A Conversation with DJ EU


A Conversation with DJ EU

May 8th, 2024

DJ EU stands as an icon in Atlanta's nightlife scene. Renowned as the official DJ for Atlanta United and recently crowned the Best DJ of Atlanta for an impressive sixth time by Jezebel Magazine, DJ EU's skill behind the decks is undeniable. As the mastermind behind Candela at District, he curates experiences, crafting unforgettable moments for guests on the dance floor. In this exclusive interview with District Atlanta, he shares insights into his musical journey, the secrets behind his success, and offers a glimpse into what lies ahead in the future.

How did you first become interested in pursuing DJing as a career?

Back in college I would play at college parties. I'd create the playlist with another friend and people were like “yo you're really good at this.” I got interested in DJing after that. I bought two CDJs and a mixer and began teaching myself. During this time, my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I used DJing to distract me. When my mom passed, I decided to take a semester off from school and ended up getting a job at a radio station.

While working at the radio station, the new marketing director happened to also be a DJ. The marketing director ended up becoming one of my mentors. Back in the day there was no CD 3000, there was no sync button. You would literally take two vinyls and try to beat-match them. I was in band in high school, so I have a background in music. I know how to read music, I know how to play instruments, I know how to measure music counts and all of that, so I already had an idea. But I was overthinking DJing from my musical background. My mentor taught me how to understand beat matching, and once he taught me the basics he was like, 'all right, you're on your own. The only advice I'm going to give you is, be different.' I think that's the best advice I got in my DJ career - be different.

What genres of music do you specialize in, and why?

I play everything, and I love playing everything. When I started in Atlanta the first two genres I fell in love with was House and Latin, especially Reggaeton because I'm from Puerto Rico. I love House because there's something sexy and groovy about it. I drew inspiration from my time in Miami where I would see people play House and Reggaeton together. I wanted to do that, but better. Nobody was doing it in Atlanta, so I combined my two loves in music styles. Then I discovered open format DJing, which allows me to play a wide range of genres and I fell in love with the versatility it offers. While I do specialize in open format, my passion still lies in House and Reggaeton. I approach each genre with dedication, I adapt, and deliver an unforgettable experience.

What makes playing at District so fun / fulfilling / exciting?

District has a very special place in my heart. The owners of District had a little lounge underground called Koo Koo Room. I started playing there and it became my home for many years, to the point that I became part of the family. When District happened, I came in as a transfer. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I had been planning Candela with my partner JB, so we put it on at District. The relationship with District kind of gave birth to Candela and it's one of my most successful party ideas to this day.

Besides being a super mega nightclub where the production is on fire, District has a massive dance floor, as well as catering to VIP clients that want an exclusive experience. District has one of the best layouts in the city and it has a very special place in my heart. District helped me build my career.


What is one of your favorite memories from Candela and why?

There's two really dope Candelas that I still remember. For the third anniversary of Candela, I wanted to put up the biggest disco ball in the city. District was the perfect venue. I opened for Vintage Culture, and he played his famous Rufus du Sol remix. That moment, man I can still picture it. The whole club just went bananas. That was also the first time I played Innerbloom. I remember the whole club being dark except for a touch of light hitting the disco ball - it was a beautiful moment that is still one of my favorite memories from Candela.

Then the Candela we did with the Martinez Brothers. I think we were the first people to bring the Martinez Brothers to Atlanta. That was beautiful because I wasn't a DJ, I was a promoter. As I walked through the crowd, the gratitude I received from people was amazing. It meant a lot. And of course, bringing Mora to Candela. It was legit. It was an artist that I've been trying to book for two years, and when it finally happened, we sold the heck out of District!

What do you attribute your success to as a DJ?

Honestly, I didn't know what success was, or what it felt like, until recently. I purchased a house, my dream house. It was like, oh this is why I work my ass off! That became my definition for success. But I never saw my career as a success. I just saw it as doing something that I really love. I never did this for money. I never did it because I wanted to be successful. I always did it because I love it, and I wanted to share that love and create experiences for people.

If I can create a moment for someone by playing a certain song that takes them back to a special time, then that's what makes it worth it. Especially playing Reggaeton or doing a Latin party at District. A lot of our clients come from South America. When I play something that creates a memory or brings a memory to life for someone - that's success.

Can you share any tips for aspiring DJs who are just starting out?

Yeah. Be humble. That's the best advice I could give you. It's an industry that you can get sucked into.
I've made many mistakes, but I think those mistakes needed to happen for me to get to where I'm at. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Be patient. Your time will come. Do it because you really love it. Don't do it because you want to be the next Pauly D, David Guetta, Tiesto, or John Summit. Each DJ I just mentioned has their own story, and they became superstars because they love what they do. The best advice I can give you - do the work, be patient, and be humble.

Are there any particular venues or events that you dream of performing at one day?

I would love to play in Las Vegas. I also want to do a festival in Puerto Rico because that's where I'm from. I'd love to play to thousands and thousands of people and have my family there. That would be like an end goal. I could retire after that, haha, like, I'm good!

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations that your audience can look forward to?

A goal of mine has always been to take Candela to Puerto Rico. It feels right. It's home - and it's already in the works. There are a few festivals in the works, both performing and curating one that's coming to Atlanta in October. We're doing Perreologia in Miami as well.


Lastly, what can fans expect from your upcoming performance at District Atlanta, and is there anything special you have planned for the show?

Something cool coming up at District is the Copa America After Party for the Argentina -Canada game. We're hosting the after party in July. It's going to be something special and different. I think that will be something to look forward to.

Hopefully after reading this interview, people will tell me what they'd like to see. I'm all about engaging with the fans. Every time I DJ, I try to play something different, play something refreshing. But I love to hear from the fans. So, you know, let me know what you want to hear!

Get Tickets Now to Candela at District!