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There aren't too many 30 year olds with 15 years of professional DJ experience—in fact, San Francisco's DJ E-Rock is probably the only one. For the math-inclined, that means E-Rock got his start on KMEL when he was just 15—the youngest on-air personality in the station's storied history.
"My parents hated it," he says. "My father bought the turntables so I'd get good grades and stay out of trouble, but hated the fact that I was on a path towards something that wasn't really a career back then."
What E-Rock's parents didn't know is that he was (also) on a path towards DJ dominance in the Bay Area and beyond. As the entertainment director for the city's biggest club, host of a hugely popular weekly show on the city's biggest radio station, and stadium DJ for the city's beloved baseball team—there's nothing else to call E-Rock's assent but dominant.
Infusion Lounge is a $5 million, +6,000 square foot hot spot in the heart of Union Square and E-Rock is in charge of entertaining the thousands that come to get their money's worth each weekend. Apparently he's doing a good job—Infusion was named one of the top 35 clubs in the world by Condé Nast Traveler and nominated for Best New Nightclub by Nightclub & Bar shortly after it celebrated its first anniversary. "It's my job to make sure that something is always going on and that the music is always on point," he says.
It's a grown-man position that sprouted from his true passion: DJing. Having earned his chops in the pre-Serato days (carrying crates, stickering exclusive 12-inches, walking uphill in the snow without shoes on), his commitment to the craft hasn't wavered since he was the wide-eyed purist spinning house parties. His revere for the art of DJing is apparent on CLUB 997 (formerly Club 949), his Friday night radio show on MOViN 99.7 (formerly WiLD 94.9), where he spins and then hosts guest DJs from around the world. "We try to be a breath of fresh air for Bay Area radio, from the music we play to the DJs we book," he says. Everyone from Crooklyn Clan’s DJ Riz and DJ Sizzahandz, to DJ Scene and the Rock-It! Scientists, have appeared on CLUB 949 (now Club 997), helping it gain traction online with nearly 30,000 downloads each podcast. And don't rule out good ol' fashioned syndication taking the hit show beyond the Bay soon.
As proud a San Franciscan as they come, E-Rock isn't limiting himself to his hometown. After years of booking his own impressive gigs around the country, he recently signed to a management company, furthering his reach as a traveling DJ...something he takes seriously. "It's extremely important to research what's hot in each city; it's how you engage your crowd. I would love to play only what I wanted, but as a DJ, you're there to make several hundred people have fun. Making a difference in someone's night is my favorite part of DJing."