DJ Grant Shapiro does more than just spin the records at the your local night club. He travels the world with the best in the business, on a quest to become what every person in music strives to be - the best to ever do it.
Creating his legacy one show at a time, DJ Grant Shapiro focuses his energies daily on making waves in his professional career, doing whatever it takes to make quality music for the airwaves.
Grant talks about his humble beginnings into the world of DJ'ing...
"The influence and motivation started for me as a young kid. I had exposure to different records from various genres of music through my babysitter back then, who would take me to school. I was listening to Ice Cube's first album, EPMD, Jane's Addiction (a 90's alternative-rock band) Easy-E and so many other artists and bands being around her. I was fortunate to get that music inside my mind at such a tender age."
"As a teenager, I would watch VHS tapes of guys like DJ Rectangle and QBbert, who would do DJ competitions, which would showcase their DJ battling abilities. It was like an underground movement, you know? And at that point, I knew what I wanted to do."
"I went off and got my DJ equipment, and put in countless hours of practice at home in my bedroom, Including house parties and small gigs and local bars which were really helpful in my development. I also opened up for some really big DJ'S, such as DJ Vice who works for Power 106, and I was still underage at the time."
"By the time I became of age, I truly knew DJ'ing was my calling. I chose music over college and followed what I knew was my calling to breakthrough in the music industry."
Grant Shapiro has performed for thousands of fans alongside multi-platinum superstars Katy Perry, Avicii & N*E*R*D. He even does big time fashion shows on the runway, BCBG is his most recent. We asked about what it these experiences were like for him.
"It's absolutely amazing man. You build these relationships where later you get that call to fly out to another city - or country even, To do something epic in your career."
"I remember getting that call from Stella McCartney's PR team one day who said I was a perfect fit to open up for Pharrell over in Paris. The feeling was like.. whaaaaaa? (Laughs) These are gigs I would normally do for free, but now have become jobs for me. It's just truly incredible."
"Also being in DC and being invited to playing alongside DJ AVICII (multi platimum, award winning DJ) is such a humbling experience. It's unreal, and sometimes can be unbelievably crazy."
Grant effortlessly plays an open format mix of genres; House, Hip Hop, Indie Pop and tracks from all different decades to please all tastes (what's the most challenging aspect of rocking these huge crowds, outside of diversifying the music?)
It all depends on the crowd. Every audience won't be the same, so you have to be prepared to adapt. I do my practice thing where I prepare my sets prior to a show, and still - that isn't going to guarantee you play what the crowd wants to hear.
"The goal is staying current with the trend and bringing a positive energy to the stage. Anybody can play the hits, but it's really all about the originality you bring to spinning these records that get you noticed."
What genre do you enjoy playing around with the most? Why?
"I really have a love for the old school. I like mixing up the older 80's and 90's sounds with some of the more recent hip hop records out currently. Also, Mix a bit of disco and house in there too."
It's fashion season... are you rocking any fashion shows upcoming?
"I've been getting a lot of requests certain times of the year. But as of recent I've been focusing a lot of work with BCBG, who's doing a lot of online fashion segments that you can check out on their website online.
And of course, there's always a new fashion gig to get into. It just all depends on the timing and where I'm at, at the moment."
We asked Grant what was his most memorable moment as a DJ...
"I had a residency with Warwick in Hollywood and after I finished playing the hip hop set I had rocked out to the crowd, The RZA, head of the Wu Tang Clan, approached me and complimented my musical selection in the show.
To get a compliment from RZA was like, whoa.. (chuckles) Very humbling to say the least. This guy is a a legend, you know? I grew up listening to him, and studying some of his productions... I will never forget this moment."
Grant Shapiro is humbled by his passion and thrives everyday looking to make a statement in the music industry.
"I really feel blessed to be able to do what I do. Being able to perform the vast array of genres and having the support from those who support and book the sound I bring forth. I'm very thankful."
Also, jump on his Soundcloud and rock out to some of his newest tunes.