Video DJ David Petree, a.k.a. DJ D-MIXX, is turning Apple Annie’s in Seville Quarter into a premier club hot spot and trying to get more people in there to party and hang out. “This room is different,” he said. “In the main room, you hear your normal high-energy club music. In here, I play a lot of mash-ups, more of a new-aged beat but could be old school, stuff you can sing along and party with. We’re just trying to change something and make it totally different — just a fun party room.”
Petree spins at 9 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, playing a mixture of hip-hop, mash-ups, ’80s and sing-along songs.
“You will never know what I’m going to play,” Petree said. “My whole thing is to get a surprise out of you. It’s fun to see the reaction on people’s faces and they say, ‘what the hell is he playing?’ I like the shock factor. Don’t come in here thinking you’re going to hear the same thing on the radio.”
Petree uses all turntables “because I’m old school,” and DJs all video. He plays a lot of old-school beats but with new lyrics, or ’70s and ’80s songs over newer beats.
His main goal is not necessarily to keep the dance floor packed — though he does like to see a crowded room — but to make sure people are buying drinks. So if he’s playing a hip-hop song and he sees the crowd “get crunk,” he’ll throw in a techno or break song to make the crowd disperse a little, forcing them to go to the bar and buy a drink.
“The thing is, DJs aren’t really watching the dance floor,” he said. "A good DJ watches the bar. So if the dance floor is packed and there’s no one at the bar, we’re not making any money. It’s all about making money. That’s the most underrated thing about a DJ. Even my friends come up and ask, ‘what the hell are you playing?’ "
On Thursdays, Petree spins on the stage. Friday and Saturday, when there’s a band playing, he spins during their breaks.
The past two weekends, Petree was able to test out something new. Caught on Camera and Schofield, which he calls “two of the baddest bands in Pensacola,” were playing in Apple Annie’s, and Petree set up his DJ booth beside the stage. He started scratching and playing songs while the band was still jamming out, and then the band started in with their instruments while he was DJing.
“The music never stopped and it was awesome,” Petree said. “We’re all really good friends so we talked about practicing, but we just did it on the fly that night and it worked out unbelievably perfect.”
Petree sometimes rotates with DJ Nick B at The Fish House, and is spinning during the “American Idol” party on May 26.
He was also one of the DJs who spun at “The Get Down” last month, and will be returning for this month’s event on May 30.
“It was unbelievably awesome,” he said. “It was so much fun. We had a great turnout for the first time. Next time it will be even better.”
Petree has been DJing for 21 years, but has never made it his main profession. He is currently a full-time service engineer for AppRiver in Gulf Breeze.
“So I’m doing this for fun,” he said. “I don’t want to be the main DJ. I was the main DJ for a long time and I don’t want the headache of being a main DJ. I never wanted DJing to be my real job. I’ve always had a real job and just done DJing on the side.”