DJ Drew G brings ’Dirty Pop’ to LA
Multi-talented DJ Drew G could have easily become a classical musician or an arranger for a big band, instead he chose to mix music and in a short time has become one of the most-sought after talents on the dance music scene.
It could be said that this native New Yorker (born Drew Gilbert Montalvo in 1983) has dance music in his blood - his dad spun music and his mother was a regular at such 1970s clubs as Studio 54 and Paradise Garage. From an early age, Drew G showed great interest in music; by the time he was a teenager he had mastered ten instruments and was playing guitar in various death metal bands. By his 18th birthday, he had already recorded five albums and been involved in the production of a number of others.
Turning his attention to house music, DJ Drew G created a unique mix of disco, hip-hop and rock music at his first New York City gig - Friday nights at Stonewall. Next came residency at Gypsy Tea After-Hours where he showed his skills at mixing high energy circuit sounds. Not long after he accepted an internship at Peter Rauhofer’s imprint, Star 69, and within months became the retail marketing rep for the label.
He was soon in demand at New York clubs (G, HK Lounge, GYM Sportsbar and The Eagle) and clubs across the country (Cobalt in Washington, DC, Voyeur in Philadelphia, as well as Mj’s & Mickey’s in Los Angeles). He was the youngest DJ to play The Black Party (twice) as well as at the Roxy.
He has also established himself in the recording studio where he’s in demand creating remixes for such artists as Lady Gaga, Ashanti, Whitney Houston, David Archuletta, Britney Spears, P!nk, Mario Vasquez, Deborah Cox, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Good Charlotte and Chris Brown.
This weekend he comes to Los Angeles for a pair of dates at MJs and Mickey’s. EDGE caught with him earlier this week where he answered questions about his career, his music and what it was like to work with Lady Gaga.
Dirty Pop Party
EDGE: You have two dates coming up in LA -- July 16th and 18th at Mickey’s and a Foam Party at MJ’s on July 17th. Have you played these clubs before?
DJ Drew G: I have. One of my newest residencies is at MJs in LA and when I’m in town I usually play some guest spots at Mickey’s. They’re two great venues. My buddy Chris Tattoo invited me out to play a few years back and I’ve been kicking ass in Silverlake ever since. Chris has me out there 1-2 times a month in the summer for their "Foam Party’s" in association with our "Dirty Pop Party" which we currently have in NYC, NJ and now Washington DC at Cobalt. The "Dirty Pop" sound has really taken off and I’m super proud of it.
EDGE: When you play at a Foam Party, do you do play a different kind of set?
DJ Drew G: At the Foam Party I stick to the fun high energy "Dirty Pop" sound. I use a lot of mashups and remixes produced by myself and my remix partner, Brian Cua.
EDGE: You recently played the Fourth in Ptown. What was that like?
DJ Drew G: One word, amazing. I was really happy to come play the Crown. It had been a dream of mine for many years and when Rick (the owner) called me and asked me to spin, I jumped up and down. That probably will go down as one of my top five moments in my career thus far.
EDGE: In upcoming weeks, you go from Hong Kong to Northampton, MA. Is traveling ever a hassle for you?
DJ Drew G: Not really, I love to travel and meet new people. It’s always exciting to get to see new things and go new places. I feel really lucky in that aspect.
EDGE: I see you play 10 instruments - did an aptitude for playing music come easy when you were young?
DJ Drew G: Yea, my parents initially took interest in me playing an instrument after my father had a stint working for Van Halen. I wanted a guitar and kicked and screamed till I got one and it all went from there.
EDGE: Did you ever think of pursuing a career playing one of those instruments?
DJ Drew G: Totally. I wanted to play guitar in a death metal band. I was infatuated by bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor and Soilwork. I know that’s not what the average gay man would name as his favorite groups growing up, but I like to think I’m a bit out of the ordinary compared to most. I still to this day let those bands influence me and love their music.