What is the ultimate DJ gig? New Year’s Eve at the greatest club in the world or maybe a million dollar gig? Ask a thousand DJ's and you'll get a lot of different answers.
What has to rank right up there was DJ Cassidy's gig at the Democratic National Convention. In his trade mark "boater" hat he sat in the DJ booth as he was interviewed by one of the broadcasting networks on the music he provided for each of the speakers and for those in between moments that kept the audience excited.
DJ Cassidy has a string of ‘ultimate’ gigs under his belt. For instance JLo's wedding, Jay-Z’s marriage to Beyonce, Hugh Hefner's almost marriage and Kim Kardashian's wedding are just a few. He was also recruited by Kanye West to be his DJ on tour. His client list is a who's who that includes Mary J. Blige, LeBron James, Anna Wintour, Russell Simmons and the list goes on. He DJ's at countless corporate events including soirees for Louis Vuitton, Victoria's Secret, Vogue, and Sports Illustrated.
Nightclub Confidential caught up with DJ Cassidy recently to ask him all about his success.
Nightclub Confidential (NCC): What an honor to DJ the Democratic National Convention! Tell me about the experience and were there butterfly moments?
DJ Cassidy: It was an honor, indeed, full of continuous "butterfly moments," not so much butterfly anxiety moments, but butterfly disbelief moments. From the moment I landed in Charlotte on Monday the 3rd, I could feel the electricity in the air. Not since Washington DC, the week of the President's Inauguration, have I felt such spirit. When I walked through the backstage curtain into the arena on the morning of the 4th for sound check and rehearsal, I almost lost my breath. It was surreal. I was the one-man house-band of the Democratic National Convention, essentially the musical director, the first deejay to ever receive such an honor. I had to pinch myself. From that moment on, I learned, I cheered, I even teared, and of course, I rocked the crowd.
NCC: Are the types of music used by you and other open format DJ's expanding? (i.e. Are Latin sounds and new underground genres sneaking in?)
DJ Cassidy: I have always made it my mission to incorporate as many forms of music into my performances as possible. At age ten, I was inspired to deejay by Hip Hop. My idols were Afrika Bambaatta and Kool Herc. They played everything and so do I. I continuously find new artists and new music from around the world, both from the past and the present, to make the party people dance.
NCC: You are obviously a huge Barak Obama fan. What did the convention teach you?
DJ Cassidy: The convention taught me that this election is not about politics, but about morals and values. It reminded me that there are lots of great people out there fighting to help people in need.
NCC: What are you working on and where will this take you?
DJ Cassidy: I am currently hard at work on my first album. I was inspired by decades of deejaying and years of watching people dance. I am working with so many brilliant recording artists and musicians, many of whom I have worked with over the years as a deejay and all of whom I deeply admire. I cannot wait for the world to hear it.
NCC: What equipment do you use?
DJ Cassidy: I use three Pioneer CDJ 2000s, one Pioneer DJM 900 Mixer, one Rane Serato SL3 box, one Macbook Pro, one pair of JH Audio custom in-ear headphones, one custom Shure 18 carat gold microphone, and a boom tripod mic stand.
NCC: What advice would you give to a young person wanting to enter the DJ scene?
DJ Cassidy: I have two pieces of advice for any young person trying to enter the scene. One: deejay as much as possible. You can't really practice in your bedroom. To deejay, you need people. Find an audience, whether it be one person, one hundred people, or one thousand people, and do your thing. Two: study music. The more you know, the more you rock.
NCC: You have your hat, your sharp clothes and even that cool gold mic. Tell us about the importance of style?
DJ Cassidy: Human beings perceive musical performers in two ways: through sound and sight. Our eyes are as naturally needy as our ears. Thus, I have always thought it was as important to give people something to look at as it was to give people something to listen to. The most interesting components of style are always those that are effortless. My boater hat, for example, which has become my signature, was merely a hat I started wearing in the summer because I liked it. Now, if I show up somewhere without it, the client might say, "Where's your boater?!"