Like so many others, Josh Fiore was feeling the pain of the COVID-imposed lockdown. But, having a talent that not many others possess, he was able to channel those feelings into a song. Not just a talented club DJ, Fiore is also a “spitfire” emcee and musician who used that inspiration and creativity into his original song, “One Industry,” which is his love letter of sorts to the industry he’s called home for over 20 years.
As a member of the Planet Platypus podcast crew (joining DJ Platypus, Bobby Mac and Jake Record), Fiore continues to lend his unique musical talents to the show’s offerings. While he’s anxious to get back to work as the DJ at Playmates in Miami, he and the Planet Platypus crew are making the most of his downtime. We had the chance to interview Fiore about what’s next for the industry in the COVID world, while Fiore got his own personalized Spotify playlist courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic.com!
ED: When and where did you start working as an adult club DJ? What brought you into the industry initially, and what made you decide to stay once you got there?
FIORE: I started in 1997 in Providence, Rhode Island at a club called Cheaters. I was just shy of my 21st birthday. It was a gig I fell into completely by accident, but once I got that rush of rocking the crowd and saw the money that could be made, I decided this is something I wanted to pursue as a viable career option. From there I worked my way up to more successful clubs in the New England market and to Las Vegas before landing in Miami.
ED: Where are you working as a DJ currently (or where were you the DJ before the COVID shutdown), and how long have you worked there?
FIORE: I work at Playmates in Miami, I’ve been there almost two years now.
ED: Talk about the market (South Florida) where your club is located. How does your club maintain its popularity in a competitive market?
FIORE: It was an interesting transition from what I was used to. I went from a large club to a small intimate lounge-type club, so the way I approach that in my music and mic work is very different. Another welcome challenge was transitioning to a largely Latin music/EDM format from a top 40/hip hop format. Discovering the songs that make the crowd pop and what is trending in the Latin market was like learning from scratch again. I think we maintain our popularity because of our team and our hospitality. They really are the smartest most amazing group of professionals I’ve ever worked with. Packing the place with gorgeous girls helps, too.
ED: What role do you feel you’ve played in the success of clubs where you’ve worked, and what role do you believe a DJ plays in the overall success of a gentlemen’s club?
FIORE: The success of any club is really a group effort. All the pieces have to be in place, and I’ve been very lucky in my career to work some of the top professionals in our business. I think any good DJ/MC has to have a genuine good energy they can bring to the room. You can’t phone it in. If the DJ doesn’t really want to be there, nobody is having a good time.
ED: How hard is it, as a DJ, to play music to a diverse crowd of customers—as well as the entertainers—and keep everyone happy? What’s your strategy when it comes to this juggling act?
FIORE: It shouldn’t be hard if the DJ can get out of his own way. A lot of times a DJs personal tastes dictate his show, and that’s really unfair to the guests and the entertainers. My strategy is to constantly gauge the room and see what people react to. If they look bored, try something else. I don’t usually play rock at my particular club. But if I have a party in there that I know is gonna lose their shit if I play some Metallica, the whole room is gonna feed off of that energy, and the dollars start flowing, and everybody wins. I try not to get stuck on the same old habits, and not overthink it too much.
“Discovering the songs that make the crowd pop and what is trending in the Latin market was like learning from scratch again. I think we maintain our popularity because of our team and our hospitality. They really are the smartest most amazing group of professionals I’ve ever worked with. Packing the place with gorgeous girls helps, too.” – Josh Fiore
ED: This is a tough question to answer, but what do you think is the future of the strip club industry dealing with COVID? Can clubs go on without a vaccine, or are we all screwed until we have a vaccine?
FIORE: I think it’s hard to tackle a serious issue when you are in the business of having fun, but I’ve seen the industry evolve over many years and I think the innovators in our industry are going to really shine as we figure it out. Everything is gonna be ok.
ED: Talk about your role with Planet Platypus, and also talk about some of the ‘original’ songs you’ve created. Where do you get your inspiration as a songwriter?
FIORE: Planet Platypus was around before I joined the crew, and I was a fan of the old shows. I always saw Plat’s vision to bring the strip club world to the mainstream and show them that we are people, too. It also provided an educational resource for DJs, and an entertaining look into our world and really lets us showcase the good people in our business. When Platypus approached me with the idea to bring the show back and involve me as a producer and join him and Bobby Mac as co-host, it was a no-brainer. Hanging out with my friends and recording a radio show is really my favorite thing in the world to do. Writing songs is something I’ve done all my life, and this show gave me an outlet to kind of rekindle that creative spark and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.
ED: What is your favorite music to play on a busy Saturday night at the club? Conversely, when you’re not in the club, what music do you prefer to listen to?
FIORE: Personally I like to play high-energy remixes or drop a classic rap song at just the right time, but honestly my favorite music to play is what is getting the best crowd reaction. That might be a Cuban artist that the crowd loves and I may not understand why, but I feed off that energy of people having fun. When I’m not in the club I listen to mostly old-school hip hop and podcasts.
ED: If you could see any concert or lineup of artists, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
FIORE: Cypress Hill, NWA, Rob Zombie, Travis Scott, Dean Martin, Metallica, The Monkees, New Kids on the Block, Biggie, Frank Sinatra, Future, and 2 Chainz. Because that pretty much sums up my personality.
Here’s more about Josh Fiore!
Where do you originally hail from: Providence RI
Current club: Playmates
Years employed at the club: 2
Years in the industry: 23
Favorite recording artist: Me
Industry hero: DJ Platypus
Favorite feature entertainer: Pornstar: Richelle Ryan; Showgirl: Angel Beau
Favorite DJ or industry pro: Doctor Rock
Favorite part of your work night: Primetime, when the dollars are flying in the air.
Pet working peeve: Girls who look like they don’t want to be there.
Advice for fellow club DJs: No matter how long you’ve been in the booth, always be open to learn and grow. When the industry evolves you have to roll with the changes.
Don’t miss Josh Fiore’s personalized Spotify playlist courtesy of Bob Chiappardi and StripJointsMusic.com!