So You Wanna Be A DJ: Luxury’sFavorite
DJ On What It Takes
August 23, 2013
Mel Debarge is one of the few DJs on the New York party scene who has actually made it. He is a fixture around the city playing for luxury and fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, GQ, Calvin Klein, Nike and Vogue—and he is the resident DJ at the big Manhattan clubs Avenue, SL and PH-D at The Dream Downtown. Lately Debarge, 30, has been working on an EP under the name #AxelFoley (that’s a “Beverly Hills Cop” shout-out) and working on short films to be released later this summer.
We met recently at his recording studio in Soho to talk about the new projects and how he explains his success as a DJ. Here’s part of our conversation.
Hannah Elliott: Those are cool shoes. Are you a sneaker head?
Mel Debarge: Yeah, I kind of make the connection of shoes with things I couldn’t get when I was younger. My mom was not trying to like buy me a $100 sneakers. We could have been millionaires and I don’t think she’d be buying them. It’s just not like that. I wasn’t a huge Jordan fan, but I was a huge Knicks fan and there was a guy called Patrick Ewing and every time Jordan would beat them I would remember the shoe he wore.
HE: What’s your preference for high top versus low top?
MD: I’m a big high-top guy when it comes to that kind of shoe. For comfort.
HE: Durant’s new one is a low top.
HE: Yeah. Leo Chang who designs KD’s shoe for Nike….
MD: I know that guy!
HE: Yeah, he’s cool. Anyway he was telling me all about the low-top being as functional as high-top.
MD: Yeah, well for style I think it depends on what you’re going for but these days I find myself wearing low tops because I feel that it’s more sleek to be out. Comfortable. Fly knits now are more comfortable– they’re so light. Even for work I’ve been wearing these all black ones.
you know this is what you wanted to do with your life?
MD: In high school my freshman year we would have these parties
before Christmas break. All my friends knew I had this DJ