You’ve probably heard him spin beats for Diddy, Joey McIntyre, on his syndicated radio show or nightclubs worldwide. Perhaps you’ve seen him on E! Entertainment interviewing Eminem or Taio Cruz. Maybe you heard his lyrics or beats for artists like Notorious B.I.G., Lady Gaga and Pitbull.
Clinton Sparks has been on a worldwide mission to get people familiar with his musical talent, juggling role after role after role — each feeding off the other — and now that the multitalented DJ has signed on as a resident at Moon Nightclub he wants you to remember to “Get Familiar.”
“Trust me dude, I’m just getting started,” said Sparks, who returns Saturday night to Moon. “You’re going to hear about a lot of stuff with me being in Vegas. You’re going to be like, ‘Did you hear that Clinton did this?’ I will push the envelope as far as they will allow me to before they get annoyed and say, ‘Hey dude, take it easy.’”
If you’re not familiar with Sparks, perhaps you just don’t realize it yet.
Sparks’ catchphrase “Get Familiar,” is more than just a simple, yet effective marketing tool. As one of the busiest people in the music industry as a syndicated radio show host on SmashTime Radio, a music correspondent for E! Entertainment, a multiplatinum writer and producer and a newly-signed artist at Interscope Records, Sparks has plenty of opportunity for fans to get familiar.
Sparks already made quite an impression on club-goers in his first appearance at Moon on May 14. He showed the crowd that he was more than just a man behind the turntables as he served as his own hype man, sang and danced to the songs he played, posed for pictures and passed out copies of his “My Awesome Mixtape.”
The crowd reacted with boisterous enthusiasm at every new song he introduced, which ranged from Top 40 to old-school hip-hop and even a dash of alternative.
And all that was before he pulled out the surprise of the night.
A woman with a familiar face sat in the booth with Sparks for more than an hour before party-goers realized who she was. When she finally grabbed a mic and sang “Sucks to be You,” with Clinton Sparks, people were struck to find out that the now full-grown woman singing before them was former pop star JoJo, who found fame as a 14 year old with the hit song “Leave (Get Out).”
JoJo’s appearance was just a taste of what revelers can expect from further shows, said Sparks.
“The first night, that’s what that was about like where security would be, where people would want to come take pictures with me, where people would come say ‘What’s up?’ where I could pass out some of my CDs,” Sparks said. “So all of that is what was just computing in my brain the first night so I could plan on intros and performances, how I can do them and make them more elaborate in the future where it would make sense.”
Sparks is a veteran on the Las Vegas nightclub circuit having already held residencies at Body English and Vanity. He said one thing that keeps him coming back is that no one comes to Vegas to have a bad time.
“My favorite thing is that people’s sole intent when they come to Vegas is to just party and have a good time,” Sparks said. “You rarely run into people that are going to be uptight and miserable and they’re just going through the motions and it’s difficult to get them in the mood to party or enjoy themselves or enjoy the music.”
Sparks has made a living branching out from one arm of the music industry to the next. Before he ventured into the nightclub circuit, he worked as a radio DJ. His radio show SmashTime Radio is syndicated in 22 cities worldwide. He was Diddy’s DJ during his 2006 U.S. promotional tour and also DJ’d for New Kid on the Block star Joey McIntyre.
Sparks got his first big break in producing when he paired Notorious B.I.G. with Bob Marley in the song “Hold Ya Head,” for Biggie’s posthumous album “Duets: the Final Chapter.” He also scored his first platinum single when he produced and wrote “Sorry, Blame It On Me,” for Akon.
More recently, Sparks added another title to his resumé having been signed by Interscope Records as an artist. Sparks said his first album is nearly finished, but isn’t sure of the release date.
With so many titles and responsibilities, the only question is can Sparks continue this pace?
“I’m going to try to maintain it for as long as I can,” Sparks said. “How cool would it have been had Ludacris, when he became a huge star, still hosted his radio show?”
Just another chance for people to “Get Familiar,” as Sparks would say.