After almost two decades in Las Vegas, DJ Five has earned his role as the unofficial Vegas ambassador to the national S.K.A.M. Artist DJ community. He is the go-to-guy for advice on Vegas’ best grub hubs (he loves Sen of Japan, recommends SW Steakhouse in the Wynn, and frequents Pho Saigon 8), the dopest vintage designer shopping (he scouts out ’80s Gucci, YSL, Louis Vuitton and Dior) and comfortable chilling quarters (he takes visitors to Hooters, Born and Raised, and on field trips to the Cosmopolitan to hang at friend DJ Vice’s sneaker boutique CRSVR).
Five also knows a thing or two about gambling and thinks winning the World Series of Poker would be fun. But music has always been the biggest part of his life. Even as a 4-year-old in his native Thailand, Five, whose real name is Jerid Choensookasem, used to sing Thai pop songs to his family. “I knew all the words,” he says. “Then after I moved to L.A., things changed and I got into hip-hop. I would sing Biz Markie. My favorite song was ‘Pickin’ Boogers.’” Five was 8 years old when the family moved to California. As a fifth-grader, he became mesmerized watching the DJ work the turntable at an elementary school dance. When he was 14, he moved to Las Vegas, where within a year he was teaching himself how to scratch by mimicking videos such as Jazzy Jeff Live From Union Square. His name came from his high school height—5 feet (he’s 5 feet 5-inches now)—and after reaching the legal age to party (he got kicked out of nightclubs for underage DJing), he began his first residency at V-Bar in the Venetian in 2001.
The master scratcher has spun at every hot spot in Vegas, and now holds residencies at Tao, Lavo and Vanity, all while jet-setting around the country to play its hottest nightclubs. The S.K.A.M. Artist plans to release a mix tape within the next year.
Audiences favor DJ Five’s diverse sets, in which he mixes hip-hop, R&B, rock, house and everything in between. He recently opened for world-renowned electro DJ Calvin Harris. “He said I was one of the best DJs he’s heard,” Five says. “I’m not a house DJ, so to get props from a house DJ was really cool.”