Midfielder Hector Jimenez doubles as Crew SC's locker-room DJ
Over four seasons with Columbus Crew SC, Hector Jimenez has been one of the team's most versatile players, but no role has called on him to be as flexible as the one he plays in the locker room. Jimenez, 28, serves as the de facto team DJ, queuing up tunes to pump up his teammates for training sessions and match days alike.
It's not an official job — “I'm the one that comes in and plugs in the phone, and no one really complains,” Jimenez explained — but it's one he relishes. After practice this week, he answered some questions about his mix-master status.
How do you approach the task of choosing music for the team?
I just try to get on everyone's vibe and just try to get them going. It's not an easy thing to do sometimes because we have a really mixed locker room in terms of ethnicity. Sometimes some of the Ghanaians on the team will put on some of their songs. I try and mix and match. If I hear a song that they might like, then I'll add it to my playlist, and then when it comes up they'll be like, “That's on your phone?”
What song are they into right now?
I don't really know the names of the songs, but it's pretty much all beats. They go in there and have a dancing competition. It's hilarious.
What's your personal default?
I'm from California, so I listen to a lot of old-school rap. Most of the music I got was from my older uncles, so Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Eazy-E, that kind of rap. Sometimes I'll play oldies because I grew up with my dad listening to oldies in the car on drives. So the coaches will come out and say, “That's gotta be Hector's music.” It brings back memories for them, too. If I play songs from the '60s, '70s or '80s, the coaches are all like, “Oh, this is a good jam!”
Are there any songs that always get a spin?
I'm not gonna lie, I love a lot of John Mayer in the morning because you can mellow down. Everyone's still half-asleep. Later in the afternoons, after practice, we'll play some rap. A lot of this new music a lot of these guys like, it's got a lot of bass. I don't know if you'd call it trap music?
What's the current hit in the locker room?
The biggest songs right now are Migos. We put on that, and Cristian [Martinez], who's from Panama, tries to learn the lyrics, and everyone's bobbing their heads.
What about after a loss?
No, you could hear a pin drop. There's no music. There's nothing to be happy about after a loss. It's very silent, especially after our coach goes in there and probably rips us apart.
Do you take requests?
Absolutely. I leave my phone out there, so if they want to go up and pick a song, everyone listens to it. We're all from different places in the world, and music brings us together.
Do you do any DJing outside the locker room?
Oh, no. I would be so nervous. I'd try, but I'd probably shit the pants.