Student DJs mix it up
DJ’s know how to make people move.
Almost always behind the scenes, four Luther students have turned their love for music into something everyone can dance to.
Patrick Hussey (‘12) first became interested in becoming a DJ while a member of the Eclipse dance team as a first-year.
“I always cut the music for the performances,” Hussey said. “The DJ at Roscoe’s was impressed with the way I did it and asked me if I would want to try it out.”
After a year of being a Roscoe’s DJ, Hussey decided to invest in his own equipment and create a business.
“Nobody takes that first step,” Hussey said of his now year-old business. “I made ads, bought equipment, called a bunch of schools and made a website.”
Named by his six-year-old cousin, DJ Doc Pat has since performed at weddings, proms and high school dances around the area while continuing to DJ at Roscoes’s on the weekends.
“I remember the first dance I DJ’d,” Hussey said. “It was a middle school dance and the first time I used my own equipment. I thought ‘I did this myself, this is pretty cool.’”
Hussey’s musical style is catered to his audience and type of event.
“Each DJ has their own style,” Hussey explained. “I play more hip hop and pop, but try to mix it up with what I call ‘old fun’ songs.”
However, the most important part is making sure people can move to the beat.
“I will never play ‘Grenade’ [by Bruno Mars],” Hussey said. “Everyone loves it, but it is awkward to dance to.”
Hussey hopes to continue his DJ business while he continues his studies in medicine next year.
“My favorite part is listening to the music and knowing I created this atmosphere that 300 people are dancing to,” Hussey said.
Hussy’s work inspired another Luther student to try his hand at being a DJ this year.
“Pat knew I liked spinning the beats and it was an offer I couldn’t turn down,” Paul Esker (‘14) said.
Known as DJ Paulie E, Esker has learned a lot of his DJ skills on the job.
“I’m a quick learner,” Esker said. “I am still new, but came in with a passion for music and I really like working with people.”
Esker says his music selection depends completely on the audience.
“I try to facilitate as much dancing as I can,” Esker said. “I like to mix it up to keep everyone happy.”
Esker is still undecided as to whether he will continue on the same path as Hussey, but he hopes to keep gaining experience at events in Decorah and working as Roscoe’s newest DJ.
“I like hanging out with people and helping them have a good time,” Esker said. “And, you know, I like to get my groove on, too.”
Saheka Smith (‘13), known as DJ Beat Wrecka, has also turned his love for music into a DJ career.
“My friends would always say ‘that was good, you were wrecking those beats,’” Smith said.
Smith has worked at a wide variety of events since starting as a first year including Fish Fry, sorority and fraternity events and at Club Pyramid. Smith has also played a large role in opening Roscoe’s on Wednesdays and continues to DJ there on the weekends.
Smith draws from his personal musical interests while he DJs, which includes hip hop and some mainstream with a little added “spice.”
“People are a DJ’s best friend; they will tell you if it is good or bad,” Smith said.
Smith’s favorite part of the job is the music.
“Without music, I just don’t know,” Smith said. “It doesn’t feel like a job.”
Smith wouldn’t be opposed to continuing DJing after college.
“People come up and say thanks. It’s fun to bring happiness and joy to people’s lives,” Smith said.
Albert Carr (‘14), who was encouraged to start by Smith, thinks that being a DJ is a fun pasttime.
“I play songs people know and can sing along to,” Carr said.
In addition to working at Roscoe’s, Carr also plans to DJ at a few graduation parties this spring.
Carr agrees that the best part of being a DJ is all about the people.
“It think its cool playing music and making people happy,” Carr said.