Tag Archives: mark larush

WERK! The Retail DJ 1-Year Anniversary Party

9 Jan

Yes, indeed, Retail DJ has turned 1-year old. But after all this hard work, I certainly will not be celebrating alone. . .

I’ll be partying with the help of 8 friends, and you and yours are invited to come!


Join me on Thursday, 1/27/11 for a party you won’t forget:


The Retail DJ 1-Year Anniversary Party

w/ DJS:

EZRAKH / brick bandits

Lil Ray / trophy bar, beauty bar

Butter / submercer, vegas club sao paulo

Shomi Noise / sugarland, rebel cupcake

WooHoo / warmth records, turntable lab

Mark LaRush / flute gramercy, china one


Celebrity DJs (NSR + Dash Speaks) / ella, gallery bar


10 pm – 4 am

Gallery Bar @ 120 Orchard Street, NYC

arrive early for give aways, drink specials, and more!

RSVP via facebook

*flyer credit: Nina Yang

– Retail DJ


It’s November: Time to Party

2 Nov

It’s my month of birth, and while I won’t be actually celebrating my special day until some time in December once Thanksgiving is over I will continue to encourage all of you to party down in my absence. Before the latter days of the month, there are lots of good parties for you to preemptively work off all your Turkey Day weight gain. Here are some upcoming shows at my favorite venues for this month. Click the links for more details:

Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette (Manhattan)

Santos may have been shut down on drug charges, but once they bounce back, go check out these parties:

Public Assembly,  70 North 6th Street (Brooklyn)

Williamburg’s answer to a megaclub has some great acts this month. Miss these if you dare:

Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street (Manhattan)

Retail DJ Featured Artists (all over)

Yes, the folks whom we’ve covered around these parts are busier than ever. Be sure to catch them at their regular gigs and special parties:

Dash Speaks: Tuesdays @ Botanica Bar (Manhattan), Sundays @ The Cove (Brooklyn), 11.24 @ The Blind Barber (Manhattan), 11.27 @ The Bell House (Brooklyn) (w/ Gordon Voidwell + Brahmns)

Lil Ray: 11.5: Fallen Arrows Launch Part w MASEO and Double Dutch (ATL), 11.6: Team Nasty Dance Party w Cool Aide @ The Music Room (ATL), 11.9: Hip Hop Open Mic @ Vibrations Lounge (Manhattan), 11.11: Hip Hop Open Mic @ RSVP Lounge (Queens), 11:15: Lil Ray’s Monday Night Drinking Club @ Heathers (Manhattan), 11.28: I ❤ Hip Hop Sundaze @ Spike Hill (Brooklyn)

NSR: Fridays @ Ella Lounge (Manhattan)

EZRAKH: Wednesdays @ Zamaan Bar (Brooklyn)

Mark LaRush: Wednesdays @ Le Souk (Manhattan), Thursday & Friday (7-10) @ Falucka (Manhattan), Fridays (11-4) @ China One (Manhattan), Saturdays @ Flute Midtown (Manhattan)

Ka§par: select Saturday nights @ Fragil (Lisbon, Portugal)

*to listen to the Exclusive Retail DJ mixes by each artist, visit our mixes page

– Retail DJ



Did I Tell You I Was Throwing an 8-Hour Party?

23 Jul

Well, I am.

Special Event: Retail DJ “Get Dressed for This” Showcase

19 Jul

Did I mention that I was throwing an 8-hour long party featuring 8 DJs? Just in case you’ve been hiding under a music-less rock, check the specs and get dressed FOR this! By the way, I suggest you get there early! There are hot DJs and drink specials from 8-10 just to get your warmed up for the best Wednesday you’ll ever have.

At Retail DJ, I talk a lot about getting dressed “to” something, particularly good music that inspires one to go out, dance, and have a good time. But what if you could find that kind of diverse, fun, and danceable music when you went out? Look no further. I’ve got what you’ve been searching for all along.

Retail DJ presents . . .

