If you like “thicc” beats and “thicc” parties, you’ve come to the right place.
El Paso DJ and producer Keith Diaz has been giving El Paso dancefloors and partygoers what they want for several years now.
Starting off DJing at parties and for friends in college, Diaz made his move to clubs and bars around town for the last several years.
In 2019, he produced his own tracks and started playing them out in his live sets under the moniker Thicc Flair.
He released his first EP “alone” that year, and began performing in and around a small scene of local DJs and producers, many of whom call Downtown’s Prickly Elder their home base.
The five-song production features Diaz’s brand of electronic dance music that blends dreamy synths with reggaeton rhythms, trap breakdowns, hip hop drums and even indie rock.
It’s a unique sound that could have only come from the eclectic tastes of El Paso’s night scene and the mind of a 26-year-old music lover.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which has put a damper on the nightlife scene, including live performances where new music is often released.
El Paso Inc. caught up with Diaz to talk about how independent artists like himself – especially those who were just starting to make a name for themselves – are coping during the COVID-19 crisis and keeping their creative juices flowing.
Q: How has the pandemic changed your plans for releasing music and performing for 2020?
For sure 2020 has been one crazy ride. I had been working on my second EP since about December 2019. When the pandemic hit in March, I was worried about how I’d create enough buzz for people to even care about it. Instead, I just started working on more music outside of my comfort zone.
Q: What are some of the things you’ve been doing to keep the Thicc Flair name out there while venues are closed?
For a while I was doing weekly streams on Instagram on Sunday nights. I was also part of a few festival streams locally. Then the bars reopened and I had a few gigs. After they shut again, I just dove into production. I spent a solid three to four hours a day producing disco, house and some beats for hip hop.
Q: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I want to release my EP towards the end of the year in hopes of venues reopening. I’ve started working on a live set to play instead of just DJing. Let’s just hope it all pans out!
Q: What effect is the pandemic having on yourself as an independent artist?
Money mainly. It’s been a struggle without weekly or biweekly gigs.
Q: What new ideas have sprung from this downtime?
Tip jars on the livestreams (laughs). You’d be surprised at how willing people are to donate to struggling artists. Artistically, I think I’ve been able to just become more in touch with myself and see out a long-term vision on the music I want to put out.
Q: How can fans support you and other indie artists they love right now?
Definitely donate to them when you can! If they are streaming and post a tip jar, that helps more than you’d think. If they have merch, support that. A share on social media also goes a long way.