It Bun Dem'. I'm not even the biggest dubstep fan, but this collaboration and sound definitely gives this track enough justice to put it in my sets for months to come."

Photographed by Justin Namon
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3 of 5
Bardot, The Electric Pickle: Grace Jones

How did you get involved with DJing? Did anyone teach you?
"The DJ bug started up a long time ago. Being a dancer by nature, I always surrounded myself with DJs and musicians. I've always been in the nightlife, so one of the spots I would naturally gravitate to was beside or behind the booth. Being the DJ is the source, and that always attracted me. One day I was hanging with my friend Sasha Lauzon — who is Ess in Ess & Emm — and she just put me on the spot and made me start learning. I kept with it and here I am! I've always played a bit differently. From new wave to grunge to goth, it all just depends on my mood."

Besides DJing, what other things do you get involved in around town?
"I'm a professional dancer. I try to involve myself in the performing arts. I do different types of gigs, both commercial and über abstract and artistic. I also teach and choreograph at my friend Vanessa Caamano's dance studio called Miami Dance Theatre." 

Where can we find you on the weekend?
"I hop around to a couple of places. Vagabond is usually my first stop. They always have amazing music and a lot of the staff is like family to me. I also enjoy The Electric Pickle. They bring a lot of lovely electronic sounds. If I wanna hang with the kids and just talk about life, The Corner Bar is a great spot."

When you are playing out, do you dress any differently? Or do you just come as you are? What are your current theories on your gig fashion?
"I always dress the way that I feel. Being a performer, I feel like, if I'm DJing, I should dress the part. So I guess I will add extra swag to look a bit more untouchable… if that makes sense. My theory is always the same: A woman should feel powerful when she leaves her home. So whatever makes you feel that way, by all means, wear it!"

Lastly: What is your must-play jam for the summer? The one you are currently obsessed with and will be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future?
"Major Lazer's 'Get Free' (featuring Amber of Dirty Projectors). I love it because its tropical and laid back. The way you should feel in the summer."

Photographed by Justin Namon
4 of 5
Jeronimo's, The Wood: DJ Induce

How did you get involved with DJing? Did anyone teach you? What did you start playing?
"My brother used to DJ when I was pretty young, and he would beat me up if I touched any of his equipment. But I would sneak into his room when he wasn't around anyway. Although, I would say it was probably in tenth or eleventh grade when I actually decided to really get into it. It was the morning after a house party and I told my friend Manuvers — who still is a well-known DJ in Miami — to teach me. That was my first lesson. At the time, we were playing classic hip-hop and Miami bass."

What would you describe your DJ style as being now?
"Always eclectic. I can go from doing a Krautrock set one place to a Trap set at another."

Besides DJing, what other things do you get involved in around town?
"I've been doing music for a little over 10 years. I helped start an indie hip-hop label from here that gained a decent amount of exposure in its time. More recently, my new project The Wonderful Sound Of Induce!, finds me finding my voice. I've started singing and the music is a blend of all the stuff I love, from New Edition, to Prince, to Slave. Also, I've always taken pictures and film is just as important to me as music, but not many people have really seen my stuff. But I'm patient and I know all will come in time."  

Where can we find you on the weekend?
"Saturday night I'll be DJing at Jeronimo's on South Beach. Then on Sunday, I'll be at The Wood in Wynwood during the day and immediately after my set run over to the Vagabond for their annual '90s party. It should be fun!"

When you are playing out, do you dress any differently? Or do you just come as you are? What are your current theories on your gig fashion?
"It really depends on the vibe of the party, but more importantly, how I'm feeling right before I get dressed. Last summer I made a rule to have a 'Shorts-Only Summer' and stuck to it pretty well. So I'm planning to do it again this summer as well. Also, it's fun to show up to a gig in shorts, much to the chagrin of door people, since they can't tell you s**t about it."

Lastly: What is your must-play jam for the summer? The one you are currently obsessed with and will be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future?
"I just got this 26-minute-long jam version of Prince & The Revolution doing 'I Would Die 4 U' — I think I'll let that ride all the way through during my next half-hour set, and then play Jodeci's 'Feenin' as the last song."

Photographed by Justin Namon
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Various events: Bonnie Beats

How did you get involved with DJing? Did anyone teach you? 
"I was booked for my first gig by a promoter who had been following my music blog at the time, Behind Color Bars. I really didn't have experience DJing at a club. Hell, I didn't even have an alias then, but I haven't stopped since! I had worked in radio before so I knew my way around a mixer, but it was my step-dad, who is a renowned crate-digger and collector in the Latin jazz and salsa industry, who would take me out to his gigs and show me the ins-and-outs of basic DJing."

What did you start playing?
"It would all depend on the venue, but for the most part I'd land opening slots, so I'd start the night with nu-disco at a slow BPM and then work my way up to faster indie dance tracks."

What would you describe your DJ style as being now?
"Disco has had and will always have an influence on me. Nowadays, I'll play more obscure disco/funk tracks that can be both old — such as BB & Q Band or The Jonzun Crew — to a more fresh version of deep disco, like Tiger & Woods or Moon Boot's. Deep house is pretty big here, so you can find me ending my sets with Maxxi Soundsystem, Maceo Plex, and the likes."

Besides DJing, what other things do you get involved in around town?
"If you would have asked me this question a few months back, I'd tell you I'm working with fellow MTV alums over at Wynwood Radio for my show 'The Bailout,' but since then I've taken time apart from my blog and show to focus on more personal endeavors, like my EP!"

Where can we find you on the weekend?
"Oh man, you can find me anywhere. I'm a huge supporter of the movement so wherever my friends are throwing an event, I'm there."

When you are playing out, do you dress any differently? Or do you just come as you are? 
"Not at all. I'm as big a weirdo on the decks as I am off the decks, ha! I would have to say color and bling."

Lastly: What is your must-play jam for the summer? The one you are currently obsessed with and will be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future?
"I'm mildly obsessed with anything FRΞNCH ΞXPRΞSS. Right now my current jam would have to be Perseus, 'Russian Girlfriends.' The PM Dawn sample lands heavy on the dance floor. It's brilliant."

Photographed by Justin Namon
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