Chasin’ Waterfall

This DJ’s for reals


Photograph by Anthony Mair

DJ Waterfall will do anything to become a household name. The Australian-born writer and producer has hired his own entourage, cursed out nightclub bouncers and hawked energy drinks in his quest for fame. And he broadcasts it all in a Web series on YouTube. Similar to comedy-folk duo Flight of the Conchords or satirical journalist Ali G, Waterfall (who prefers not to reveal his born identity) is a persona of parody. He is outrageous and boisterous and, at times, kind of a diva. But he’s serious about his music. 

Waterfall is so serious, in fact, that he recently moved to Las Vegas—“the mecca of EDM,” as he calls it—to focus on club bangers full time. Previously a resident of Los Angeles, Waterfall supplements his DJ career as a ghostwriter. He was working anonymously and exclusively for other artists until about a year ago. “My manager ripped me off for a lot of money,” he says. “That’s why I’m doing my own stuff now.”

Though he has yet to DJ in Las Vegas, Waterfall has recently spun several gigs in smaller cities. None have been more infamous than his first, which took place in Australia 20 years ago. It’s when he received his moniker. “I was burning up the dance floor so bad, I thought, ‘The shit I’m playing may catch fire,’” he remembers. “My friend handed me a sprinkler and I sprayed [the audience]. Everyone was saying ‘Waterfall! Waterfall! Waterfall!’”

Currently, Waterfall is working on his first solo album. “It’s house music,” he says. “It’s big. It’s fun. And it’s exciting.” He wants to put the whole record together before touring again. That way, he won’t become “white noise,” another DJ who doesn’t produce original music. He’s in talks to collaborate with rapper Lil Uno of Bay Area hip-hop group The Pack, and his first single, “Unbreakable,” features vocals from singer Ashleigh Teich.

“I’m not trying to get too deep, too spiritual,” he says. But he is ambitious. Each of his Web videos is watermarked in the upper right-hand corner: “DJ Waterfall: Greatest DJ Ever.” He admires the careers of Strip headliners such as David Guetta and Tiësto.

And he’s confident that fans will see past his comic exterior.

“I’ll keep it as funny and as out there as possible. Either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it,” he says. “But the music’s so good that you’re gonna be like, ‘I gotta respect him.’

Or you’re gonna listen to it and go ‘I hate this guy for writing this. Because it’s that good.’”