Neverland's annual Pool Party on July 2 features the Chicago return of DJ Jalil Z from Miami

Tue. June 28, 2016 10:10 PM by Ross Forman

Speedos and sunscreen for a Saturday afternoon, cocktail-filled party

Jalil Zougagh is a Casablanca native who now calls Miami home and his alter-ego – DJ Jalil Z – has a history working the Chicago gay scene. And quite an interesting connection here, too.

DJ Jalil Z spun at the second and fourth parties from Neverland Productions. When Neverland moved from Hydrate to Castle, he DJ'd Neverland's first event there (Eyes Wide Shut). 

"We have a really solid relationship with him," said Neverland creative director Anthony DiFiore, a Chicago resident. "One time in Orlando at Gay Days a large group of us rented a house, and Jalil drove up on the final day of the weekend and spun in the living room for eight hours. It's a memory I'll always hold dear to my heart."

DJ Jalil Z is set to build more memories in Chicago, for all of Chicago – once again through Neverland.

Neverland's second-annual Pool Party is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, at Deuce's and the Diamond Club, located at 3505 N. Clark Street in Wrigleyville. The speedos and sunscreen will be plentiful, and of course cabanas and cocktails too. The fishbowl-sized margaritas will, no doubt, be a hit – or should I say, a splash.

"The Pool Party is one of those truly unique Chicago events that doesn't come our way as often as it might in cities like Miami or Los Angeles," DiFiore said. "We have this great outdoor venue right in Lakeview, with an awesome DJ and so much more."

Zougagh, 33, who is openly gay, has carried his DJ title for more than five years, a gig that came natural to him. "I have always loved music, so much that whenever I used to have get-togethers with my friends, I used to enjoy sharing my collection tracks with them," he said. "That led me to start practicing at home, mixing with simple, beginner software."

Flash-forward to the summer of 2016, and DJ Jalil Z is an established, popular, highly sought-after club DJ, blending tribal house and progressive house music. "For me, DJing is all about the theme and journey for the party/event," he said. "There is always a message behind the music; you need to find a way to reach your audience so they get it and get into it."

And that connection with a crowd is Zougagh's favorite part of the job. "(When) you can see it in their eyes, that brings me joy," he said. 

As for the worst part of the job, well, DJ Jalil Z hesitated, then said there isn't one. But, the responsibility as the entertainer ca be a challenge, "but that's what keeps it interesting because that changes from event to (event)," he said.

DJ Jalil Z brings a sound all his own, and a sight that certainly shows he loves his work – not to mention working out in the gym. Some of his musical favorites now are Rihanna, the late Peter Rauhofer, Ralphi Rosario, DJs Chus and Ceballos, and Sia, among others.

"It's been quite a while since I have played," at a Neverland event, "so I am super excited to be back," said DJ Jalil Z, who always brings high-energy and excitement to the booth.

DJ Jalil Z, a resident DJ at Hydrate Nightclub, was last performing in Chicago in January and won't be back until October. "I love Chicago; it is one of my most favorite cities to visit and to DJ (in)," he said. "The energy of the people (of Chicago and) the unity of that LGBTQ community there is pretty strong."

Though this Neverland Pool Party will be DJ Jalil Z's first here, he of course has plenty of experience. He recently worked alongside DJ Ralphi Rosario at Winter Party Festival in Miami this part March. "It was an amazing time," he said. 

Tickets for the Neverland Pool Party are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. There are a limited number of private VIP Cabanas, which include one bottle of premium vodka and admission for four people, for $400. To order tickets, go to