The industry certainly has its share of visible, high-profile DJs, but there are plenty of guys behind the scenes grinding every day in that booth, juggling entertainer rotations, customer requests and gauging the “vibe” of the room on any given night. You may not know their names, but that doesn’t make the work they do any less important. Texas native Johnny Michelsen is one of those DJs, with almost a decade in the business and a passion for the industry. Courtesy of Bob Chiappardi of Concrete Marketing and, we’ve spoked to Johnny about his industry career and his favorite music, as displayed by his personalized Spotify playlist.

ED PUB: How long have you worked as a DJ in the adult nightclub industry? What is it that initially drew you into the industry?

JOHNNY MICHELSEN: I have worked off and on as an adult nightclub DJ for eight years. I was a customer for about 3-4 years. I have a love for all genres of music and knowing that people will show up to a party to have fun drew me into the industry.


ED PUB: Being an adult club DJ has its unique challenges. What’s your approach to playing music that fits the owner’s wishes, the clientele of the club and the entertainers?

JM: Every club has a different type of owner/boss who determines music format. Then there are the entertainers who want their own style of music to be played. Sure enough, there is the clientele with what they want to hear or as a DJ, think they want to hear. Being a customer first before becoming a DJ, I’ve never judged a book by its cover. Same goes to the clientele. Sure, they may come in wearing a cowboy hat, but they may surprise everyone from management and dancers by dancing to songs by Migos, Juicy J, etc. Guys come to the adult club to escape reality and fulfill their fantasy. Most of the time, the fantasy is the opposite of what reality is at their regular lives. It’s the job of the DJ to create the party with what is given from the clientele who comes into the door. If the clientele is having a great time, the entertainers and owner will feel the vibe from the clientele (hopefully) and allow the DJ to continue on the party.

It would be great to provide entertainers the ability to get music they want at times, but sometimes the tempo of their song vs the party going on might kill the vibe. It’s up to DJ to be firm that (s)he is trying to make the entertainer the most money possible with the clientele available. Owners and GMs have enough to worry about without being concerned with the tempo of the music or the song itself.

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ED PUB: As someone who has attended the Gentlemen’s Club EXPO in the past, what would you tell someone, especially a fellow DJ, why they should consider attending if they’ve never been?

JM: One word: Go. You will learn a lot through the seminars the ED Publications put on truly help the industry grow. They provide the best of the best in knowledge to better any given situation. Whether it be social media, security, DJ skills, motivation, etc.

Not only do you get to learn about the business in going to Expo, you get plenty of time to explore the big city (I live in a city with about 100,000 people) and be a tourist. Plus you get to met people in the industry and learn in person instead of in front of a computer.

ED PUB: As someone who plays music for a living, what types of music and bands do you listen to when you’re not at work?

JM: I like rock music mostly, but I’ll listen to any genre from techno to country to hip-hop to classical.

ED PUB: If you could attend a concert for any musicians/bands, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

JM: Linkin Park. From the first CD to the very end, they have evolved their music to where it wasn’t the same repetition over and over again. They have always changed up their style of music with every different album they produced. It is sad that terrible weather prevented me from seeing them live. I’m happy there is a Linkin Park 2.0 in ‘From Ashes to New’ out now.

More about Johnny Michelsen:

Where do you hail from: Abilene, Texas
Current club: Free Agent
Past Club: Jaguars
Years employed at the club: 5
Years in the industry: 8
Favorite recording artist: Chester Bennington
Industry heroes: Mama Susie Jackson, Dr. Rock, ZRock Jeff Zuyus
Favorite feature entertainer: Bambu Jessica
Favorite DJ or industry pro: Jeremy Sweigert
Favorite part of your work night: Getting the crowd involved and staying long-term. It is always great to know customers have been in the building partying up
Pet working peeve: Making the show look bad. Lateness and looking bored while on stage
Advice for fellow club DJs: Always learn, adapt to any situation, and budget well

Hear Johnny’s personalized Spotify playlist here, courtesy of!


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