DJ ShadowReD, or Stevens Duplessy, began his career by touting his demo tapes to local bars in Hoboken, New Jersey, until he broke onto the New York City club scene in 2007. After five years in the big city, he was ready for a change of scenery (or perhaps he was tired of the cold) and moved to Las Vegas.
With no management team or agent, he’s performed up and down the Strip at more than sixteen of the hottest venues, including Hakkasan, Marquee, Light and Chateau, where he currently holds a residency. We caught up with him to chat about the differences he’s encountered in Sin City, who are up-and-coming local DJs to watch and what music he listens to when he’s relaxing.
What do you miss the most about DJing in New York?
The culture. There’s no culture, really, in Vegas. Not to say that it’s really a bad thing, either, because Vegas is still growing. New York has a certain hipness to it. And that’s what I love about New York, that you could just take it back with certain different types of classics where people really appreciate music much more.
Can the Las Vegas music scene achieve that same level of culture?
I don’t see it happening any time soon because we’re just so deeply rooted with that culture in New York. There’s a much deeper appreciation for more classic throwback type of songs there. Vegas really doesn’t have that much culture and if that is going to happen we need more diverse people living here and staying here to create more communities as opposed to being such a transient city.
How does New York’s club scene compare to Las Vegas?
In 2007, New York started transforming more into bottle service and lost a lot of its dance floors. That’s the biggest comparison. New York doesn’t really have dance floors anymore…
How is your style different here?
I have to play a little bit more commercial because in Vegas you’re getting tourists from smaller states who are not as up to date with the songs. They listen to more Top 40 stations, and even the hip-hop stations they listen to aren’t as deep as cities like Miami, New York and Los Angeles because they have more artists from that area.
This is in the clubs that are more open format, not like a strict hip-hop club or anything like that. And even with the hip-hop clubs in New York, you can get away with a b-side record that people will go crazy for. But here you won’t get the same type of reaction.
What music do you listen to on your days off?
I like to listen to country music because it’s just so different. It’s not music that I’m accustomed to listening to, but for some reason I like it! I also like classical music and ‘lounge-y’ type of house.
Who is a good new up-and-coming DJ?
There’s a young local guy named DJ Stretch. He’s made tremendous strides in such a quick time. If that kid continues, he’s going to be a big problem!