Joe Gauthreaux used to write poetry in high school, he told Nexus when he came for an interview on air with Todd Michaels and Ron S. And, after spending so much time crafting the perfect remixes, it’s finally come time to use that love of writing in his music. That’s right, DJ Joe Gauthreaux is now writing songs!
Even better, one of the tracks has been released: “You Are My Family (featuring Inaya Day).” Gauthreaux (pronounced Goh-troh) gave us the whole behind-the-scenes story, from writing the song, to approaching Day, to the great experience he had working with her.
He also got a bit personal- Ron S pointed out that he and Gauthreaux have a few similarities: they are both gay, southern, have been DJing for a long time, and have a bit of a nervous stutter. Gauthreaux revealed that his stutter was something he’d been working on since he was quite young, but that it still comes out occasionally.
And, of course, the most important question: why do all DJs wear black? Gauthreaux’s answer? You’ll have to listen to the interview below to find out!
Todd Michaels: We’ve got Joe Gauthreaux here, world renowned gay circuit Dj.
Joe Gauthreaux: I’ll let you say that. Yeah [laugh]
TM: Welcome to Chicago. Not your first time?
JG: No, not my first time at all.
TM: Where do you normally play out here?
JG: I usually play here about like three of four times a year. Usually I play at a club which I’m playing at tonight called hydrate, and then once a year I usually do a big party during Market Day’s weekend. Yeah so, it just depends on the weekend but usually my home is club hydrate.
Ron Slomowicz: Do you find it easier to be a Dj based in New York rather than LA?
JG: A lot of my work is more based on this coast as opposed to out west. So instead of flying cross country almost every week, now I just fly cross country like a few times a year to do a few gigs out there, or if I’m going overseas or something like that but yeah most of my work is in Europe or this side of the U.S.
RS: You’re also in the studio doing a lot of music yourself now.
JG: I am, yeah that another big reason why I really wanted to move back to New York, is that I’m starting to write my own tracks now so that’s where a lot of the people that want to work with live. So umm, yeah there are a lot of reasons that brought me back east.
TM: Where can they get your music?
JG: Well the current single “UR my family” with Inaya day is on iTunes and on my soundcloud, all the usual places.
TM: She has become one of my favorites! When I first started the station it was about 2011 and I always knew of her from the “Horny” song. So we played her, we did the interview, she came in and I was star-struck, and that was 2012 and then we did Miami two years afterwards, and I’ve met plenty of artists in the past and then you meet them again and they don’t remember you. She was the only one that not only embraced me, but she physically embraced me. She’s like “OMG I totally remember you”….mainly because I messed up her name, but other than she was so wonderful, she’s such a great person to work with, so positive.
JG: She is such a joy to be around, she’s so sweet. Everything you said about her is completely true and you know, It’s kinda funny because I’ve been recording my own music with a couple people and she’s definitely one the biggest name that I’ve recording with so far. And she’s actually the least amount of work. There are a lot of songs recorded that have come out yet, so I’m not throwing anybody under a bus here. There’s probably a couple that will never see the light of day just because the song didn’t work out or something, but she was like the least amount of work. She had the least amount of demands, she had zero demands actually, and she just wanted a good song. Other people were like “I need all the green jellybeans taken out”– you know that kind of thing. It was just way more work than it was worth.
She’s amazing and you know the good thing about Inaya, just around the subject of her –is why I love her so much and why our song I love it so much is because you really believe every word that she says. And now that I’ve been recording my own music, it’s such a whole different animal, you’re realizing that your song lives and dies by the person that sings it. When she sings I almost want to cry sometimes it’s amazing.
RS: When you work with artists, do you usually write the lyrics first or do you approach them with the track how does it normally work?
JG: Well I just started, so this is the first real vocal anthem that’s come out, even though I have about five or six already recorded and done with a lot of other artists that I’m really excited about. But for me I kind of approach more of like a singer-songwriter cause that’s just how the ideas come to me– I used to write poetry in high school. And I just kind of, I don’t want to say that I kind of “fell into” DJ’ing but I started DJ’ing and that just kind of took on over my creativity if you will. But then when I started to produce and then do remixes and learned to make music, I realized that could merge those two things I love doing –which is to write and make music. And this has just made me so excited again to do what I do, and there always is a level of excitement with what I do, but like I said you definitely have some peak and valleys in where your excitement falls, and my excitement now is definitely like mount Everest.
