Beneath the curved brim of DJ George Garcia's beige hat and above his modestly low-cut t-shirt and half-zipped coat beams something that you can see plain as day from the dance floor of any club as you peer towards the DJ booth, or even in a low-key conversation here in the Joonbug offices: A smile. "You’ll never not see a smile on my face," he boasts. "That’s how I was raised."
Coming from a boisterous Spanish family and background, Garcia has always been involved in parties and family gatherings, and, frankly, always around a crowd of people. "I plug in my music and my dad jumps up and starts dancing and grabbing people out of the crowd," he explained about a family gathering, which usually turns "from dinners to parties" fairly quickly. His upbringing, too, led him to experience all types of music, from Spanish to Greek to heavily drum-influenced tunes, which, in turn, allowed him to pick up the snare drum in the high school band.
Soccer was Garcia's premiere passion throughout high school and into the early part of college, though, where he enrolled at George Washington University in Washington D.C. He was even accepted onto the Red Bull Youth Academy at Seton Hall. But after four months without being bumped up to the A-team, he hung up his cleats and returned to George Washington to continue his education. He also started projecting his musical talents onto the public. "Once soccer stopped, one door closed and another door opened," Garcia told me about DJing in D.C. "Since that day it's been non-stop."
And he's not exaggerating.
A year and a half ago, Garcia started performing at friends' parties and grungy places in D.C. and parts of New York City. Since then, he has gone from a no-named, college-student, wanna-be-DJ to having consistent performances at top-notch clubs and venues in D.C. and Manhattan such as Juliet, Tenjune, Marquee, Greenhouse and La Zarza. He has also recently ventured out to Michigan and Indiana, and is planning the Dominican Republic for Spring Break. Acapulco and Barcelona are in the works, too. "It’s all about progression," Garcia explained. "It’s about appreciation and listening what other DJs are doing. I’m the kid in the club with the backpack on and just listening. I listen and appreciate their stuff and I try to progress it and put my own spin on that."
He also spun at the Playboy Swimwear Fashion Show in D.C., via his relationship with Kstreet nightclub. "The most fun part of the night was when I had three playmates come into the DJ booth and be like, 'We love what you do!' That’s the best part. Having people appreciate what you do. It's all about having a good time."
Although being a DJ can go to some performers' heads, Garcia's feet are grounded: "Right now is a very exciting time for me, and I welcome all these new opportunities, but I majored in Finance and International Business with a minor in Economics...for something. I'm not going to DJ for my entire life. I'm not letting this DJ stuff get to my head."
For the moment though, at 22, Garcia has one goal in mind: "I'm doing this very everyone to have fun.[DJing is] very spur of the moment," he explained, his hands out, as if on turn tables in front of him. "It all depends on who's in front of you in a club, and if you can't be spontaneous, it just won't work. When I'm DJing and I don't see people moving, that's a problem. I need to see hands in the air, people dancing, people hooking up. Whatever!"
"That my biggest influence…the energy," he continued, closing his eyes, smiling. "I’m very passionate about what I do. If you ever see me play, I’m dripping with sweat."