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Live in paradise, play your favorite music on the beach, drink chocolate tequila, and make a living do it all — sounds like a dream — minus maybe the chocolate part. For Jeff Gold the dream is reality.
Having spent the better part of a decade in Playa del Carmen, México, Jeff Gold made the relocation from Canada to pursue a life of music. He has lived up to that pursuit admirably — Jeff is currently a resident DJ and stage manager for The BPM Festival; he also holds residencies at three of PDC’s hottest clubs: La Santanera, Blue Parrot, and Canibal Royal. The list of top tier artists he has warmed up the dance floor for over the years, includes: Thugfucker, Fur Coat, Matt Tolfrey, Francesca Lombardo, Stacey Pullen, Lee Burridge, Digweed, Guti, and Teifschwarz.
Packing up your things and moving to a small beach town in México to throw down jams on a daily basis is Heroic in our book! Jeff has a superb taste in music and contagious personality. We’re pleased to feature Jeff Gold on this week’s Hometown Heroes episode. Check out his mix and interview below.
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Interview with Jeff Gold:
Where are you from? How did you get into DJing and house music?
Well to start I am originally from Western Canada, Calgary Alberta to be precise, then over to Edmonton, Toronto then to Montreal for about 9 years. Currently and for the last 4 years full-time and 3 years part-time before that Playa del Carmen, México has been home.
As for how I got into DJing and house music… Well DJing started about 14/15 years ago with the help of my brother Avrum teaching me the ropes on the gear, musical structure and theory. I have always been drawn to good sound and sound systems and musically over the years I have been through phases of almost every style of music and I appreciate talent whatever style it resides in. But house and techno music have been a couple of the genres that have always pulled me in and are flexible genres that they can constantly evolve into something fresh. I haven’t given it much thought before but I think a bit of all that, plus the constant desire to travel and explore new places all helped to guide me to the turntables.
It seems like people are flocking to Playa Del Carmen by the thousands! Is that true? What effect does it have on the scene? Where does this burst of migration stem?
It is true, but a bit of an understatement at the same time. Last year Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya received over 4.5 million tourists. The electronic music scene here is booming year round with amazing local talent, plus most of the planet’s top headliners find their way over to Playa at some point. I believe a major part to why their has been this major burst is thanks to the BPM Festival and everyone falling in love with the place when they get here. When I first got to Playa 7 years ago the population here was, from what I heard, approx. 18,000 people; now just 7 years later full-time residents are up to approx. 150,000. The area went from a moderately growing town to the fastest growing city in Latin America.
What role do you play with BPM? What do foresee of the festival in coming years?
The first year that I came down here I was just a spectator initially but was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and have to cover for a DJ that for wasn’t going to be able to make it in time for their set. My friend Alex Herman put in a good word for me and I was asked to play. I was hooked on the festival and Playa from that point on. Since then I have been a resident DJ for the festival and have played the last 7 years of BPM and all the BPM Primavera festivals. As well as managing one of the venues for the festival the last 3 years.
The team that runs the festival is more like a family with the same goals which basically boils down to showing people the best possible experience and music. Every year they spend months planning to streamline operations and always improve — hand picking every artist from venues and events all over the planet. I foresee the festival growing into an even better experience with each coming year.
Besides DJing, what other projects are you working on?
Well aside from mixing, I do some production as well. So far I have some music on Cream Couture Records, Victims Music Company and Stereo Tension Records. And a couple remixes and original tracks to be released later this year.
And currently I am creating a digital audio recorder for DJ’s and musicians. Unfortunately at this time I can not go into too much detail about it yet — it should be ready this year. Really excited about it! I have been working on this for quite some time and now that it is getting closer to completion — I feel like a child seeing a wrapped box days before their birthday! Can almost see it and have it … But have to wait just a little bit longer.
What’s your go-to track at the moment to get the dance party crackin?
Current one that has been lighting up the dance floors is “Rise” by Lonely Boy. It’s actually the track that I am starting off the mix with here.
What gig do you dream about?
To be honest I can not think of any gig in particular that I dream about. I am grateful that I have had been able to play amazing rooms and to some unreal crowds both over the past 15 years and currently here in Playa. I am a resident at few of my favorite clubs; La Santanera, as well as DJing there I am also in charge of their sound system, including the Funktion One in the main room; and a couple of beach club residencies at Canibal Royal and Blue Parrot. Every year everything has been positively progressing for my career, so I kind of have already been living my dreams. Living off music in paradise with a woman Barby Rush in my life. Why dream about anything but reality?
But I guess long answer short, my dream gig is just any room with good sound and a musically educated crowd — everything else is just a bonus or filler for me.
Tell us about your mix.
So I wanted to share an hour journey with some of my favorite tracks at the moment. There were so many I wish I could have fit in there. It takes turns through different genres of electronic music — keeping it nice and deep. I have never been too good at describing music in words; everyone these days seems to have a different idea of what each genre sounds like. So I guess the best way to know is to click play!
Drink of choice…
Top 3: Coconut water; while I’m DJing a nice cold beer; and to help with the hangover cafe americano with milk and sugar and chocolate Salt tequila blended with ice.