From Ivy League to Turntables: The Hottest DJ Blazing Trails from NYC to Tokyo

by Tom White

In the heart of New York City’s pulsating nightlife scene, one name stands out among the crowd: Michael Simpson. Recognized as the hottest DJ in NYC, Simpson’s journey from the prestigious halls of Yale University to the electrifying beats of the city’s underground clubs is as unconventional as it is inspiring. “I feel honored and blessed,” Simpson reflects on his newfound recognition. “I love DJing and everything surrounding it, so that’s helped me become good at it. Being sober has helped a lot too.” Simpson attributes his success to being in the right place at the right time, spinning tracks at underground events during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuously pushing boundaries to elevate his craft. 

But what truly sets Simpson apart from his peers? It’s not just his skill behind the turntables; it’s his unique blend of British charm, eclectic fashion sense, and unyielding passion for music. Armed with a degree from one of America’s most prestigious universities, Simpson defied convention, trading in his textbooks for turntables and embarking on a journey that would redefine his career trajectory. 

“Having gone down that route [finance], it helps me feel very confident in what I am doing because I’ve never felt more happy, satisfied, and aligned,” Simpson shares, reflecting on his decision to pursue DJing despite societal expectations. His Ivy League education instilled in him the confidence to pursue his true passion, regardless of the perceived risks.  

Hair – Jason Monet (@brooklynstudio__), Photographer – Max Durante (@max.dur)

Recently, Simpson embarked on a journey across the globe to Tokyo, where he captivated audiences at the renowned club Zouk. Reflecting on his experience, Simpson speaks passionately about the city’s vibrant culture and its profound impact on his creative process. 


“The inspiration for my trip was because Zouk offered to fly me out, put me up, and have me play for four nights. An incredible offer that I couldn’t turn down,” Simpson explains. Tokyo’s aesthetic beauty and visual culture left an indelible mark on him, influencing not only his music but also his fashion sensibilities. 

“Tokyo more than anything impacted me from an aesthetic standpoint,” Simpson shares. “The whole place is erupting with visual stimulus, whether it’s little dolls, colorful gaming arcades, cartoons, or just random dope toys.” 

As Simpson continues to carve out his path in the music industry, his journey serves as a testament to the power of following one’s passion fearlessly. From Ivy League to turntables, Simpson’s story is a reminder that true success lies in embracing authenticity and pursuing what sets your soul on fire. 

Presented by APG 

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