TROY LANDON | Dancing to his own Beat
by Herb Sosa
ONE ON ONE WITH TROY...
You were spinning in South Beach since the late 90’s.
How has music and the nightlife changed here? Why do
you believe that is?
When I first started DJ'ing, the medium of choice was still
records. Since then, DJ's have moved from CD's to laptop's.
Music has gone through many changes too. But one thing
remains true then and now. Good music is good music. The
era of super clubs and after hours clubs has evolved to
lounges and table service. But people still love to go out and
hear music that makes them happy and makes them want to
dance. It is old as time, there has always been dance, it is in
our nature to move to a beat; and that will never change.
Where are you from originally? How has that influenced
I was born is St. Louis. I was always around music, my
childhood memories always involve music. Going to my
Aunt's houses and playing their records for hours. As a
teenager, when my friends would have parties, I always took
charge of the record players and got the people dancing. I
used to play my own records for hours on end. I still have all
of my records. Some of them have been played literally
thousands of times, I would play them over and over, never
getting sick of the music. Music is in my blood, I have to have
it to live.
Is working in clubs and late hours a challenge to having a
stable relationship? How?
Not at all, I am blessed to be in love with my best friend,
Michael. We have shared our lives together since we were
teenagers. We love to go out dancing, and he supports me
completely. He is an artist and his creative talents have often
been used in my events. In one of my early residency's, he
would come up with the decor and lighting that would change
every week. Michael has managed clubs, including
producing elaborate events that involved stage productions
of famous plays and movies. We have worked together to
produce weekly tea dances, and over the top weekly drag
productions for many years.
Is there a difference in spinning for a gay or straight crowd? How?
Playing for a gay crowd gives you the chance to take more risks musically. Gay people are very music
oriented and you can really open up and give them music that might not always translate to an all
straight venue. That being said, the clubs and lounges now are much more mixed and really even
playing in what people think of or consider a "gay" club is going to have a big mix of straight people.
And a lot of "straight" clubs are full of gay people as well. You have to know your crowd, and play
appropriately, but it is not as black and white as maybe 10 years ago. But as I said before, good
music is good music.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in the business?
Never ever burn bridges. I have not necessarily burned any bridges, but I have seen others do so.
One thing about the club business, someone who is a bartender at a club today, may be managing
a club in 5 years. This business is very much based on relationships. DJ's get booked, based a lot,
on relationships, as well as reputation. You need to always be aware of how you treat people, they
may open doors for you in the future.
If a young Troy was starting today, what advice would you give him/her?
Trust your instincts. Choices I have made have lead me to this amazing point in my life where I get to
do what I love. At times, I might have questioned decisions about choices, like moving to Miami
Beach for example. I was drawn here, but I had never been here. I literally moved here without ever
visiting, there was something calling me. I now know why, I was supposed to meet certain people
that opened doors to my becoming a DJ professionally. I am so glad I listened to that inner voice, it
was right. I cherish the people I have in my life and am so grateful to everyone who has supported
me over the years.
What is on your ipod now?
I am loving Madonna's new album, still loving anything Gaga. But my favorite music that I listen to
most on my Ipod is classic gospel house music. The kind of music you would hear in the early
morning hours at Pump or Twilo back in the day. The lift your hands in the air and shout music.
I love me some big diva disco/gospel music.
If you had to pic one all-time favorite album, what would it be and why?
"Blood" by This Mortal Coil. It is a somewhat obscure album, from 1991, This Mortal Coil is a
collaborative experiment with members from groups such as Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance.
The music is dark and haunting, a lot of cello's, violins, and piano's with lyrics that are at once beautiful and intense. Every time I have
played this album, at say a dinner, I hosted in my house, people always react with the "who is this" question. Think Kate Bush, also one of
my very favorites.
Where do you see music and clubs in the future?
I am very optimistic about the future of music. We went through a period in the last 8 years where people stopped going out to clubs, as
much, as say in the late 90's and first few years of the last decade. Club life in general has cycles, the 70's had a big explosion of dance
club's and people said it would never come back. It came back, it always does. I think we are coming upon another wave of club growth,
and it is going to be great. You can see the beginnings of it in Miami Beach, there are some amazing new "super" clubs that are attracting
the attention of music people around the world.
I am happiest when…
...I am dancing. Very simple, I LOVE to dance. And when I am not on the dance floor dancing myself, I love to be the one playing the music,
that makes people dance. I know how good it makes me feel to dance, and if I can make others feel that good, there is no greater honor.
I am very blessed indeed.
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I am loving
album, still loving
anything Gaga. But
my favorite music
that I listen to most
on my Ipod is
classic gospel house
music. The kind of
music you would
hear in the early
morning hours at
Pump or Twilo back
in the day. The lift
your hands in the air
and shout music. I
love me some big