Paul Delvecchio is living his fantasy – and for once, it doesn’t involve excessive drinking and one-night stands. Late last year, the the Jersey Shore cast member known as Pauly D signed a recording contract with 50 Cent's G-Note Records, the dance-pop-leaning subsidiary of the rapper's G-Unit label. "We clicked instantly," says the 31-year-old reality TV star and DJ. "My whole life I've been a fan of 50. I played his music. I had posters of him in my DJ room growing up. I always respected his hustle, his music and everything."
According to Pauly D, several record labels approached him about a potential deal, but when he learned that 50 Cent was interested, all other talks ceased. "The second I heard it was him, I went to him first and I signed with him immediately," Pauly D says. The Providence, Rhode Island native says he’ll be releasing an album soon and that he and 50 share the same vision for his debut. "He sees exactly what I see in the album."
For much of the past year, Pauly D has served as one of the resident DJs at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas – an experience documented on the new Jersey Shore spin-off The Pauly D Project, which premieres tonight on MTV. "It's definitely a lot of pressure being the first spin-off show to come from Jersey Shore," he says. "I'm really excited and I'm nervous at the same time." The show was first conceived over a year ago, when Pauly D's management team met with MTV to discuss the possiblity of a spin-off centered around his DJing. "I couldn't believe it!" Delvecchio says of his reaction when the project was green-lit. "I'm just myself. I just do what I do on a day-to-day basis and they follow me with a camera," Delvecchio says. "People seem to find it entertaining."
The new show, which will feature cameos by his Jersey Shore castmate and "real life" best friend Vinny Guadagnino, offers a closer look at the DJ career that Pauly D has been pursuing ever since his first gig at a Sweet 16 party, when he himself was 16 years old. Eventually, he was balancing his job at a car dealership with regular local gigs. "I was DJing six nights a week," he recalls. "I was in the car business by day and DJing at night."
But just because The Pauly D Project has a different focus than Jersey Shore doesn't mean fans won't be hearing more of Pauly D's notorious catchphrases. "It's funny that the world picked up on them. Everybody says 'Cabs are here!' and 'Yeah, buddy' and all that stuff," he says. "A buddy of mine that I used to work with at the car lot, he has a video of his two-year-old daughter saying 'Yeah, buddy,' and he put it on my Facebook."
In fact, it's Jersey Shore that might bring the most changes to Pauly D's life, now that castmate Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is pregnant. "It will definitely be interesting," he says of the show's next season. "I'm excited for Snooki. I feel like it's the first baby in the family. It's like we're all having this baby."