ELI ESCOBAR is not only one of the most talented and in-demand DJs around, but he is also one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He’s DJ’d around the world for over 10 years and is one of the founders of the Tiki Disco party at Roberta’s in Bushwick. In 2012, he released “Work It,” and remixed for people like Lana Del Rey, Holy Ghost! and Armand Van Helden. We were lucky enough to have him DJ at our Launch Party. Let’s get to know him a little better…
Has the NYC dynamic been a big influence on your sound over the years?
I’ve been here my whole life. My first couple of years in the Bronx and from then on in Manhattan. Surely, the cultural and artistic diversity of the city in the 80’s had a huge impact on me. Since things have tamed down a bit— maybe not so much. But, it’s still my city and seems to define me to the core. There’s always so much going on here, and no shortage of good DJs playing great music. So being a DJ and producer who always dabbled in a bit of everything, I’m not sure it would have been as easy in another city. When I go to other places to DJ, a lot of the people who come out tend to express frustration with the lack of resources or activity in their home towns. I think it’s safe to say that is never an issue here and it keeps you going and influences you along the way.
Your go-tos guaranteed to make people lose their minds on the dance floor?
Mousse T.’s “Horny” (Radio Slave and Thomas Gandey Just 17 Mix) never fails. If it’s an older crowd I always like to play Janet’s “The Pleasure Principle”. The mix from the 12 inch.
What are you currently listening to? What’s inspiring you these days in general whether in music, art, style?
I listen to Eric B and Rakim’s 4 albums non-stop. But that’s old. I like Bat For Lashes so much you’d think I was a 16 year old girl. As far as style, I’m still dressing the way I did in high school, so I might need to find some new inspiration on the fashion tip.
How long have you been vegan and what led to the change?
One year. I was vegetarian for a good 10 years, then went back to eating everything. Over the last few years, I started really loving to cook and in the process, becoming very aware of how the food industry works. I like to believe that what keeps most people from changing their diets is just ignorance and a total disconnect between what they’re eating and where it comes from. I would hope most people would make the decision to avoid meat and dairy once they were made aware of factory farming and how evil it is. For me, it was a very easy decision and never a struggle at all. Except in airports! I’ve learned to always have a huge ziplock bag in my back pack with nuts and fruit in it otherwise I would die.
Fave vegan spots in NYC and elsewhere on your travels?
I live across the street from the Dosa man who has a food cart at Washington Square South and I eat his food probably twice a week. It’s so good. I also love the restaurant Kajitsu in the East Village. Everyone (vegan or not) should go there and have the extended tasting menu, it’s lifechanging! Honestly though, I think it’s best to cook at home as much as possible if you are choosing to live on a plant based diet.
What’s next for you?
I have a new EP coming out next month that I did with my friend Nomi from Jessica 6 who is the best singer I’ve ever met and a full length album right after that. And more DJing of course!
Eli Escobar photo courtesy of Kenny Rodriguez