DJ Johnny Hotcakes: Lawyer by Day, DJ by Night

DJ Johnny Hotcakes: Lawyer by Day, DJ by Night

You might know John Garcia for his successful law practice, but when he isn't busy running a business, he's setting a vibe as DJ Johnny Hotcakes.

Photos by Rachel Benavides

You may be familiar with what local leaders do professionally, but what about in their spare time? Take a peek into the hobbies and interests of professionals when they’re Out of Office.

“In law, DJing and pretty much any other business, there is one common thread: people,” John Garcia said.

Growing up in Mathis, Garcia said though he did not have direct exposure to law outside TV, there was a lingering affinity for the vocation. However, before his career as an attorney, Garcia’s love for music took precedence.

“After I attended Calallen High School, my plans were everything except college. All of my friends were musicians playing in local bands. I saw my first punk show when I was 15 — I was hooked,” he said.

Garcia started his own band in high school, and by age 20, his obsession for music allowed The Jinx to tour the United States. By 2008, The Jinx broke up, and Garcia found himself in Corpus Christi. This homecoming proved to be a pivotal time, as the seeds for John Garcia Esquire and DJ Johnny Hotcakes began to sprout.

Garcia’s journey to becoming a lawyer goes back to helping his mother collect debts for her carpet and tile store in small claims court when payments stopped coming in after the housing market crashed.

John Garcia, AKA DJ Johnny Hotcakes, performing at an event.

“In these Justice of the Peace courts, you don’t have to be a lawyer — you can represent yourself. I took it very seriously, so I prepared the files and went to court,” Garcia said.

His preparation led to a job offer from a judge to work at the court the following Monday. After studying the judicial system, Garcia was encouraged to quit his job and pursue his law degree at Texas Tech School of Law. Now, Garcia leads his own practice and speaks to students across Texas, advocating that they pursue their curiosity about law and showing them that with guidance and a good work ethic, they can achieve their dreams.

2008 also proved to be a beginning for DJ Johnny Hotcakes. Friend and fellow musician Dusty Oliveira, more commonly known as El Dusty, reached out to Garcia after The Jinx broke up, asking what Garcia would do now that the band was over. After affirming Garcia’s musical acumen, El Dusty suggested he become a DJ, providing a one-hour lesson and getting Garcia his first gig to spin his birthday party the following weekend.

“I haven’t stopped since. To tell you the truth, I don’t really want to stop; it’s way too much fun. It’s an escape for me now. I can get lost in curating an evening for people,” Garcia said.   


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