Scruff’s Top 5

It was a busy weekend for me, I had a double booking on Saturday and I played at the Firehouse on Friday night. this is just the beginning of my busy season and most of my weekends will wind up this way (or at least I hope so). This is also the time in which I must take care of myself the most. Since I will be running on little amounts of sleep I need to make sure that things that I consume are healthy, and that I stretch my muscles as often as I can to ensure minimum chances of injury. 

Friday night I made my way down to Sioux City after a day of cooking and preparing my tracks. I am really grateful for having the chance to play down there whenever I don’t have another gig booked. In order to keep this residency I must continually find songs that keep the crowd rocking, and keep my sets fresh. This is one of my biggest challenges, with the way the trends change and how songs are a hit and then forgotten it’s hard to keep up with everything.  I do my best and I make sure to take requests, I want to make the connection with my audience and make sure that I can get familiarized with as much music as possible. This tends to work in my favor, whenever I play I always come home with a new list of tunes that I should have in my library. This case was no different. Throughout the night, I had a plenty of requests and made a list of songs I didn’t have. I don’t know if there is a better way of going about this, if there is I would definitely be open to trying it. Until then, I’ll continue ask my audience and do my research. 

Saturday I had two gigs to play, one was a wedding and the other was a bar gig. Both were in Sheldon, but the times frames were going to overlap. After discussing this issue with the bar owner, I was able get a compromising start time for the second gig. This was the start to a long but very satisfying day. 

The wedding started at 4 and reception at 5 but due to some rain the reception started a little bit earlier. That why it’s always good to be set up and ready well before the event starts, you never know what events will take place that push things forward or hold them up, preparation is key. Other than the rain everything else went quite smoothly, the bride and groom looked awesome and their families were ready to party. For the next few hours we had a good time singing and dancing, it was a joyous occasion for sure. 

Part two of the evening start 20 mins after my reception was over. I made my way over to Brady’s Pub, the place  was packed and the drinks were flowing. I started playing my usual tunes to get the crowd moving to familiar songs, after a while I made sure they heard some newer tunes. The night went on without a hitch and I was happy to entertain. I found out about some new songs I need in my library and when I play there again i’ll have them for sure. I’m happy to be on this journey of music and growth. This is awesome.

  1. Play It – Qlank
  2. 2012 (Brohug Remix) – Party Favor 
  3. Cash Money (Koos Remix) -Malaa
  4. Don’t Look Back (Jay Robinson Remix) – Shift Key 
  5. SuperZoom – Bart B More 

Scruff’s Top 5

Just finished up my final weekend of proms, and onward to the next phase of the year: weddings. I can’t believe that almost half of the year is gone, soon the 2019 season will be wrapping up and I will be preparing for 2020. Until that time comes though I will be in go mode, we have 40+ events on our schedule and #1 for May starts this Saturday.

Friday night I made my way to Hull IA for Western Christian’s High School Prom at the town country club. The kids arrived shortly after 8 and we partied up until 1045pm. The original time for end was 11 but with about 15 mins the kids started to leave. I figured that they had to go and get ready for after prom. The kids seemed to have a good time, I made sure to play as many of their favorite tracks I could. Even though it’s a Christian school we were able to have a little fun until they started filling in the blanks; kids will be kids. I will say that I do enjoy sending the kids off to the next chapter in life with one last high school party (for the seniors). I remember my High School prom and I can say it was a blast, if I could go back and relive that party I would, that’s what I want to bring to the table when i’m on the decks. I want those kids to re live those memories for years to come.

Saturday was the end of an era for my High School Prom. I made my way to Clay Central Everly for their final High School Prom, the last time that gym will be used for a school basketball game, the last year that classrooms will be filled with students. It was a very emotional night for all, I had been invited to play their prom for the last 4-5 years, and needless to say I was honored by the fact that I would be able to send them off right. This year I let the kids hear all the hits that they asked for in previous years but didn’t play, since I didn’t have to worry about the potential backlash for next year. That doesn’t mean I played unedited versions of the songs, it just means that if they swore during the blanks I turned a deaf ear to it for the night. By the end I was able to take a photo of the survivors of the 4 hour dance with there principal. I wonder what they are going to do with the building now that it’s not going to be used as a school.

