By Nick Christophers
It has been said many times that Brooklyn, NY has bred many talented individuals. But most of the time this saying is meant for actors and actresses, not to anyone in radio. Yet that saying will soon be put to rest as Eric Torres, better known as DJ Toro has managed to become a celebrity right out of Coney Island. DJ Toro came from humble beginnings in the tough streets of Coney Island. But he never let the streets get the best of him and he let music be his guide. His home life was filled with music and song whether it was his native Latin or hip hop.
Growing up his mother had him join basketball leagues to keep him active in a positive way. At the court is where he fell in love with his first musical influence, hip hop. Between games hip hop music would be blaring from boom boxes. He would be drawn to the sounds and soon became familiar with artists like RUN DMC, Heavy D and Biggie Smalls. Then his Uncles who DJ’d on the side introduced him to “freestyle” and house music this gave him a well-rounded musical experience.
Eric Torres, DJ Toro, began to learn the tricks of the trade and for a short time was a “bedroom DJ”. Then he soon graduated to working parties with a close friend Mike Gee.
“I was a bedroom DJ for the most part. I would blow out so many speakers hooking them up to equipment at home to practice. But I am very grateful for my best friend Mike Gee teaching me while I worked for him doing mobile parties (Sweet 16’s, Weddings etc.). Mobile parties were so diverse you had to learn how to play EVERYTHING! Mobile Djing without a doubt taught me how to work and read a crowd.”
DJ Toro took many of his mobile lessons and molded them into becoming an elite DJ. He soon linked up with Hunka Bunka in New Jersey as a resident DJ. Besides Hunka Bunka he also held a spot at The Pool at Harrah’s in AC. This great opportunity came in the way of DJ Hollywood who helped make that happen. On top of these two prime locations DJ Toro had a residency at Pacha in Pachita where people from all walks of life would meet.
When it came to DJ’s he admired growing up he pointed to a few big names like DJ Skribble who at the time was DJing at Hot 97. While going to school DJ Toro would synchronize his watch to make sure he did not miss Skribbles morning show. Then there was Glenn Friscia and Robert Clivilles from his “freestyle” influence. These talented DJ’s became a guiding light for DJ Toro as a young man. He even ended up working on a track with Robert Clivilles.
But not everything came easy for Eric; he first was working for FedEx for five years before anything real promising came along. Then when he least expected it the ball dropped in his lap.
“I didn’t have radio experience! I just loved Djing. I would work 12 hour days at FedEx but still DJ’d in the clubs at night! I tried for other stations all said NO or basically ignored me. When 923 came around as NOW, they broadcasted from Club Bliss in Clifton where I was a resident. I made friends with the personality and the street team. They liked how I played so I made a mix demo. Later on in the year I got an email from the radio music director they needed a DJ for a show in Long Island, some guy named Justin Bieber was the headliner; I had to play music in between. I rocked it and the rest is history.”
Working at 923 NOW, definitely has its dividends as DJ Toro has interviewed some of the biggest names in the business. He has had the pleasure of catching the rap with Jennifer Lopez, Tiesto, Jessie J, Afro Jack and more. DJ Toro was also nominated as “Best Mixshow DJ” by the music industry which alone is a big accomplishment. One day he hopes to venture into doing his own remixes but he enjoys what he does now too much to complicate things. In addition he runs his own show called 92.3 amp radio in the evenings. His show is on from 7-11 pm weeknights and ironically at the same time a show on Hot 97 features his idols Funkmaster Flex and DJ Clue. Basically his idols are now his competition.
Considering the current music scene DJ Toro has admitted that the industry has changed how it is less about the artist.
“I definitely think it’s bad for the artists especially the new artists. As a fan it sucks too! Growing up I would buy ALBUMS! Get the whole story from beginning to end. Super excited when the album had a bonus track. I would only buy the singles that were remixes. Couple of my favorite albums Biggie’s “Ready to Die” and Mary J Blige “What’s the 411”, these albums had stories I was in love. Something has to change hopefully sooner than later.”
Currently DJ Toro has a new responsibility on the plate with a daughter to care about. But he is not letting her slow him down but inspire him instead. His motto is he never wants to disappoint the ones who helped get to where he is NOW. That is why he brings his A-game every day of the week.