Luis Perez almost exclusively deejays at gay clubs or for gay events — partially because the up-and-coming Hells Kitchen artist is gay himself. “It’s my community, it’s the people that I identify with,” says Perez, 33. “When I play music, I like to see their reaction.”
Perez moved to the city with his longtime boyfriend just a year ago, but he has already developed a following in New York. On Sunday, Perez will play an opening set at NYC Pride’s biggest event, the Dance on the Pier, which will be headlined by Cher. Perez says he’s excited to play alongside the likes of Cher and Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox, also performing. In fact, he recalls listening to a remix of Cox’s “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” as one of the first times he heard a dance remix, now his “go-to.”
Still, Perez says he doesn’t get “starstruck.” He also doesn’t like to call himself a celebrity, though he’s played at big venues around the world, including other U.S. Pride events in Atlanta and San Diego, where he lived before coming to the city for work.
“I just love the energy in New York,” Perez says. “The life...It’s just go go go--constant.” This is Perez’ first time playing at Pride New York. Though he says he’s looking forward to the scale of the crowd — 7,500 audience members are expected to show —playing at Pride goes beyond fame.
“It’s a celebration of who we are,” he says. “That was one of the things that helped me come out — Pride events.”DJ Perez27th Annual Dance on the Pier Sunday, 3 to 10 p.m.Pier 26