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Ted the Dillinger


If Ted the Dillinger became a politician, he’d campaign for the club scene to be restored to its roots, where respect and skills were the only way to get in the door. Every stereo would be playing his dance-invigorating radio shows, and his original productions, including the Winter Music Conference 2010 anthem “If Madonna Calls I’m In Miami,” would be in everyone’s hands.

Until Dillinger trades the turntables for politics, he’s keeping his schedule packed. With hit radio shows on 92.3 NOW FM, Wild 102.7 FM, K104.7 FM, and Party105 FM, multiple residencies at some of the most exclusive venues, and a tireless work ethic in the studio, I’m fully convinced he never sleeps. From back in the early 90’s when the iconic diva Grace Jones first named him Ted the Dillinger, he’s had a consistently successful run as a deejay to celebrities and even royalty. A paid deejay since the age of thirteen, he’s never taken a day off. Ever.

I had the opportunity to talk with Dillinger and listen to the progression his career has had. Hearing his story taught me more about the music industry than I had ever known before. His honest personality and integrity in an industry of smoke and mirrors has earned him the respect of many of the most prominent people in the world.

When the Prince of Morocco wanted a deejay for his birthday party, he personally flew Ted to his home country to spin for royalty. Dillinger’s solid royal performance makes it no surprise that he was just invited back in June 2010. While Dillinger’s past accomplishments are more than most deejays achieve in a lifetime, his present and future plans are just as ambitious.

Dillinger has been behind many of the most successful artists and releases, including The LOX’s “Money, Power & Respect,” Puffy’s “All About The Benjamins,” DMX’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” and Black Rob’s “Whoa.” Not surprisingly, he’s claimed residency at some of the most recognizable rooms in the nightlife world: NV, Bungalow 8, One, Life, Cheetah, Roxy and Carbon. Most recently, he played at Kim Kardashian’s Playboy shoot and at private parties for Lindsay Lohan, Criss Angel, and Wilmer Valderrama.

Looking at Dillinger’s history and compilation of event flyers was enough for me see that he’s earned his Club King name, and hearing the music he makes only convinced me more. While most deejays can only look back less than a few years, Dillinger can vividly see back to the 1980’s.

Most well known for his original productions, Dillinger fuses urban beats with electro pop, taking old-school B-Boy and Rock Steady and injecting it into today’s scene. While trends have come and passed, his music has proven to be a common denominator. Any deejay can be a one-hit wonder or have a lucky set, but Dillinger’s talent has made him a consistent and sought after performer in cities all over the world.

Since he started, the game has gone through considerable changes. Most noticeably, it has “lost its sexy,” as Dillinger describes it. Deejaying has become overly virtualized and the talent diluted, with credentials now based upon the amount of fans on Facebook. What used to take days to artfully create has been replaced by simple keystrokes while Ableton analyzes and matches the beat. The music may sound just as good, but it has certainly lost its integrity.

Even as circumstances change, the constant in the industry has always been the skilled deejays that have proven that they can adapt to any situation. These are the dedicated few who will be here long after the inexperienced deejays are slowly weeded out, the true talent restored and the exclusivity of clubrooms renewed. With so much going on, Dillinger hardly has time to reflect on the success of his career. He’s grateful for what he’s already been able to accomplish, and his love for the game will surely propel him through continued success for years to come.

– Matt Bishop,

Past events