DJ UnclesNephew; On innovation, reinvention, and the music

DJ UnclesNephew on Asbury Park, NJ Boardwalk. Photo by Carlo Anthony
DJ UnclesNephew on Asbury Park, NJ Boardwalk. Photo by Carlo Anthony

What new with DJ UnclesNephew?  

In today’s age of rapid fire information, it seems that anyone with a laptop and a mixing program is suddenly a “DJ.”  Sometimes though, there still are artists who respect the history of the craft of DJ’ing. They pay homage to the art while making their own creative kinds of music. DJ UnclesNephew been a part of collaborative efforts (more on that later) but is now taking center stage on his own. He has been making a name for himself in New Jersey, New York City, and Provincetown. I caught up with this Central Jersey based mixmaster about his beginnings behind the decks, his own distinct sound, and who some of his biggest musical influences are.

You have gone through several iterations in your musical career. The most recent is being DJ Uncles Nephew. Tell me about your current DJ career…

DJ Uncles Nephew: My current DJ career is going so well and I owe so much of it to my fans and supporters. It goes without saying that my involvement with Grapefruit Sound Lab offered up a lot of opportunities for me to create my own brand. UnclesNephew is a concept that was born with my partner of fourteen years, Shawn Muldoon. He is also formerly of Grapefruit Sound Lab, and my nephew Nick Caporaso (our part-time photographer). The long and short of it is that Shawn and I raised Nick from his formative teenage years . And he moved out on his own in his early twenties. Our shared love for all types of dance music formulated the moniker UnclesNephew, as it was always intended to be an artist collective.

For those that have not heard you, what is your DJ style, and who do you garner most of your influences from? 

DJ UnclesNephew on Asbury Park, NJ Boardwalk. Photo by Carlo Anthony
DJ UnclesNephew on Asbury Park, NJ Boardwalk. Photo by Carlo Anthony

DJ: My DJ style is House Music with a twist. I really do love playing for a crowd, and depending on where I’m spinning, my style adapts accordingly. I am always staying true to my sound. My personally curated music library contains tracks from Progressive House, Trance, Deep House, European House, Pop, all the way to modern interpretations of Classic Rock, and everything in between. I have so many family and friends that love music as much as I do that we influence each other with our own experiences and exposure to various artists and venues.

Grapefruit Sound Lab lives on

As a former member of the now defunct Grapefruit Sound Lab, what has it been like stepping out on your own as opposed to part of a group? Any chance the old band could get back together and make some of that uniquely creative music again? 

DJ: I’m happy to report that Grapefruit Sound Lab lives on. It was always intended to be a collective with temporary involvement. It was a great six years of experience, learning, and creativity that I will never forget. It’s much more difficult trying to make a name for yourself on your own; everything falls on you, no shared glory and no shared blame. I would always welcome the opportunity to make music as part of Grapefruit Sound Lab, we created incredible art together.

Where have you been spinning since stepping out as DJ UnclesNephew and what has the reaction been? Any favorite spots? Any places you would love to spin still? 

DJ: I love spinning new tracks, a majority of my free time is spent listening and continuing to amass music. I like to think that I’m spinning someone’s new favorite song that they heard first with me. I have been spinning pretty regularly in places like Paradise, Georgie’s and The Asbury Hotel (all in Asbury Park), Rockbar (New York City), The Underground (Provincetown), Rainbow Mountain (East Stroudsburg), Stonewall (Allentown), and The Eagle (Baltimore) before they closed.

The reaction everywhere that I have been has been incredibly positive and uplifting. I would love to spin Stage 48, Le Bain at The Standard (both in New York City), and The Boatslip (Provincetown) as well as any of The Eagle franchises. I’ve been actively working to create an opportunity to spin at The Crown and Anchor (Provincetown). I’m close to booking a gig at Stonewall Bar (Orlando). I’m happy to just play music for people anywhere, so wherever there is an opportunity to play music, I will make every effort to go and turn them out.

What musical artists are really getting your DJ gears grinding right now? Also who are some of your own favorite remixers or DJ’s that have shaped your career or sound? 

DJ UnclesNephew photo by Carlo Anthony
DJ UnclesNephew photo by Carlo Anthony

DJ: I am really loving Sia, Lost Frequencies, Sohn, Alan Walker, Kite String Tangle, Barry Harris and a producer that I found on SoundCloud named Karl Kay. I am always amazed at the creativity that exists in the universe. Some of my early DJ/Producer influences include Peter Rauhofer, Danny Tenaglia, Hex Hector, Sister Bliss, and Steve Lawler.

Who shaped DJ UnclesNephew career? 

What are some of your own earlier musical influences that have shaped your DJ career? 

DJ: My musical taste is so wide and varied, some notable artists that I love are Madonna, Enigma, Robert MIles, New Order, Yaz(oo), and Jasper Forks to name a few. This list grows and changes daily. I am constantly bombarded with new music from DJ distribution channels as well as some very talented friends.

What’s next for DJ UnclesNephew? 

DJ: Up on deck for UnclesNephew is working on original material. I have been continuing my musical education with some engineering courses that will take me well into 2019. I am always in pursuit of knowledge and ways to create. Keep your ear to the ground for some future remixes! In addition, I aim to keep building my brand organically and spinning anywhere I’m invited to.

My MixCloud is definitely helping build the brand as I’ve moved up the rankings pretty quickly in 2018. My podcasts seem to be a huge hit. They offer promoters and club owners an opportunity to hear my style, as well as allowing me to feature some very talented DJ’s. Many that I may humbly call friends. In addition, I am happy to say that I am still creatively linked with both Shawn Muldoon and Andrew Deitch (aka Synes). That allows for some fun and interesting creative times.

What has and continues to inspire your sound and helps you strive to keep achieving different goals in your DJ career? 

DJ: I can honestly say, I love a driving beat and funky bass. They represent the heart and soul of any song that I play. I firmly believe that fans of dance music all appreciate its ability to get you up and moving. My plans for UnclesNephew are huge! I plan to travel the world and play music for the masses. There’s an old adage: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I think that saying represents how I plan to keep achieving different goals in my DJ career. Never a destination, always moving.