I recently had the chance to check out the L Festival on behalf of Chivas Regal, which is the biggest Latin Music Festival in the US! With two days of music, art, and food, all showcasing the Latin American music scene, I knew I was in for a fun time. Attending as a VIP guest, I was treated to the festival grounds, and the weekend’s headlining performances from top acts such as Alejandro Fernandez, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin and Jenni Rivera’s hologram, among other artists.
As a part of the ultimate Chivas Regal VIP experience, I joined The Culture Project, which is a brand-new initiative spotlighting music and celebrating the artists who are helping to reshape contemporary American culture by maintaining their diverse ethnic roots. L Festival performers Alex Sensation and El Dusty are two of the four renowned DJs that The Culture Project is partnering with to create a community that Wins the Right Way.
I chatted with DJ’s Alex Sensation and El Dusty to find out how they got involved with Chivas Regal and the L Festival and got to quiz them on their journey to success; how they got into DJing, how they defied the odds, and what they are up to now they are recognized for their talent. Here’s how it went down.
Alex Sensation and El Dusty at L Festival
When did you know this is what you wanted to do with the rest of your life?
Alex Sensation: I never really knew – all I can tell you is I fell in love with music and with DJing. My older brother took me along to his sets, and I looked after his CD’s and boot, quietly watching, and he gave me an opportunity to play while he went dancing with a girl. I thought it was amazing. I fell in love with DJing, and God opened the doors for me.
El Dusty: It’s hard to say, I’ve been doing it so long. I was asking my dad to buy me stuff when I was in 4th grade. There was a lot of music around me, my parents had big music collections. My older brother was into rock-n-roll, and gangster rap, so I was always immersed in music; it was what I always wanted to do.
You must have been young, what was going on at the time?
Alex Sensation: I was in High School, and working several jobs at the time; I was cleaning offices after school, I did valet parking, and then I did DJing gigs whenever they come up. I actually used my brother’s driver’s license to get to venues because I was only 14 at the time.
El Dusty: I would throw parties after school and have people from school come over. I rigged up all kinds of events, and that’s how the Latin influence happened organically. I loved the drum beats and started using them in my music.
So, you were out there hustling, how do you think that set you apart?
Alex Sensation: I was a worrier and a worker; I was always looking for my next job or my next gig. I was always that guy who battled and worked for everything. I took every opportunity, even when I was scared or didn’t know what would happen. I never knew if I was going to make it or not. I still went for it and did my best, and it gave it my all. To this day, I still do.
El Dusty: My dad taught me to always keep a door open; you never want to close yourself off. He always said to never end in an argument, and I always take that to heart. Anytime I get into a disagreement or a misunderstanding, I always try to be upfront and talk it through. A lot of people respond to that in this industry.
What do you tell people who want to pursue their dreams?
Alex Sensation: I wasn’t going out and playing or wasting time; I wouldn’t hang out with my buddies all day, or play Xbox all day. I knew that if I wanted to make it, I had to learn it, master it, and keep doing it until I was comfortable with it. It took me 20 years to get where I am, and now, I can take time off and go on vacations because I’ve earned it. I follow what I call the 20 Rule; which means that you must work at something for 20 years to master it; the younger you start, the faster you will succeed. So, for me, starting at 15, I was good by the time I was 35.
El Dusty: Be consistent. Also, don’t do what everyone else is doing. It’s hard to weed out those people, but if you do what everyone else is doing, then you’ll just become a trend. Everyone starts to sound the same. Instead, when you do your own thing and do what you love, and keep changing; you create more diversity and authenticity in your music. My parents were really humble people, and that stuck with me – I want to stay as grounded as possible.
Many thanks to Alex Sensation and El Dusty for taking the time to hang out and chat!
You can listen to the full interview with El Dusty here:
You can listen to the full interview with Alex Sensation here: