Rusty Rudder will give you a chance to enter the New Year with a melodic bang

DJ Andrew Hugh is a modern day Pied Piper, but with a Batman personality.

A creature of the night, the Wilmington DJ will come armed with two turntables and a microphone to help a crowd of thrill-seekers dance their way into the New Year at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach.

He’ll share the stage with performers Love Seed Mama Jump, JJ Rupp, DJ Scooter and DJ Red Fox.

DJ Hugh, 34, has spent the last decade doing this line of work as his full-time job. Working in this business is also how he met his girlfriend.

How did you get into DJing?

As a kid growing up, I was always into music, obviously. My love was rap music in the ‘90s. I would sit with my tape recorder and record the songs that I liked and just listened to them over and over again. Also, there was an inherent artist and performer in my blood. My grandfather was a tap dancer and my mom is an artist. There’s artists in my family and I was always kind of the showoff as a kid. In high school, I was a breakdancer and me and my friends would go to nightclubs in Philly that we could get into at a young age. Once I turned college-age and was able to afford DJ equipment, that was the first thing I got. I taught myself and learned from other DJs in the area.

Is there a common misconception people have about your job?

It looks glamorous and it looks fun. But there’s a hustle and a grind. People ask me sometimes, “What do you do during the week? Do you just chill?” It makes me mad because, no, I sit in my studio and try to come up with a cool show. I spent three hours practicing yesterday. And that’s like a typical day. Also to keep myself in check, I have a gym membership and go there as much as I can. This job can be unhealthy if you let it. 

How have you balanced the business side of things while making your art?

In the past I did a bunch of weddings, because that helped me pay the bills and stay afloat with the night-life stuff and stay relevant, and keep up on my craft and marketing myself.

Is there a song you don’t like to play, but the crowds have to hear it?

Mainly Pitbull songs [laughs], because with the poppy music you just hear it over and over again. But you know his music works. That’s the thing about being a DJ, like I said, there’s a balance between business and art. If I want to make money doing what I’m going, I’ve got to play Pitbull. At the same time, I have other gigs where I can be an artist, do my thing, and play hip-hop, jazz and soul.

You grew up on ‘90s hip-hop, right?

You know why I took karate as a teenager? Because I loved Wu-Tang so much. I used to call myself “the funkiest white kid from the suburbs.” In my CD player I had the hottest rap CDs. I remember bumping the Fugees in the seventh grade on the bus, while everybody else was listening to like Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis.

What’s your favorite song to play at shows?

My favorite song to play right now as a DJ, that’s on the charts, is “Plain Jane” by A$AP Ferg. I don’t know why, but that song is my guilty pleasure. But then there’s also that song “No Limit” by G-Eazy and Cardi B. People want to hear anything by Cardi B now.