“David’s mixes are so amazing.
He can blend anything together,” says superstar DJ Manny
Lehman of his Madtizzy brethren. “He is a human Metronome.”
As the original Circuit DJ, David Knapp
has assumed many similarly flattering characterizations during
an illustrious career that has spanned two decades. Often
referred to as The People’s DJ because of his unique
ability to make each crowd feel like it’s the most important
party he’s ever played, David is truly there for the
audience as much as they are there for him.
In the midst of South Beach’s rebirth
in the early 90s as the inevitable international nightlife
mecca, David Knapp graduated from the University of Miami
Law School and passed the Bar Exam. While he could have easily
pursued a lucrative career practicing law, he instead decided
to follow his passion for music. And he hasn’t looked
back once yet.
An early gig at Boomerang (later known
as Groove Jet) led to a career-defining residency at Kremlin.
It was during his time at the Lincoln Road Mall hotspot (now
called Score) that David first got involved with Miami’s
White Party, the annual series of benefit events held during
Thanksgiving week. David went on to headline the signature
Sunday night party at the lavish waterfront Italian Renaissance-style
palazzo, Vizcaya, for an astonishing 10 years. With White
Party widely considered the crown jewel of the gay party Circuit,
David became its honorary, albeit disarmingly humble, king.
While traveling the world making appearances
at the multitude of similar Circuit weekends that popped up
across the country and around the world, the Billboard-reporting
DJ forged key relationships with some of New York’s
heaviest hitters. Having duly impressed legendary DJ/producer
Junior Vasquez on several occasions, David was invited by
the master himself to guest DJ at Palladium and Tunnel, and
eventually landed the ultimate guest residency at Twilo in
1999. He’s also played Boy’s Life, Limelight,
the Empire State Pride Agenda benefit, Heritage of Pride’s
Pier Dance, and has the distinction of being the first non-New
York-based DJ to play the Saint-at-Large Black Party in 1998.
Another similarly prolific alliance with
über-promoter John Blair resulted in David sharing a
residency at Roxy with Victor Calderone and his being commissioned
to remix Volume 1 of Blair’s NYC’s Best DJs CD
series. David has also remixed several White Party benefit
CDs for Centaur Music, as well as others in the Global Groove
and Party Groove series. As a testament to David’s long-standing
and fruitful relationship with Centaur, he’ll be headlining
the label’s forthcoming music tour in 2004.
Gentleman’s Quarterly also named
David one of the six most influential DJs in America in its
July 2000 issue. He was also featured alongside Danny Tenaglia,
Eddie X, Junior Vasquez and Victor Calderone in the 2002 documentary
about global DJs called Dance Culture In The Mix.
In early 2000, David signed on with Madtizzy where George
Dellinger has managed his infinitely fertile career since.
David has also helped scout new talent for George to bring
onboard. His efforts so far have yielded two of the Circuit’s
most in-demand talents signing with Madtizzy -- Chad Jack
and DJ Ra.
With past and present residencies at many
of North America’s most influential nightclubs under
his belt, including New York’s SBNY, Coliseum in Fort
Lauderdale, as well as regular trips to spin at Le Queen in
Paris and Dome in Tel Aviv, David concentrates much of his
effort these days on his residency at Blu in his current hometown
of Atlanta. Having established a family there with his partner
Scott and adopted son Ryan (who, incidentally, celebrates
his birthday Winter Party Weekend), David is also building
a studio with local musician and protégé, DJ
Greg Dean. David and Greg plan to develop Atlantis Studio
as a vehicle to produce and remix their own music.
There remain few parties or cities David
has yet to play, but among the many highlights are parties
in Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Mykonos, Paris, Sydney, Amsterdam,
Womb in Tokyo, Montreal’s Black & Blue and New Year’s
Eve 2003 at Toronto’s Fly. He also enjoys recurrent
gigs at Avalon in Boston, Chicago’s Crobar, Gus Presents’
events in San Francisco, Mark Baker’s Arabian Knights
after-hours in Orlando during Gay Disney, and the sunset cruise
in Provincetown during the July 4th holiday.
A highly accomplished and archetypal DJ
who helped frame the modern party paradigm, David Knapp is
a legend in his own right who continues to influence trends
in music while entertaining legions of fans around the world.
And he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.