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The 3-Minute Interview: DJ Ben Cohen

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Local,Entertainment,Music,People,Eric P. Newcomer

Ben Cohen, 31, has been a DJ for 12 years, and he's lived in the District for the past five.

What's it like being a DJ in the District?

It's such an international city and the challenges in D.C. come from the diversity of the crowd. You're trying to satisfy the hipster kids over here and the dudes who play for the Redskins over here and the girls at the bachelorette party. The best part of the night is when you notice all those different groups having fun to the same music. Then you know you've hooked them all.

What songs do you absolutely refuse to play?

That's a very long list. One example of that is Chris Brown. I won't play any of his music because he beats women. I'm not really interested in playing it anymore. I'm allowed to take some moral stances on the music I play.

Do you go to clubs for fun?

I don't really go out to clubs. If you work at a zoo, are you going to go to the zoo for fun? If you work at Arby's, you're not going to go to Arby's every night of the week.

What's your favorite place to DJ right now?

I actually played there a couple months ago. It's called Heist. It just opened up in the Dupont area. It used to be Fly Lounge. They understand what goes into a great nightlife experience.

Do you take requests?

I take requests; I don't take demands. There's a difference. "Is there any chance you might be able to play this?" That works. "Me and my friends are leaving in five minutes." That doesn't work. ... Requesting some weird down-tempo house track at 1 a.m. -- be intelligent. Request songs you think would work. Being nice gets you everywhere -- and money.

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