January 19 saw the debut of Pauly D’s 2013 Las Vegas residency, taking over Haze once a month with Turnt Up. On the heels of appearances on The Pauly D Project, Las Vegas party-maker Ryan Labbe takes care of business (that business being partying) with partner Jason “J-Roc” Craig for this Light Group endeavor. We got the fast-talking East Coaster to talk about being more relevant than your average reality-show personality, the Turnt Up transformation of Haze and his stage fright. Check out the next installments of Turnt Up with Pauly D at Haze Nightclub on March 23.
Turnt Up—what’s it all about?
We’re trying to bring a different type of individual and a different type of concept to Haze. We think Haze is a beautiful venue, and we obviously recently signed on with Light Group in Las Vegas, so we wanted to make a high impact. This is Pauly D’s residency, so we use Pauly as the talent for these 12 dates. We’re looking to integrate pop-up artists, such as Jay Sean for the first one. For the second one, we’re looking right now to integrate some additional talent, which is unadvertised, so that people feel like they get something a little extra with their ticket price.
Did you work on Pauly’s past residency, or is this a completely new endeavor?
J-Roc worked on his residency, and that’s how I met J-Roc, because I was working with Pauly at the Palms. Then we filmed the show with him. Pauly then went to the Hard Rock; none of us had anything to do with the Hard Rock. Then the Light Group put in an offer for Pauly, and we chose to take him on as the talent as our first project with the Light Group.
Would you say that The Pauly D Project fuels the party in any way? Obviously Pauly D is a celebrity.
J-Roc has worked out here for a very long time. And I moved out here about a year and a half ago. I hit the ground running. I was very lucky to be put into the proper network of individuals. The show has helped with a great deal of notoriety, but when it comes to jumping back into the business aspect of things, it’s something that we’ve been comfortable with and been involved with for the majority of our lives.
Pauly brings a general-admissions crowd. He has his demographic in which he hits the ladies and MTV viewers and fans. What Jason and me do is we bring the other aspect of the crowd. We’re tied in very well to different communities that are feeder markets, such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York and Scottsdale. So, we put our name on that, and they know we know how to throw a party. We invite the key people in each one of those cities and bring a group of them out here, to get that brand awareness across. We brought people out to this last event that wouldn’t usually frequent Haze, or usually go to a Pauly D party. So now we’re introducing them to that, and hopefully get a return on the rest of them. The production alone was eye-catching, you know people walked in there, and we totally transformed the entire venue.
How do you transform Haze for Turnt Up?
We brought in a lot of production; we brought in LED walls to the DJ booth, to the ceiling and the trusses. We brought in a company called King Size LED from San Diego, and we brought in probably $65,000 to $70,000 of added LED walls. We changed the entire front of the booth. We brought in four CO2 things. We brought in four lasers. We brought in LED bars, confetti. We did it all, everything. We made it look like a brand-new venue.
How do you and J-Roc divvy up the business of partying from the business of business?
We really work well together. Because if I miss on something, or he misses on something, we catch up. I deal with the budget, the logistics of things, and some creative. J-Roc really sticks to the creative, the production aspect, the timelines, stuff like that, so we complement each other very well in that manner. When it comes to the actual venue, he’s on the mic. I’m more at the [VIP] table making sure we’re hosting people properly. I’m not a mic guy; the last thing I wanna do is get on a mic.
You just don’t like talking, or …
Eh, well I got that East Coast accent. It doesn’t come across properly over a microphone, I’ll tell you that. I get a little stage fright.