Jeremy Sweigert—you may or may not be familiar with the name, but if you’ve attended any one of the past few EXPOs, you probably saw him. He’s “the guy in the hat”; a dapper dresser, almost always sporting a fedora of one style or another.
Jeremy (aka “DJ Swaggle”) is the DJ at Michael’s Men’s Club in Broussard, Louisiana, and an active member of PANDA (Professional Adult Nightclub DJ Association). In conjunction with Bob Chiappardi of StripJointsMusic, we wanted to get to know a little more about the guy in the hat. What’s his secret to playing the right music at the right time? What does he listen to inside AND outside the club? Find our more about Jeremy here, including his own personalized Spotify playlist!
EXOTIC DANCER PUB: When and where did you start working as an adult club DJ? What brought you into the industry initially, and what made you decide to stay once you got there?
JEREMY SWEIGERT: I started DJing in 1993 but only entered our industry in 2005. It was actually my best friend of 15 years, the late, great feature entertainer Vayda Kiss, who wanted me as a DJ in her home club (Spanky’s East, Easton, PA), so we pretty much started this path together. When she asked for help for her first competition it made things feel more like theatre, which is all I ever wanted to do with my life in the first place. A DJ running a stage rotation has a lot in common with a theatre stage manager.
ED: What role do you feel you’ve played in the success of Michael’s Men’s Club; or, in general, what role do you believe a DJ plays in the overall success of a gentlemen’s club?
JS: First and foremost, keep your hands to yourself. One of my favorite lines I have used over the years is simply this: A creepy employee is basically a customer with no money! As for Michael’s, the biggest impact I feel I’ve made is treating our entertainers like family, talking them up to customers and aggressively complimenting them to do more to the point where many now do in-house feature shows in hopes to create new traveling features in the future!
ED: How hard is it, as a DJ, to play music to such a diverse crowd including locals and tourists (as well as the entertainers) and keep everyone happy? What’s your strategy when it comes to this juggling act?
JS: I enjoy all music, really I do! Everyone says to read the crowd but I prefer to talk to the customers directly. If they are spending money I ask them what they like to hear, and if it’s not in the club’s format I’lI apologize and hand them a card for a free cover charge. If its not what a dancer prefers, I talk to them to make a compromise in an effort to show the younger ones that trying something new to dance to just might get you a private room (sale) because you danced to a song that took said customer back to his high school or college days. Everyone is here for T&A, but if you transport that customer to his heyday his wallet will be empty come closing time.
ED: You’ve worked with several feature entertainers over the years at Michael’s. What’s your favorite part of working with a feature when they’re booked at your club? If a club owner asked you why they should book a feature in their club, what would you tell them?
JS: Working with features is one of the highlights of my job. If time permits I like to spend time with them either at the club or treating them to a restaurant to talk about the show on a professional and direct level. When looking for features, “personality” is key. While I want talented and beautiful entertainers, the fact remains that you can’t put makeup on a personality.
As for what I’d tell other club owners and operators, for me, having features is paramount for future success of our club’s entertainers. My hope is they are inspired seeing feature shows and try to do more on stage themselves.
“Dancers, you might get a private room (sale) because you danced to a song that took the customer back to his high school or college days. Everyone is here for T&A, but if you transport that customer to his heyday his wallet will be empty come closing time.” – Jeremy Sweigert
ED: You’ve become known for the fedoras and suits that you wear. When did you first start wearing them and how do they reflect your personality?
JS: I suppose my obsession with my grandparents WW2 generation. I like the classic style (same with Burlesque and entertainers in gowns), and my work attire is Johnny-Carson-era vintage suits (also an idol of mine). It’s the same when I am on the mic or on stage; I try to emulate a throwback ’50s-‘60s Vegas-style of emcee.
I added the fedora about a little over a decade ago thanks to, once again, Vayda Kiss suggesting that I wear it (she was going through a Frank Sinatra phase). I wore it a few times, but ultimately it was me sleeping in too late and not waiting to mess with my hair during a time I was growing my hair long. It was out of sheer laziness. However, I did it so often that when I stopped wearing it, people would ask about the fedora. So now it’s at the point I have to wear it. Still, on off days, I can wear a t-shirt and baseball cap and most people don’t recognize me right away and that’s amazing.
ED: What is your favorite music to play on a busy Saturday night at the club? Conversely, when you’re not in the club, what music do you prefer to listen to?
JS: Saturday nights I aim to keep things upbeat and remix-y with random, goofy stuff during showtimes. During these promos I go nuts with what can be described as wedding reception music. The goal is when promos come and we offer discounts on dances, then I want the customers getting up and singing and dancing on their way to the dance and VIP rooms. It’s a lot of fun.
When I am not at work, then it’s mostly ’70s and ’80s music on original, vinyl but I can also go from 1940’s Benny Goodman to 2018’s Kendrick Lamar in one sitting. I appreciate all music and still buy and collect new releases on vinyl!
ED: If you could see any concert or lineup of artists, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
JS: Queen with Freddie Mercury, preferably late ’70s to early ’80s. I got to see Queen with Paul Rodgers of Bad Company many years ago and left me thirsty for a DeLorean traveling at 88 mph on its way to 1978!
More about Jeremy Sweigert!
Where do you originally hail from: Tower City, PA
Current Club: Michael’s Men’s Cub
Years employed at the club: 3
Years in the industry: 25 years as a DJ, with 13 in this industry
Favorite recording artist: Queen / Beatles / Michael Jackson / Sinatra / ’90s Snoop Dog
Industry hero: Danny Meyers. His drive and attitude is where I want mine to be in 20 years.
Favorite feature entertainer: I won’t pick an “absolute favorite,” but one of the top ones is Natasha Nova, who I have had the pleasure of working with the most as feature and emcee co-host over the past three years!
Favorite DJ or industry pro: Dane Hansen for taking a chance on me and giving me a space to share ideas and learn with fellow DJs.
Favorite part of your work night: Showtimes and promo games. I love breaking the monotony even if I sometimes come off as a game show host giving out a new car.
Pet working peeve: Negativity and unnecessary Drama
Advice for fellow club DJs: Be Positive! The mood of the DJ affect the entire club and staff!