It’s become a sure fire bet. Wherever DJ Alexi plays, the crowds will follow.
The in-demand DJ has built a solid reputation on Cayman’s music scene and can be seen spinning the tunes at some of Cayman’s hottest nightspots, including the Ritz-Carlton’s weekly After Eight and Sapphire’s The Flow every Thursday evening.
He can be found DJing on Spin 94.9FM, at a host of monthly parties and one-off events; everything from nightclubs, boat raves to private lingerie parties. It seems whenever people need some guaranteed good tunes, DJ Alexi is the one to call.
Although he has been passionate about music all his life, he admits it wasn’t DJing that first lured him to Cayman’s shores.
A trained chef by trade, Alexi Kapetaneas was first drawn to Cayman with the offer of a chef’s job at the Links, SafeHaven. Positions later followed at Cimboco and then Mezza.
The Canadian-born DJ has called Cayman home for the past seven years and it was here that he truly honed his DJing skills.
‘It was crazy times’, he said.
‘I was DJing up to four nights a week, while also working full-time as a chef.’
It was while DJing in his spare time that Kenny Rankin, owner of Paramount Media Group, scouted him out.
‘It was kinda of cool,’ the self-taught DJ says of being discovered.
‘It goes to show that if you have talent and you work hard, people will recognise you.’
In 2002 Alexi turned full-time DJ with Spin FM and has gone on to create a solid house music name for himself.
‘At that time, the music scene wasn’t really there. There was a lot of the same stuff being played.
‘I set out to bring something different and new to Cayman. It took a while to build up a following, but if you do it gradually, people will eventually get it.
‘I’d like to think that over the years I have helped develop electronic music in Cayman.’
Music lovers can tell when DJ Alexi hits the decks. He spins an eclectic selection of global chilled-out beats and soulful classic house beats fused with Latin flavour.
‘House music is my true passion. It’s about 128-130 beats per minute. It’s meant to be like the beating of your heart.’
He admits he doesn’t really like playing top 40 hits, although has to succumb to playing it at times.
‘You have to play what the crowd like, but the art is to find a different way of delivering it, to keep pushing the envelope to make it sound as different and original as possible.
‘Some DJs go too far, too eclectic, and they lose the crowd. The key is to push the music to the edge, but still keep the commercial side.’
Collecting records since a young teenager, the DJ has thousands from which to dip into for his sets.
‘Selection is key to making the music interesting. Ideally I like something that has some grit to it, but with good vocals to smooth it out. It’s all about keeping it in a controlled package.’
While the DJ plays an eclectic set, he has some favourite tracks including those by DJs Erick Morillo, Rodger Sanchez and Bob Sinclair.
‘Bob Sinclair has brought house music into the Caribbean with tunes like Love Generation and World Hold On.
‘It’s really clever what he has done. He’s taken samples of old Jamaican tracks and turned them into something people can enjoy, while still maintaining the original soca beat.’
While Alexi’s DJing career continues to grow, he still finds time to tantalise the senses in the kitchen, catering to private parties.
‘I love cooking. It’s all about small dishes and big flavours.
‘I went to Ibiza last year for the first time. It was so cool. Some of the biggest DJing names play there, but it wasn’t just about the music. The food was amazing too. It has really inspired me to get back into cooking.’
For the immediate future though, Alexi is focusing on his music career.
‘In the next year I really want to go into producing my own music,’ he said.
‘That’s where I am going to really get full enjoyment from. It’s the next logical step; DJ then producer. I’d like to produce tunes I can really groove to.’
When asked what his first love is, music or food, Alexi pauses.
‘Music is definitely my first love, but food comes a very, very close second.
‘It’s all about the senses.’
Alexi can be found spinning the tunes at the Ritz-Carlton After Eight, held every Friday night from 8pm to 1am, at Sapphire Martini Lounge and Sushi Bar every Thursday night from 9pm to 2am, and every second Monday at Macabuca from 9pm to 1am.
The DJ co-hosts the Reality Show with SeSe, 9am to 10am Monday to Friday on Spin FM, as well as cooking segments, 11am to noon Monday to Friday, and hosts Drive Time, 5pm to 6pm, Monday to Friday.