By KJ Philp, May 2015 Issue. Meet the other winners here.
DJ Tsunami first won an Echo Readers’ Choice Award in 2010 as the resident DJ at Forbidden Nightclub. From there he went on to win again in 2012, 2013 and 2014 while mixing at various local hot spots and events.
Echo caught up with DJ Tsunami (aka Jeff Phoenix) following the April 9 awards ceremony and here’s what he had to say:
Echo: To what do you attribute all the positive publicity?
Tsunami: I have a passion for music. I have to make sure I have the right songs, for the right time, for the right people and the right atmosphere. It’s a lot of preparing. I spend hours a day combing through new and existing music and compiling my DJ sets for the upcoming week. Every gig is personalized and, as a DJ, I am emphatic about reading your crowd. As long as you are pleasing most people, most of the time, you are doing it right.
Echo: How long have you been DJing? And how long in Phoenix, if it’s not the same number?
Tsunami: I have been DJing professionally for about 10 years. Prior to that, I played house parties, roller rinks and private events for individuals and corporations.
Echo: Describe your loyal fan base for us.
Tsunami: My loyal fan base is my life! They are ecstatic, enthusiastic and exhilarating. They run the truest spectrum of the rainbow in so many ways with their diversity. I have fans who are trans, gay, bi and straight, men, women, twinks and bears!
Echo: What are some of your favorite events to have been a part of?
Tsunami: Every year Phoenix Pride offers an unsurpassed experience while performing on top of Kalliope at the dance stage. I feed off the crowd’s energy! Rainbows Festival is more intimate than Phoenix Pride and having that connection with your audience is uplifting. Smaller community involved events like Gay Skate are awesome, too, allowing me to step outside of my usual mix with an eclectic blend of tunes.
Echo: If you could be on any reality TV Show which would it be and why?
Tsunami: Well certainly not MTV’s “True Life.” [Laughs] I think it would be fun to be on MTV’s “The Real World” just for the experience. Any dating show would be a blast. I’m also curious how far I would get on “Fear Factor,” hmmm.
Echo: Here’s a random one: Tell us about your earliest Echo memory.
I remember learning a lot the first time reading an Echo Magazine at a coffee shop and enjoying the articles pertaining to the LGBT community.
Echo: Can you share a little-known fact about yourself or your skills?
Tsunami: I am actually a singer. I was signed to a small indie label years ago performing country and R&B but was later dropped when they went under.
Echo: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Tsunami: The best advice I have ever received was from my Grandma who told me that love is universal and unconditional. You should follow your heart and listen to your dreams, and you will achieve happiness.
Echo: What’s the best advice you have to give?
Tsunami: The more you love yourself and others, the more you will get in return.
Echo: Where’s the best place to see you DJing these days?
Tsunami: Every night offers a different experience from Mondays at BS West to Fridays at Charlie’s. One of the most unique and lush places I play at is like no other LGBT nightclub, and that is Paris of Scottsdale on Thursdays.
Echo: Where are you most likely to be spotted when you’re not behind the 1s and 2s?
Tsunami: I love movies! On my nights off, I love cuddling up at home with a good flick or going to the movies.
Echo: What new and exciting things do you have in the works between now and the 2016Echo Readers’ Choice Awards?
Tsunami: Always planning the next big night or event. Currently, our next Gay Skate Party will be in July. Once a month, on Wednesday, I DJ an interactive show at Brodie’s Tavern in Tucson. Every Monday at BS West I create a new theme party and Paris of Scottsdale on Thursdays offers so many things unavailable at any other LGBT nightclubs, including bottle service.
Echo: Is there anyone you’d like to thank? Shoutouts you’d like to make?
Tsunami: I would like to shoutout everyone who has supported any of the events I have been involved with or DJed at, as well as the clubs who had the confidence in me. Your commitment means more than you could ever know.