Central Texas DJs Set the Pulse For Area Nightclubs

DjDru-pic-2No one sets the stage for Central Texas nightclubs like the disc jockeys that play the music the crowd wants to hear. A good DJ can mean the success or the failure for dance clubs, and one of the top  DJs in the area is Andrew Valero — aka DJ Dru. Groove took a few minutes to talk to the man with the music in-between all his gigs.

NAME: Andrew Valero



GROOVE: Which clubs do you currently work in?

DRU: I Dj at Austin’s On The Avenue every Thursday, Friday and every other Saturday. The club owner has 2 other venues here in Waco (Junction 84 & Halftime) and from time to time he will rotate the Djs around.

GROOVE: Are there other venues in the area or around the country where you work periodically?

DRU: Currently, most of my gigs are in McLennan County but certainly not limited to just McLennan County. I’ve had gigs in Killeen and the DFW area as well as in other states such as California and Nevada. I’ve had the opportunity to open up at concert events for artists such as T-Pain, LL Cool J, Mya, Run DMC and most recently the Ying Yang Twins. Also, last year I got the opportunity to Dj overseas. That was quite an experience and would like to do more of that.


GROOVE: Where did you grew up?

DRU: I grew up in South Lake Tahoe, California. If you’ve never been there, go! It’s one of the most beautiful places you’ve ever seen.


GROOVE: When and how did you get interested in music?

DRU: As long as I can remember I’ve always had interest in music and in all types of genres. My parents, especially my father, was a big influence. To this day, he still wakes up early in the morning and the first thing he does is to either play country music on the radio or on his keyboard.

Growing up, my cousins and I would perform during family gatherings. Either dancing, lip singing or karaoke. If you ever see a video of how we were, you would be laughing until you cried. But that’s too embarrassing to show you!


GROOVE: So when did you decide to become a DJ?

DRU: I grew up during the turn tables era, before MP3s were a convenient way to listen to music. I saw a group of Djs named the “Invisible Scratch Pickles”. Don’t ask me about how they came up with that name, but they are known as one of the pioneers of turntablism. Anyone who is into Djs or turntablism knows about them. I went to one of their performances and I was really intrigued by what they were doing. In addition to that, every Friday and Saturday night the radio stations would have a mixshow and I was always curious about how they played continuous music.

What got me started was really a mixture of growing up around music, the love of entertaining people and curiosity of the art of Djing.


GROOVE: How long have you been a DJ

DRU: I’ve been Djing for over 12 years and I am still learning to this very day! I started Djing at nightclubs before I graduated high school.


GROOVE: How many DJs do you think they have throughout Central Texas?

DRU: I don’t even want to guess how many Djs there are in those places. I know there are quite a few ranging from mobile, club and radio djs. There’s a lot of talent in Central Texas. I’ve had the opportunity to work with all types of Djs raging from radio, mobile, nightclub and concerts just to name a few. I enjoy meeting other djs to share ideas and more importantly networking.


GROOVE: Give me a guestimate range of what DJs cost in this area?

DRU: Whether it’s nightclub, wedding or other private events, the cost of a Dj varies by location, amount of hours and type of event. If I had to guestimate a range in Central Texas, it would be around $100-$300 per hour. One of the most important things that people need to be mindful of when hiring a dj, is that good djs are not cheap and cheap djs are not always good. People go to an event, a wedding for example and one of the things that they remember is the entertainment. You get what you pay for.


GROOVE: Do people recognize you on the street when they have seen you DJ’ing in one of the clubs?

DRU: The people who recognize me are those who have been to my gigs or regulars at the club.

Once, I was at a store paying for the items I bought and the cashier asked, “aren’t you that famous Dj in town?”  I laughed and said, “No I’m not famous but I do Dj downtown”.  Apparently she recognized me from an event flyer.


GROOVE: What kind of music do you play as a DJ?

DRU: The nightclub scene in Waco is predominantly Hip Hop and currently I hold residency at Austin’s On The Avenue which pulls mostly a hip hop & Top 40 crowd. But I do try to mix in other genres as well depending on what type of crowd we get that night. I love all kinds of music and consider myself as an open format type of Dj. I cater to the crowd and what the customer or nightclub owners ask for.


GROOVE: Can you explain the difference between house music, tribal music, and other genres of music?

DRU: There are too many different genres now that it’s really difficult to compare each one. Currently there are over 1,200 genres in the world! So there is no simple answer to that. Music is such a personal and subjective form of art and in terms of nightclub it’s hard to please every single person in the room. What’s important is you know how to read and control the crowd. Individually, we know what type of music we like and what songs move us. It really comes down to personal preference.


GROOVE: Tell us a little bit about Amplified Entertainment?

DRU: I am currently affiliated with Amplified Entertainment who is ran by a friend of mine Ken Allen in Northern Nevada. Amplified Entertainment provides a one-stop shop for event promotions / entertainment.

They are rapidly expanding across the country and had asked me to lead the Texas division in building the brand.

You can find out more about Amplified Entertainment by visiting www.amplifiedent.com or our Texas division facebook page @AmplifiedEntTexas


GROOVE: What can we expect from you as a Dj in the near future?

DRU: Besides continuing to Dj at nightclubs, private events and concerts, I will also be looking to expand into other areas of entertainment by venturing out more in event management & promotions.

I want to utilize my business management education & skills in something that I am passionate about. I have several events in the planning stages as we speak. These events will not only be in the nightclub industry, but will also be focusing more in local community involvement and constant networking with key people in the area and local talents.

I’m also working on increasing my social media presence in terms of Dj material in hopes to gain more bookings and get more of an opportunity to travel as a Dj.


GROOVE: How can people find you or get in touch with you?

DRU: It’s really simple. You can follow me in all my social sites (facebook, IG, Twitter, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Snapchat) @mydjdru 

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