Former Macklemore DJ Austin Santiago has his fingers on the pulse of whats heating up clubs now.
Former Macklemore DJ Austin Santiago has his fingers on the pulse of what's heating up clubs now. Daniel Pellissier

AUSTIN SANTIAGO (BuildStrong Music Group)

Current top 5 tracks:

Travis Scott & Quavo, "Saint" (Quality Control Music)

Daniel Caesar, "Take Me Away (feat. Syd)" (Golden Child)

Brockhampton, "SWEET" (Question Everything)

Lizzo, "Truth Hurts" (Nice Life/Atlantic)

Aminé, "Spice Girl" (CLBN/Republic)

Crew/label affiliations: BuildStrong Music Group (founder/creative director); Do206.com (vice president); Noodle Gang (founder/creative director)

Styles played: "I got my start DJing for hiphop acts, most notably Macklemore. My style is diverse, but I prefer to play bars as opposed to clubs. My selection tends to be a blend of modern and nostalgia. Funk, soul, hiphop, with a touch of pop and electro. I am way more of a selector than a DJ. I just love discovering music and sharing it with people who will enjoy it."

Events organized: "I curate a few dozen events throughout the year presented by Do206 or BuildStrong, but I also work with Calico (Jacob) to curate an annual beat battle called BeatMatch, which is a ton of fun."

DJing philosophy: "DJing is about striking that balance of leading an audience to new music that is about to blow by leveraging songs they know and love. It's the DJ responsibility to set a vibe and create an audio representation of what they want the room to feel like. Music sets the tone for everything else."

Format: "I learned to DJ on Serato and Technic 1200s, so that is my preferred. That being said, most of the sets I do don't allow for that, as I don't own turntables anymore and I am not important enough to get backline provided. These days you're way more likely to see me playing on a controller and DJayPRO."

Worst request: "I am lucky to play gigs where requests aren't often an issue. But I have had more than a few people ask me to play music that makes zero sense based on the theme/vibe of the night. The worst one ever was probably when I was asked to play Taylor Swift at a hiphop night. No amount of bribery could make that request okay."

Upcoming events: "No shows coming up at the moment. (Book me?) I have been keeping it to only a few shows a year, but I hope to play more like once a month in 2018. There are so many incredible DJs in this city I tend to book other people over playing a set myself."