DJ/VJ Steve Porter's Crosses Over Into Mash-Up Stardom
Everyone reaches a spot when they need to transcend and do something new. I was just doing it, fooling around with video. It was an outlet.
Massachusetts DJ/producer Steve Porter became a star in the house music underground thanks largely to his famous Porterhouse parties. But these days, he’s becoming a household name across the U.S. as he’s expanded his brand to the world of sports, churning out viral video mash-ups of pro athletes like Allen Iverson, Tiger Woods and Tom Brady.
“It’s been very interesting ride,” Porter tells Société Perrier, talking from his home in western Massachusetts.
“Obviously, it’s a complete career shift almost overnight. I was definitely looking to do something new. I had been traveling very heavily for eight or nine years. Everyone reaches a spot when they need to transcend and do something new. I was just doing it, fooling around with video. It was an outlet.”
Porter’s “fooling around” resulted in the hilarious “Slap Chop” video, a hysterical hip-hop send-up of the late-night infomercial featuring kitchen utility pitch man Vince Offer. The “Rap Chop” video, with Offer’s Auto-Tuned voice and an infectious Porter-produced electro beat, went crazy on the Internet and surpassed 13 million hits on YouTube.
Offer loved the spot so much he used a follow-up mash-up of his “Sham Wow” commercial for an actual TV ad and Porterhouse Media – Porter’s full-service multi-media company – was born.
“Those bits and mixes were sort of pinnacle moments. Many people hadn’t seen things being remixed like that,” Porter says. “It was also the fact that it reached TV. It became the television commercial. Everything sort of spawned from there.”
It wasn't long before Porter landed gigs doing videos for ESPN and Hockey Night in Canada. He’s become the house DJ for the National Football League’s Sunday Night Countdown on ESPN and is doing four spots for E! Entertainment network’s Golden Globe awards coverage.
He even did a video for Howard Stern, in which he remixed audio and video footage of Stern’s infamous “Wack Pack,” including Beetlejuice, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, Jeff the Drunk and High-Pitched Eric.
“He was really into it and loved it,” Porter said of the King of All Media. “Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have believed Howard Stern would have been checking out something I did. It was totally a pinch yourself moment.”
While his video production schedule is beyond full these days, Porter is still a DJ at heart. He recently spun a Christmas party for YouTube in New York and is spinning a covert New Year’s Eve gig in his western Massachusetts hometown.
“I’m not retiring any sort of DJ career of mine,” he says. “But I’ve just been extremely busy with the video stuff and it’s been extremely satisfying. Maybe I’ll come out with an underground dance hit again. And people will be like, ‘Oh shit, he’s back.’”