  1. Lurve – Tom Debunk 
  2. Delta – Honey & Badger 
  3. Party People – Novodisc
  4. Who Is It – Nofone
  5. Work your body – Steve Darko 

Scruff’s Top 5

We are almost done with prom season 2019, we have one more weekend to go and then its full on weddings until after labor day. This weekend I was in Sioux City at the Firehouse on Friday and South O Brien High School for prom on Saturday. Both events were quite interesting, I have come to learn that with every event I can take something from it that will help in the future. It doesn’t matter if it’s song selection, better crowd reading, or better interacting; I can take something from the gig that will benefit in the long run. 

Friday night I made my way to the Firehouse, the weather was cold and rainy and I was hoping that would bring the crowd. This was not the case. I wound up playing for a handful of people throughout the evening, but I did use this time for breaking out new tunes. This was the perfect opportunity since I didn’t have the normal crowd, I was able to use the staff, and the few people there to get some opinions. I can’t wait to play there again and test the music on a bigger audience. 

Saturday night I had to play for South O Brien High School, I arrived at the school around 6 for set up. I didn’t have to play until 9 but the dance, and the grand march were in the same room so I had to be set up before the grand march started. It pays to get to your events early, upon arrival I found out that I had to play for grand march. The person who was responsible for the music was no longer available and I was up on deck.  It was fine since I would have otherwise been sitting there for 3 hours. After grand march and moving some props I started the dance. I had the kids going for the first hour and a half, after which I was asked for some tunes that wouldn’t be appropriate for school and then kids started to dwindle out. There is a fine line when it comes to keeping your audience and the the people paying you happy. I have quite the split mind when it comes to prom dances. The kids wanna have the best party ever, especially after committing and finishing the task of schooling. They have done what their parents have asked and are now adults in a sense. Now, i’m not saying that I should just play whatever the kids want, I do have a moral compass and responsibility. Yet I do feel the kids have a point when it comes to requesting music for their last school dance. At the same time I understand the point of the school officials, can’t just allow anything to happen on campus. This is the dilemma that I face, I feel like if I cater to the students I’ll have better attendance for the full duration of the dance, playing newer tunes that might have some suggestive themes or language might not be great but it’ll give a sense of relief knowing where majority of the students  are. Playing according to what the parents want will keep a paycheck in the bank, and will be a lil easy on the ears. It won’t help with the attendance though, the kids wanna hear the music that they can relate to, the music that helped them through high school. The problem is most of that music is highly explicit, and even with clean versions of the music it doesn’t stop the students from blaring out the blanks. There is a need for compromise, one that will make my job a lil easier, one that will keep everyone happy, and one that will make the prom more memorable. 

  1. You & I (Deadmau5 Remix) – Medina 
  2. Call Me Daddy – Poplord Ft. Lil Baby 
  3. Hypnosis – Veerus 
  4. I Feel It – Leftwing and Kody 
  5. Take It (Wongo Remix) – Dom Dolla 

Scruff’s Top 5

It’s been two weeks since I released a top 5 blog and recap of my adventures, I wasn’t feeling quite motivated last week, I don’t know why but I couldn’t force something I wasn’t feeling. So now it’s back to the grind and back to the adventures. This week was no different from the last… Music, driving, and more music. This week Friday I was in Omaha, Saturday I was in Cedar Rapids, and Sunday I made my way back to my house. 

Wednesday was the start to my weekly adventures, I had my production class and was challenged to have a full track done in a week. I don’t think it is impossible, I just have to focus and get it done. So now that I have a deadline and a crunch, this will bring out the best of what I have learned so far. I had a goal of releasing music weekly before, now that I have the proper knowledge, this task is now within arms reach. It’s funny how dreams start to become reality, it’s never as fast as you want it to be, but it’s always right on time. Time to keep plugging away. 

Friday I made my way down to Omaha, I wanted to go and support some of my fellow DJ’s and check out the new Karma Nightclub in the process. DJ Ron Gotti was hosting a show at the 415 and brought along some of the Des Moines talent with him to rock the stage. It was good to be at a show as a fan and not worry about putting together a set, I was able to relax and just enjoy for once. Each artist did their thing, I can say that it was a solid show, I enjoyed the different genres, and I enjoyed the energy. I did dip out for a bit to catch some of the show going on at Karma, they were having an all female DJ night. I had heard about the venue but I hadn’t had the chance to visit formally, i’m glad that I did. I ran into some buddies there that I hadn’t seen in forever, got the scoop on the lineup and made my way to the front. There definitely  should be more recognition for all the ladies rocking the dance floors. These girls were throwing it down, the track selection and the amount of people dancing was perfect confirmation. I can’t wait to hit up the next all female lineup. I wanna keep up with how the venue and the artists grow. 