TM: Do you feel — you know now that you’ve had Inaya and you’ve had these other women that you’ve said you’re working with …
JG: and boys…hmmm hmmm hmm
TM: oh and boys ok!
JG: I’ll actually tell you there’s a song with Jason walker that I’m really excited about, and Abigail you know “Let the joy rise” Abigail — that’s going to be our brand new single after “family”. So those are two big names that I’ve recorded with and both them were sheer joys as well– sorry to interrupt you.
TM: No! Because … one of the questions was going to be…. who have you worked with and who’s on your wish list?
JG: Well there you go!– Kristine w.
RS: Didn’t you remix like three or four other songs? (Kristine W.)
JG: I think one or two of them. I know that one of them was something with “music ….at the….” she’s gonna hate….
RS: “The power of music”
JG: oh my god! Kristine I’m sorry. In my defense that was one of my first remixes I’ve done that was like back in 2008 or 9 so it’s been a few years. But yeah “The power of music”, and it actually went #1 on the chart.
TM: My come to realization moment was when I had Inaya day, Kristine W., and Crystal Waters all were on Miami, and they were all just like that gaggle of 90’s girls were just like in there and I’m just like this is so cool, “surreal moment” that’s what I was looking going for.
JG: You actually said it, Crystal Waters — knock on wood, I actually have a song idea for her. And I can only do so much a onetime, but it’s like it’s in my head and I have a little scratch track on my computer, but I’ve already chatted with her about– it it’s just a matter of us finding the time together for us to do it.
RS: I’m actually got a real serious question. I just got back from Amsterdam dance event and there was a major issue all week long and I’ll just pose a question to you; why is it that all dj’s wear black?
JG: do they? Let’s get deep, deep in black– I wear black because honestly it just looks better on me because if you looking and me right now, I’m about as white as a ghost, I never tan. It’s definitely one of my little secrets that I do to try to stop the process of getting older. So yeah, black just makes you look the least like a ghost honestly, and it definitely helps whenever you’ve had too cheeseburgers at four am after gigs. Black kinda helps in that department.
RS: You and I share many things in common. We’ve been DJ’ing for twenty years. We’re both gay boys from the south, and we also stutter. And I’m wondering how that affects you when you meet people and working in the industry.
JG: You know its kinda funny I used to have a really bad speech impediment. It comes out every now and then, I’ve done a couple times through this interview actually, but growing up I literally couldn’t say one word. I’m not trying to make fun of people who stutter but I just want to give you an example of how I used to stutter, it was like “da’da’da’, ch’ch’ch”, It was a really bad speech impediment.
So I had to go through a really intense speech therapy until I was about five or six. People who don’t have this don’t understand that literally every word that comes out of your mouth, you’re have to think about how not to get it out in the wrong way. Because your brain is actually thinking about the things that they teach you about how to speak basically, most people don’t have to think about it because it’s like having to use your hand –you don’t think about having to write, you just do it. So it can be a challenge, but it’s something I’ve kinda lived with my whole life and I don’t really, I don’t know, it’s just one of those things.
RS: It’s emotional to hear you talk about because it’s something I struggle with also –so thank you for talking about it.
TM: Is there any kind of social media handles that we can promote?
JG: Just type in my name into the usual places.
RS: Wait –why don’t you spell your name?
JG: OK, first name is Joe, that’s the easy one j-o-e. And the last is G-a-u-t-h-r-e-a-u-x its’ a lot of letters. It’s actually pronounced “GO-Cherr-row”. There’s a lot of letters in there that just have no rhyme of reason for being there, but its kinda funny because if you’re from the south everybody can say it exactly right because it’s a very southern Louisiana name, but anywhere else it gets a lot of different ways said.
Listen to “You Are My Family” below. You can also listen to a few remixes thereof if you visit Joe Gauthreaux’s SoundCloud.