Fast becoming an in-demand remixer at the major label level is New Jersey-based Denny Tsettos. Putting his stamp on La Bouche, Le Click, N'Sync, Rozalla, Alexia and quite a few other high profile pop projects over the last six months, there's no question in our minds that Tsettos is a name to be on the lookout for as a remixer as well as bangin' track producer.
Besides being a remixer of the fresh-faced, he's also one of the Tri-State-Area's most influential DJ's doing his thing weekly at Sayreville, NJ's Abyss on Friday and Seaside Heights' Temptations on Saturday. Clubs that are in the new school of suburban nightlife where they don't rely on the playlists of the local radio station but with a crowd who lives for the every beat of the DJ. Following Tsettos example as well as other DJs who are as passionate, these clubs are in the same league as their New York City counterparts.
Tsettos also works hard outside the studio and DJ booth. With two years as promotion-man at the new defunct Popular Records behind him, Tsettos has plans to start up an imprint through Metropolitan Records as well as doing other A+R and promotion things for them as well. DMA was able to get a few minutes to chat with the man and if to show further proof to the DMA reader that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.
DMA: So, Denny, you're a DJ besides being a producer/remixer... When did you start spinning?
TSETTOS: I started spinning In1985 when I was a freshman in high school doing parties and proms. What inspired me back in the day is when I used to go to teen nights and listen to the DJ's play. I loved the music and was fascinated by how they would mix records together. But even before I was going to teen nights I used to listen to 98.7 Kiss FM every Friday night with Chuck Chillout and Sat. night wIth Red Alert -- that was Jr. High 1983, 84
DMA: So you were into hip hop?
TSETTOS: Big time!!
DMA: Did people find it odd that a white kid growing up in the New Jersey 'burbs was into the hip hop scene?
TSETTOS: not really, a lot of my friends were into it too.
DMA: Well then when was your first big break in the clubs?
TSETTOS: It was in 1986 I got a job DJing teen nights at a club named Tsunami in Long Branch, NJ. At the tIme Johnny Vicious and Tony Monte [formerly of S.I.N. and now RCA Records] were working there.
DMA: Did they help you or did you have to do It all yourself?
TSETTOS: I basically had to do it all myself. I used to watch everyone very closely.
DMA: Did you try and emulate these or other DJs or did you have something different going on?
TSETTOS: I would listen to all these DJ's and tried to incorporate my style with what they were doing. My biggest thing was to please the crowd! I always tried to get a reaction from the crowd every time I would play. Whether it was from a cool mix or a great record played at the perfect moment. I feel the skill that takes the longest to develop is programming. It's not only about having the jams. It's knowing how to play them and when to play them.
DMA: Good point. A lot of good DJs could be great DJs If they knew when to play a record. Was this something you mastered from the get-go?
TSETTOS: No. It's a skill I developed over the years playing for different audiences. Doing a teen night, or a 21 and older night, or a classic disco night. A great DJ is a versatile DJ; a DJ who knows what gets people going no matter what the demographic.