A DJ is, at his or her core, a party puppeteer. It takes a unique sort of person to stay in the background, shuffle records and correctly read the mood of a crowd, then pull the strings to make people dance.
DJ Ron Perry is just that kind of guy. A 20-year veteran of the turntable, he's been cranking out dance, as well as downtempo, music at the Ritz Grill on Monday nights for the past year.
"I don't ever play the same kind of set," Perry says. "Depending on
the crowd, I may start my set with Frank Sinatra or jazz, and then end up playing deep house or reggae or Top 40. I try to play to the crowd."
Perry also spins at Coffee Warehouse and Fujiyama, where he crafts sets of entirely Latin music.
"My favorite kind of music is good music," he says. That means that listeners and dancers alike are treated to an ever-changing variety of styles. Perry's also one of the only DJs in the Springs spinning reggaetn, a primarily Puerto Rican sound usually featuring Spanglish rapping over Latin and Jamaican dancehall beats.
"I've kind of limited [reggaetn]. Sometimes there's not a crowd for it, but sometimes people like it. The other night, I did about a 20- to 25-minute set of reggaetn, and people were really liking it, dancing to every song."
Perry's favorite crowd is one filled with dancers.
"I just like the partiers," he explains. "There's that energy trade-off, when people are dancing. It makes it more fun for them, and for you as a DJ, when you're feeding off their energy and they're feeding off yours."
-- Aaron Rekta
DJ Ron Perry
The Ritz Grill, 15 S. Tejon St.
Mondays, 9:30 p.m. to close
Call 635-8484 for more information.