Q) Hi, how are you today?
I’m well. I woke up early, did my daily routine of affirmations, meditation with chamomile tea and now I’m here!
Q) When did you start DJing – and what or who were your early influences?
I started Djing at the age of 12-13, My biggest influence is my mother, she was a radio DJ back in the day. I’ve always had instruments in my room as a kid growing up, so it was almost destined that I evolved into a musician. Dj Bonics, Dj Jazzy Jeff and Dj Mo Beat were a few of my earliest Dj influences.
Q) What skills do you think DJs need to be successful?
A Dj not only has to have a vast knowledge of music, but he/she has to have the awareness to play certain songs at the right moment. I’m still improving on both. In addition to that, a Dj has to have the technical ability to transition between songs smoothly and create ”moments” within the event. Last but least, a Dj must be professional no matter what.
Q) How do you stay up to date with the latest music trends?
Honestly, I learn from other Djs sets and live mixes. I spend my weekday organizing my apartment, usually to a DJ mix. Recently, I’ve been using the shazam app more than ever! When someone posts a song from tik tok or from their instagram story, I almost always look up the song and add it to Serato. Music is being released at such a rapid rate now, the apps are crucial for getting new tunes. Apple music/spotify playlists help too.
Q) What techniques do you use to engage the audience?
The best technique I’ve used is playing music that’s familiar to them. When people know the music, they are more likely to trust the Dj along the journey of the night. Then when they’re comfortable, I’m able to introduce them to new music. Using the microphone is cool, but I’m the type to let the music speak for itself.
Q) What would you say is the most rewarding part of being a DJ?
The most rewarding part of being a Dj, is watching people get lost in the moment. We are so caught up in our phones, social media, and other anxieties of life that we sometimes forget to just be. Most of the time, I totally forget that I get paid to do this. I consider the art of djing a healing practice. I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.
Q) What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
The best way to prepare is having a deep crate of music spreading across all genres. You never know how the night will play out, no matter how much you plan. I believe in Kobe Bryant’s ”Mamba Mentality” way of being prepared to perform. You must train for every situation, and strike fiercely when the moment is right.
Q) What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets? Is there a criteria other than pure subjectivity, for selecting what to play at a gig?
Great question! I usually study the room intensely, then decide which section or group is the most active. I start by throwing out ”feelers” or educated guesses to see what songs stick. If I see a group dancing to Nicki Minaj, I’ll throw Megan the Stallion in there and see how they react. Good DJing is trial and error.
Q) How did you spend your lockdown/pandemic time? What did you accomplish before the entertainment world began to open up again?
The pandemic was a tough time for me. A lot of the clubs/bars in Buffalo closed, which forced me into getting a ”regular” job. One of the easiest jobs to get was in debt collection, I did that for most of the pandemic. At that time I was severely depressed and went into a stage of being stagnant and not expressing myself creatively. After a few months in, I decided to improve my skills playing bass. I did a few shows with my band at the time, and dabbled in music production. Although I loved playing bass, Djing is where my heart was. I longed for the day that the doors would open again and people would return to the dancefloor. When the world reopenedI left that job immediately, it just wasn’t for me.
Q) What makes you different from other DJs?
I consider Djing a service, so one thing that’s different about me is that I love taking requests. Requests allow me to navigate through the event, give the people exactly what they want. Some Djs lose sight of the fact that the event is not about them, but about the people. They pay their hard earned money on attire, cover and drinks so why not serve them correctly? Another thing that sets me apart is the fact that I love tapping into people’s psyche by playing theme songs from old cartoons and 90s Tv shows. It makes the night that much sweeter.
Q) Last question, when not hosting an event, where can we find you?
When not hosting an event, you can’t find me. I’m a ghost. Stay spooky my friends!
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