In the lexicon of DJ’s and Remixers, Joe Gauthreaux is in a class of his own. From headlining Winter Party, New Year’s Rio & numerous Atlantis Cruises to spinning everywhere from Brazil to Asia, it would seem that this mixmaster has accomplished virtually everything that he has wanted to.
Thankfully for dance floors worldwide, Gauthreaux continues to elevate his game and has recently worked on mixes (with his production partner DJ Lean) on everyone from Diana Ross to Keala Settle to his upcoming work with Inaya Day. I caught up with him to talk his career path and how he got where he is, what it is like working on music for the icons, and he gave me a sneak peek at some of the amazing music he has coming up.
Michael Cook: Let’s start at the beginning Joe, how did you get into the world of DJʼing?
Joe Gauthreaux: When I started going out to the gay clubs, I fell in love with the dance music that was played there, which was totally different from the music I had ever heard before. I became friends with some of the DJs, and convinced one of them to show me how to mix music together. Of course, this was when it cost thousands of dollars to enter the DJ field. I was so passionate about it though, there was nothing that was going to stop me. I skipped meals many times when I started just to buy a record I wanted.
MC: For those that have never heard your sound, how would you describe it?
JG: Well, I think my sound is a constantly evolving thing. As music changes, along with my age or environment, so does my taste. Right now Iʼm all about clean sounds and drums, tracks that have a simplicity to them ,but still sound big enough to command a large room.
MC: Itʼs hard to climb the ladder and become one of the premier DJʼs in the industry today; what do you think the secret is to your success?
JG: I think for me, I just try to work hard, and always give my all. But I also think showing growth is something that has sustained me. Whether it be DJ'ing, then remixing, to writing my own songs & tracks, and have the music ascend to the Top 3 on the Billboard Chart, Iʼm always setting goals for myself. That keeps things new and interesting for me, and hopefully those who come to listen.
MC: What are you most proud of in your career so far?
JG: The thing Iʼm most proud of in my career is that I've always tried to just use the music to sell myself. Even when Out Magazine named me Sexiest DJ of the Year, I kept my shirt on for the photo. Everyone has their own path to choose, but taking my clothes off to try to convince someone to listen to me has never been something thatʼs interest me; and not because Iʼm morally opposed to the concept. I looked up to producers like Peter Rauhofer, Frankie Knuckles, and the Fire Island DJs when I started. They all sold themselves with music, so thatʼs the path I took - Iʼm glad I did.
MC: Your remix projects are always big productions and you have done some amazing work, including a recent project remixing the divine Diana Ross. What was that experience like?
JG: That was such a privilege to work on. My musical partner Leanh & I actually got the original session from 1970 to work from, which was totally surreal. She is a living legend, so to see our official remix on iTunes on the Single with her is just a huge honor.
MC: How do you choose the projects you work on? Any favorite mixes of yours that stand out?
JG: Sometimes they choose us, like the Diana or our official remix of Lady Gaga “Shallow.” But if I had to pick a favorite, I think both Leanh & would I agree itʼs our remix of “This Is Me” by Keala Settle. That remix has reached heights I never imagined, and itʼs been so exciting to see it take on the life that it has!
You are also hitting the road this summer with DJ Leanh, who is your current collaborator. What can the crowds this summer expect to hear from you both?
JG: Right now weʼre both really excited about our mini US tour in San Diego for Gay Pride, & Atlanta for Joining Hearts. Itʼll be our first time playing together so weʼre definitely looking good forward to that! As far as music goes, our remix of “Proud” by Heather Small (f. Dirty Disco & Matt Consola) is finally released - just in time for Pride season!!
MC: Whatʼs next for Joe Gauthreaux?
JG: Leanh & I are working on a couple of projects that weʼre both really excited about. And, I have a new original coming soon with Inaya Day & Bruno Knauer.
MC: What would the Joe Gauthreaux of today tell the Joe Gauthreaux who was just starting out as a DJ/Remixer?
JG: To not worry so much where everyone else is going, and focus on my own path. Anytime Iʼve taken my blinders off, and looked around me instead of looking directly forward, Iʼve lost my way. And while I may not be exactly where I want to be at the moment, Iʼm on my way.
Get An Exclusive Link To Gauthreaux’s Gay Pride 2019 Podcast “Freedom”!