DJ Aaron Testa had showcased his skills on the Keene State College campus before, but not like this. On Nov. 18, Testa, who is a junior here at KSC, opened for Sammy Adams during the Fall Concert.
Testa, who said he is used to playing for a crowd of up to 400 people, has deejayed at events such as the Whiteout Pep Rally and events put on by Habitat for Humanity.
But through the Social Activities Council’s Fall Concert, he was given the chance to perform in front of 900 people.
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“I’m blessed for this opportunity and I’m going to make the most out of it,” he said, “It’s a great opportunity for kids to excel through their craft and hobbies here.”
Testa, who said his goal is to perform in another country, said this performance is just like any other event.
This time, his skill will be heard by almost 1,000 people—however, the idea of performing live in front of this large of an audience doesn’t increase his nerves, rather it serves as a driving force to put his best mixes on display.
Q: Where do you play in Keene?
A: Whiteout Pep Rally, small events, class dances, Habitat for Humanity.
Q: How long have you been deejaying for?
A: Since I was 13. I really couldn’t play an instrument and my dad has been in bands his whole life. I really tried a few instruments, but nothing really stuck with me and then I found deejaying as something that I wanted to try. I finally convinced my dad to buy me deejaying equipment and it just took off from there.
Q: Did you take lessons?
A: I’m all self-taught; my dad said I used to sit in my room for hours and watch tutorials and videos on YouTube and practice it myself, and mirror what other guys did. I built my experience off of that. I had my first gig when I was 14, I deejayed at a high school graduation party.
Q: How do you figure out what to play?
A: It’s tough. Sometimes you will be listening to a song and you will hear another song’s beat playing in your head. Everything I do is live, I don’t really pre-plan too much. A lot of it is off the top of the head. When you understand deejaying, you understand how music fits together.
Q: Do you like to mix different genres of music together?
A: I do a lot of cross-genre-mixing. I’m not so much a particular style deejay. I like to be well rounded and play all different types of music. I could go from a ’70s rock song to a 2010 hip-hop song or Dubstep. It’s all about how the crowd reacts to what songs or what I am playing.
Q: How did you hear about the opportunity to open for the Fall Concert?
A: I emailed them [Social Activities Council]. I saw who the act was, but didn’t see an opening act. So I took it upon myself to email them [S.A.C.] and say ‘Hey, I heard you guys were looking for an opener, I would love it if you would consider me.’ They said it was up for conversation and that they would get back to me. A couple days later, I heard back and they [S.A.C.] said they were going to go with me.
Q: Do you like Sammy Adams’ music?
A: I do, personally. I used to listen to him when I was younger, I knew of him when he was still doing mix tapes. I do enjoy his music and I think our styles are kind of similar—the hip-hop, and up-beat, up-tempo kind of music.
Q: How have you been preparing?
A: It’s been on my mind for the past few weeks and I have really been taking the time to really pay attention to what songs I want to play. It’s only a select amount of time, so I want to fit in a good mix. If I practice too much, than I feel like I’m too mechanical, I’d rather have it be a little more flexible—you adapt to how the crowd reacts.
Sam Norton can be contacted at