The “Get Dressed for This” Showcase

Wednesday, August 4th

8 pm – 4 am

B.East Lounge

171 East Broadway, NYC

Featuring special guest LIVE SETS by DJs:

 Van Scott (NY; Drlkt Freddie, DJs Are Not Rockstars)

Amylulita Manzanita (NY; Nacotheque, Le One Night Stand)

EZRAKH (NJ; The House of Yes, The Coffee Cave)

NSR (NY; Celebrity DJs, Ella)

Dash Speaks (NY; Celebrity DJs, Botanica)

Dick Burroughs (NY; B.East, ITSA)

Mark LaRush (NY; China 1, Le Souk)

and a special “ghost” set by DJ Shomi Noise (NY; Sugarland, That’s My Jam)

With genres ranging from house to punk, electroclash to soul, dubstep to hip hop, techno to baile funk, and dancehall to Spanish pop, you can’t miss this!

8-Hour Party! 8 DJs!
Drink specials from 8-10 pm! $5 shots, $3 beer
Doors @ 8 pm; 21+ w/ ID for admission

To RSVP, click HERE


for more info:

Retail DJ



Van Scott (Mix)

Amylulita Manzanita (Mix)


NSR (Mix)

Dash Speaks (Mix)

Dick Burroughs

Mark LaRush (Mix)



– Retail DJ

What’s Good? Mark LaRush (part three)

15 Jul

photo credit: Ashley Anderson

. . . continued from part two

You mentioned that you had hundreds of sets. In terms of your preparing for a night out, what do you do? How do you pick your music?
I Shazam everywhere I go. If someone’s blasting a song from his car that I don’t have, I’m standing next to the car Shazam-ing it. [laughs] And they’re looking at me like, “What’s this guy’s problem? Is he crazy?!?!” But yeah, everywhere I go. At clubs, I Shazam. At the deli, they’ll be listening to Spanish music. I’m Shazam-ing. So that’s how I prepare for my sets. I download a lot of music from the internet as well—legally of course.

I get a lot of things from the web, the rare stuff. There are so many sites out there, and you just have to go and look for stuff. Sometimes, you can listen to 50,000 songs and only end up finding 2 or 3 good ones. A lot of research goes into it. People think that everyone can just become a DJ, so they play whatever the DJs on the radio play, but then they never develop their own style. Then they just sound like everybody else. Then you can’t spin at a place like Flute Gramercy, you know? A lot of DJs need to do better music research rather than just listening to other DJs.

So what’s the girl situation like? Often times, people think “DJ = pantydropper.” What’s that been like for you?
Well . . . I can’t speak too much to the issue of pantydropping. I have a girlfriend. [laughs]

OK everyone, for the record: He has a girlfriend!
[laughs] Alcohol and women means things get crazy, but I’m really professional about my job. I take it seriously. I give people my business card, invite them to my other parties.

Even if they’re hitting on you?
Yeah, even if they’re hitting on me.

That’s a good idea, and a very smart way to re-route the focus. Has it affected your personal relationships at all, i.e. with your family or your girlfriend?
Hmmm . . . well, a little bit. Now, I hang out with more girls than my guy friends. I mean, what’s the point of hanging out with a bunch of guys when you hang out with a bunch of girls? [laughs] But yeah, they are just friends, so it’s nothing like that. With the lady situation, I look at it like this: as long as you’re not taking advantage of the situation, you’re good. Like I said, people come out, they get drunk, and don’t know how to act, but I’m really professional. You can’t neglect that. At the end of the day, it’s about the music. Some people just DJ for the fame or for the girls, blah blah blah. But it’s about the music.

Is it hard for your sometimes to just go out, have fun, and relax?
When I am out listening to other DJs, I like listening to stuff that I don’t have. That’s why I go to a lot of parties where the DJs play house music and tracks I’ve never heard. Some of those DJs are so exclusive.

What about your music taste at home vs. what you play out—are they very similar or totally different?
When I’m at home, it’s totally different. It’s just weird. Half the time, I don’t even know the name of what I am listening to. I’m like that with what I DJ too, though, in the sense that if I like it, I put it on my playlist and play it in my set. But the stuff I listen to at home is fast tempo, but still chill, like lounge-y house music.

Continue reading

What’s Good? Mark LaRush (Part Two)

14 Jul

continued from part one . . .

Where is your family from?
Guyana. It’s actually South America, but they still call it the “West Indies.”

