Vito Fun‘s name has been synonymous with New York City’s big room house music scene for the last decade. He currently holds residencies in Miami, Fire Island and all over New York City. His diverse range of fun, high spirited music has found him DJing gay prides from New York to Baltimore to Las Vegas and touring large music festivals like Lollapalooza, SXSW, Burning Man and spinning the Skrillex after party at Bonnaroo 2012 . Vito Fun has produced tracks for Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud, Nicky Da B & Jonte, he has also done official remixes for Cazwell, Luciana, M.I.A., Larry Tee, Roxy Cottontail & Kat DeLuna.
Hey Vito, can you introduce yourself to us?
I consider myself to be a true artist, to me that means I am constantly growing and shifting within multiple creative fields. I produce videos, songs, albums, photo shoots and I DJ. Every year I learn a new skill and apply the knowledge to bigger and better projects.
Tell us about your first big break back at VICE…
I grew up in Brooklyn, when VICE magazine started to hit the streets in the early aughts it made all of my friends angry, they thought VICE was just a bunch of hipsters exploiting Brooklyn culture. I, on the other hand, was willing to embrace a new subculture in my home city and was drawn to their raw approach to photography.
I mailed them a package full of photos and then emailed them every day for three weeks. I was not going to quit until I got a hold of them. Finally, after three weeks the owner of the magazine finally called me. He was mad and said “why the fuck have you been emailing us every day?” I told him that I was trying to be persistent and I was hoping it would pay off. He told me that he had been emailing me every day for the last two weeks, and sure enough ,when I looked in my spam box I realised my email was trashing their replies. I felt like a total jackass, but he told me to forget it and come in on Tuesday. It was Friday so I began preparing by collecting all of my favourite work. When I walked into the office the owner was laying out the magazine in Quark and there were around fifteen or so of my photos, I was so excited. We sat down and he reviewed my portfolio and they hired me on the spot. From then on they handed me assignments left and right, I shot with them for over a decade.
Explore your DJ residency in the world renowned Fire Island Pines with us. Tell us a summary of your journey and experiences out there!
I am very blessed to be the last remaining resident DJ in Fire Island Pines. The Pines is a place where dancing is still important and I am honoured to keep the crowd moving every weekend for the last fourteen years. My passion for music means I am not selling you anything but a good time, I am not selling you sex, I am not selling you a promo from a label that paid me, I am only selling you good music and dancing. The Pines is one of the last places in New York where this is still important. The party I DJ is a tradition, people come to the pool and listen to good music while the sun sets in the distance. A few years ago the party was officially named after me – Fun Tea.
Can you give us 3 tips for breaking in to the music industry for our hustling DJ’s out there?
- Number one is LESS TALK, MORE ART.
- Secondly ,I would say learn to play the piano. Understanding the piano helps you understand music and helps you speak it’s language.
- The third is persistence, and this goes with all art. If you love what you do, never, ever stop. Sell drugs, sell your body, steal to make it happen, but don’t let the dream die. Persistence always pays off.
Finally, be good. Strive for the best in everything you do. If you settle for making mediocre mac n’ cheese, then you’re gonna settle for mediocracy in other things you do. If the things you make are good, then there is a better chance your art will be good. There are a lot of reasons people become DJs, but the only reason that matters is that you like good music and you like to share it with people. If you don’t fall under this category I would say ‘don’t become a DJ.’
Do you have a team? If yes, who?
My team is Crowd MGMT, they got my back. For music, video and art there are a lot of people I work with, too many to mention. Team work makes the queens twerk.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I see myself doing exactly what I’m doing now, making art, but I see the scale getting larger. It has been growing for years and it keeps the bills paid.
What barriers have you had to overcome in your career so far?
My thirties were a huge obstacle filled with doubt and fear. When you are in your twenties people just throw work and money at you, people believe they are supporting a young artist. When you turn thirty it’s different, that’s when you have to prove to yourself and your industry that you can make it, that you have something better to offer than the next twenty year old.
My thirties were tough, I was scared, I thought I might have to get a job, I didn’t see where I was going. When I rounded the end of my thirties my future became clear to me, persistence strikes again.
Any funny anecdotes to share whilst touring music festivals?
The first year I DJ’ed at Bonnaroo I was at the welcome dinner, a VIP dinner for everyone working there. After dinner, I went to the port-a-potty to pee and I dropped my rental car keys right in the hole, right on a steaming pile of turds. When you rent a car they give you two sets of keys but for some reason, they were attached to each other. Although I would have gladly left one pair in the toilet, both sets of my keys were in the hole.
Not only that, but Bonnaroo is in the middle of nowhere Tennessee, so I had to bite the big one and reach my hands in to the bowels of the crapper to get them back. No thank you.
Favourite record to date?
Oh man, that is tough. I Feel Love by Donna Summer, The Boss by Diana Ross, Blue Monday by New Order, Happiness by Alexis Jordan, anything Hex Hector or Chocolate Puma has ever touched, anything on the record labels Brooklyn Fire, Main Course, Dirty Bird or Spinnin’.
A highlight in your career you are most proud of so far?
Getting to make music for all of the high level drag queens from Rupaul’s Drag Race has been exhilarating! DJing NYC gay pride is unreal! Opening for artists like Wyclef Jean, Machine Gun Kelly, Nick Jonas, Tommie Sunshine, Nina Sky, Junior Vasquez, The Cube Guys, Crazibiza, Bianca Del Rio, 3LAU, Boy George, Honey Dijon, Jonathan Peters, Lady Gaga, Baauer, Matt & Kim, Delorean, Just Blaze, Amanda Lepore, The Fat Jew, Red Baraat, Javelin, Delicate Steve, MNDR, Neon Hitch, Cazwell, Lil’ Kim, Peter Rauhofer, Beyonce & Eminem was pretty amazing as well.
How do you define your own success?
I define it by challenging myself. Success to me means growth, bigger challenges and bigger projects!
What does #BEYOUROWN Man mean to you?
Be your own means do not copy, do not be afraid to stand alone, do not compare, it means like what you like and be persistent about it.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019 that we can look forward to?
I have a lot of releases coming out with big drag queens, a lot of releases on some fun record labels and I am going to produce a lot of visuals to accompany those releases.
Instagram: @vitofun #vitofun #lesstalkmoreart