So unfortunately, my professional biographer is out sick, so this is in the first person. Here is my story.
I started off like a lot of people. I was just the iPod guy at parties in high school. I had all the current music, fun different music, and anything that would get people dancing. It wasn’t serious, but even early on, I noticed what a great reward it was to be able to enhance people’s experiences from the songs you’d choose, and you get to see it immediately from the smiles on their faces.
Though I would play a mix of what people knew and liked, I personally have always loved electronic music, ever since I was 8 years old and heard ‘Better Off Alone’ by Alice Deejay on the radio. From then on, I was always listening to, searching for, and collecting EDM. However, growing up in the United States in the early 2000s, that music wasn’t even close to being popular, and when I would put on Darude or Benny Benassi, I would often get laughed at. That is why, without a doubt, the experience that completely changed my life, was going to college in Europe.
I got into a top level school in the UK, and without ever once being outside the US, I took a risk, packed my bags, and for 4 years I lived and went to school in Scotland’s bustling capital, Edinburgh. There, the club scene was THE scene, and it was busy 7 days a week. It wasn’t Eminem or Jay Z being played, but David Guetta and Tiesto, and I realized at that moment that my musical tastes had finally found their home.
In Edinburgh, I had a large friend group, and we would have these big parties before going out. There’d be drinks, games, girls and guys, but the music would constantly be switched from one iPod to another, and whenever you would put on a song, it’d never last more than 2 minutes. I wanted a way to keep the good music and the good times rolling. I downloaded some music software, routinely scoured the internet for the best music, and I would record these 2-hour party mixes, with fun, popular, flowing music that would keep the party going and the music on point.
The mixes were a hit, and I would make new ones every couple of months or so for my friends, and eventually, towards the end of my 2nd year, I found myself at a party with one of the country’s biggest nightclub promoters. The mix that was on happened to be “House Party 1” (play it above). He loved what he heard, he said that I was a step above the DJs he had at his clubs, and that he wanted to work with me as soon as possible. There was only one problem: I wasn’t ready. Up until that point, all I was was a kid with a laptop and a good taste in music; I didn’t have any equipment, didn’t know how to wire a sound system, didn’t know the things a professional DJ should. From then on, I spent my spare time teaching myself what it takes to be a professional DJ, so the next time I was asked to play, I could walk into any club and play a set better than anyone’s ever heard.
Luckily, I worked hard, and over my final couple years in Edinburgh, I would headline at at some of DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs in the World, get to see some of the biggest touring acts, and occasionally get to open for them.
By the time I graduated and moved back to Boston, I guess I had built up a name for myself, because I was contacted by some of the city’s best promo and party companies. It turns out, that I had stumbled on a talent I never really knew I had, and now I found myself talking to the people that talk to Tiesto, have dinner with Hardwell, and party with Avicii. I immediately got started DJing events, from low-key bars, to packed night-clubs, to 1,000-people sold out boat cruises, and I haven’t stopped since. That thrill of seeing people enjoy themselves to your music has never gone away.
Except now, the only difference is that it’s no longer just other people’s music that I’m playing, but my own mashups, remixes, and original tracks. Through a lot of hard work, and more importantly, a lot of support from friends and fans, my music is somehow starting to get the attention of some of the biggest DJs in the world, and I’ve been able to play with acts like DVBBS, Far East Movement, Vinai, Dirtyphonics, Goldfish, and my personal heroes, Dada Life! I’ve also had the pleasure at playing some of the biggest venues in Boston, and have DJ’d multiple parties for Amp Radio 103.3 and Country 102.5. It seems kind of crazy, but I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of this upper level, that years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of. I’m not there yet, but I know I’m going in the right direction.
When I came home from college, I was faced with a difficult decision. Get a more secure job that doesn’t fulfill me, or strive for a job I love, that let’s me be creative and make music I enjoy, and that let’s me meet and interact with truly amazing people on a daily basis. The decision was actually easy. I know that the odds are against me, but I know that I’ll never be 50 years old sitting at a desk wondering ‘if only’, and I’ll know that no matter what happens, I’ll have taken a chance on doing what I love, and for a while, I did it.
That’s it for now, but hopefully there’ll be a lot more about what happens next! Thanks for reading, and I wish you nothing but peace and love, because life is infinitely easier that way.
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