Moe Choi is a bespoke dj. He spends hours with his clients, teasing out their musical tastes and meticulously tailoring playlists. He considers the relationship to be sacred; rare are the clients that do not become his friends. Born in South Korea, Choi moved to New York City at the age of six. He’s fond of high fashion, Woody Allen and Haribo gummies. If you want to know where he’s played or with whom he’s performed, ask. Here’s a sample of Choi’s musings* on music, his job, folding laundry and more:

Most of the time people don’t know what they want, but they do know what they don’t want.

My creative process involves me being part psychoanalyst and part music connoisseur.

Sometimes when music hits you, it hits your soul. It turns everything that you feel uncertain about into something you can identify with.

I love Woody Allen. He’s a brutally honest neurotic. His neuroticism is something I can relate to.

I make a living off having pure human interactions and exploring people’s memories, experiences, and what means gold to them.

It’s not about, ‘Hey, what songs do you like?’ It’s about, ‘When I was in college and my mom died, this is the song that helped me get out of the darkness.’ That song to me is the ether.

My father’s intentions were always good but his methods were outdated. Sometimes intentions count.

To be a Knicks fan, you kind of almost have to be a tortured soul.

I’m always scoring events. I’ll be on a line at the post office, and I’ll catch myself thinking about what song would work well for this moment.

Driving is probably the main reason I’m not in jail right now. It’s the one therapeutic place I can find Zen in. I am Phil Jackson in my car.

I love doing laundry but I hate folding. Folding laundry gives me really low self-esteem.

Anna Wintour walked in and you could feel the energy in the room change. She asked me, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen after hiring a dj?’ I said, ‘If he doesn’t show up.’ She smiled.

Every song that you listen to should take you somewhere.

I try to give the bride and groom a religious experience regardless of what background or faith they are.

I try to unlearn everything and step into it with a clear mind.

Women, especially, have been thinking about this moment their entire lives. Since they were little kids, they’ve been finding out through stories what a princess is. It’s all related to being a bride, to getting married. And for me to be asked to run point guard for this huge occasion, it’s just a huge compliment.

My clients inspire me.

There are a lot of people out there that are rich. I feel wealthy.

How often do you get to see a person’s natural life, natural character, his natural hobbies, her natural inspirations? For me, that’s all I get to see. I get to see people when they’re vulnerable, when they’re uncertain, and then when they’re at their most victorious moment. That’s all a part of my makeup of wealth.

I want to make my mom proud.



*Choi was interviewed by journalist Rich Schapiro in October 2012.



Moe Choi