Ironically, I never really found myself “wanting” to be a DJ when I was younger. I always had a deep, underlying passion for music since I was in elementary school and found DJing to be fascinating as I got older. Before I knew it, things lined up, I had some amazing friends with equipment and learned the basics. They are family to me and once the opportunity presented itself, with the right amount of support, I was already DJing before I knew it! I fell in love with the energy, connection between you and crowd, and how fun it was. It really is the easiest money I have ever made in my life. It is not work to me.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about being a DJ that they may not already know?
In general, I would want people to know that DJing takes a lot of hard work, time, and energy. It isn’t just “partying” and fun. There are countless hours put into working on new music, music production (if you actually focus on your own sound engineering), as well as mastering the craft, learning different mixers, networking, etc. Like everything in life, to be exceptional at it you must work very hard. It’s not all fun and games until you put blood, sweat, and tears in as cliche as that is. For example, I used to do free gigs all the time to get my name out there like most musicians do.
I’ve worked hard and earned the privilege of DJing at and/or being a resident DJ at every main college bar/club in town and I’m currently a resident DJ at Coliseum, Rokbar, and Tabu. When you think of Tallahassee, people think politics, and FSU. It’s really cool to know that you actually help this school become the number 1 party school in the country, basically bringing the town more new faces, which in turn help bring more business in, and grow. It’s like FSU’s sports, or the FSU football team as an attraction for new students. People go to places they’re attracted to. Those attractions are different for many people; however college students do like going out and having fun. Although, everyone who manages their own down time is at their own expense!
How has the industry evolved over the years?
Big question, I can’t answer this entirely, however from the amount of time I’ve been in it and from what I’ve learned, it’s constantly evolving with new trend setters, new sounds, and new emerging artists all the time. Technology is directly impactful as well. Another thing to keep in mind in the music industry, is that it contains other subindustries based off of genres; like the Heavy Metal Rock industry is different from the Country Music industry, as is the Electronic Dance Music industry.
It’s a HUGE thing now seeing that its global; from the impact of music festivals and seeing it turn into big business. The industry has connected people of all shapes, sizes, and colors, brought them together in one place, for a wonderful experience. This wasn’t going on with the same sense 40-50 years ago as compared to today. The connection between music, people, and happiness, is unreal. Technology and the Internet both have a huge impact on the evolution of this particular industry as well, but that’s a whole other conversation, with different factors as well.
What is the vibe of the Tallahassee DJ community?
Tallahassee’s DJ community is pretty tightly knit. Like lots of things, once you’ve been around for a while, get some cred, and are respectful of your peers and the local market, you become part of that community. Mostly everyone has a lot of respect for one another, and some people don’t see eye to eye (but that’s every industry and community in life). I’m fortunate enough to say most of the other DJ’s (and those who work the nightlife), are friends, and most of us show support for each other.
What’s the craziest thing to happen at a show you have been a DJ at?
That’s actually a tough one haha. Lots of crazy things have happened, but I guess a crazy thing was when I was touring around the country for a college paint party by GlowRage, dumping gallons and gallons of paint on a bunch of college students partying their hearts out was pretty wild. Although just the other night we had a person come out in a wheelchair and a bunch of people in the crowd and his friends hosted him up and he was crowd surfing!! It was awesome to see that! One of the reasons why I love it: everyone has a great time, and seeing that makes me enjoy it hat much more, even if they are disabled <3.
What’s next for you?
Next is just working on my own music and sound design on the side; lots of personal things came up over the last few years kind of holding me back but now I have much more time to focus on it. I come from a very artistic family and background, so I really enjoy the art of creation. I also work during the week like crazy, so I’m always on the go. Non-stop; but it is paying off.
What social media do you use?
I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Instagram username: benzothedj
Describe being a DJ in 5 words or less
We make awesome nights happen!