From house to home: DJ Illegal Alienz

DJ Illegal Alienz
“Most people look at it as someone who just plays at the club or quinces or weddings. And the majority of the time, it is. But there’s more to deejaying than that.”

Zeke arrived in the United States when he was 12 years old. It took him a year to learn English, with the help of his uncle, who made sure they spoke only English at home. Growing up, Zeke was a creative but depressed teenager until he discovered turntables and began watching YouTube tutorials.

Today, Zeke is known as DJ Illegal Alienz, an up-and-coming house DJ and soon-to-be producer on the popular EDM radio show Secret Nightlife on Sirius XM. Meeting French DJ Dustycloud, who shares a similar background as an immigrant trying to break into the electronic music industry, was a defining moment in Zeke’s career.

As an immigrant artist, Zeke says his experience can be difficult and risky. His stage name, Illegal Alienz, states his citizenship status. However, he hopes his journey can inspire his fellow Hispanic listeners to pursue their dreams, especially in any creative field.

Zeke graduated in 2019 with a sound engineering degree from a private music college. It took him seven years to go from performing at weddings and quinces to performing at well-known EDM clubs from Orange County to Los Angeles. With each performance, he creates a memorable experience for his audience, not only through sound but also psychedelic visuals and fluorescent lighting.

Zeke’s greatest accomplishment is signing a publishing contract for his song “Pray the Lord” with Secret Nightlife, where he keeps half of his profits while still retaining all the rights to his song. “I wanted to show people that there are other ways to go about being an immigrant,” says Zeke.

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Jakki Padilla
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