William Sanchez & Emily (DJ Hercules
& La Taina)
1. What or whom inspired you to become a salsa DJ?
My dad used to sing in a band back in his day and always played Salsa, Boleros and Merengues every weekend
at the house, in the car, everywhere we were, that I can remember. He always spoke about the passion the singers
and bands have to play that type of music. I have enjoyed playing the maracas, campana, and timbales along with
the songs, that gave me a growing appreciation to Salsa, especially; but it wasn’t until I started DJing with a group
in my 20’s that I really saw the energy and emotion Salsa delivered to the dancers and aficionados alike.
2. Why did you pick your DJ name? Is there a special meaning behind it?
DJ “Hercules”, as I am now more known as, was not a title I was going to pursue. In my early days of DJing I was
toying around with names, and my nephews suggested this one for me as I was able to carry them around with
both arms. I so happened to put it on a business card, but never really used it until I came to the DC area. I was
asked to DJ at a club in Arlington, VA (formally “Cecilia’s Night Club”, now “The Salsa Room”) and the owner asked
if I had a card; of course the only card I had on hand was the one with “DJ Hercules” on it and so it became my
regular DJ name. For the love of the Greek Mythology, specifically the story of Hercules, I adopted it as being the
humble but strong aspect of myself and how I present my sets as a DJ. My wife Emilly (DJ La Taina) and I share
the same passion and have made our home a Salsa rich environment. In addition to this , I am also known as
“The Strongest Man in SALSA”.
3. At what point did you realize you had enough music to pursue DJing seriously?
I’ve been collecting various genres of music for years, including the music my dad already collected. As the
“House DJ” at my parent’s family get togethers, it became obvious that we had a vast collection. I was always
making “Mix Tapes” in my teenage years. By my early 20’s, my collection started to grow to be a hobby. I have
won several DJ battles in recent years that solidified by collection was vast. Joining forces with my wife, Emilly, has
really grown our Salsa library.
4. Name three of your favorite bands/artists of all time? (This was a hard one!)
1. El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico: This band has such great history and
succession that I have grown to appreciate and love. Seeing them live 3
times in my life sealed the deal; they get on stage and, and without blinking
an eye, just start playing, creating a nearly flawless set each time.
2. Willie Rosario Band: To this day, my wife Emilly can’t tear away from their
live sounds. This collaborative band engulfs the dancers and is another
band that creates near flawless sets.
3. Angel Canales: He had a “Sound” like no other. It was hard hitting and
his band was on point to me. He was overlooked many times, as was I in my
early years of DJing; I empathized with some of his frustrations and his
willingness to succeed.
5. What qualities must a song possess in order to make it to your playlist?
Instrumentation, rhythm, and the singers collaboration with the band, amongst other details, is what makes a salsa
song complete. It has to wake up my senses; drive up my adrenaline and make me want to pick up the campana!
It finally needs to appeal to the dancers and aficionados I cater to. (And making my wife Emilly dance in the
6. What other types of music do you like aside from this genre?
I love Freestyle and House music, as I grew up in NYC during its growing popularity. I also love the Boleros and
the Rat Pack era due to my dad; the Beetles era due to my mom. I have a passion for a lot of other genres as I
was exposed to different cultures during my years as a DJ.
7. Who are some of your favorite salsa DJs past or present?
I have played alongside many Salsa DJ’s and they each have a place in my heart for their passion. Those who
stand out to really get the crowd gong are DJ Andy, DJ Henry Knowles, DJ Ralphie Mercado III; and now, ALL MY
FELLOW DJ’s at Salsa Warriors!
8. Every DJ has a bucket list of goals as a DJ – What is one of your “DJ bucket list” dreams or goals?
My wife Emilly and I currently have our own Event DJ business and I would love to see it grow enough to be a main
source of income. I would like to continue a level of recognition and respect as a DJ, to expand outside of the
DMV area. I would also love to be part of a great celebration of Salsa worldwide, where music and dance join
forces for a party like no other.
9. If someone were to talk about you as a DJ, what would they say?
Two descriptions stand out that I have heard or seen written that stand out:
1. He DJ’s like he’s driving a manual transmission: he goes through each
gear in a sequence, up shifting and downshifting as he sees the crowd
2. He keeps in mind every detail and makes sure everyone is having fun.
10. What does being a Salsa Warrior mean for you?
Being a Salsa Warrior means fighting to keep this rich music alive and break away from the norm; to really
experience Salsa in its true form where it originated… in the heart and souls of those who envisioned Salsa to be
what it has become today… THE BEST SALSA ON THE PLANET!
Additional comments you’d like to share with your listeners:
I am truly blessed to be part of the Salsa Warriors team. It is an extended family to me now and I thank all who
embrace this music and its culture. I look forward to making this an enjoyable experience for all.
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Radio Show Title
Live Day and
Sundays 4pm ET
|DJ Hercules & La Taina
Debuts on Que Viva La Musica