January 20, 2010


Jon Wienner got his first set of turntables at the ripe age of 12. Growing up in Connecticut, he seized any opportunity he could to experiment with spinning. At 18, he moved to New York City to attend Sarah Lawrence College, where he was able to use the resources of the city to hone his DJing skills. Now, at only 19 years old, Jon has spun at many of New York City's most popular nightlife venues, with 1Oak, GoldBar, the Rivington Hotel, Greenhouse, and Tenjune among the notches on his belt. 

Jon relies on patience and practice that allow him to do what he loves-- keep a room dancing. 

How did you begin your career as a DJ? 
I started off in my bedroom, not really having any idea what I was doing. I was 12 and would cut for hours after school everyday. I started doing high school dances, that kind of stuff. Eventually I landed a show on 91.7 WBSL FM, moved to New York City for school, and the rest is history. 

What is your edge? 
Starting out younger has definitely given me a little bit of an edge. To me, a DJ’s skill is determined by the number of hours they've put behind a pair of turntables, how much practice they’ve put in. 

Where do you hope to be in 5 years? 
Still behind turntables. 

How do you approach creating a track? 
A lot of DJ’s like to think that songs blend together only by tempo or by beats per minute (BPM). Music is written in notes and chords. Musicians write music in notes and chords. Sometimes I like to figure out the key of a song, and blend it harmonically, worrying about tempo later. It’s always surprising when I listen to an “established” DJ create a “mash-up” that is out of key. 

What DJ do you most admire? 
Every DJ jumps to say DJ AM or Mark Ronson. I definitely admire what they do – they’re unbelievably talented and skilled, no questions asked. I used to listen to AM’s “Lohan Birthday Mix” to try and figure out what he was doing, how he was cutting and mixing. To me, it was almost like a textbook. I also admire Jesse Marco. With him, it was like all of sudden there was someone younger than every other DJ out there, playing the same huge venues. 

What is your theme song? 
Sam & Dave – “Hold on, I’m coming.” That song makes me feel invincible--and it’s a classic, for sure. RJD2’s “Ghostwriter” definitely is up there too. If I’m on the way to a gig, I usually play this at least once. The third song is definitely “Call Me D-Nice” by D-Nice of Boogie Down Productions. 

Most-played song on iTunes? 
Apparently, I’ve listened to “Ten Years Gone” by Led Zeppelin 740 times. I used to put this on repeat before I went to bed. Something about those riffs is soothing. Second place most played song goes to “Microphone Fiend” by Eric B. & Rakim, clocking in at 717. That’s since March of '05. 

Are you concerned about premature hearing loss? 
My friends say that I talk way too loudly already. There was a night this past summer when I got home from the club and laid in bed until 6AM because the ringing in my ears was so loud it was keeping me awake. I bought earplugs the next morning. 

If you were to create a mix for your mom, what would it be? 
My mom likes music like Marlena Shaw, a lot of Blue Note jazz. I found this mix called Jazz-Hop when I was 13--I used to play it in tthe car when she’d pick me up from school. It was dope, had a little bit of everything. I liked it because it went between hip-hop and the original track it sampled. She liked it because it was the music she grew up listening to being cut and scratched. 

On average, how many girls do you pick up during a shift? 
You’d be surprised, but typically none. 

Favorite nightlife venue in NYC? 
When I’m off the clock, you can usually find me at GoldBar. The music is always on point--the DJs play tracks you wouldn’t hear anywhere else.

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