Sam Gee was at the popular gay resort hamlet of Fire Island Pines in New York when he ran into longtime friend Cindel Coss, the popular DJ who used to live in Chicago. Gee and Coss had known each other for years as DJ Cindel used to perform in Vancouver, B.C., where Gee used to live.
“Cindel suggested teaching me how to DJ, igniting the ambition within me,” Gee said. “However, due to the complexity of coordinating our schedules, I eventually took it upon myself to learn the craft independently.”
Gee released his first mixed set on SoundCloud in late-2019, though he made numerous practice mixed sets before he felt confident enough to finally release it.
His first DJ gig was in Houston for a friend’s first party, a Valentine’s Day celebration, and Gee was set to DJ alongside Ben Bakson.
“The party turned out to be a great success, though it got off to a shaky start,” Gee said. “The venue, accustomed to hosting different types of events, initially requested R&B and pop mixes, not remixed. Also, there was an issue with the equipment setup. Fortunately, Ben, with his experience, came to the rescue and helped get everything in order. As for me, it was the very first time I had laid eyes on professional DJ equipment, so I must admit I was of little help.”
Flash-forward to 2023. The 28-year-old Gee who now lives in New York City is a resident DJ at The Eagle in New York, spinning there twice a month (one Friday, one Saturday). “I schedule my gigs there in such a manor so I have the freedom to travel to other cities for the Saturday night slot,” he said.
That’s why Chicagoans will hear Gee at Northalsted Market Days. He is spinning Sunday, August 13, on the ViiV Healthcare’s Hydrate Stage, starting at 3:30 p.m.
The 41st Northalsted Market Days is a 2-day live music street festival that is expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the Northalsted neighborhood commonly called Boystown. Market Days features all-day lineups of live music and DJs on five stages, drag performers, 200+ vendors, food and drink, dance exhibitions, and more.Related: 2023 Market Days calendar
Gee played the 2022 Market Days, his first time ever spinning in Chicago, at the Furball party.
“The diversity and energy of Chicago parties really stands out to me. Every time I’ve been (to the city), it feels like everybody is positive, open and ready to have a good time,” Gee said. “I am very excited to be playing at Market Days; I know how much fun it is. I can’t wait to serve that crowd all the #EnerGEE I can.
“When I DJ a party, you can expect a vocal, high-energy sound. My goal is to create a festive environment where you can leave your problems on the dance floor. My DJ style has a few influences. My family is from Iran, so I inherently enjoy incorporating a Middle Eastern sound. Additionally, I learned music production from a famous producer in Brazil, so I like to blend the two styles together.
“When I DJ, you can anticipate a vibrant and energetic environment with a focus on vocal tracks. My ultimate objective is to create a festive environment where you can let loose and take your problems to the dance floor.”
Gee said his biggest motivator in the DJ booth is simple, the music.
“Before I was a DJ, I was a dancer for circuit parties internationally. I always had an ear and passion for music. That grew even greater as I embarked on my DJ journey,” Gee said. “As for my inspirations, I would say it is my DJ colleagues and friends. We push each other musically, and that’s when magic is created.”
Gee earlier this year was spinning at a holiday party in São Paulo. “The venue could accommodate around 8,000 people, and let me tell you, the energy in that place was absolutely electrifying,” he said. “I am forever grateful (to have been) a part of (that event). It was an experience I will never forget.”NOW SPINNING … DJ Sam GeeThree DJs To Watch:
Tyler Moore, Kurtis Jose and DJ FiggeA Good DJ:
“The mark of a skilled DJ is the ability to adapt and perform at various time slots, day or night. A proficient DJ understands the importance of setting the right vibe for each specific event and time, catering to the atmosphere and energy required. This versatility is a testament to their talent and expertise in understanding the crowd and delivering a memorable experience. Moreover, if a DJ is also involved in music production, it adds significant value to their craft. Producing original tracks or remixes enhances their credibility and creative expression. It showcases their ability to not only curate music but also contribute their own artistic vision to the industry. When a DJ has production skills, it elevates their profile and brings additional depth to their performances, setting them apart from the rest.”Now Serving, In The DJ Booth:
Sugar-free Red Bulls and waterFavorite TV Show:
“My PS5 … I’d rather be playing video games than watching TV. My favorite video game series is, Final Fantasy.”Favorite Movie:
Mean GirlsFavorite Sport:
Working out, playing video games, nightlife and spending time with friends If I Wasn’t a DJ:
“I would either be working in Corporate America, as I have a bachelor’s degree in business, majoring in finance; or working in real estate.”Boxers or Briefs:
“Neither … The only time I wear underwear is at the gym and that’s only because gym shorts are a little too thin.”For more about DJ Sam Gee visit djsamgee.com. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and SoundCloud.Related: Meet the DJs bringing the music to Market Days WeekendChicago's LGBTQ calendar is on GoPride.com