In a candid and fun interview with Jersey Shore breakout star, DJ Pauly D, I talked with him about his rapid rise to fame, that all began with an unexpected MySpace email that, at first glance, left the pop culture sensation scratching his head. We unabashedly covered DelVecchio’s rapid ascent from a local Rhode Island deejay to an internationally famous deejay with a residency at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas and a record deal with 50 Cent’s label. Pauly D goes into some humorous detail about that infamous Britney Spears lap dance, and talks about what he really thinks of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and how sudden celebrity has changed some of the people in his life.
A notorious player on Jersey Shore whose escapades have been well documented, I made sure to ask him about love and he expressed his hope of eventually finding “the one.” Ladies, it’s all about making him laugh.
While fans enjoy the unfolding drama on this season’s Italian installment of Jersey Shore, Pauly D is working on an MTV spin-off series that will give viewers an up close and personal glimpse into the life of a famous, internationally in-demand deejay with a passion for music and a taste for mischievous adventure. He even brings some of his best friends along for the ride (think Entourage meets GTL).
Being that we are upon the tenth anniversary of September 11th, yes, we even discussed that.
PR.com (Allison Kugel): What has sudden fame taught you about human nature?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): Everybody thinks that it completely changes you. I don’t think it does. I think it changes everybody around you. Before, nobody knew me. Now everybody knows me, but I’m still the same person I was when I was just deejaying around [locally]. Now I’m deejaying all over the world. So I think it changes the people around you more than it changes you.
PR.com: You see changes in your friends and family, and people you work with?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I find it with everybody, basically. You find out who your real friends are, who’s going to stick by you, because you don’t see them as much anymore. The ones that are genuinely happy for you, those are your real friends. The ones who hate or are mad at you because you didn’t take them along… that’s how you know who your real friends are.
PR.com: Would you describe yourself as a struggling deejay before you got Jersey Shore?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): A struggling deejay? I was a local deejay. I was successful around, but it was just local. Everyone who’s a deejay always wants to break out of their state and become a famous deejay, but it’s very hard. I was constantly, constantly promoting [myself], but I love to do it, I enjoyed it.
PR.com: What was your game plan with Jersey Shore? And you’re from Providence, Rhode Island. Did the producers come to your town? How’d you hear about the audition for the show, and what was your game plan in auditioning?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): For Jersey Shore, it had nothing to do with me being a DJ at all. I got a message on MySpace one day where they said that they liked my look and they were doing a show, and for me to contact them back. I was real skeptical to contact them back, but I ended up giving them my phone number. The casting directors called me from LA and they said they wanted to send down a camera crew to Rhode Island to film a day in my life. I said ok, and they came to my house and filmed a day in my life. They filmed me at the gym, filmed me tanning and filmed me going to the club. Six months later they said I got on the show. I never really auditioned.
PR.com: When you guys first started filming the first season were you just thinking, “This is cool. We get to stay at a shore house for free for the summer, party and make a couple bucks”? What did you think would come of it?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I really didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know the name of the show, I didn’t know if they were going to make me look like something that I wasn’t, and I never really lived with strangers before, and I was living with strangers. But I figured just take a shot. Everything happens for a reason. I think everybody took a shot. MTV took a shot with the show, we took a shot, 495 [Productions] took a shot. I told all those places I deejayed at back home, “I’ll be back in 30 days. I’m just going to film some show.” (Laughs). After I filmed it, I still didn’t know what it was going to be. I was like, “That was pretty cool. I met some cool people and had a cool little summer.” I went back home and just went back to deejaying until the show aired. That’s when it really took off.
