DJ Pauly D’s project for the evening is to meet the Vegas press. He’ll do so with charm and reserved candor. Push for the details and you’ll just get the grin. Crazy Vegas? “Oh yeah we see it.” The grin. If you’ve seen the interview segments during episodes of Jersey Shore, you’ve met Pauly D. Brief, to the point conversation, then that smile and the knowing nods. Make him laugh and he doubles over. Pauly is loving life. The tan, the bling, the hair - it’s all there. His own TV show on the way. An album of tracks. And he wants to be the next Ryan Seacrest. It’s a Pauly D world.
“The East Coast can get down. We can party like no other, there’s no question about that. The thing about Las Vegas, is everybody comes here, to party.”
He's walked that walk, but Pauly is here to work. Promote his new monthly DJ residency at Vanity in the Hard Rock and a new MTV reality show, The Pauly D Project, partially filmed during his previous DJ gig at the Palms.
The show highlights a new set of characters, the Posse, who they hope will be the next set of break-out reality stars. Mid-way through our conversation, he's brought dessert with chocolate toppers decorated in the design of his latest tattoo. It's a star within a star, the logo of clothing line, Dirty Couture. Pauly's a human billboard and a walking tribute to his friend and business partner, Pasquale DiPippo. Promotion and friendship. Two concepts that live strong in Pauly. Those that stuck by him during his earliest DJ days, are now being lifted into the limelight. It doesn't hurt they are also no strangers to causing a commotion.
For now, the Posse’s project for the evening is to sit quietly and politely, feet tapping with nervous energy, hunched over phones, coiled for the night's potential. The Hard Rock has 'hooked' Pauly up with a suite, a crackerjack team of promotional staff, and an obvious aura of genuine and mutual goodwill. Its created a happy DJ Pauly D, who would like you to know, assuredly and confidently, that he was always a DJ and he’d like to prove it to you.
The source of his lure to Las Vegas is DJ AM. When he died during the first season of Jersey Shore, Pauly lost his career mentor. Way back, during his major interview, ”I said I’d love to follow in DJ AM’s footsteps. No one will ever replace him, but I’d love to follow in his footsteps and land a residency in Las Vegas. And, here we are today.” Pauly spent a year and a half at Palms but, once a free agent, he says offers flooded in from other clubs. The Hard Rock might not be the obvious choice. He hedges he’ll maybe drop the odd rock track in with the beats. The grin. The appeal of also working their “legendary,” pool club, Rehab, grin, may have helped tipped the balance.
The Hard Rock is very happy they’ve signed him. A retail manager regaled a story of young girls spying Pauly at lunch, egging each other other to go talk to him, like he was a member of a boy band. He loves this, doubling over, “I’m blessed, I’m blessed.” The buzz he’s been creating, plus recent conventions and the Motley Crüe residency, have the Hard Rock staff feeling they are back on a serious roll.
With one DJ gig under his belt, Pauly's seriously considering buying a place here, “its just hard with all the traveling.” He finds time to check out fellow DJ’s on the Strip, “I love everybody” and name checks LMFAO, Afrojack, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, Chuckie and Paul Oakenfold. It's all about those anthems. That’s what he wants to drop here,
“as a DJ when you can feel the crowd and you own them, that's what a DJ lives for.”
Meanwhile, the Posse are plotting and planning. Everyone in the Pauly crew understands this is the next level. With a new, established back-story, legitimacy as a DJ and even more re-run exposure, things are cooking. There’s much talk of ventures, investment and the future. For Pauly, “my life is music right now.” Last year, he signed to 50 Cent's G-Note record label to release an album.
“I’m on skype, I'm on emails. I hit the studio on my downtime. I want this album to pop. I’m in no rush for it.”
Maybe. When he talks about the future, he's thinking further than the Strip,
“I want to show the world... to be a producer. Kind of like Mark Wahlberg. Or a Ryan Seacrest.”
As for returning to the Jersey Shore, he’d have no problem re-signing for another series. And, with news breaking of the Snooki pregnancy, we asked will he be "Uncle Pauly"? He doubles over, grin, “I want to be the Godfather" he yells.
“Snooki already said she wants me to DJ in the delivery room.”
Interviews over, the Posse rises and mingles as a pack. They have an intricate series of Jersey Shore-style handshakes, that evolve and upgrade. Fist-bumps, slaps, turns. It’s a bonding and isolating set of moves. You may be watching the Project, but you’re far from being part of the project. They head out for the evening, doubtfully heeding Pauly D’s personal visitor advice for our VegasChatter readers:
“Pace yourself. You got to pace yourself.”
Asked for three tracks to sum up the summer and the essence of a DJ Pauly DJ set, he offered these selections:
LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem
“Vegas is the ultimate party town, so you got to go with this.”
Swedish House Mafia - Save The World
“I feel like I’m saving the world when I DJ.”
And the DJ Pauly D go-to-place when he wants to lift the crowd? His own single, "Beat Dat Beat."
“Because I can drop it and perform it. And, get their attention again."
“The Pauly D Project” premieres on MTV on March 29.