Dave Padrazo

Equinox Staff


Lights flashing, people dancing, high energy, and an air of enjoyment.

Everybody knows the feeling of being at a fun party or other place to have a good time, and how enjoyable it is.

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What would it be like, though, without the key element that is the music?

Music controls the entire mood and speed of a party, from high intensity dubstep and house music, to the more relaxed feel of “Club Mixes” of songs.

What people don’t consider, however, are the artistic masterminds that make all the music possible: the DJs.

Without a DJ, the music would not be the same.

The DJs at events add a special touch to the music by mixing some of the songs, adding effects and transitions.

They know how to have complete and total control over the mood people are experiencing and can make the music rise and drop depending on the way they play the songs and in what order.

Being a DJ is not always an easy job, and it is most definitely not cheap.

There has to be a real passion and desire to perform.

Two DJs at Keene State College know this better than most and were able to talk about their experiences with being DJs so far.

Jeff Slark, a junior student at Keene State College, is a DJ around Keene.

He has had an interest in being a DJ since senior year in high school.

When asked about how he got started being a DJ, Slark said, “I started out doing paid jobs, just for my relatives and all. Then I eventually got my position at McCue’s here in Keene.”

McCue’s is a pool bar in Keene, located at 12 Emerald St., where Slark DJs on most Thursdays.

When asked about what made him interested in becoming a DJ, he said, “I’ve always had a real love and passion for music. I started out playing the piano when I was 12, and have been a DJ for about four years now. It was all due to my love of music.”

The total cost estimated by Slark on how much he has spent on equipment was about $3,500 – $4,000 total.

“You really have to know what kind of gear you want to start out with,” he said, “so you don’t keep dumping money into new equipment. I knew from the start that I wanted to be a turntabler, so I made sure I started with good value equipment.”

On getting started and being a DJ, Slark said, “In this day and age, with increasing availability of gear, what gives noticeability is hard work and practice. That’s what will get you some real gigs.”

Another local DJ, named Derrick Fortin, is also a DJ around Keene. Fortin is a junior attending Keene State College. He has been a DJ for three years.

“What got me into being a DJ was my interest in music. I’ve been playing the guitar for a few years, and around senior year I got really into electronic music.”

Fortin usually DJs at one of the KSC sororities, Kappa Beta Gamma.  “I’m at Kappa basically every Friday,” Fortin said.

“Or I will end up at some of the house parties around Keene. Basically, I go wherever they need me.”

Fortin said he really started getting more into being a DJ at school.

“My DJ career really started to pick up around school this year. I started to get more serious into being a DJ over this summer. I really started to use a lot more of my gear this year.”

Fortin can usually be found at Kappa on Friday nights, and despite not being as experienced, is still an excellent and talented DJ.

There are quite a lot of people interested in being DJs, but despite the interest, there are not many people who actually go out and do something about chasing down their dream.

For Fortin and Slark, their drive and passion for what they do has allowed them to get into the position they desire.

They have a background in music, and this has also allowed them to do what many people want to do, and DJ as a career.

From speaking with both DJs there was a real sense that they were interested in really being a DJ and not just doing it for money or attention; they actually both have a genuine interest in finding a position in that area.

They both have promising careers ahead of them, and it will be interesting to see what they do with their DJ experience.


Dave Padrazo can be contacted at dpadrazo@ksc.mailcruiser.com

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