INTRO: Dash (Speaks) has been keeping vinyl alive and curating parties in and around Manhattan for over a decade. This Esquina regular is renowned for good hair, great DJ skills and deep crates.
Q: As a DJ living in NYC, what inspires and shapes your current sound?
DASH SPEAKS: Soul music and everything that was inspired by it - funk, soulful disco, soulful house, and of course the hip hop that samples it.
Q: Do you still prefer the velvet touch of vinyl when you spin, and can you reveal your 5 most treasured pieces of wax?
DASH SPEAKS: Absolutely! I’m a huge record guy, always digging and always expanding my collection. The record I searched for longest was the 45 of I Wish I Knew How It Feels to be Free by Nina Simone. The 45 of Rockefeller Skank and Praise You by Fatboy Slim was another one that took me forever to find. Those are the two that really stand out.
Q: What's different about an LA or say an Atlanta crowd as opposed to a New York crowd ?
DASH SPEAKS: New York is the toughest city to play. There are great DJs in every city but the sheer size of the nightlife community here means that you really have to bring it. One any given night there are so many good DJs playing in so many good venues here, so New Yorkers have no tolerance for mediocre DJs. That’s why it’s the best! But like Frank Sinatra said, “If you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere.”
Q: How do you deal with peeps who want to re-edit your playlist?
DASH SPEAKS: Not sure I understand the question..[laughs].
Q: What is usually the hottest point of the night?
DASH SPEAKS: Esquina is unique in that the energy here is amazing early, and stays great late.
Q: What takes it all down to dawn after the midnight heat/beats period?
DASH SPEAKS: It depends on the night. But 90's R&B into 60's soul is one of my favorite ways to wrap it up.