In celebration of Black Music Month, The Shadow League pays tribute to the black inspired culture of song with essays, editorials, stories, and exclusive interviews from those in the world of music.
Raised in The Bronx, NY and influenced by New York’s finest DJ’s such as Kid Capri, Jam Master Jay & Biz Markie, DJ Mark Da Spot has joined the ranks of Monster’s DJ Collective becoming one of the country’s go-to mixers. DJing for music A-listers including Justin Timberlake and Prince, as well as deejaying at some of the hottest clubs and venues around the world, if you asked Mark what was the most interesting celebrity party or event that he’s worked, he’d simply say, “Events are not like they used to be. Like back in the day, celebrities used to throw parties every week,” says Mark, who’s been the tour DJ for Tank, and TGT, along with mixing at birthday parties for Beyoncé and Kevin Hart. “Now it’s basically clubs, urban clubs, you’ve got your mixed clubs. I’ve done a lot of interesting events, but nothing special. To me, it’s just regular now. They come and party now that’s basically it.”
When Mark deejays at parties and events, they are mostly those within Hollywood clubs like Penthouse, where he has residency, and cities around the world. Although in New York, he sticks to gigs like guest deejaying on BET’s 106 and Park. “Well, I’m gonna be honest with you, the club scene in New York changed. I was just there recently a couple weeks ago and I deejayed at a club, Mister H, Downtown, and that still had the New York feel for me,” he says. “But now from the looks of it, all the big parties are now in strip clubs in New York. They’re not at regular clubs anymore. Back then, there was the China Club, all types of clubs, now it’s kind of like the strip club scene. New York has changed a lot, that’s why I don’t really deejay [there]. When I do go, I’ll just go to 106 & Park and fly back. But I do travel to other places like Arizona, Dallas, Houston, and my residency here in Hollywood. But the club scene has definitely changed a lot from what it used to be.”
Popular for incorporating and mixing different genres of music such as Hip Hop, Reggae, Rock, Pop, Funk, Oldies, and house music, which comes from his experience in New York, on the West Coast he is limited in where he can play house. Which is why he likes the freedom at Penthouse. “When I deejayed in New York, I had to play house music. I had to play some hip hop, some reggae, You have to play all genres of music in New York,” he says. “LA is a little bit different. West Coast is a little different. I can’t really play house music or too much Top 40 in my urban clubs. I kind of like my mixed clubs where I can do that. If you ever partied in New York and went to China Club or went to any of those clubs back then you had to play house music even if it was twenty minutes, just like reggae, where you have to play twenty minutes of reggae and an hour of hip hop. That actually came from New York clubs.”
Aside from deejaying throughout the world, even traveling to Australia for the Christian Audigier Tour in 2009, Mark’s other current endeavors include working to discover and develop new artist through his company Top Floor Entertainment, which also operates a division called Top Floor Parties in Connecticut, run by DJ Craig G and DJ Playtime. He’s also opening his own nightclub in Hollywood. “That’s what I’m working on. I want to kind of take things in my own hands now,” says Mark. “I’m always gonna deejay. I’ll never stop deejaying. But I will probably cut down on my traveling and focus on my own club and nights and getting them to where I want them to be.”