Best Of

Best DJ to Erase the Whip and Nae Nae From Your Memory


Mario Ontaneda was a lighting technician six years ago at Hudson Terrace, where he picked up the basics of DJ’ing by observation. The DJs there were talented, he noted, but something crucial was missing from the equation: fun. Now known as DJ TRST, Ontaneda moves crowds at his weekly residency at Parkside Lounge, off the strength of the feel-good hip-hop of the Nineties. The laid-back atmosphere it promotes encourages “ritualistic dancing,” as he calls it, where people aren’t concerned with posing or looking nonchalant but instead with pulling out their best moves. “That golden era of hip-hop was when the genre began to go mainstream,” he says. A producer as well, Ontaneda recognizes that the beat sets the mood and that it takes intuition to get a crowd hyped. “Some DJs play to themselves,” he notes, “and these venues they spin at have a sense of entitlement. They charge $20 for a watered-down drink, and that stresses people out.” Ontaneda and his business partners Jeremy Gonzalez and Giovanni Cepin created a quarterly event (they aim to make it a monthly jam) called Saved by the Bounce, their own force to combat both the culture of entitlement and the gimmicky hip-hop of today. Drinks are six bucks a pop, venues are relaxed, and the music is reminiscent of a pre-Auto-Tune era, enhanced with a respectable amount of Drake and Rihanna. And if a little breakdancing spontaneously occurs — which it has — so be it.