Los Angeles native Samantha Duenas AKA SOSUPERSAM doesn’t just know how to start a party. She keeps it going into the wee hours of the night without so much as a momentary lull or lapse in momentum. A dance floor breather? Not on SOSUPERSAM’s watch. Sit this one out? Not unless you want the worse recorded case of FOMO on this side of the 405 freeway. From being the official DJ for Childish Gambino’s “Camp” tour in 2012 and opening for BOYS II MEN and Erykah Badu, she’s expanded her audience, slaying the turntables for everyone Lena Dunham and the HBO crowd to photographer Annie Liebovitz during her acclaimed Vanity Fair cover shoot.
Despite Sam’s coveted status as DJ of choice for Hollywood celebrities and fashion’s elite (clients range from AOL and Porsche to Vans and Rodarte), the pint-sized party-starter is really just a down to earth homebody with an affinity for being witty and internet-y, posting drool-worthy #foodpics (concoctions often whipped up by her culinarily gifted main squeeze Them Jeans), and architecting the soundtracks of unforgettable nights. If it sounds like we’re super fans of SOSUPERSAM, you’re totally right. She’s a Smashbox Studios favorite, known to provide the tunes for some of the highest-profile shoots. She even created a custom mix for us to play on set, which premieres right here.
Get to know the personality behind the playlist as The Hype talks freak-dancing, 143, and Channing Tatum with our girl SOSUPERSAM.
I promise the questions will get more interesting after this, but it’s my job to ask. How’d you get your start as a DJ?
I’m already SO BORED with this interview. Just kidding. I have a storied past of dancing, singing in bands and choirs, and musical theatre. Sometime in 2008 I was very unfulfilled at my 9-5 office job and was looking for a new musical creative outlet. I grew up around a lot of DJs, and I thought it was time to give that a try as a hobby. So that was it, I just bought some hand-me-down equipment, and became obsessed with the craft. Over time it evolved from a hobby to a moonlighting gig and now I’m basically balling out of control and my name is Tiesto.
Um, is it true that you started as a professional dancer with Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens?
This is true. I was a professional dancer right out of college, and my youthful looks landed me gigs with some of Disney’s biggest stars. I did a national tour with Vanessa and an episode of Hannah Montana with Miley. Two great gals. Miley’s work ethic and all around talent at such a young age was incredible to watch.
What’s the best song to old school “freak dance” to?
H-Town “Knockin Da Boots”
What’s the best song to have a good old-fashioned cry to?
Alicia Keys f. Drake “Unthinkable”
What’s the the wildest/weirdest thing you’ve ever seen go down on a dancefloor?
A guy in a wheelchair get a gnarly lap dance
Tell me about your monthly 143 party?
143 is old pager code for “I LOVE YOU” and that’s what we call our monthly steamy r&b party where we play anything from Sza to Brandy to Sade to Jodeci. I throw it with my friends Ken and Cody, and we’re coming up on 2 years now. We have our DJ pals come and play, and this year we started bringing in secret performers — a few months ago Sisqo sang Thong Song with full dance choreography. It’s our r&b fantasy playground where we make our “what ifs” happen, and people come out to hang. It’s great.
You’re really into food and cooking. Do you have any plans to pursue that professionally?
I helped out in a professional kitchen recently, and very quickly ascertained that I like to cook at home for my loved ones and that’s it. I love taking my time, having a glass of wine and listening to music while I cook, then enjoying the meal with my friends — all things that no one has time for in a restaurant kitchen. I did some cooking videos in the past and that was super fun. I would definitely pursue that food avenue.
What’s the best thing to eat when you’re drunk?
What’s the best thing to eat when you’re hungover?
Advil and a cup of coffee
Tell me about meeting the one-and-only Channing Tatum of Magic Mike fame while DJing a Vanity Fair shoot at our very own Smashbox Studios:
Channing Tatum is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He’s the guy that walks into a room, introduces himself to every single person and makes everyone feel important and loved. He is full of silly energy, and rattles off funny anecdotes like you’ve known him for 25 years. He’s obsessed with his wife (MEGA BABE) and his daughter (MINI BABE). What a guy. We had a cool conversation about Ginuwine and I got to meet his wife Jenna Dewan who is equally nice and gorgeous.
I heard you made a mix just for Smashbox Studios. What’s it all about?
The mix is a compilation of recent favorite tracks, some interesting remixes of familiar songs, with a heavy undercurrent of r&b. I think it makes a good atmospheric soundtrack for a photoshoot at Smashbox.
If you could DJ a party hosted by anyone, living, dead, or fictional, would would it be?
What are the 3 SOSUPER-IST things about DJing for a living?
1) Traveling all over the world and seeing new places and new faces. It gets physically tiring at times but it never ever gets old.
2) I work on nights/weekends, so I get to avoid weekend crowds and parking woes by doing my chores/activities on weekdays — Ikea, Trader Joes, Brunch (brunch gets a capital B), Disneyland if you will.
3) I get to hear new music before it comes out!
4) Free snacks sometimes!
5) My job is to help people relax and enjoy time with their friends, I love that I get to faciliate good vibes for a living.
5 is good too. So what’s next for SOSUPERSAM?
I’m focusing a lot more on producing, and I think I will finally be sharing some vocal projects this year. We’re taking 143 on the road, too!