DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 34: DJ Joe Vega

DJ Joe Vega has been spinning records for nearly 15 years, and he likes to keep an open mind when it comes to the records he spins.

Reluctant to be pegged as anything in particular, the seasoned DJ admits that he has "a very wide range [of styles] 'cause [he] loves all kinds of music." And that much seems to work out for him: Vega won last year's Red Bull THRE3Style DJ competition in Dallas.

And, tomorrow night, he will defend his title, as the THRE3Style returns to town on Saturday at the Granada Theater. There, Vega will go head-to-head with other big-name DJS in Dallas -- such as DJ NVS, DJ Fishr Pryce, DJ Danny West, DJ Trek, DJ Danny V DJ D-Ross and DJ anywhere -- to once again try and prove himself as the best.

After the jump, get a taste of Vega's style via our latest exclusive DC9er Mixtape. There, you'll also see our Q&A with Vega in full.

How long have you been DJing for?
Going on 15 years.

How did you get your start DJing?
I got picked up by a older DJ. Thank you, DJ Wild.

What was your first gig like?
I was so scared I could barely stand, but once I got into my groove, I knew I was an addict.

Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
I'm influenced by everything around me, actually.

How would you describe your personal style?
I have a very wide range 'cause I love all kinds of music.

Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
I follow a lot of DJs, but my favorite would have to be the late DJ AM. RIP.

What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I can't name just one, my music tends to change like my moods.

How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
When I'm at a gig I read the crowd. If I'm playing for myself, it's what I want to hear at the moment.

How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
Sets tend to be on the fly at the club, 'cause the crowd is never the same. Mixtapes, I drive myself mad. That's probably why I don't do many.

What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
I want to walk that fine line between educating and entertaining. I love breaking new and old music.

What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
A good time.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I prefer a Rane 57 and two Technics.

Requests. Love 'em or hate 'em?
Hate 'em, A good DJ knows what to play. Trust him or her. I'm sure you wouldn't like a drunk stranger coming up to you at your job, trying to tell you how to do it.

If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
I'd say me and DJ AM, and let him decide where.

What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
I don't think anything really sets me apart. There are many talented DJs out there. I just work hard and stay humble.

When/where will you be playing next?
This Saturday, I'll be at the Red Bull Thre3style at the Granada, defending my title as reigning champion.

What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2011?
Hopefully THRE3STYLE U.S. champion -- or, even better, world champ. I'd like to tour or travel. Just remember the name, I'm not going anywhere.

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Catherine Downes
Contact: Catherine Downes