How did you get your start as a deejay? I got my start as a deejay almost by accident. I have always had a love for music going back to my days as a youth playing piano and guitar. I had been a bartender for several years at a couple of different bars and clubs. The music at one particular bar that I worked at was extremely annoying, so I started coming in early and making Itunes playlists from my personal collection. Soon customers started asking about the new music and I told them that I had made the playlists. Many of them encouraged me to try deejaying, so I studied behind a couple of friends of mine and asked the owner if I could do a test run on a Friday night.
What inspires you the most? As a deejay my biggest inspiration and motivation is to make people dance. When I play something or make a good mix and the crowd reacts I get a chill. I wish I could bottle it.
If you weren’t a deejay, what would you be doing instead? If I wasn’t a deejay right now I might still be bartending. I’ve never been much of a day job person. Music would have to be involved in whatever I do.
When did you know you wanted to be a deejay and why? I knew that I wanted to deejay the first time that I heard DJ Vince Adams spin at Cherry Red in Lakeview. I was bartending there that night and he just had complete control of everyone in the room. People were out of control dancing, jumping up and down, singing along. I almost couldn’t do my job because not only was I completely into it, people stopped ordering drinks so they could be apart of the dance floor madness. I immediately asked him if I could follow him at his next gig. When I saw how well he was able to read the crowd I was amazed. I wanted to be a part of that world.
What are your hobbies? I guess if I have hobbies they are probably finding online shopping deals, mostly on deejay equipment off of craigslist. I just bought a PS3 and I guess I’m a semi-interested gamer. I mostly stick to sports titles like NBA2K and Madden. I do really love to cook. I probably spend more time than I should watching the Food Network and shows like Hell’s Kitchen.
In ten years, where do you see yourself? In ten years I’ll be living in a suburb somewhere hopefully coaching little league. Professionally, I’d love to be at the point where I could travel for gigs and still get paid. I may want to do more music production and recording. Who knows, as a deejay sometimes it’s hard to see past your next gig.
What has been your proudest accomplishment in your life so far? My proudest accomplishment was the birth of my son. I guess I didn’t have the toughest job that day but I’ll never forget it. I can’t wait to have music discussions and teach him how to double click flare on the Technics when he’s old enough.
Where did your wedding take place and what made it so special? My wedding was at the Chicago Cultural Center on E. Washington downtown. It was great because it was small, just my immediate family and my wife’s immediate family with a few friends. We were able to explore the different exhibits during the day and see all of the interesting art and architecture in the building. Afterward, we all went out to eat and had a great time. Not everyone’s typical wedding experience but that’s what made it great to me.
When deejaying an event, how do you prepare? How do you choose your songs? I probably spend more time in preparation than other deejays. I’m pretty meticulous about finding the right feel for clients. There are certain situations when it’s not the case but I usually try to find a style of music that they like from a few different era’s. My musical style is very diverse. If I can tap into a few song’s that the client will love from different time periods, then I can usually find other songs from each era that they will also like. Even so, I love to be spontaneous. My favorite part of deejaying is being able to read what the crowd is going to want to hear next. It’s all about finding a balance between preparation and spontaneity.
See Kevin spin:
Every Monday and Thursday night at Redmond’s – 3358 N Sheffield
December 7, 2010 – Yelp’s Holiday Party – 6-9 pm – Chicago History Museum – 1601 N Clark