In the past, the family business may have been something along the lines of butcher, baker and even candlestick maker. In 2014, we add to that list making electronic music. Hailing from Uruguay and landing in Las Vegas by way of Atlanta, brothers Jorge and Mauricio Arguello (also known as MrJ & M.A.U, respectively) are working their way up the DJ ranks with their Thursday residency at Fizz Champagne lounge in Caesars Palace. So how do two relative newcomers score such a gig? M.A.U fills us in—MrJ is the silent type.
You guys are pretty new to the scene. Please give us an Arguello DJ history lesson.
It’s started in Atlanta, where my brother and I would do house parties in neighborhoods with a little more money, so we were making a lot [of money]. I didn’t realize it, but that wasn’t even our thing back then. For us it was rock music. We were in a band, and things got serious by the time we were 16 or 17. We decided to move to Vegas in 2009 or 2010. We left everything behind; our parents supported us to the fullest. We started from nothing, came out to Vegas thinking we were going to make it somewhere with the rock music.
Two years down the road, I started messing with programs like Ableton and the production side, because I realized it was easier to be in control of how you create as opposed to the many people [needed] to make one song. We were so stuck in rock, punk and alternative. But we wanted to implement the same energy as a live rock band into a possible DJ set where we could play our music, but with high energy, jumping around, performing an original EDM track or the hip-hop we also get into producing sometimes. That’s what sets us apart. It’s been only a year-and-a-half since we started producing. Hopefully we’ll get good enough to headline somewhere like XS or Electric Daisy Carnival.
So it was production that first piqued your interest in EDM, not Vegas nightlife?
Honestly, it was through producing programs. I was like, “This is another world; you can actually make your own music by only counting on yourself.” It’s just you, a computer and your imagination. One of the first places that we started playing was in the Cosmopolitan at Bond. That’s when we realized that even in a small place we could hype the place up, and the energy was crazy. It was a lounge, but it felt like it was a good little party. We could see people’s reaction and really got into this whole EDM world.
Do you have an official residency at Fizz?
Yeah. We don’t go as crazy, jumping around as much, because it’s more of a Champagne lounge, more upper class. But the fun and the energy are still there. We’re really happy at Fizz.
How do two newcomers secure a residency at a major resort’s newest lounge, and how do you shape your sound there?
We have a really good friend that followed us everywhere. He loved our sets and celebrated his birthday [at Fizz with us performing]. Turns out the manager there and the part owner of the club really loved the energy and what we did with the place and how we shifted people’s mood and everything. We really try to pack the place.
How do you describe your production style?
Production: We’re pretty open. Personally, I like EDM, house, electro. My brother also likes when we produce more of a hip-hop style. He does more of the rapping and the singing. That’s the cool thing about production: You don’t have to [limit] yourself to one genre.
We hear your original plan was to move to California, not Las Vegas.
We were shooting for either California or New York, because at the time we started planning we knew we wanted to just move out and look for new horizons. California was really expensive—we were starting from zero and working step-by-step. So we wanted something in the middle, and we didn’t even realize how perfect Vegas is. It’s a playground. It was kind of an accident, but the best place for us, really.