Celebrity music king, DJ Cassidy, has spun tables at the hippest and most prestigious parties across the globe. Naomi Campbell’s summoned Cassidy, 26, for her b-day parties from Saint-Tropez to Dubai, he’s done P. Diddy’s infamous White Party since he was 18 years-old, Grammy parties for Kanye West and celebs like Jennifer Lopez have him on speed dial for Marc Anthony's b-day or any last-minute soirée.
Just a week after he DJ’d perhaps the most exclusive wedding of the year, the union of Jay-Z and Beyonce, I caught up with Cassidy while he was in LA for the celebrity basketball league, NBAE’s, end-of-the-year wrap party. Celebs like Brody Jenner, Dean Cain, Stacy Keibler, Nick Swardson and others danced the night away courtesy of DJ Cassidy. In the midst of spinning tunes, Cassidy chatted about what it takes to be a celebrity DJ, his new venture into producing and getting personally selected by the queen of all media, Oprah.
How do you decide what music you’ll play?
To be honest, I never decide. I see what kind of people it is and I see what they’re feeling and I take it from there.
You do a lot of celebrity events, what’s been your favorite so far?
I don’t have one favorite but I guess a very memorable one is Oprah Winfey’s party in South Africa for the opening of her school. It was New Years Eve 2007.
How did you get hooked up with that?
She heard me at a party once and the next day called for the New Years party and that was just an amazing feeling to be in a room with people like Sidney Poitier and Quincy Jones. It was amazing.
You just did Beyonce and Jay-Z’s wedding, what was that like?
(he shuts his lips and makes a motion like he’s throwing away the key)
There’s a lot of celebrities that like to get in the DJ booth and help DJ, do you hate that? Are you like, ‘get out of my booth!’
No, I love it! I love it. I love DJing for Puffy because he becomes one with the crowd. He doesn’t act like a celebrity in his own section. He gets on the mic and he hosts the parties from the beginning to the end and he really rocks the party like he’s at a concert. But the difference between a concert and a party is at a party he becomes one with the crowd. It’s really amazing to work with him for that reason.
What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration really is watching people on a dance floor and when you have a dance floor like packed to the rim that’s what really makes what I do great.
How did you first get started in the scene?
My parents bought me turn-tables when I was 10 years-old and I DJ’d every party that I could possibly DJ throughout high school and then when I went to college at NYU I got more in the club scene in New York.
(Stronger, by Kanye West comes on)
And it was a snowball effect. You know I DJ’d at one club which led to another club which led to another club, which led to a party where I’d meet a celebrity who’d want me to do a party for them and then you’d meet the next person who would want me to do an event for them.
Obviously these celebs have your phone number programmed in their phone. How much notice do they give you in advance?
It could be six months or it could be 24 hours.
(He mixes on the tables; Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, by Daft Punk comes on)
Sorry I have to keep going back.
No worries! You've started producing, right?
Yes, my debut artist, O’Neil Mcknight has a hit song right now Check Your Coat. You can buy Check Your Coat on i-tunes you can see the video on all the networks, BET, MTV, VH1, online and you’ve got to check it out. O’Neil Mcknight.
And this is your first producing project, right?
Yes, and I produced the single and the entire album, which comes out this month.
Are we going to see a lot of producing from you?
Yes, absolutely. This is my first project so I want to get a #1 record.
What other artists do you want to collaborate with?
You know I really want to produce something for Michael Jackson.
(One More Time, by Daft Punk comes on)
So I think his next album I’ll be doing that, knock on wood (he laughs).
Have you met him before?
No, he’s the one person on earth that I haven’t met that I want to.
See everyone wants what they can’t have and that’s probably the reason you want to do his album because you haven’t met him.
When I meet him, I’m just going to want to produce him more. He’s the inspiration for all the music I do. For everything I wear. For everything I do.
Elton John is my favorite.
I did a party for him a few years ago. He’s a nice guy.
(Move Your Feet, by Junior Senior)
Are you ever even at your apartment in New York or are you always traveling?
Yeah you know I try not travel more than once or twice a week so I’m home at least three days a week. It depends on the week.
What does it take for you to decide to play some unknown artist that hands you their CD?
I have to really, really, really like it. And that’s very rare.
(Sexy Back, Justin Timberlake come on and the crowd goes crazy)
What do you do when you’re not DJing?
I produce music.
What do you do when you’re not doing music?
And when you’re not doing music or fashion what are you doing?
Trying to sleep.