Help Jose “Crazy Legs” Perales Soar To New Heights

*interview by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.33.09 AM
You might remember Jose Perales aka “Crazy Legs Jose,” as the loveable and kind dance music fan bound to a wheelchair, from the EDC documentary “Under The Electric Sky.” Or you may also recognize him in photos from events as the guy in the wheelchair lifted up by the crowd, with a smile beaming across his face and pure joy radiating from his appearance. I remember watching Jose on the movie theater big screen absolutely enthralled by his passion for life and love for the electronic dance music scene. I’ve met Jose in person as well, and he was everything I expected him to be. A kind, courteous, and social fellow dance music fan.

I recently came across a Go Fund me Campaign that Jose started for himself in an effort to make his dreams come true, literally. As soon as I finished reading the campaign page, I knew that I had to help and I hope you feel the same. I’m a strong believer in leveraging the power of dance music and the community for the good of humanity. If together we can make a dream come true for someone who is not only truly deserving of it but also hopes to use his influence to help others, well then what are we waiting for? If the EDM scene and culture means anything to you, if it has changed your life for the better in any way, then please give back by taking the time to read Jose’s campaign page and our interview with him below.

“The music and this scene have literally pulled me out of the darkness and into the light.” – Jose Perales

Help Jose Soar To Greater Heights Here

Crystal – I understand that you’re hoping to raise the money from your go fund me page for DJ equipment.  Can you tell us a bit about what or who has inspired you to produce electronic music?

Jose –  Back in 2013, during WMC in Miami there was a woman who recognized me at Kyau & Albert’s Nights Awake Album Tour. We were talking for a bit and she asked me what career I was planning to pursue. At the time, I wanted to become an anesthesiologist but she advised me to follow my passion for music. She was the one who sparked a little flame inside of me, and for that I thank her. Along the way, the love and feedback from people in the community and the industry has only assured me that I’m heading upon the right path.

Crystal – What level do you hope/dream of taking your potential DJ career to?

Jose – In all honesty, I’m not shooting to become #1 in anything, I don’t care for all that. I just want to be a master at my craft and leaving something great behind for the world. Sometime down the line I would like to start up my own record label and run my own weekly radio broadcast, if the opportunity comes. I’m really not focused or concerned about tomorrow. I’m a day by day kind of person, all I have is right now, and I believe whatever is meant to come around, will when the time is right.

Crystal – In your go fund me campaign page you stated “ I’m currently pursuing a dream. A dream to produce my own sound. To put my own frequency out into the world to help people cope with their own struggle.” Can you explain a bit more about what you consider your sound and frequency to be?

Jose – I’m a very compassionate person with everyone around me. I’m someone who doesn’t give up, I’d like to say I have a lot of inner strength. When I have loved ones who are struggling with personal issues, I’m usually the first one they come to for support, to pull them up and out of their darkness. I can’t believe that I’m saying this here but I’ve even heard that Markus Schulz has referred me as “a light at the end of a dark tunnel”. Compress all that together and you’ll have my frequency. Now as far as my sound, time will tell, I have some work to do first.

Crystal – Can you shed a little light to our readers on how you became paraplegic?

Jose – Growing up as a kid, I dealt with a huge amount of back pain. At the time, doctors couldn’t figure out the cause of my pain. After a couple of years I started limping, and my step-mother caught on. She was the one who realized that I had scoliosis. Some have asked me before if my doctors had provided me with a brace, and the answer is yes. The thing is, I never wore it properly as instructed. I couldn’t deal with the feeling of limited breathing nor the jokes people made towards me about my brace and how I looked in it. By the time I was 15 years old in 2006, my spinal curvature grew about to 90 degrees. At that point, doctors insisted I wore another brace or went on with a rod placement surgery. Of course, knowing myself I wasn’t going to wear another brace, so I decided to go along with the surgery. I knew the risks but still went ahead with my decision. The corrective surgery lasted about 18 hours with about two or three blood transfusions and it reduced my curvature by 20 to 30 degrees. I’m not sure if it was the pressure from the rods they placed inside me that damaged my spinal cord, or if it was the disks they removed from my spine to be filled with bone that caused me to become paraplegic. Right now, I’m just happy to be able to be able to breathe on my own still.

jose_arms

Crystal – When did you first discover the EDM scene and how did it happen?

Jose – I first started listening to dance music back in 2008 or 2009. It may sound a little corny to say, but  it was everything that I was looking for at the time. I was tired of messages that most hip-hop & rap artists were pushing in lyrics, it was really gray to me and from that point on I started listening  to dance music. It wasn’t until Beyond Wonderland in 2010 that I first discovered the scene, and it was my first event with a few cousins. They told me I was going to love it but I was quite actually a little overwhelmed at first, it was uncharted territory and I was a little intimidated by the size of the event. But by EDC 2010 I felt pretty comfortable, and fell in love with the whole ideology of unity and love.

Crystal – To what degree has your life changed since you’ve become a part of the scene?

Jose – Honestly, this scene has changed my life in a really positive way! It has taught me to appreciate my life and look forward to tomorrow. How so? I appreciate my time at music festivals, I live in the moment and have fun with it. Once it’s over, I focus on the next event and work on doing what I have to do to enjoy the next one. I brought that mindset back home with me and started incorporating it into my own life outside of music festivals. The music and this scene have literally pulled me out of the darkness and into the light.

Crystal – You’ve become quite notorious in photos as the guy in a wheelchair at events lifted into the air by the crowd, with a look of pure bliss beaming from your face. Which event was the first photo taken at, and how have these photos impacted your life?

Jose – You just actually brought back great memories for me… haha The first photo was actually captured at Ultra Music Festival in Miami back in 2011. It was during Armin Van Buuren’s set at ASOT500. Damn I really miss that event..haha. Each and every single photo that makes it back to me brings me joy. They show me that someone out there in the crowd found that moment in time as something great. It impacts me in a way that I know I’m doing something great just by being myself, getting out there, and following my passion for music.

Crystal – Anything else you would like the world to know about you and your mission? 🙂

Jose – I think I’ve said enough 🙂

Connect with Jose “Crazy Legs” Perales: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram