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Tuned In: Balancing school and spinning records

Student DJs enjoy reading the crowd and riling it up

 by Katie Ruark  published on Thursday, April 14, 2005

Civil engineering junior Wyatt Brice, 21, has had his own DJ business for six years and did more than 100 events last year./issues/arts/692901
Aldei Gregoire / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Civil engineering junior Wyatt Brice, 21, has had his own DJ business for six years and did more than 100 events last year.
 

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While some students spend their weekends studying, others spend theirs as DJs.

Take Wyatt Brice, for instance.

At 15 years old, Brice began disc jockeying for a student radio station in his hometown of Chino Valley, where he also started his own business, DJ Man Entertainment.

"I bought some equipment out of my college fund," Brice says, "I was only 15, so for, like, four months I had to have my older sister drive me to jobs."

Brice -- now 21 and a civil engineering senior at ASU -- has kept DJ Man Entertainment running ever since. He works any type of event that needs a DJ including fraternity and sorority events, weddings and corporate parties.

Most of his business comes from word of mouth, the phone book and his work with Universal Sounds and Creative Entertainment Group.

"I love it," Brice says. "Any DJ will tell you, you have to love the music, the energy. It's fun. You have an awesome time."

Though Brice says his favorite modern songs change frequently (this week, it's 50 Cent) he admits to liking "Play that Funky Music White Boy" and "Brickhouse."

"Those songs get everyone out on the floor dancing," he says.

But Brice is not a fan of every dance song.

"I hate the YMCA," he says.

DJ Man Entertainment has three employees other than Brice, and he works mostly during the weekend. His earnings from DJing are enough to support him while in school.

But Brice says it's hard work.

"I was at a high school dance early this year and the administrators couldn't shut off any off the lights," he sighs. "People like to dance in the dark."

Unfortunately for Brice, the lights stayed on and his lighting couldn't be seen under the fluorescent lights.

"Everyone was in the worst mood," he says. "It was really hard to get anyone into it."

But there have been cool moments, too.

Brice was involved in making a video at Axis Radius on New Year's Eve.

"That was a lot of fun," he says.

He has been reinvesting money into new equipment, such as a video projection screen he purchased last year.

"I always want to have the cool stuff," Brice says.

After graduation, Brice hopes to work for an engineering school, but will continue to run DJ Man Entertainment on the side.

Architecture junior Chris McAdams says DJing is fun, but can also be a challenge.

For the past five and a half years, McAdams has been a DJ.

McAdams got his start making mixed tapes for high school events before he started using turn-tables in a friend's band.

Once he started school at ASU, he saw an ad from SKM Entertainment looking for DJs, and started working for them.

"I like the fact I control the energy and feeling of a party," he says, "Learning the mood of the party takes time."

DJ Dally, aka business junior Dallas Butler, has been a DJ for four years.

"I like the idea of taking regular music and blending it," he says.

After listening to mixes on the radio, Butler decided to buy turn tables online and he taught himself from there.

"I really like all music," he says.

He now takes jobs mostly from word of mouth but also by referrals from a friend who is a local DJ.

Butler agrees with Brice in his dislike of "YMCA."

"I hate those line dance songs," he says.

Butler's worst experience was a situation when he was working at a high school event when his amplifier blew up mid-party.

"There was no sound for, like, 20 minutes," he says.

A friend brought him another and the party continued.

Other than that, Butler says most of his events run smoothly.

"Any time my equipment works, that is good," he sas with a laugh.

Reach the reporter at katherine.ruark@asu.edu.



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