Welcome to Canvas to Reality, an interview with DJ Camilo on supporting the local community, COVID, and the Warning x THC collab
It is almost 4 months since COVID hit the states. We’ve been under lockdown. We couldn’t leave our homes...face masks and gloves became the norm.
Life as we know it was completely on standstill. People started getting sick, hospitals were overwhelmed with patients. Doctors, nurses, and hospital workers were under duress, giving their all to their patients. The healthcare team needed support and hope.
That is where – a generous, dedicated, community leader – DJ Camilo stepped up to the plate. During the last 3 months, he with Slices Astoria distributed over 3,000 pies of food to doctors, nurses, and health care workers in the hospitals across the city.
We interviewed DJ Camilo on the successes he had giving back to the local hospitals as well as the most recent collaboration with TANGO HOTEL.
Tango Hotel: How did you get involved in such a great cause?
DJ Camilo: During the first week of the shutdown in New York City, I was approached by one of my staff members that used to work at a hospital. I was updated on the situation and the challenges the doctors and health care workers were facing.
My first reaction was like what can I do to help? Send them food?
So the next day, I called up my partner at Slice Pizza Shop Astoria, Luis (Lex) Perez – and arranged for pizza pies to be delivered to Mt. Sinai Astoria.
Tango Hotel: What was the reaction of the Doctors and Nurses?
DJ Camilo: The smiles on everyone's face....they were so thankful. It opened the can of worms. The reaction was priceless.
Tango Hotel: How did you react to initial success?
DJ Camilo: After we saw their reaction, we put the word out there. People wanted to donate, so we put a statement that anyone that donated 5 pies, we would match it.
It started really small and then spread like wildfire.
A lot of my friends started supporting like Robinson Cano (Former NY Yankee) and Angie Martinez from "HOT97"
It got to the point where it was something massive, and we couldn't keep up with demand.
Tango Hotel: Was the Slice Astoria team nervous putting themselves out there to deliver the pies to hospitals?
DJ Camilo: The team really put themselves out there. No one got sick. They really risk themselves. But together we really did great things.
Tango Hotel: How many meals were sponsored in total?
DJ Camilo: We served more than 3,000 pies, that's almost equal to feeding 24,000 meals.
We even had up and coming artist, Young J.I. Prince, come down and donate some pies. He wanted to support the hospital that he was born in.
Tango Hotel: How were you able to get thru to so many hospitals?
DJ Camilo: We couldn't just show up at hospitals and drop off foods. We had direct communication with the hospitals to ensure they were ready to receive the food. Nurses would come downstairs with trays to roll out the food.
Tango Hotel: How do you plan to continue the good work after COVID?
DJ Camilo: We partnered with PCNY to donate pizza pies every weight for people that may be homeless or just hungry. We've been donating for a few years now each Wednesday night.
Tango Hotel: Thank you, DJ Camilo and team for the great work! Tell us more, why did you want to release the Warning x THC tee collaboration?
DJ Camilo: I wanted to continue giving back to our local communities. The t-shirt highlights the last 3 months of our lives, how much COVID affected us. It's a reminder to remember what is important. It's a reminder of the good that we did, to continue doing good and supporting the community.
Tango Hotel: Can you share more on the design of the shirt.
DJ Camilo: Queens was the epicenter of COVID. It was also the first place we started donating pies, so we highlighted this in the artwork. This was a real serious global pandemic, something that will be with us forever.
Tango Hotel: Thank you DJ Camilo for your time and for your good work.
To see more on the limited edition tee - click here.