Some months ago I found myself mindlessly gyrating on the deck of the Creekside Lounge, located on 6th St. in Austin. At the time I did not know anything about the DJ who was manning the turntables and pumping lose-your-mind notes through the night air. The more I learn about Orion, (such as the time he won Best of Austin’s Best DJ to Rally the Rumpshakers, or toured with hip-hop group Yo Majesty, or the time he was really nice to me) the more I realize he is just a nice fella.
JD: Tell me bout your DJ alias. When did you come up with it? What does it mean to you?
DJO: DJ Orion, well Orion, is my real name. Orion Rafael Garcia Padilla Palacios Angel Franco DeLeon to be exact. I use my real name because I’m truly not fond of Alias’ or monikers for myself personally. It’s difficult enough for folks to say my name correctly as it is, I didn’t want to confuse anyone anymore than need be.
JD: Why do you DJ? How did you get started? What made you want to start?
DJO: I did for a couple reasons. One might not be able to tell but I’m socially awkward from time to time. Djing is a way for be to be around beautiful people without having to engage in what would no doubt be a peculiar conversation for anyone. I moved to Austin in ’99 and I met a cat who had turntables. At the time I was grounded from playing with the band I was in (guitar for Zoo Keeper; no not that Zoo Keeper, a lesser known one) so I’d hang out at my homies house going through his record collection. I eventually grew so fond of it that I decided to save up for turntables. I would just grab a stack of records and see what I could come up with. It turned out that I had an ear for it, matching beats from genres that didn’t make sense going together. That intrigued me more and more and to this day I’m still bouncing between genres and I love to do it. It’s my favorite way to DJ.
JD: Describe your music influences and what kind of tunes folks can expect when they step on the dancefloor.
DJO: I grew up with Latin music (mostly Salsa and Cumbia) and Classical music (symphonies and operas). That’s the kind of stuff I’m throwing in more and more these days just cause I’m really starting to appreciate the value of my past. When I first started DJing it was mostly hip hop and dance hall and all the stuff my parents didn’t want me listening to (Jefferson Airplane, Alvin Lee, The Doors etc). The dangerousness of it all appealed to me and it still appeals to other people. To answer your question directly though, people can expect to not here the same set twice. I never/rarely plan a set out. I play off the crowds, starting slow and going fast mostly and if alloted enough time, slow again.
JD: What are your DJing aspirations?
DJO: As far as short term goes, 2008 brought me everything I asked for which was basically just playing outside of Austin more. I toured France and the entire US. I’d like to do that again for sure. My main goal this year is to work on my own productions and incorporating those tracks into my set to add some original flare to my sets. I’m also very interested in starting a sort of DJ union in Austin and central texas. There are to many clubs that just don’t appreciate the DJ and what a good one can do for a club. I want to see everyone getting paid a little more, that would make me happy.
JD: Complete this phrase:
DJO: When I look out on the dancefloor and see people dancing I feel like dancing myself, pointing to the stars in the solar system and always paying attention when I hear a good combination of songs and I love sugar and also everyone ever born.