Fresh off of Atlanta Pride, DJ Nick Stracener is putting challenges behind him and pressing forward, making the passion he has for the craft of DJ’ing his full-time career. Drawing his inspirations from notable names like Nina Flowers and Sagi Kariv, Stracener manages to find just the right about of reverence for his DJ heroes, yet finding his own fresh take on tracks for the dance floor. I caught up with Stracener and we went deep on everything from career changes to relationships to why speaking out about depression and anxiety remains a crucial issue for the LGBT community.
Michael Cook: You recently were laid off from your job as a flight attendant; As a DJ you were already affected by the pandemic directly, so this must make things even more challenging right?
Nick Stracener: I guess everything happens for a reason right? Right now,I am really immersing myself much more in DJ’ing. I already took it seriously before, but I am really now taking it very serious because it’s what I have to fall back on full time; it is what I want to truly do full time. Losing my job at the airline made me that much more passionate about succeeding as a DJ. It does give me more time to hone in on my craft and really perfect it.
MC: When did you truly fall in love with DJ’ing that made you want to take your own spot in the booth?
NS: It was actually last summer. I would go out and go to the typical bar or clubs in Dallas and would hear the same music over and over. Just some of the songs you get tired of hearing and I really wanted to hear something new. Ive always loved electronic music, that 128bpm house music, and I thought I would make my own music; I loved it so much. I’m creative, I’m artistic and I think people will want to hear it. I want to make people happy and give them something different. Life is too short to not actually do what you want to do. If you’re not happy in your career, you’re definitely not going to be happy in life.
MC: Dance floors are quiet right now; what was it like diving into DJ’ing a year ago and then suddenly having no choice but to stop?
NS: It certainly didn’t help anything that is for sure. I have just been creating music and trying to get my mixes heard by people. I’m making connections on Facebook and Instagram and trying to stay relevant as much as I possibly can. That way when we do start back up, people know who I am.
MC: Everyone’s year has been full of challenges, but you actually ended an engagement on top of that. How did you come to that decision during a pandemic?
NS: Yes, my fiancee and I broke up in June. We were together almost three years, engaged for less than a year. Ending it during the pandemic definitely made it that much harder. I saw it coming for a while and there is just never a good time to end a relationship. That is what I told myself and I just thought to myself, why stay in something when you know it’s not going to work out long term? You are just going to be hurt even worse when it does end; just end it when you have tried everything and you feel that it is time.
MC: Following a breakup, depression can creep in for even the strongest people. Do you think it is important for us to be vocal with our mental heath issues and speak out on them?
NS: I absolutely do-especially in the gay community. There seems to be a stigma where people are embarrassed to talk about it and other gay people are thinking that you’re looking for attention sometimes. Maybe you are, but that is not necessarily a bad thing; sometimes a little attention could help the person. Sending them a DM, send them a picture, you never know a compliment could make someone’s day or get them out of a slump that they are in. Everyone puts their best moments on the internet when in fact, I would think about 50% of the LGBT community deals with depression and anxiety. I wish more people would speak about it, then there might be more solutions. People thought my ex and I were a perfectly happy couple and they were shocked, but they had no idea.
MC: You have two new remixes out by some favorite pretty big artists. Are Lady Gaga and Lindsay Lohan the kinds of artist and material you are drawn too?
NS: I have a Lindsey Lohan mix out, it’s of her single “ILY.” Lady Gaga’s “Fun Tonight” is the other one. I like songs with a lot of meaning that are very deep and emotional. I also did a mix of “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Kygo and Tina Turner. I love doing songs by divas, and I love to make a song totally different than the original. I like to really really change it up.
MC: How did a burgeoning DJ and a proper Southern boy end up on OnlyFans?
NS: I actually got started in 2017 when it was relatively new. There was an influencer on Instagram that saw me & if you refer someone you get a percentage of what that person makes, He reached out to me and I asked if he would be helping me out if I let him sign me up. He showed me what he was making and I realized I had to stop worrying about what everyone thought. I was a struggling flight attendant and go-go dancing on the weekend and realized that I was working way too hard for what I was not making. I always liked having another source of income, because clearly your job can be gone in a second. That is when I just went for it…
MC: As a newer DJ, you have a certain amount of reverence for the craft and for those that have come before you. Who are some of the DJ’s who have inspired you the most to dive into the craft or mentored you?
NS: I would say that I listen to a lot of circuit music. GSP is one of my favorite DJ’s. Nina Flowers is a fantastic DJ, her style is not the same as mine, but I appreciate it and the passion she gets when she is up there. I like Enrico Maloni and Roberto Ferrari also. I like Sagi Kariv also, a lot of Middle Eastern sounds, it definitely is more my style.
For more information on DJ Nick Stracener (and a host of mixes) check out his website