If you have been to a Miami Heat game, you are probably familiar with DJ Irie, the official DJ for the team and keeps the energy going at the team’s games. A Miami-based DJ, Irie also plays in NYC, Vegas, and Los Angeles.
We met Irie in Las Vegas and he is definitely one of our favorite DJs to drink with, in and out of nightclubs. While DJing may be how he found success and fame, Irie is really giving back in a major way as the founder of Irie Foundation, which helps to empower at-risk South Florida youth with cultural experiences and mentorship programs.
His yearly Irie Weekend in Miami helps raise both funds and awareness for this exceptional cause.
Without further ado, let’s go…
Drinking With DJ Irie
State your name, occupation, and where you live for people that might not know you.
Ian Grocher p.k.a. DJ Irie. I produce events, founder of the Irie Foundation, Irie Weekend, ArtistRelated talent booking agency, Irie Music Corp. marketing activation company, and the Official DJ of the Miami Heat.
How did you get started in the biz?
Growing up I was an avid record collector and there was a girl that I had a major crush on cornered me and talked me into DJing her parents New Year’s Eve party. I really had no idea what I was doing. However, from that first gig, I met one of her parent’s friends that was the General Manager of Planet Hollywood. He booked me to play Planet Hollywood and then I just grew from there.
Coffee or Tea? Do you have a local coffee shop in Miami?
I am more of a tea drinker and my favorite tea is meringue tea. My go-to coffee place in Miami is Panther Coffee. They have locations in Miami Beach, Wynwood, and Coconut Grove.
Being that you perform/play a ton of nightclubs, do you drink in the booth? If so what is your go-to drink?
I only drink when I am working in nightclubs and my go-to drink is tequila. My favorite tequila is Maestro Dobel. I like tequila because gives me a fun buzz but still feel great in the morning.
What is your hangover remedy?
It has been a while since I have had a hangover. When I do go out and drink more than just tequila. I don’t think that there is any real hangover remedy, but I always feel better when I eat a delicious burger.
Favorite late night eats when you have been drinking in Miami?
I always like Big Pink in Miami Beach. It is a great experience with great food and a very diverse menu. They also have a full bar that is open.
What was your first boozy experience?
I was at Sunday’s by the Bay, it doesn’t exist anymore. I didn’t really understand that there was a difference between different alcohols. I think that I drank Jello shots, Beer, Gin, and vodka in a short amount of time. I think that there is a video somewhere picking up conch shells and telling everyone that I could hear the ocean and everyone’s conversation.
What is your Death Row Drink order, aka the last drink ever?
My last drink ever would be Moscow Mule with Tito’s Vodka.
Favorite spots for:
Where do you take out-of-towners for a Miami only experience?
Kiki on the River or SeaSpice. What’s cool about Miami have that really unique experience of being on the water.
Favorite “date night” bar/restaurant?
My favorite date night spot is NiYaRa which is a Thai restaurant from Chef Bee.
Classic dive bar
My favorite dive bar is Foxhole on 14th and Alton Ct.
If you are going for a wild night out, who is your drinking buddy? Favorite celebrity drinking buddy?
My favorite celebrity drinking buddy is definitely Jamie Foxx. He is always tons of fun, very generous, and has an incredible home bar.
When I am in LA, Sylvain Bitton from the Warwick. In NYC, it is John Schwartz from Tao Group.
My favorite non-industry drinking buddy is John Temerian.
Many people know you headlining nightclubs in NYC, Vegas, Miami. How did you end up starting Irie foundation? What is the goal?
I grew up with having access to the tools of the trade. A lot of inner-city youngsters don’t have access to discover their passion or access to the equipment or ideas. The mission of Irie Foundation is to turn out successful youngsters, with the goal of keeping them in school, getting them into college.
We offer an impact scholarship plus a car that is given out every semester.
What is Irie Weekend? How long have you been doing it? Why did you start it?
We have been doing Irie Weekend doing it for 13 years. I wanted to do something material to help foundations. I was working with people like Alonzo Mourning, Shaq, and Jason Taylor with their foundations.
Shameless plug: What are you working on right now? How can people find you?
Bleau Cares is an event on November 11th with 100% of the proceeds benefit hurricane relief. We are donating the money to help people between the Florida Keys and the Virgin Islands.