DJ talks to MTV's Sway Calloway in YRB magazine about the upsides of being in the spotlight.
By John Mitchell, with reporting by Sway Calloway
Pauly D is blazing his own trail independent of "Jersey Shore." The reality TV star is busily working the DJ circuit and hopes to break out on his own as a recording artist with his in-the-works debut album for 50 Cent's G-Note Records. But he tells YRB magazine that, for now, he's completely comfortable having cameras document his attempts to change the course of his career on his new show, "The Pauly D Project."
"I'm addicted to the cameras now. It's almost as if I expect them to be outside now," Pauly D tells MTV's own Sway Calloway in the magazine's latest issue. "There are times you wish you had a certain amount of anonymity, but in the end, the good outweighs the bad. Believe me when I say that."
The "good" he refers to includes the fame "Jersey Shore" has brought him and the way he's been able to parlay it into a successful career beyond the show. His fame, mixed with his skills as a DJ, helped him land an opening spot on Britney Spears' successful "Femme Fatale" arena tour, which had the DJ spinning for audiences numbering in the thousands each night.
Spears is set to appear on "Pauly D Project" and Pauly D tells Sway he has approached the pop star about appearing on his album. "Of course I did," he said. "She liked the idea of that, and we're actually in talks about that now, so hopefully it works out."
Pauly knows some will always view his DJ career as little more than a vanity side project, but says the haters actually motivate him to work harder to prove himself.
"There have been plenty of DJs that didn't take me serious because of the 'Jersey Shore' show, but once they came out to one of my sets, their opinions changed," he told YRB. "I have had some of the haters come up to me after my set and tell me, 'Dude you are really legit, you killed that set.' I love when I can change people's perceptions of me."
Right now he's focusing on popular hits to get his point across. Asked by Sway about his go-to songs when he's spinning, he name-checked some Top 40 staples. "Right now anything by LMFAO is a banger. Rihanna is super hot, Pitbull is tearing it up, and without a doubt, Chris Brown is doing the damn thing right now."
In fact, one of Pauly's first mainstream remixes was of Brown's "Turn Up the Music." He used the opportunity to prove his skills as a producer. "I had just signed the record deal, and I needed to show people that I can produce," Pauly said. "I took a banging song that I already knew was going to be a hit, and I gave it more kick for in the club. I produced a beat for it to get the fists pumping, and it's a smash now."
He sees his style as a combination of two world-famous DJs, David Guetta and DJ Khaled. "I gotta say I'm a mixture of the two. I love dance music just as much as I'm all about hip-hop," he said. "They actually call me 'the Bridge' because I bridge the gap between house and hip-hop. I make the house music person, who may not normally vibe to hip-hop, appreciate the music and vice versa."
Whether he'll be able to bridge the gap between his current reality celebrity and a future as a mainstream DJ, producer and singer remains to be seen, but he's clearly off to a good start.