Photo By James Norton
(Published in the June 2010 issue)
DJ Schoeny prides himself on blowing minds seven days a week. Whether he’s spinning at his bi-weekly residency at Side Bar in the Gaslamp, at El Camino in Little Italy on Sundays or at Thrusters in Pacific Beach on Wednesdays, his ubiquity has made the tall, tatted-up spinner one of the most in demand DJs in the city.
The fact that he’s full-time and able to completely devote his time to his craft makes his skills on the turntables that much better.
“This is my life. This is all I want to do,” says Schoeny.
This work ethic came early for Schoeny. Back in the day, he was just Justin Schoenberger, a shy music lover who stumbled onto
spinning while hanging out with his DJ neighbors in Modesto. Even when he had a stint in the Navy, Schoeny says he would buy new equipment wherever he was stationed, which led to gigs in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan.
By the time he got back to the U.S., eventually making it to San Diego in 2005, he was already way ahead of the curve compared to most of the local DJ scene. He was a percussionist growing up, so has a keen ear for those one-of-a-kind beats that really get people moving.
“Every DJ has a genre or something that they really like to play, but I’m really all over the place,” says Schoeny of his particular style. “I get booked for house [music] nights as well as rock nights, but that makes me very well-rounded.”
Even after playing this year’s Winter Music Conference in Miami and opening for the Black Eyed Peas at last year’s Street Scene, Schoeny remains humble and promises anyone who hears him that he’s going to bring it, no matter the venue.
“Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. I’m proud of those accomplishments, but there’s always something awesome that’s going to come out of every gig. Whether it’s a small bar or a huge event, it’s always going to be fun.”