Less than a week away from his next big show, The Naughty List, we caught up with Robert Knight AKA DJ Doza about all things Poler Nights. Read on.
ST: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
RK: Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share a little about myself with everyone out there
ST: Then let’s get this party started. You’ve been doing events for some years now, can you please tell our readers a little about your background in the event scene?
RK: Let’s see…Well, I started out getting into raves in about 2002…Here and there, not too much. Around 2007, it really took ahold of me. At Monster Massive, I was jamming out to Judge Jules in the sports arena, and I just had that moment of clarity where I just knew that this is something I really want to be a part of.
I looked around and realized these are my people. I can talk to anyone at any time and feel this connection like we’ve been friends for a long time. It was a special feeling. So when the rave ban came down in 2011, and we had far less parties to attend, I started having my own parties at my house. They became too large to have there, so we had to start finding places to hold these parties… And here we are today.
Robert Knight AKA DJ Doza
ST: That would explain the intimate feel your events still carry. Speaking of intimate, how does working as a strip club DJ tie in to your own events? For example, do you notice a lot of crossover between your club’s patrons and guests at your own parties or vice versa? How about with music selection?
RK: Well, there’s definitely an advantage to playing music 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. I can test out a lot of my new songs at work and gauge people’s reactions. I mean, if 45 year old white dude–who prob listens to mostly country and rock–can start bobbing his head to this electro beat, chances are the 25 year old girl that loves that music is going to really enjoy it. As far as the patrons go, not so much. Here and there, but for sure the girls at work get pumped up for the events.
ST: Yeah, and, as far as L.A. events go, Poler Nights parties have always had a good variety about them. You could be doing a pool party for one night, a club takeover for the next one, and a warehouse party another night, etc. How do you stay focused to your mission between changing themes and settings so often?
RK: Yes, this is something I very seriously take to heart about our events. I LIKE VARIETY. We have a pretty loyal fan base, and I don’t want them to feel like “Okay, here we go. Same ol’ DJs, same ol’ location.”
I want them to feel the excitement of something different rather than the same thing over and over.
Case in point, this Saturday we are using a location new to our events, even though our last two events were in a location that everyone absolutely loved. I just don’t want to overuse a location or get something that awesome and make it feel less attractive when people see the flyer and say “Oh, man. Same place AGAIN.” There is just something about being new that makes it feel that much more exciting.
ST: Agreed. A lot of companies just gnaw on a venue until there’s no meat left on the bone. You seem to have a bigger vision, though. On that subject, what’s the main long term goal you’d like to see Poler Nights achieve and how do you plan on getting there?
…To be honest, I don’t care for the name as much as I care for the events. I want to combine and colab with the other promoters of our scene and put on mega-shows, outdoor festivals, or big 3-4 stage shows like we have this Saturday. Aldo Valentine of HMD and the Underground Heroes guys share this view with me as well. One of these days, we’re going to make this happen. Until then, you can expect us to keep doing what we’re doing. Pick great places for great people to get together and have a great time. I know we’re one of the most active promotions out there. We do shows frequently and they’re never bad… There’s always a good turn out, so we have no reason to slow down.
The Poler Nights team
ST: That’s a good mindset to have. What inspires you to keep going in spite of any setbacks you encounter or previously encountered in fulfilling your goals?
RK: I always have 1 goal in mind… “Let’s have a good time.” I do well enough in my day job that I don’t need to do this to make money, so I don’t like to be annoying with our events and push them down peoples’ throats because I’m worried about covering costs. It’s more like “Hey. We’re having a party, come have fun! If not…Okay, maybe next time.”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to lose money so I do what’s necessary, but I would say that hasn’t been an issue in over a few years now. And I do things differently. We do presale tickets with our artists and promoters. Some think it’s crazy, and that’s fine. Thing is, that this way the event is going to have a full dance floor the entire night. Person A’s crowd is going to vibe with Person B’s crowd and so forth.
I want all of my artists to feel like they are the headliner, and that can’t happen if everyone is sitting around waiting on a crowd. With me, they’re already guaranteed. The shows are already paid for before we step in the building and that makes the night that much more smooth and relaxing. You don’t have 10 people walking around on edge all night. You won’t see a shred of fear on my face all night. I want to have fun at my own party. So as far as setbacks go, we just haven’t had any lately. That hasn’t always been the case, as you know. You have seen us grow and grow. It has taken some time to get to where we are now as a team. Another way I find inspiration is giving inspiration by picking up hungry but extremely talented artists along the way. Ones that share the same vision I have. My team works hard early so we can have a good time later.
ST: Speaking of work, let’s talk about your next event, The Naughty List. What is it and how does someone get on the list?
RK: [Laughs] I don’t know many people who aren’t already on the list, so this is a holiday party for them. We chose a location that has many different areas and ways to party to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
We have the main room that is going to be a blend of things–Deep house, electro house and the last few hours will be strictly trance.
We also have the House and Techno Stage, which will be playing just that all night.
I’m a househead and I love to groove to basslines. I know a big part of our crowd does, too, so that room is important to me. I have some real talent in there.
Last but not least, on the 3rd floor of the building we will have our trap/dubstep/ hip hop room.
Hvdes will be hosting a twerk contest during her set so, I mean…It’s gonna get SUPER NAUGHTY up there.
We try to do as much as we can for our patrons to feel like a night with us isn’t gonna cost them more then $30-$50. Drink prices are cheap. We even give out free vodka early in the night. We’re here to have fun, and if you’re going wire to wire with us, you deserve to get some free stuff out of it.
ST: Sounds like a great time. Speaking of going wire to wire we’re about to do just that with 2015. What can we expect to see from Poler Nights in 2016?
RK: We’re going to keep doing our thing, my man… I love my squad and, as long as they’re on board, I have no reason to slow down. These guys and girls work so hard to make these events happen. I love them all so much. So once a month or twice a month, you’re going to see a Poler Night pop up somewhere in the L.A. area. Looking forward to March, we’ve got the 2nd annual Whoville. ‘Cause the first one was so awesome, this will now be an annual event for us. This summer, I want to have my outdoor day festival. This is a call to arms for any promotion company who wants to take on the big boys, get some headliners and tear up a day fest. Get in contact with me, let’s make it happen.
You can catch Robert and his team’s latest and greatest show, The Naughty List, this Saturday night.
Discounted presale tickets are available through this link for a limited time:
You can also listen to Poler Nights tracks anytime you wish on Soundcloud.