Yeah. Culturally speaking, they are more connected, so that makes sense. What kind of music did you grow up listening to in your household?
Reggae, calypso, old school, disco . . . thanks to my parents. My father even had vinyl. He wasn’t a DJ, but he had vinyl.

Did you ever play any of that music out?
Oh absolutely! I was a reggae DJ before I started spinning anything [else]. I used to DJ my friends’ and family’s parties, and we’re all West Indian. So it was all about bringing out the speakers and spinning for a block party. It changed, though, when I started having more of an interest in music.

Does anyone beyond you in your family DJ or work in the music industry or are you the only one?
Not professionally. I’m pretty much the only one.

Do you remember your first professional gig, and can you tell us a little bit about it?
Oh man. That’s like a million gigs ago. [laughs] I started when I was 14, and my first professional gig was probably when I was about 18. I was spinning at Culture Club. That was probably my first real gig. I was still an amateur to the club [scene], so I was pretty nervous back then because I was used to pretty much just spinning for my friends and I know what they like. That was challenging, but eventually I just thought about it and realized that this was the direction I wanted to go. What’s the point of being a DJ if you know what the people like? It’s better when you walk into a packed room, with people from 20 different nationalities, and you don’t know anyone there . . . then you just kill it. I think that’s what makes you good.

Do you have any bad experiences from DJing?
Yeah, a lot of things happen, you know? People get drunk and throw alcohol (which has sometimes gotten on the turntables). Mainly stuff like that, but that’s pretty much it.

What about really wild experiences in a good way?
I think ALL the parties are crazy! There are a whole lot of wild nights in China 1. That’s probably the craziest of the parties I DJ. It’s good crazy—they like to have a good time. Flute has a bit more of an upscale crowd and it’s more chill. I like it because it creates a nice balance for me.

How’s crowd interaction been for you?
My thing is body language. When I see people moving, it puts in a direction where I should go with the style and genre of the music. If I start playing some Madonna, and I see that the ladies like it, I go in that direction. If I play some Jay-Z and I see that the crowd loves it, the set goes hip hop. So my thing is body language. I don’t knock DJs who stick to their set. If you have enough sets, it’s not a problem. You can spin for any crowd. It’s just that most DJs don’t have enough sets.

You have to every genre down pat. If you see my playlist, you’ll see I have hundreds of sets. Everyone can’t freestyle for 6 hours, so you need to be organized.

Do you ever take requests?
Yeah, I do—if it’s good!

What makes a good request vs. a bad request?
Let’s say I’m playing from Jay-Z. The crowd’s feeling it and everybody’s having a good time, and some girl comes up and requests some crybaby Mary J. song. How am I gonna mix this hype song with a crybaby song? I mean, maybe I play it towards the end of the night, when everyone’s tired and ready to go home. But a lot of people ask for requests, and some of the requests are horrible. They would make me look bad. I took requests before and literally saw the crowd leave. So I don’t really take requests. I think DJs should know whether to take requests or not.

Sometimes, people make requests, and I was just about to play the song. That’s a good request. It has to make sense. If I’m playing Lady Gaga and everyone’s loving it, don’t ask for some old school R&B song. It’s not gonna go.

check back later for part three, the photoshoot, and the mix!

What’s Good? Mark LaRush (part one)

13 Jul

photo credit: Ashley Anderson

When I first met him, he was fashionably late. We would be meeting in a barbershop in Queens, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. With a residency at China 1 and Le Souk, I knew that he had skills, but I had no idea what was in store for personality. Fortunately for me, Mark LaRush was able to put talent and an interesting background into one very handsome and poised package.

Mark was nice enough to take time from his insanely busy schedule to meet with me a few months back to talk about his upcoming projects, his early introduction to music, and his secret love for electronica. Always willing to open the minds of his audience, DJ Mark LaRush makes commercial DJs look good. In an era with more mainstream DJs spiraling downward into track-jumping after the first few bars of played out pop songs and rehashed hip hop, Mark challenges the average clubgoer by easing them into deeper music and making them love it before they leave the premises.

