FROM VEGAS TO THE SOUTHLAND, HE GETS THE PARTY GOING
Born Zach Loczi in Detroit Michigan, and raised living in Sweden, Southern California, and London, DJ Loczi has become one of the country’s most acclaimed and in-demand disc jockeys and has been taking the DJ world by storm over the past twelve years.
“From my perspective,” Loczi says of the job of the DJ, “each individual creates what that means for themselves. DJing is an artistic extension of yourself, for me, as someone who is focused primarily on the music, I play music with the sole purpose of bringing everyone together.”
Citing London’s vibrant music scene and respect for the art of DJing as his biggest influence, DJ Loczi is known for being a mixing technician virtuoso and a mastermind for reading a crowd. No other DJ has combined the likes of acts from so many different spectrums, influenced by Joan Jett, Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel, The Doors, Phil Collins, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, NWA, Naughty by Nature, and old Doc Martin warehouse mix tapes, Loczi was trained as a top level producer and remixer in pop, hip-hop, electro, house and downtempo by the esteemed Icon Collective and the exclusive Red Bull Music Academy (which only accepts 60 DJs from around the world and three from the U.S.) on a full scholarship. Loczi has produced for major motion pictures and television commercials, acted as producer and booking agent for festivals and concerts, and played such elite venues as Madonna’s Closing Tour Party, the Grammy’s After-Party, and San Diego’s Superbowl Party.
Raised listening to his older sister’s mixtapes (she was old enough to be a part of the L.A. underground rave scene), Loczi was finally able to absorb the nightlife scene while growing up in the UK.
“I never had the opportunity to experience it until I moved to London. And that’s because in London, even though I was in high school, you’re considered a full adult and that gave me accessibility to go to these venues and see a few thousand people standing in a room, everyone facing the DJ, because they’re ready for that connection. It’s more a sense of respect, some people take it to a level of reverence, but to be honest, it’s very communal and incredibly spiritual to have several thousand people all focused on the same moment; it’s a pretty powerful thing.”
Currently a resident DJ at the MGM Grand’s Studio 54 in Las Vegas, Fleetwood and Andaz in San Diego, and Pure in Texas, to name a few, DJ Loczi is also heard bi-weekly on 99.1 KGGI FM in California, on the internet’s #1 rated mix show theSHOCKWAVEmix, and www.superradiomix.com.
Currently promoting Soul of Our City, his hit CD of classic and modern mixes that has been widely praised by critics and audiences alike, Loczi considers Southern California home even though he spent his adolescent summers in Indiana and Michigan. But it’s spinning, controlling the vibe of a party, that really is what he’s all about.
“When you put a DJ front and center and everyone in the venue can see him or her, and visually connect and understand he is manipulating the music in a way that is affecting them emotionally, that reciprocal relationship, because they end up giving the energy back to the DJ, creates a whole different level of energy. And when you do that it’s a really powerful experience.
Someone who “tries not to live too far into the future,” Loczi tries to downplay his Vegas residency as a life-altering event but eventually points out it has been a career-defining high, but notes every step he’s taken to where he is now has been part of a wonderful journey.
“I was through the roof, head-over-heels, ridiculously happy to play at the clubs five miles away from my house,” Loczi recalls. “It was so much fun and it still is. I’m so incredibly passionate about it. I truly feel it’s what I’m supposed to do with my life. At every stage of my development, I really enjoyed it. And as things started to expand I was always grateful. I think there does become a point in time where you start to travel and taste new environments and new cultures and meeting new people, and once you get that bug in you it’s really hard to back away from it.”
And when asked to name his favorite city to DJ, he lets out a laugh before answering.
“With everything I just said,” he says with a laugh, “Las Vegas is one of the best cities I’ve ever played in. There are a lot of reasons why I love Vegas, one, they’re connected to the entertainment, two, when I say connected I mean it’s a priority to them. The venues are incredible, the sound systems are impeccable, the service and staff, everyone is geared towards providing a really incredible entertainment atmosphere. So if you have an entire city that’s built off of that, that everyone that’s coming to that city can’t wait to experience it, on some level, you’re going to have an amazing time. Plus, it’s incredibly diverse. You have this huge, huge melting pot of individuals from all over the world. In one night I can reach people from all over the world in one venue.
“And on the west coast,” he continues, “there’s something to be said about San Diego. They have some incredible parties and some incredible clubs. The people are not very pretentious and they go out looking to have a very good time. Plus the weather is incredible.”
Playing every Friday night at Studio 54, Vegas’ original old school megaclub, is somewhere where DJ Loczi can really set a crowd off to euphoria.
“It’s probably the most famous club in the world,” Loczi states. “There are movies about it and continual stories about it. At the time it was built in Las Vegas that was it. It was pretty much what was there. And since then, there has been this huge influx of these incredible venues, but to me, there’s this mystique and aura that’s attached to Studio 54, because it has this reputable and amazing name. I play there every Friday night and it’s a big venue, it holds upwards of 2,500 people, the sound system is like no other, the lights are incredible, it has the largest disco ball in the world…it’s that old school, big warehouse, New York nightclub and the DJ is very focused in the center and there’s a huge interaction between the DJ and the club. To me, the reason I love it is because I can play Red Hot Chili Peppers into The Temptations into the new David Guetta track into Black Eyed Peas into Jay-Z and the whole club loves everything. To me, there are a lot of other venues and they’re trying to be very niche and are trying to be a ‘proper electronic venue’ or a ‘proper hip-hop venue’ and Studio 54 is about creating an experience and I have a lot of freedom and opportunity to make sure everyone there is having fun. I love the diversity and the classic feel.”
Also a resident DJ at Liquid Pool at Aria City Center every Saturday (11:30am – 6:30pm), Loczi’s Vegas experience takes him from the classic, originator of nightclubs to the, as he puts it, “newest, hottest, freshest, best thing to come to Vegas right, right, right now.”
Loczi notes, “Liquid Pool had the opportunity to look at every single pool that exists in Vegas and they took all the pros and tried to get rid of the majority of the cons and created what I feel is the best pool party that I’ve ever played. It’s super modern and intimate and still holds between 600-800 people.”
And even the thought of DJing outdoor, poolside, under the blazing Vegas sun this summer doesn’t detract from Loczi positive outlook to lead the best party possible.
“I am incredibly eager to see what it’s going to be like but I don’t think anybody in general says, ‘I cannot wait to be in 130 degree weather for hours.’ But one of the things that Liquid did was build the DJ booth inside a wall with complete access to see the entire venue but the way that it’s actually positioned there’s only a short period of time at the end of the day where you actually get direct sunlight.”
It seems nothing can phase Loczi’s upbeat, positive vibe, in-person or while spinning. His mantra is simple:
“Focus everyday on the moment. Allow your dreams to prevail. Music will change the world. Collective consciousness around the beauty of sound, felt by our ears, delivered through wax, we make present the now!”
When in Las Vegas, catch DJ Loczi Friday nights at Studio 54 and Saturday afternoons at Liquid Pool at Aria.
— By Jose Martinez
All photos courtesy of www.djloczi.com, thanks