INTERVIEW: From Campus DJ to Celebrity Party Rocker: Jesse Marco Talks New Single, ‘Project X’

There was a time, not too awfully long ago, when Jesse Marco would lug crates of his music across the snowy campus of Syracuse University to DJ… well, anywhere. Bar gigs, sorority formals, college radio stations – the setting, location, and clientele didn’t matter to Marco – so long as he was able to do what he loved: mixing music.

“I love the act of dee-jaying so much,” Marco professed during a phone interview Wednesday on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “At the end of the day, none of that stuff matters to me.”


The “stuff” Marco refers to is the celebrity that he has found and that has found him over the past few years, as his career has astronomically taken off. The native-New Yorker transferred out of Syracuse and in to the New York music scene. There, he linked up with the likes of the late DJ AM and Mark Ronson. Now, Marco regularly spins at the hottest night clubs in the world, and is hired by or performs for almost any A-list celebrity you can think of at the moment. And while it ultimately may not matter, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Marco is now one of the top club DJ’s in the game. After all, if he wasn’t at that club out west almost two years ago, he may not have landed his first blockbuster film.

“I was playing a show in LA, and one of the producers from ‘The Hangover’ was there,” Marco recalled. “He came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, we got this part in this movie and you’d be perfect for it.’ And I was like, ‘What? Okay, sure.’”

A month later, Marco was on the set of “Project X,” having the time of his life as he played a DJ to one of the biggest fictional parties ever thrown. Released earlier this month, the movie is one of the biggest and most talked about productions of 2012.

“I’m happy to bridge the gap a little bit now, and sort of move in to the more musical aspect of the business of dee-jaying,” Marco said. “At the end of the day, it’s awesome playing for certain people, and I want people to hear my music.”

Like many other DJ’s you currently hear on the radio, Marco is making the transition by exiting the clubs and entering the studio. Last month he released “Daddy Cool,” his first single on Big Beat/Atlantic Records.

“The [Electronic Dance Music] thing is really big right now, and it’s not slowing down,” Marco stated. “I can’t deny that it’s helping the DJ scene.”

But while “Daddy Cool” may be a foot-moving, fist-pumping friendly record, don’t write it off as just another dance track. Marco, who regularly fuses a plethora of genres in his live set, reworked the 1976 Boney M. disco hit of the same title.

“I was like, ‘Why is nobody sampling ‘Daddy Cool?’’” Marco asked himself after hearing a couple other DJ’s sample the disco band. “That is the quintessential, at least for me, Boney M. track.”

On “Daddy Cool”:

So, Marco took the original in to the studio and left with his own modern-day take on the record. He believes the new version is versatile, and mass appeal is not something the DJ is shying from.

“I feel like some people are on like some, ‘Oh don’t sell out. Screw the commercial stuff,’” Marco admits. “Like, I want people to hear my records.”

And if Marco’s career continues its rapid trajectory, they’ll be hearing his music, regardless of if they’re at a college campus or a club, sooner rather than later.

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