Glenn Ramos—known around Downtown as DJ Impakt—moved to Las Vegas from San Diego this past summer in search of a fresh perspective and new inspiration. After working as a radio and club DJ in Southern California, he now mans the decks Wednesdays at Commonwealth. Despite being a newcomer, the DJ has already infiltrated the complex inner workings of the Downtown music scene and plans to revamp his brand and go even harder in 2015. Ramos is a down-to-earth guy with a relatable backstory who definitely knows how to have a rockin’ good time.
What drew you into music?
My friends and I were always into the hip-hop scene, from graffiti to break dancing. However, I used to play football and wrestle, so I wasn’t agile enough to break dance. My other friends and I were like, “Hey, let’s try DJing.”
So did you ever try to break dance?
Yeah, and I almost broke my wrist.
When was your first performance, and how did it go?
My first gig was six months into DJing, at a wedding with a friend. I also used to promote for a production company in San Diego, and we’d do clubs on the side and then one day the head promoter said, “Yo, the DJ from L.A. can’t make it. Do you wanna DJ the nightclub?” That was my second gig. The first was easy. But the second was a club gig, and I was pretty scared. My hands were shaking when I would place the needle onto the record. At the time, this was on vinyl, so it was a lot more scary back then, too.
You picked up your stage name around then, right?
That party was called “Impact,” spelled the normal way. I [still] didn’t have a DJ name. So after the event I said, “I’m gonna call myself ‘Impact.’” And then I just changed the C to a K.
Why did you stick with DJing as a career?
Because of timing and lack of options. I graduated from college with a degree in business administration in 2007. And that’s when the recession happened, and no one was hiring. Getting an interview was difficult. I was fortunate to still be DJing clubs in Southern California and I was also DJing on the radio, so I was still earning a good income compared with my classmates. They couldn’t find jobs, [but] I’m getting paid to party. So it’s a job that I’m very blessed to have.
What makes for a memorable gig?
My most memorable gigs aren’t really at the gigs. It’s afterward, when I’m with friends or family and we get up to something stupid, and it ends up as a good memory.
What genres do you spin, and who are your influences?
In elementary school I used to play the trumpet, and I would mess with drums and also play piano. Living in SoCal, I had friends of all different nationalities who all listened to different types of music. So I’ve always liked different genres. The stuff I grew up on was hip-hop and R&B. I love the classics, such as Motown and anything with a funky beat and a good rhythm.
What are your hobbies?
Making fun of my friends as they make fun of me. [Laughs]. Also, working out and just self-improvement. I try to read quite a bit; I try to be active and stay in shape.
What lured you from San Diego to Las Vegas?
I got to the point in San Diego where I couldn’t find any inspiration. I was in a rut. And I felt like I needed to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. I love San Diego, but the problem is that you get comfortable and everyone there is too relaxed. I know Vegas is a small town, but it’s fast-paced, especially compared with San Diego. So last New Year’s Eve I made a promise: “However well I’m doing at the end of June, [come the] beginning of July, I’m moving to Vegas.” And that’s what I did.