Andrew Bagg, whom you might know as DJ Cobra, has toured, opened for or performed with more than 50 gold and platinum recording artists including P. Diddy, Prince, Lady Gaga, John Legend and more, in addition to touring with Guy Fieri for NBC’s “Minute to Win It.”
We recently had the chance to talk to DJ Cobra, who plays The Bank at Bellagio in Las Vegas and at several nightclubs in Hollywood.
First off, you’ve got a really cool name – How’d you come up with DJ Cobra?
You know, (laugh) – It was always my intention to change the name, it was a placeholder.
Me and my buddy in high school would pretend we were on the radio and we’d record ourselves as a form of practice. We came up with names, since you’ve got to have a “personality,” so I came up with Cobra on the spot.
I think it had to do with GI Joe at the time, with the bad guys who were after world domination, and Cobra Kai, the cool kids and also the bad guys in Karate Kid. As it evolved, that tape that me and my buddy made ultimately got me my first college radio show. When I moved back to L.A. and started doing the club thing, I was just never able to come up with an alternate name that I liked better.
What’s it like playing Vegas compared to other cities?
Vegas is obviously the premier party city. Of course, there are other cool cities too, I love New York, Miami, Chicago, L.A., but in Vegas [people come] for one reason. They go to rage.
Las Vegas is like Disneyland for adults, people walk in the building and they’re all fired up. Some of them have waited weeks and months and years to come out there, and they’re not going to hold back. It’s always nice to see. Everything’s bigger, grander, larger and super-sized so to speak.
What music influences you and what do you listen to on your own time?
Well, I started off as a fan of hip-hop, but I discovered it by accident. My parents always listened to the oldies station so my pedigree was always Beatles and Beach Boys.
So, the first album I bought was actually a Beach Boys greatest hits album. Michael Jackson’s “Bad” just came out and it wasn’t a proven album, being rational I figured “Beach Boys greatest hits, that’s a better buy.” So, on there was a remix of “Wipeout” featuring Fat Boys, and I just kept rewinding and listening to it and I was like “What is this new sound?” As I progressed and got older, I was buying all these underground records and to feed my hunger, I started buying all the original samples they would use. I do like a lot of soul, R&B, funk, and listen to stuff I’m not really going to listen to outside the club
How do you try to approach your sets?
I just try and basically connect with the room. You’re not playing for yourself, you’re playing for the room and you have people from all over the country and world there. So you have to find that common ground. I’m just trying to find the common denominator to get the best overall response. If the girls are happy, the guys are happy and the room is happy.
What do you personally like to do when you come to Vegas?
Well, lots of sleep, sometimes. (laugh) Or I’ll be hitting the poker room, Bellagio is my favorite.
I’m relatively boring in Vegas, I usually fly in and fly out so I usually get in, go crash because I just flew in from the night before, maybe play poker, go back to work on music then go DJ. I’ll grab dinner — which there are lots of great restaurants in Vegas. Still never seen a Vegas show yet to this day, I’ve been meaning to – one of these days.
What are your favorite restaurants?
So many, everything. All the hotels have great food. I can appreciate anything, going from something like Earl of Sandwiches to eating at Peppermill late at night to high end restaurants. Yellowtail is my favorite, there at the Bellagio. Nobu is always great, if you want to go off the Strip, you can check out Fogo de Chao. All those places are great.
What do you have in store for 2012?
Tons of traveling, I’m opening two clubs in L.A. and I’m definitely going to be in the studio working on original tracks as well as remixes. Just some growth and progression, some international travel coming up and hop scotching across North America.