Music and MarriageOctober 11, 2012 By: Steve Lewis
In a world where contacts and relationships mean everything DJ M.O.S. and DJ Kiss have a unique relationship...they're married and both are signed with dGi Management making them fixtures in the nightlife scene.
DJ M.O.S.’s passion and drive for music has landed him some of the most coveted residencies including TAO Las Vegas and currently LIV in Miami. He has a knack for keeping crowds engaged with an array of music stemming from multiple genres. He has brought his brilliant optimistic brand of music to Paris, Oslo, LA and Tokyo. Always dapper in his sophisticated style, he has lent his image to national campaigns and publications. His other half His other half also has a style all her own and has been named one of the 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers by Us Weekly.
JaKissa Taylor-Semple better known as DJ Kiss has made a name for herself in the male dominated industry. Her resume is equally as impressive as her husbands with clients including Madonna, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jamie Foxx and Naomi Campbell. Her extensive music knowledge and personality lend to Kiss being one of the most sought after DJs in the country. She spun at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks and has residencies at NYC hot spots Avenue and PH-D. And in her spare time she somehow she finds time to write a fashion blog.
Nightclub Confidential caught up with both DJ M.O.S. and DJ Kiss to find out what’s in store for them both.
Nightclub Confidential (NCC): You are husband and wife and both signed with dGi... does it ever conflict where one of you gets booked for a gig that the other one wants?
DJ Kiss: Not really, we're both very supportive of each other and remember the money comes to the same household no matter who's booked...lol.
DJ M.O.S.: But baby, you know I wanted to do that NFL gig last week.
DJ Kiss: It was for their women's wear line baby...
DJ M.O.S.: But seriously, both of us have clients that we work with regularly, and a lot of times if one of us can't do a gig they'll book the other or sometimes book us together. Kiss has does events for the NFL, GQ, Audemars Piguet, Vogue, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Tiffany's, Versace, Elle and DVF. I've done events with Nike, Russell Simmons, Hennessy, Bill Clinton, MTV, AOL, Ferragamo, Esquire Magazine, Hugo Boss and F1.
DJ Kiss: We've done a lot of events together as well, we did a Fundraiser for President Obama at Tyler Perry's studio in Atlanta and we’ve also played at LIV together New Year’s Day one year which was incredible. The gigs we do together are always the best.
DJ M.O.S.: Don't forget about the Juicy party in Oslo, Norway
DJ Kiss: Oh yeah that was out of control!!
NCC: Musically, how do you differ?
DJ M.O.S.: She's a diehard Prince fan; I'm a diehard MJ fan.
DJ Kiss: It's the only thing we seriously argue about. It gets heated...
DJ M.O.S.: Lol, she's an amazing deejay, and definitely plays a little more for the ladies than I do, which makes sense. But what always amazes me, as well as people that hear her, is that how aggressive her sound can be in clubs. She handles nightclubs better than most guys; she had a residency at the MGM Grand in Vegas for a longtime. I can say she's incredibly versatile.
DJ Kiss: He's my favorite deejay, it amazes me how good he is sometimes. He finds a way to drop obscure records during the night and make them work. His sets have a lot of energy and when he gets on I just stand back and let him do his thing.
NCC: Successful DJs travel a great deal. Do you seek out husband and wife gigs to keep things close?
DJ M.O.S.: We don't really seek out gigs together, I think that it’s more people get to know us first, then find out we're married. It's a no brainer to book us together.
DJ Kiss: To add to that, there's a really great synergy when we play together and clients love that.
NCC: You are both very stylish. How important is style and imaging to you? Is your management team involved in your style?
DJ Kiss: Style is a huge part of both of our lives and brands. DJ M.O.S. is known for his well put together outfits and great accessories, so clients are always excited to see what look he's going to come up with. I'm a bit fashion obsessed and started a style blog earlier this year, as an outlet for my passion. Clients tell me all the time that they read my blog, so I'm often top of mind when they are doing fashion events.
DJ M.O.S.: She's the fashionista; I'm just trying to keep up...lol.
NCC: Do you share music and where do you get your music from?
DJ Kiss: Baby, I'm going to let you answer this one...
