How often do you get on the mic?
I keep my use of the microphone to announcements and the occasional call and response song. I let the music do the talking.
How long have you been DJing?
From 1993-2003 DJing was an occasional hobby. Since 2003 I’ve been DJing in a professional capacity.
How long have you been DJing weddings?
I started DJing weddings in 2004.
What are some of your all time favorite wedding songs?
Timeless favorites include:
Tommy James & The Shondells “Mony Mony”
Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels “Devil With The Blue Dress On”
David Bowie “Let’s Dance”
Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch “Good Vibrations”
Paul Simon “I Know What I Know”
The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Dolly Parton “9 to 5”
The B-52′s “Rock Lobster”
Violent Femmes “Gone Daddy Gone”
Bob Marley & The Wailers “Could You Be Loved”
Giorgos Provias “Zorba The Greek”
What kind of music do you DJ when your not at a wedding?
I DJ a monthly funk and soul party that attracts over 700 people and a weekly pop music event that regularly sells out four months in advance. When I host my own events just for fun soul, funk, 70's R&B, disco, 80's synth funk, Afrobeat and house are favorites.
What is your philosophy on weddings?
Weddings should be fun. I like to work with brides and grooms starting months ahead of time to get a sense of who they are and what they want the event to be, not just the music. That way on the day of they can enjoy time with friends and family not have to think about the DJ or the music.
What size wedding do you prefer to DJ?
The community of people at a wedding is more important than the number of people, but it is always fun to look out over a huge dance floor in full swing.
What makes you different from your competition?
Personality and experience set me apart. There aren’t a lot of people out there with the necessary combination of creativity and responsibility to be a great wedding DJ. A lot of creative types are just plain rude, and most “wedding DJs” will not push the envelope beyond the lowest common denominator. I also find myself grooving along in the DJ booth and having as much fun as the guests, which tends to be infectious.
What do you do to motivate the crowd if no one is dancing?
Switch it up! I like to keep things moving and keep people guessing. Give them what they want but don’t be predictable. You have to watch your audience so you don't loose them in the first place. Eventually you get good at reading a crowd and sensing what they need to get them going.
What training have you received?
To become a successful DJ you have to undergo a lot of on the job training. Over the years I have put on thousands of events both for others and for myself. You learn from each success and each challenge.
What problems have you encountered at a wedding and how have you solved it?
A common problem is the friend or relative who has been asked to play an acoustic instrument at the wedding but didn’t realize that they needed amplification to be heard by hundreds of guests. I always pack extra microphones and cables that can turn a DJ monitor into an emergency PA system in minutes.
Preferred DJ gear manufacturers:
Technics, Rane, Serato, Ortofon, Ecler, Vestax, Yorkville, QSC, JBL.
Favorite record labels:
Peoples Potential Unlimited, BBE, Ibadan, Get Physical, Mr. Bongo, Z Records, L.I.E.S., MAW, Rush Hour Holland, DFA, Nervous, Editorial, Underdog Edits, Bedmo Disco, Lumberjacks In Hell, Comeme, Strictly Rhythm, Tirk, Delusions of Grandeur, Tummy Touch, Salsoul, SAM, TK Disco, P&P Records, House Arrest, Black Cock, Stones Throw, West End, GAMM, Hot Waves, Basement Boys Records...
Best DJ moment of your career (so far):
Playing for 1,800 people at the Hirshhorn Gallery with the Fatback DJs and looking up to see that even the security guards were dancing.
Favorite live show(s) (strictly as a member of the audience):
Kraftwerk live. Any Ultraworld event in the 90’s. Jónsi from Sigur Rós at the 9:30 Club.
What are your five desert island discs?
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Talking Heads – Remain In Light
Curtis Mayfield – Roots
DJ Mickey Finn & MC GQ – Live @ A.W.O.L.
Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks
What’s your dream DJ gig?
Fatback is really the manifestation of my dream DJ gig each month. A big room full of friends and a sea of dancers who love good music. You can’t ask for anything more than that.
Weddings include everything you could need. An initial in person meeting, a sight visit walkthrough, unlimited time on the day of, 200 miles of travel, unlimited planning time and online planning document to organize the timeline, floor plan, music, introductions and various other details that must be tracked. Ceremony, cocktail and reception systems are included.
Non wedding events:
All non wedding events include transit within 10 miles of the 20009 zip code, 1/2 hour setup time, 4 hours of performance time, two speakers, DJ equipment & a wireless microphone. Additional hours @ $200. Additional transit between 10 and 100 miles $50, between 100 and 200 miles $100. Additional speakers and wireless microphones available at $50 per item.