If you are a supporter of the Chicago House scene, this artist needs no introduction. L3XX, also known as Alex Cruz, has started his musical career at the young age of 9, where he immediately connected with Chicago’s sound. Practicing with records from Cajmere and Frankie Knuckles while bleeding in hip-hop and juke influences, he quickly honed the skills to become a top DJ. In 2014, he made his debut in the Chicago DJ scene and since then has performed at top clubs, including Spybar, theMID, SoundBar, Cerise, Estate boat parties, warehouses, and more. Not only is L3XX a respected DJ, but he’s also the head of Collective Management Chicago, one of the leading event management companies in Chicago. L3XX is taking his passion for high energy House music and applying it to the production world. His Tech House focused productions are scheduled to be released in mid 2020.
What genre would you describe yourself as? Why?
Tech House – I love playing that futuristic space bass driven groovy house music.
Who would you say are your biggest inspirations within the industry?
That’s a hard question because I look up to all my peers who are trying to make a come up in the house scene. I have a lot of love for all these Collective’s for their hard work on trying to create great experiences for people.
What was the moment you wanted to take the leap in this lifestyle?
I always wanted to be a DJ. It was when I became a DJ that I wanted to run my own events. I was how people did things and I told myself why not creating another experience for the public to enjoy.
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
I listen to new music, download it, and practice mixing the tracks at home before I get to the club to play them.
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ?
Trying to balance my production time, event planning, and focusing on my solo artist career.
What is your proudest moment so far (blogged/signed/etc..)
My proudest moment so far has probably been finding a team that I believe in to try and make a change in the Chicago house scene.
You are the owner of Collective Management Chicago. What’s the story behind how it was established?
I started the company in 2017 when I started doing the DJ bookings at Replay Lincoln Park and needed a separate entity for payouts from the venue. A few months later I met one of my partners Luis and we started throwing small scale house shows. Towards the end of that year, we met Jeff and Val brought them aboard as well. Going into 2018 we decided to throw all our house shows under “Collective Chicago” and everything really took off from there. At this point we were just trying to provide a fun, family feeling atmosphere for our fans while trying to have a more diverse crowd at our events. Equality is everything for us.
Any future plans for Collective Management we should know about?
My best piece of advice would be to follow us on our group page. We have a lot of plans in the works that I’d rather not announce yet. But let’s just say it’s going to be an exciting year!
You’re making your debut at Prysm Nightclub tomorrow while opening for your good friend John Summit. How does it feel and what do you have planned to show for your city?
It feels good to be on the same lineup as someone who I look up to. I’ve been listening to his music for a long time and all he puts out are quality BANGERS. I’m just excited to open up for one of my favorite producers on a b2b with my brother JuJu.
If you were stuck in an elevator, what album/record would you have playing to keep you sane?
The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest
If you had to do something else (outside of music), what would it be?
Traveling as much as I can.
What’s your favorite Chicago venue to play at? Why?
Spybar – I love the dark basement vibes, all my friends go there, and they book tons of amazing acts on a monthly basis.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Chicago?
La Bomba in Humboldt Park
What was your favorite show that you’ve played in Chicago?
Closing out the MID for Shiba San.
If you can describe the city of Chicago in one word, what would it be?
What is a quote or phrase that you try to live by? Why?
“The harder you fall the higher you bounce.” – Sometimes you really need to f**k up to get a reality check. Then when you get that reality check things change for the better.
Tell us something that you’re doing now and are excited about.
I’m excited about where my head is at with my productions. I know what sound I’m going for and the more I learn the closer I get.
What should we expect from you in 2020?
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Shout out to GLC featuring me for this highlight. I appreciate working with you guys and all the exposure that I’ve gotten from working with you.
WRITTEN & CURATED BY MARIAH M. VAZQUEZ