DJ M.O.S.: We definitely share music with each other. It's great having someone to bounce ideas off of for new mixes. She's also an encyclopedia when it comes to music; she keeps up with everything that's hot. We both dedicate a lot of time to researching new tracks and try to trade music at least once a week. But I always like to surprise her at a party once in a while with something she's never heard. I like to watch for her reaction when I play something new, she always makes a bee line to the booth and says "why didn't you give me that?!"
DJ Kiss: You always hold out on me!!
NCC: DJ M.O.S. has always been one of my favorites and I do remember you playing very small venues on your way to this bigger success. M.O.S. tell us about your path and do you miss the small venues?
DJ M.O.S.: Man I appreciate that! The hole in the wall spots were the most fun. You know I've always been a club head. I used to hit up the Tunnel in the mid 90's regularly when I was in high school, I learned a lot in the hip hop room Friday and Saturday nights. That's where I fell in love with DJing. I got my first turntables in 96 and practiced listening to Funk Flex on Hot 97. After college I started opening for Suss.One at Club Hollywood in New Rochelle. From there I started interning at Elektra records in rap promotions for Corey Llewellyn. At the time, we were promoting Mark Ronson's first album which gave me access to a lot of the clubs downtown. I got my first residency through my boy Voodoo Ray at Luahn Wednesday nights. At that point I thought I'd made it. Having the opportunity to play Cymande, Level 42, Stevie Wonder, Tribe and Jay-Z for a crowd of dancers and music lovers was all I really wanted. Over time my sound evolved and I started picking up residencies at more commercial venues like Aer, Stereo, Marquee and TenJune. I can honestly say that everything changed for me when I got my residency at PM, that's where I met my wife and people began to notice that I was a rising up the ranks. From there I was a resident at Tao in Vegas for a year and then picked up LIV in Miami and mur.mur in Atlantic City. You know I do miss the days of playing records out of a milk crate in sweatboxes downtown, that's why I still once in a while do guest spots at little dives on the low.
NCC: DJ Kiss how did you become a DJ and what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a female DJ?
DJ Kiss: I met DJ M.O.S. at a nightclub and he was really impressed with how much I knew about music and offered to teach me some fundamentals of the craft. I decided to take DJing seriously and signed up for classes at Scratch Academy in NYC. After that, I started opening for him at his club gigs and then got good enough to get my own nights at clubs. In terms of disadvantages, I think the playing field is pretty level at this point. Many clients specifically request a female DJ so there are honestly not that many disadvantages!
NCC: The DJ is the new rock star with pay checks to underline that. Has it become work?
DJ M.O.S.: Its work, but we love our jobs! There's definitely a lot more responsibility now, we both work on projects outside of just DJing to help build our brands. Kiss has her fashion blog and has been doing a lot of TV appearances. I've been in the studio working on production. We're both very thankful for our careers.
DJ Kiss: Amen
NCC: Together, you host and DJ "Baby I'm a Star" at Mister H which has been the hottest music industry party in the city for years. Tell me about the concept and how you've sustained its success.
DJ Kiss: We're obsessed with the legacy of New York Nightlife, The Studio 54's and Paradise Garages. We joined forces with our good friend Legendary Damon to attempt to create a modern day version, where fashion, art and music mix to create something magical.
DJ M.O.S.: We've been successful because we do our best to curate the crowd, much like legendary nightclubs of the past. We invite some people from the art world and mix them with a group of fashionistas, then add in some hip hop heads and then sprinkle in some celebs. For instance tonight we're doing a party with legendary graffiti artist Futura along with Sports Illustrated Model and Dancer Damaris Lewis's birthday which should be a great mix of fun and good looking people.
NCC: What do you listen to at home?
DJ Kiss: Baby, when are we ever home?
DJ M.O.S.: Sundays is our day to relax, we have an ipod playlist that we put together. It has a lot of Prince and Michael, Miles Davis and Coltrane, Some Pete Rock, Brand Nubian and Slum Village.
DJ Kiss: Don't forget The Whispers.
DJ M.O.S.: Oh yeah, the Whispers and a lot of classics. We both are children of the 80's so we love 80's soul and stuff they would play on easy listening stations. Doobie Brothers and Hall & Oats are also on the list.