So without much further ado, take a moment to step into the mind of a very focused man with a musical vision that can appeal to just about everyone and find out What’s Good? with one of New York’s finest, DJ and producer Mark LaRush:

It seems, at least via facebook, that it’s always “Mark LaRush here, Mark LaRush there.” It makes me wonder whether or not you have a clone! Can you tell the readers a bit about all of your residencies?
I’m a resident Monday night at Le Souk Harem. It’s at a different place now, but it’s the same party, same promoter, just a different location. I’m also at Flute Gramercy on Thursdays. It’s a really nice, upscale, lounge. Fridays and Saturdays, I’m at China 1. That’s by far one of the hottest spots. I love that residency! It gave me more opportunities. They gave me the green light to DJ how I wanted and really let me show my skills. From that, a lot of other people wanted to work with me.

All of the residencies are really different. When I play a venue, I don’t always do the same thing. As a DJ, I wonder how people can use things like Serato and mp3s and just spin one genre. They gave you that so you could be better! So I spin everything. Every venue is different.

Considering you have so many residencies, how do you keep things from being repetitive?
Well, a lot of times, you repeat. But eventually, YOU get tired of repeating, so you just start working on new things. You don’t want everyone to be tired of you. I get tired of myself first! [laughs] That’s when my sets change up. This is how I look at it: if you listen to me spin every week, you probably won’t hear a difference because you come every week. But if you come a month or two months apart, you’ll hear the change. That’s pretty much how it works.

Would you say that each crowd likes a different type of music?

Le Souk typically wants me to spin house music. I have no problem with that; it’s cool. China 1 is more hip hop, but I still spin house, R&B. . . I mash it up real good, you know? The reason I spin a lot of house and mashup stuff is because I like spinning for open-minded people. For example, if you have a crowd that just likes hip hop and that’s it, it can turn into a crowd you don’t want. You want a crowd that’s nice, that’s buying drinks, that’s have a good time. So by spinning old school disco and mashing everything up, it shows what kind of people you have in there. If you just spin hip hop and they don’t want to hear old school disco, that’s the crowd you don’t really want. Music says a lot; you’d be surprised.

By me spinning that way, it creates a positive energy.

When you refer to “old school disco,” or “old school,” period, who comes to mind for you?
Prince! Um, what?!? [laughs] I’m a Prince fanatic. Michael Jackson . . . Madonna . . . there are so many.

What about the house and/or electronica you spin at places like Le Souk? Who are some artists that frequently show up in your sets?
Right now, David Guetta. I spin mainly mainstream stuff, but I’m into more underground acts as well. I went to Kiss & Fly the other day, and the house music there was amazing. The music there was sick, and I’m trying to go more in that direction with my music. I’ve been listening to A LOT of house recently!

Beyond visiting other venues, what are some things you do to research new music and what is the creative process like for you when you’re putting together a set?
I find one song that I really like, and I create my sets around it, making a build up to that particular song. Recently, as funny as this might sound, I used “Party in the USA” [by Miley Cyrus]. It was actually a hip hop set—a really fun hip hop set. I had a Biggie remix to complement the song. It had the same beat, so it went perfectly. I got the fellas hyped and I got the ladies hyped all at the same time.

Nice. You mentioned Serato, but do you use other equipment and/or programs as well?
Serato is the main thing I use in the clubs, but when I’m practicing, sometimes I don’t even use Serato, I just use my records. I still have records in the house.  I’m actually a real DJ! [laughs] I still have vinyl, so sometimes, when I feel like it, I’m just at home playing my records—without Serato!

That’s what makes you good, if you ask me. You could watch the screen all you want, but…That’s the thing with a lot of new DJs that are coming up. They don’t know anything about NOT watching the screen. When their laptop crashes, that’s all they have. I could just go home and get my records! [laughs] I still have my Technics 1210s. With CDs . . . I like those too, but the turntables are more comfortable for me—I can’t do the CDs. I like to feel the record, you know?

I am just getting into Ableton because I am make my own music now. I also use Reason, which I use to make mashups. I’m working on projects with other artists right now, so I have to get into Ableton Live. That’s a must. It’s fun, though. It’s like a videogame, if you ask me!

What got you into DJing? Was it a specific song or genre that really inspired you or something deeper?
I really think it was my background. My family likes to party and dance. I always like to watch people dance. My being West Indian, I like to dance! I have rhythm, and I like listening to music—all types of music! That’s pretty much how it started and how I became a DJ . . .

Check back here for part two soon!

– Retail DJ

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