Elmo Joseph Jr. is an engineer by day and a musician and DJ by night. Joseph has been practicing music, trombone, percussion and DJing for more than 13 years. He owns and operates 823 Entertainment in Bay City, MI. Read on and get to know more about your fellow DJ.
1. How and when did you get started as a DJ? What types of events do you do?
I started DJing in college. I bought some early Gemini CD decks, complete with the digital jog wheel, off this guy in my hall and really got addicted to mixing. From there, I got some gigs doing university and fraternity parties. I worked my way into a residency in the only bar/club in the town for 2 years. Since graduating, I’ve expanded from doing just parties to providing mobile entertainment for weddings and corporate functions.
2. Is this a full-time job or something you do on the side?
Being a DJ is a part-time gig for me. My full-time job is engineering for a very successful consumer products company. Initially, I stopped Djing to focus on my full-time job and only did parties for friends. Those parties generated more requests and made me reconsider getting back behind the decks at least part time. It was with their encouragement that I started my own mobile entertainment company — 823 Entertainment.
3. What fixtures are included in your setup? What are you looking to add?
I have two lighting rigs that I am always optimizing. For my small rig, I use a two Intimidator 1.0.scanners and a 4BAR, 4PLAY CL and two VUE 1.1 effect lights. This setup accommodates small – medium weddings and bars. For my larger rig, I use a 4PLAY CL effect light and three COLORstrip and three COLORstrip Mini wash lights. I use this setup in conjunction with my lighted façade for proms and larger parties.
I am really looking at taking my setup to the next level by adding some LED movers.
4. What is your favorite fixture and why?
Personally, I like the 4PLAY CL because it gives a different element to the light show and you can also use the beams to highlight yourself as you DJ. It’s a versatile fixture and when it is used with the 4BAR, it creates quick light show.
5. Best advice you can give someone just getting started in the DJ industry?
This quote by Lou Holtz embodies what it takes to get into the DJ industry: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
To be a DJ, everyone will say that you need the ability to mix and beat/phrase match but it’s not the only characteristic that is critical to your success. You have to be motivated about entertaining people. You’re playing for a crowd and not yourself. More importantly you need the right attitude. No matter how good you are, if people can’t work with you, then what good are you?
I learned these principles from reading about other DJ experiences on The DJ Syndicate. The members of that community try to provide examples and insight for DJs to learn from so that the DJ industry as a whole can succeed.
6. What are your top three most requested songs?
“Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO is the number one request I receive — it’s a classic and has an impact equal to “Yeah” by Usher. My second most requested song is “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship — it has a very catchy chorus and it’s a favorite among the ladies. Lastly, it’s a toss-up between “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera and Super Bass by Nicki Minaj. These are all great tracks and get the party started.