Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Afternoon Delight: An Interview with DJ Collective The Lazy Afternoon

This month, the local DJ collective known as The Lazy Afternoon celebrates its third year of hosting parties all over Florida. We caught up with (see: stalked) Jonathan Santino and Danny Venegas, the fellas responsible for making Orlando shake, and we got to talkin' music.

theORLANDOAN: Take us back to the very beginnings. How did The Lazy Afternoon come about?

The Lazy Afternoon: We’ve always been fans of DJs and, locally, of DJ YNOT. We loved what he and other DJs were doing, so we decided to marry the music. How do you marry the music? By buying turntables and submerging yourself in the beats.

After a year of DJing, we decided to plan a one-day event to celebrate Danny’s birthday and it turned out to be more successful than we expected. Then we planned our first actual Lazy Afternoon party on a Sunday at Eyespy and the crowds filled the place. After that, we decided to gather all DJs in Orlando to create a community that gave the Orlando scene a way to relieve stress. And that’s what music does. That’s what people do at our parties: forget about the 9-5 or challenges that they've endured. It’s a complete release of stress.

O: Whats your favorite memory?

J: We’ve done 30 events and every time, we’ve had different experiences. We’ve hosted world-renowned DJs and so my favorite memories have actually been on the dance floor.

This one time, it was raining, we were doing our first event outside of Orlando. We were in Miami, hosting an event with Cosmo Baker, from Philly. Florida weather is so unpredictable, so we happened to get a rainy day for our outdoor party. Cosmo Baker played this song, "Date with the Rain" by Eddie Kendricks. It’s a really good disco/funky song and it was the perfect song to play. As soon as it started, the crowd slowly trickled in from under the awning and started dancing in the rain. That energy and that connection with the song changed my life. It was the perfect soundtrack to that one special moment for Lazy Afternoon. It will always take me back.

The Lazy Afternoon Playlist

Nights (Feel Like Gettin' Down)
Billy Ocean

What Goes Around Comes Around
Lenny Kravitz

All I Do
Stevie Wonder

Days Like This (DJ Spinna Vocal Mix)
Shaun Escoffery

We're Almost There (DJ Spinna Remix)
Michael Jackson

Good Times (Kon Remix)

Water No Get Enemy
Fela Kuti

Welcome to the Party
Har-You Percussion Group

Good Life 

Gypsy Woman (Dimitri From Paris Remix)
Crystal Waters

O: What's your secret for staying relevant three years later?

D: We’re the only ones doing what we’re doing. Our vibe and essence is unlike any other and we stick to our foundations. 

J: We like to bring diversity to the little city of Orlando. You can hear Miley Cyrus at 275 venues across Orlando, but let us be the one party that you don’t hear what you’re used to hearing. That’s our job: to put you on to new things. Back in the day, the DJ used to break records, which meant they would be the first to play the record directly from the labels. 

O: Do you have any records that you have broken over the years?

D: I feel like our little movement has introduced Orlandoans to the likes of Fela Kuti, the African activist/musician. 

J: But we don’t need credit for any music we've introduced at our parties. The credit is the music itself and the opportunity to pass the cultural torch to others and spread the music.

O: Do you work with a set list or allow the music to guide you and your invited DJs?

D: We like to tell them, “Do you; take them where you want to take them.” We allow every DJ to bring their own vibe to the party. Because of this, we've hosted everything from African music to house music.

O: What is your secret to finding new music?

D: Shazam is pretty awesome for looking up lyrics we hear during anyone’s set inconspicuously. First rule of being a DJ is not to ask what song they’re playing during a set.

J: Gilles Peterson is one of our favorite podcasters out of the UK. He’s got the most eclectic musical taste and he still breaks a lot of records. He’s one of the tastemakers.

O: What’s next for The Lazy Afternoon?

J: The goal is to be known worldwide, but to represent Orlando is what we strive for more than anything. Maybe you’ve never heard of this place but, this little city has people that love it; that are cultured, educated, and are doing their thing. Eventually, I’d like to start a community center. A venue for creatives to work out of. Everyone needs a place that they can call their home base and express their creativity. 

Danny Venegas & Jonathan Santino of The Lazy Afternoon

It’s time for another lightening round of theORLANDOAN’s  “Rep Yo’ Hood”!

Favorite 'hood:

D: The Antique District/Ivanhoe Row area. During the day it's great: Rock N Roll Heaven, Retromended, Hammered lamb. It’s a very inviting area.

J: Some of the best sunsets happen on Lake Ivanhoe.

Favorite Park: 

J: Wekiwa Springs. The swamps, canoeing…it’s real florida living.

D: I’ll keep it classy: Lake Eola. 

Favorite Restaurant: 

D: Noodles and Rice on Mills. They do this thing called hot pot that has a hot broth with different ingredients you add to the broth. It’s delicious.

J: I love Ethnic food. There’s this little Ethiopian place called Nile on International Drive. The flavors are beyond mind blowing. It’s sad that most tourists go straight to I-Drive when they visit Orlando though. In places like NY, tourists venture out to little restaurants and the most amazing local businesses.

Favorite Bar:

D: I love Mondays at Imperial; we play on Monday nights. It’s very open and comforting. 

J: My favorite bar was Hanson’s Shoe Repair before it changed management. The vibe was sexy, the crafty drinks took forever to make but were worth it. It is definitely a place I take out-of-towners. 

Favorite Street Art:

J: When it comes to street art in Orlando, it’s like a double edge sword. I love Andrew Spear’s work, he’s super talented, but I want to see more variety. I also love the yarn bombs by Park Ave CDs; it’s like grandma street art.

D: The wall at Pho88 is great because it changes often.

Alright guys, finish the sentence "Orlando doesn’t suck, because..."

J: Because there are people here, movers and shakers waiting to be found and supported. If you feel like Orlando sucks, you’re tuning into the wrong frequency--you gotta tune in to the right frequency.

D: I’ll say Orlando is a sleeper, we are on the low. Not purposely, but down below the crust of the tourist traps is some good, delicious flavor.

Don't miss The Lazy Afternoon's 3 Year Anniversary Party this Saturday in Downtown Orlando's Cafe Annie.

Shélika Báez is our resident latinORLANDOAN. When she's not playing Esperanza on Univision's Dominican remake of Downton Abbey, she's blogging about events and happenings in Orlando with a focus on the Latin American community.


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