September 25, 2019
Becoming a buzzworthy DJ in the New York City club scene takes years of practice. For the world-famous DJ, Alex Sensation, who migrated from Colombia to New York City as a child, the city became his classroom. It is where he learned how to send a room dancing to Latin music from a young age.
Inspired by his older brother who was a DJ, he started collecting records at the age of 16. Lying about his age, at 17 he began maneuvering his way through New York City as a DJ and eventually secured a gig at the famous Copacabana night club in Time Square.
Recently, after a nudge from Pitbull, he decided to move from behind the DJ booth and step to the microphone. Since 2017, he has released four hit singles. Today, he rocks the turntables in clubs, and commands his presence on the radio, just as well as packed-out concert arenas.
In our continuing series for Hispanic Heritage Month, Alex shares with us his story of learning to control the dance floor at some of the most talked-about parties around the globe. As well as using his voice as a musician, and some of the Colombian artists he is currently inspired by.
SoundExchange: You’re a DJ aka a vibe controller, what are three songs you love to play to get the party going?
Alex Sensation: I start off with “Que va” (by Alex Sensation & Ozuna), then “Te bote” (by Casper, Nio García, Darell, Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny, and Ozuna),and after that “China” (by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, J Balvin, and Ozuna) if its reggaetón.
SX: You first launched your career at the age of 17, at the legendary Copacabana nightclub in New York City, what were some highlights starting your career at such a young age?
AS: I would say it’s getting to see legendary live bands at such a young age and getting to meet salsa artists such as El Gran Combo from Puerto Rico, Oscar de Leon, and Frankie Ruiz. I was able to learn (about) the Latin culture before it became the urban scene that it is now.
SX: After many successful years as a DJ, you’ve recently become an artist yourself. What made you want to get on the other side of the mic?
AS: Well, Pitbull originally gave me the idea. One day he said to me, “Alex why don’t you collaborate with artists, you’ve helped out so many artists with their music careers and you can do what the DJ’s in the house scene do such as Calvin Harris among others, but at a bigger scale because you have a good voice. You can make your brand bigger by producing and doing your own records and actually be an artist on these records.”
SX: What are some of your favorite songs by Colombian artists? New and old?
AS: As far as new artists, I love J Balvin’s songs, Silvestre Dangond, and Maluma. When it comes to older artists, I enjoy anything from Grupo Niche, vallenato from Diomedes Diaz, and you can’t forget Carlos Vives.
SX: How has streaming changed your approach to the business side of music and how has SoundExchange helped elevate your music career?
AS: Streaming has allowed me to reach new places and audiences I can’t reach on my own. It has gotten me out to other parts of the world I normally don’t reach through the radio and it has connected me directly with the listeners. In this new age of streaming, SoundExchange has helped elevate my music career by making sure creators, like myself, are recognized for our contributions and protecting our rights as performers when it comes to royalties.