IYKYK: Michael Simpson is Giving ‘Hottest DJ in NYC’ Vibes

Michael Simpson mobile
Michael Simpson

The age-old adage, “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere” will probably forever be synonymous with New York City. Michael Simpson is living proof of why. Since landing in NYC in 2018, the London-bred transplant has made a name for himself as a go-to DJ for some of the hottest parties, clubs and events the city has had to offer as of late. 

He was commissioned to play the role of lit DJ in the video for Lil Uzi Vert’s viral hit “Just Wanna Rock.” He’s been responsible for providing the sounds for everything from Kid Cudi and NYC’s king of nightlife Richie Akiva's star-studded Entergalactic Halloween party to this year’s launch of Kenzo’s US collection with Pusha T. And on a weekly basis he’s curating the sonics and vibes for the litty-est hot spots in NYC, which includes well-known cool kid and celeb hangouts like Little Sister, The Ned NoMad, The Palace and The Highlight Room

Not everyone has the courage to just drop everything they know and move across the world for a fresh start. Obviously, not everyone is Michael Simpson. “I said to myself, alright, I want to live in New York, so I moved here and then I got back into DJing just for fun kind of,” he recalls. 

Prior to becoming one of NYC’s most requested DJs, Simpson— who first found his love for DJing while in high school— had a successful marketing consulting agency, and according to him, “things were going great.” However, he realized that he didn’t want to do that forever. When he decided to leave his beloved hometown behind for the city that never sleeps he lowkey was in pursuit of something more. 

Upon his arrival in New York City, Michael’s hobby soon became his focus. “I was going out and meeting promoters and other people in nightlife,” he tells us. “It was a little bit of an introduction to that sort of world. Then I started DJing at a couple of small places like bars. That was like six months before COVID and then COVID happens.” 

While most New Yorkers were trapped in their homes due to COVID lockdowns, Michael was outside, literally. A blessing in disguise, the pandemic helped him go harder. “COVID was crazy,” he says. “It was atrocious for almost all of the world, right? Obviously, but I got like so blessed somehow, because there was a party scene in Manhattan and all of these underground events. People always just hit me up to DJ those. Suddenly I became known in the city from that.”  

As the pandemic continued on, Simpson further established himself as a go-to DJ for everything from high end house parties to star-studded private events. Although being in the right place at the right time played a role in his come up, Simpson’s eclectic playlists have really been key to his success. During his sets, he taps into a variety of genres including house, trap, club, drill and retro pop.  

“Most of the best stuff I’ve found through just word of mouth,” he says when describing how discovers new music. “I just keep my ear to the ground. I really try to pay attention for new artists and songs that are popping up. I try to find stuff before it’s too mainstream. Spotify, SoundCloud, Instagram and TikTok have also been really helpful for finding new stuff.” 

BandmanRill and Shawny BinLaden are two of the new artists he’s been rocking with lately. “Locally in New York there's so much music that just goes the fuck off here, but wouldn't anywhere else,” he says. “Like drill for example, from OG drill to like the Jersey drill club thing. It’s fire, but bro, if you don't know that stuff, you're like, what the fuck is that?” 

When Michael Simpson isn't DJing for a who’s who of NYC’s party scene, he’s plotting his next phase. “I've been working on music,” he unveils. “That'll be the biggest game changer for me. I've been tapping in with producers and I've been producing. I want to leverage what I've got and the connections I've got and just put together something that's like dope.” 

He adds, “I'm in a dope position. I just feel like fucking blessed and want to take things to another level.”

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