PR.com: I feel like at this point, people refer to you as simply, DJ Pauly D, rather than Pauly D from Jersey Shore. You created this huge career for yourself apart from Jersey Shore. How does that feel for you?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): It’s an absolute blessing and a dream come true for me. Before, I was just known as a local DJ from Rhode Island. Now, because of the show I’m known all over the world. At this point, now, people actually call me DJ Pauly D because I’ve proven myself. I’ve deejayed in the biggest venues and I’ve showed the world that I’m talented and I can actually DJ. I didn’t just become a DJ. I’ve been a DJ my whole life and they can see the passion. To me, it means the world. There’s nothing else better to me.
PR.com: You’ve said that one of your professional idols was the late DJ AM. Did you ever get a chance to meet him?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I did. He came to a club in Rhode Island that I used to DJ at, Monet. And I was actually in the DJ booth with him. Great guy, and really talented!
PR.com: What did The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas tell you about their experience in working with DJ AM?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): They said he was very, very similar to me as far as crowd response and just the whole style of music, because I’m open format just like he was. And the fact that he was nice to everybody like I am. It was an honor for me to spin in a club where he spun at. It was a win/win for everybody.
PR.com: Does money bring happiness?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): It does. Money does bring happiness, but it’s not the only thing that brings happiness.
PR.com: Everybody is hearing about these big money deals that you’re making, so I think people want to know how all of this has enhanced your life, and in what ways it really doesn’t that people don’t realize. Does that make sense?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): Yeah, it does. I wouldn’t equate money to all of my happiness. Money definitely makes you happy; you can buy nice things and it’s nice to take care of your family as well. But I’m most happy when I’m behind the DJ booth. So not only did all of this bring me money, but it also gave me the opportunity to be behind the DJ booth in every place I wanted to in the world. For instance, Las Vegas, now I can DJ there. I’m happy behind that DJ booth whether I was deejaying for free or I was getting a lot of money. I love to do it and that’s my happiness.
PR.com: On Jersey Shore, you come off as a playboy who likes to hook up with girl after girl. But being that you’re 31 I have to assume you have been in love at some point in your life. Am I correct?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): Mmm hmm.
PR.com: When was your last relationship or your last big love?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I would have to say in high school was my last real relationship that was significant and lasted. For me, I’m real picky with relationships. I am a single guy and I’m a big fan of not looking. It’s supposed to just happen. I’m waiting for that to happen, to find that right one. They say that if you find the right one you’ll know, so I’m still waiting for that day.
PR.com: So you are open to love?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): Oh yeah, absolutely. There’s so many great things going on in my life, and I still don’t have that person to share everything with, you know?
PR.com: What type of girl is going to turn your head?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): She has to be able to keep me on my toes as far as having a sense of humor. I love to be funny and I love to laugh. I have a sense of humor and she has to have one as well, and just that girl who has old fashioned morals. It’s hard to find a genuine person. Right now, especially with all the fame, it’s even harder than it ever was.
PR.com: Tell me about your collaboration with 50 Cent and his record label, G-Note Records?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): With 50 Cent, we kind of clicked. I liked his hustle and I’ve followed his career. I think he’s really talented in everything he does and he has his hands in everything. I love and respect that. I’m the same way he is, and we figured why not work together with some music? I’m really excited to be working with him and I think it’s a perfect match.
PR.com: Are you looking to make the leap into producing?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I definitely want to do some producing. Like I said, I like to have my hands in everything as well.
PR.com: This is a really important question: A few years ago, say back in 2008, did you ever think you would have Britney Spears’s thighs wrapped around your head?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): (Laughs). Never in a million, million, million years! I never thought Britney Spears would even know I existed, let alone to give me a lap dance on stage in front of twenty-thousand people (laughs).
PR.com: How’d Britney wind up giving you a lap dance?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I’ve been on the Britney tour. When I DJ with her on her tour, I do my act, then Nicki Minaj would go on, and then Britney would go on. I always stay for the second two acts because I’m a fan of both of them. So Britney called me on stage and the dancers brought me up, and she sat me down and gave me that lap dance (laughs). I did not expect that at all.
