INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS, CULTURE PIECES, MUSICAL RAMBLINGS.
As seen here on the blog, rock and indie musicians and bands make up a large percentage of the New Paltz music scene. However, there are many other types of musicians and people who have different roles in the distribution of music in this community that also deserve appreciation in the spotlight. I took a look into the rap scene with BZA, and it was enjoyable and interesting to talk about a genre that I’m still learning about myself. This week, I dove into a field that I really know NOTHING about, and that is DJing.
Going to Murphy’s Restaurant and Pub on Main Street on a Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday is a pretty popular pastime of New Paltz residents. There are many DJs on the bill each night, but a fan favorite by far is Lorenzo, most commonly known as DJ LoHex. Patrons love the songs he plays, and his catchphrase, “Oh my God it’s DJ LoHex,” are six words that are etched in New Paltz's vocabulary. I wanted to know what went into the process of DJing, and what goes through his mind every night behind that gigantic laptop and booth.
We planned to meet up a couple times before SUNY New Paltz unfortunately got shut down for the semester due to COVID-19, but we were unable to. We went back to old TwiColl times and we talked through Instagram DMs this week, and I finally got the answers to some burning questions Murphy-goers have been wondering for years.
At what age did you start DJing? How did you get your start?
I started DJing when I was 16. I got interested in DJing when I started watching festival videos on YouTube and was mesmerized how someone can control the crowd with music.
What is the origin of the slogan “Oh My God It’s DJ LoHex?” Who is the voice behind the clip?
The origin of my slogan, haha. It came from my friends teasing me in a good way, like gassing me up thinking that I was hot shit but I’m not. I went with it because I started thinking about it and it’s a perfect slogan that can get stuck in your head if you hear it long enough. The voice behind the clip is my friend Paige. I literally asked her to record a voice memo out of nowhere and she said yes, and it stuck!
What are your favorite songs to play? Why?
My favorite songs to play are really anything that can get you moving, or that you can vibe out to. When I started DJing, it opened up a whole new world of music for me and made me realize there are way more genres of music out there to be enjoyed. So, really anything that gets you moving or singing with your friends or random people you just met.
Do you make your own music/beats? If not, would you want to one day?
Yes, I do make music when I’m not DJing. I usually focus on making beats for other people, but I do make my own songs here and there. I actually have a couple of them up on my SoundCloud and some on other streaming services.
Do you DJ elsewhere besides Murphy’s? If so, where else do you DJ?
I do DJ at other places when I can. I know that if I wanna grow in the industry I can’t get locked down in one place. I DJ in Newburgh, NY at a couple of spots like 50 Front and Coyotes. I also DJ in Boston once or twice a year, same with Long Island. In Boston, I’ve been able to DJ right in the heart of the area like Hennessys, and Tavern Allison. And in Long Island, Public House 49.
How do you feel about the community of New Paltz?
I grew up in New Paltz! I went to school here, etc. I’ve always loved the community. A lot of people are friendly and nice and good people that just wanna have a good time. And I like how it’s a diverse community too. Good vibes.
How do you feel about people asking for requests?
Ahhh requests, haha. To be honest, I’m really open to requests. I don’t mind people asking for a song because sometimes I forget certain songs and it reminds me to play them. But they really do start to get annoying when people that I don’t play their requests right away come back and repeatedly ask for a song. Or, when people think they are hot shit and give attitude when I don’t play their song. What I would want to say to people is be patient and don’t be constantly asking. I will fit it in when the time is right. I can’t just switch over a song just like that because it ruins the vibe and the energy. For example, if I’m playing “One Dance” by Drake I can’t switch it over to “YMCA.” You have to work your way to that.
What’s your favorite thing about DJing? Why are you so passionate about it?
My favorite thing about DJing is really playing music and making people dance and have a good time. It feels good that I know I’m the reason people are enjoying their night and making new memories with each other. I love DJing because I love music and being able to share that with people. Making memories with people is just an amazing feeling. Bars and clubs would not be the same if there were no DJs. iPods can’t replace the human factor that goes into it.
Thank you DJ LoHex for taking the time to answer my questions!
Follow him on Instagram to watch his quarantine DJing live streams on weekend nights!
Check out his mixes on SoundCloud!