Sergio “Latin Prince” Jimenez has been pleasing party-goers for over 2 decades. His passion for music was nurtured as a child in his homeland of Nicaragua. At the age of 7, a young Sergio visited local radio stations and watched in awe as the DJ’s spun everything from the Salsa and Merengue sounds of Hector Lavoe and Celia Cruz to the U.S. imported funk, disco and R&B hits of Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power. While at home, he would emulate his favorite radio heroes by speaking in to a make-believe microphone and playing 45’s and LP’s on the family’s record player.
In 1979, things changed drastically. It was during the Nicaraguan Revolution that his mom became concerned for her family’s safety. She sent him and his siblings thousands of miles away to live with their aunt in Oakland, California, an urban city 16 miles east of San Francisco. This was quite a culture shock for him but he quickly adapted to his new home and a vibrant Funk and R&B music scene that fueled his passion. “I fell in love with the music and I felt like I needed to find a way to some how show people the love I have for the music.” Says Latin Prince. He soon found a way to express his appreciation by becoming a DJ.
While in his early teens he moved across the bay to San Francisco and became neighbors with a local DJ named Eddie Def who became his mentor. “I would go to his house every day just to touch the turntables. Just to practice.” Latin Prince recalls. “He was teaching me things. He was showing me how to spin. It was like a school.”
Equipped with a vast range of musical knowledge and sharpened turntable skills, Latin Prince stepped out on his own and DJ’d weddings, quinceañeras and birthday parties. He became fully immersed into the DJ scene and created a pretty nice buzz throughout the city. Although under age, some club owners allowed him to do a set anyway. “I think I was 17. The security would walk me in to the club before they would open because I was an underage kid, to spin.” Says Latin Prince. Before long, he was building a huge following and played at some of the hottest night spots in San Francisco including City Lights, The X, Sound Factory, Club Mirage and Giovanni’s.
He became so popular that key people at 106 KMEL, the Bay Area’s #1 radio station, started to take notice. After witnessing Latin Prince rock the crowd one evening, the station’s mix show coordinator, Alex Mejia, decided to take him under his wing and make Latin Prince’s life long dream of being in radio, a reality. He also credits DJ Franzen Wong for helping to get his foot in the door. “He said if you let me spin at the club, I’ll let you help me run the board at the station.” Said LP about Franzen. “He was a key person that showed me what radio was all about. I was an intern for a 17-year-old kid, who Franzen was at the time.” His brief internship paid off and landed him on air as a part of the KMEL All Star DJ’s.
In 1997, after 5 years at KMEL, Latin Prince tackled new ground and moved to Los Angeles and became an associate producer for HITS Magazine, one of the music industry’s top trade magazines. He again covered new territory when he joined the staff of MCA Records as Director of Rap Promotions where he worked with such luminaries as Mary J. Blige, Common, The Roots and Talib Kweli. He later spearheaded promotion campaigns at TVT Records where he was instrumental in boosting the careers of Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins and Pitbull.
When MCA closed their doors in 2003, Latin Prince took the opportunity to launch his own marketing and promotions company, Urban Jungle Music where his clients consist of J Records, Geffen Records, Universal Records, Interscope and others. A year later he formed the Bum Squad DJz website, a place for DJ’s from around the world to network, share music and break new artists. The Bum Squad DJz has become one of the most explosive DJ movements in the business. It garners nearly 1 million hits per month and consists of members and followers from all over the globe including United States, Croatia, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Japan.
With the many accomplishments that Latin Prince has made over his illustrious career, he still has one goal he is determined to bring to fruition and that is to create a body of work with his stamp on it. “The only thing that is left for me to do is an album. On that DJ Khalid tip. I think that’s the only thing that’s missing.” Says LP “I’ve done radio. I’ve done a magazine. I’ve done a lot. I’ve toured the world but actually putting a body of work together, that is something I’m working on.”
Latin Prince is currently the National Director of Mix Show West Coast Universal Records/Motown Los Angeles, where he works with Lil Wayne, Ali & Gipp, Penelope Jones, Chamillionaire, 216, Remy Martin and others.
Although, Latin Prince has many skills and a multi-faceted career, DJing and music remains his first love. He travels internationally dazzling crowds with his unique formula of DJing. “A DJ has the ability to control your emotions and that is very powerful.” Says LP “To be able to put a smile on your face. To put on a song that’s gonna take you there or to play a song that tears you up is very powerful.”
Learn more about Latin Prince atwww.djlatinprince.com