PR.com: What was going through your mind?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I couldn’t stop smiling and I was like, “Is this even real?” I didn’t even know what went on. When it was done, I was like, “What just happened?!” (laughs). Who in their lifetime can say they got a lap dance from Britney Spears?
PR.com: When you were filming Jersey Shore in Italy, were the paparazzi following you around?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): There was paparazzi all over the place. They do a nice job of shooting around that and keeping paparazzi away from us. They have police that will keep them away from us, just to let us film our show.
PR.com: Do the producers tell you and the rest of the cast, “Don’t talk about your business deals on camera, don’t talk about everything that’s going on in your lives now, just try to keep it like it was the first season”?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): We just try to be ourselves, but we do all have a life outside Jersey Shore now, and we all have managers. We have a manager call we do once a week. That’s the only time we can ever talk business, and it’s the only time we should ever talk business.
PR.com: Do you still feel just like roommates having fun, or do all of you feel like you have to act a certain way on camera now to support your brands or images?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): No, no, not at all. The best thing about our show is, we have no cell phones, no radio, no television. We don’t really have contact with that kind of lifestyle [while we’re filming], so we just basically have each other. That allows us to just be ourselves. I’m just myself on the show. That’s all I know how to be, and we’re not strangers anymore. We’re legit friends now. We know how to push each other’s buttons and we know how to make each other laugh, and how to make each other fight. At first they were strangers and now they’re lifelong friends.
PR.com: Do you have a best friend among the Jersey Shore cast?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): Yeah, I would say Vinny’s my best friend out of everybody. We talk every single day and he’s fun and has the same attitude I have.
PR.com: You and Vinny [Guadagnino] are kind of like those two critic muppets from The Muppet Show who sit on the side and make fun of everything they observe.
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): Someone said that to me too, but I forgot the [muppets’] names though. It’s kind of funny (laughs).
PR.com: Are all of you on the outs with Mike (The Situation) [Sorrentino] right now or is that all resolved?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): We’re not really on the outs with him. He’s a… he’s an interesting dude. He likes to start trouble and we’re just really not into that. When I went to Italy I was into Italy and I wanted to have a good time, and that’s all I wanted to do. I just want to have fun and I don’t want to deal with drama. It’s how I’ve been my whole life, and on the show. I stay away from the drama, so I stay away from him a little bit.
PR.com: Tell me about your MTV spin-off series.
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): The spin-off is with MTV and 495 [Productions], the same production company as Jersey Shore. You get to see a different side of me and you get to see what I really love to do. You get to see the music part of my life, and basically, this ride I’m going on right now. It’s just so crazy! So now you guys get to see it; me deejaying around the world, and I bring along some of my friends from home and you see what kind of crazy stuff we get in to.
PR.com: What do your sister and your parents think about everything that’s going on with you right now?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): They love it. They see that I’m happy and I’m having a good time and enjoying my life. My mother is one of my #1 fans. She keeps all of the magazines and she records all of the shows, when I go on talk shows. It’s really amazing because since I became famous, my family did as well [locally]. Even my aunt and my nephew… they’re known for it, like, “Pauly D is my uncle!” It’s kind of cool.
PR.com: What’s something that people don’t necessarily know about you, that you would love for your fans to know?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): I love motorcycles and I love to ride dirt bikes and four wheelers, and stuff like that. That’s another thing that I love to do besides deejaying, and I don’t think a lot of people know that.
PR.com: We are at the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Do you have any specific way that you like to observe 9/11 each year?
DJ Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio): It’s a sad day for me. I remember when it happened, to a tee. I was working at a [Honda] dealership at the time. It’s sad that so many people lost their family members. I sit back and I take that day and remember how lucky we all are to be here. I like to contact my family, my mother, my father, and just get them on the phone wherever I am and talk to them. Life is short, and you never know what can really happen.
Visit DJPaulyD.com for events, news and performance dates, and follow Pauly on Twitter @DJPaulyD.