Article by Paola Manzano of
In the heart of New York’s pulsating music scene lies a maestro who orchestrates joy through beats – DJ Steelo. Behind the decks, he’s not just a DJ; he’s a weaver of emotions, a conjurer of memories, and a composer of melodies. But beyond the artistry that captivates the crowds, there’s a poignant story that resonates in every note he plays.
Inspiration struck in the early ’90s, and a budding passion for music was seeded by a local DJ and nurtured by the beats of freestyle, Latin rhythms, merengue, salsa, and the allure of hip-hop. Into music since he was a kid and inspired by scenes from “Juice” with Tupac, where solitude and music intertwined, DJ Steelo found solace and inspiration, unknowingly setting the stage for a lifelong journey.
Raised amidst the harmonies of freestyle, Latin, and hip-hop, his soul resonated most profoundly with reggaeton. It’s the rhythm that fuels his culture, as well as his favorite genre to DJ, his compass guiding him through the turntables of his past. Anuel’s lyrics, ranging from the island that is Puerto Rico, became his anthem, a muse for his artistic endeavors.
He speaks of echoes of influence, acknowledging the torchbearers of his craft, Steelo pays homage to Alex Sensation, Funkmaster Flex, and DJ Negro, whose brilliance illuminated his path. Their footsteps laid the foundation for his ascent into the echelons of DJ royalty.
The dimly lit aura of his first gig at a local bar, “Bottle Cap,” was painted with nerves and anticipation. Overcoming anxiety, he maneuvered through New York’s boroughs, gracing legendary clubs in the early 2000s. DJ Kundera, a guiding light, ushered him toward destiny.
Where we really get to dive into DJ Steelo is when we get to the history behind his name, a name etched in steel. Behind the moniker “DJ Steelo” lies a bittersweet tale. It wasn’t a chosen title but a legacy whispered by a departed friend during their teenage years. His best friend, forever engraved in memory, christened him with the name “Steelo,” a tribute echoing in every beat he drops. Steelo made sure to forever bear his best friend’s chosen nickname for him, and make it a legendary title.
DJ Steelo also portrays the dual harmony of life. By day, a corporate manager; by heart, a musical savant. The rhythm of his life is synchronized between meetings and melodies. His dedication to DJing transcends mere passion; it’s an unyielding commitment to spreading joy.
His mobile DJ company, Mix Down Productions, came into being about 15 years ago when DJ Steelo extensively engaged in mobile DJing. The name reflects his penchant for variety and mixing different sounds. By day, he navigates the corporate realm as a multifaceted manager, embracing diverse roles to stay occupied. Yet, amidst this professional diversity, DJing remains his primary passion.
“My main passion is DJing… I will forever continue doing it, even if I’m on a wheelchair I’m gonna go out there and DJ,” he expressed.
For five years, Steelo has also been an integral part of the Cristian Rivera Foundation as one of their official DJs, resonating not just through music but through philanthropy. His gratitude echoes as he serves a cause greater than beats and melodies.
DJ Steelo’s repertoire extends across various events, covering everything from weddings to anniversaries. During the holiday season, corporate events become a focal point, and he recently headlined a significant corporate gathering at the Marriott. Among these diverse settings, corporate events hold a special appeal for him, resonating with his professional demeanor and allowing him to infuse his unique musical flair into the corporate atmosphere.
Amidst corporate meetings and mixing consoles, DJ Steelo’s heart remains with the people, his melodies orchestrating a symphony of joy. As he navigates through events and venues, he remains the maestro of emotions, the beacon of happiness, and the architect of unforgettable nights.
His purpose behind DJing highlights why he was made for the profession: “I like making people happy, if they have a rough day or a rough week, and seeing them in the club or any event that I throw, I like to ease them away from that for a couple of hours, and seeing it in their faces… I just like seeing people dance and making them happy,” DJ uttered. For DJ Steelo, it’s not just about spinning records; it’s about orchestrating happiness, and luckily for you, he’s available for bookings.