After the show in Omaha I made my way to Des Moines. I was going to a secret warehouse party on Saturday in Cedar Rapids and spending a day in Des Moines sounded like the perfect option. After waking up from my slumber I worked on my homework challenge and got stuff together for my long evening ahead of me. I didn’t leave for Cedar Rapids until 9-930. The party wasn’t going to end until 6 am so I had a plenty of time to get there. I did want to arrive relatively early so I can hit the opening set. In my personal opinion that is probably one of the hardest sets to play, and the most fulfilling. A lot of people don’t realize that the opener sets the tone for the night. Not only that but they are usually the ones playing for the least amount of people. I arrived to hear the last half of the set, and I was impressed by the way the DJ kept things bass driven without overstepping his lane. He kept things flowing but allowed the night to progress by not playing a headliner styled set. The rest of the night was awesome, ran into some friends, introduced myself to the promoter, and enjoyed some good tunes. Overall one heck of a night, a super late one, but well worth it. 

Sunday I was back in Des Moines for Easter with Lee and her family. We rode in the side by side, did some fishing and ate some burgers and salads. A nice quiet relaxing day before making the trek back to sheldon for work on Monday. Now it’s back to homework, and working on the next episode of Sheldon’s Dance Experiment. The work may never end but it’s something that I enjoy doing and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. 

  1. Getting Hot – Claude VonStroke 
  2. Music To Murder By – Disco Dikc, Fringes
  3. Get Dat – Gettoblaster & DJ Funk
  4. Jack N Coke – Space Jump Salute
  5. WOW (AJ Funk Remix) – Post Malone 

Scruff’s Top 5

After an incredible weekend of gigs and preparations, I am now ready to endure what the upcoming week has in store. One thing I am learning is if it’s on your mind do it. If you wait chances are that it won’t get done, or you will be rushed and that’s just as bad as not doing whatever you set out to do (in my opinion). This past week I prepped for my gigs a little bit each day and when the time came I felt that I had better sets than I had had in a long time. I was a always a fan of playing gigs off the whim, let the creative juices flow. Now I feel like having a sense of structure is necessary, maybe not the first and last track of the evening but knowing the direction you want to go with multiple track options. Last weekend just confirms this, and I think this is going to be my model from now on as I grow into the successful DJ/Producer.

Friday I was at Dordt college celebrating the class of 2019 from Unity Christian High School. The parents get together and put on a memorable night of activities for the senior class, that includes a prom dance. I have played for this school for the last 3-4 years and its awesome to get called back, but the greatest reward is watching the kids have a good time, enjoying the last party of their High school careers (if they are seniors). Unity doesn’t hold dances throughout the school year, so in order to prep for this I made sure that I had all the latest from the top 15-20 artists of today. I also made sure to keep some classics in my crate as well, being that we are in Iowa I knew that certain tracks were a must. Since the school doesn’t hold dance functions it’s hard engaging the students, most don’t dance unless it’s a slow song. Due to this I had to play more slower tracks than normal. It was fine those top tracks I had mentioned before were quite handy. Mixing up the country classics with the current pop hits, made things go over smoothly. I received lots of compliments on the selections I made, prepping def was the right option.

Saturday night I made my way to the Firehouse in Sioux City, it was a real stormy evening and in this case it helped out a lot. I had a jam packed dance floor pretty much from 10-1230. I didn’t want to play the same tracks that I was used to playing, so I browsed my extensive library throughout the week and came up with a mix that was suitable for the venue, and the patrons. The crowd was a mix of 20-40’s and keeping both on the dance floor required hopping back in forth between generations. Some classics like: yeah! and get low will always be a hit, I usually play both at some point in the night. This Saturday I didn’t play either, there are plenty of bangers out there that you tend to forget about when you get into a routine. To be honest that makes the job less enjoyable. I don’t want to be the DJ that feels obligated to play to pay bills, I want to do this because of my passion for music. This requires constant work, and changing things up every so often. Keeps me on my toes, and keeps DJing fresh. I’m looking forward to getting things ready for the next weekend full of music and celebrations.

  1. Bird Work – Thoxy
  2. Open Your Mind – Mark Gabriels
  3. Ghost Dub – Chris Lorenzo Feat. Polina 
  4. Nineteen81 – Jay Robinson 
  5. In The Warehouse – Dillion Nathaniel 

Scruff’s Top 5

Yes, I know that I usually post on Monday, this week I needed to take some time and decompress from my busy weekend and gather my thoughts to go over all the events that took place. I’m super happy about the start of the DJ season, not only because that means I get to entertain and be a part of special moments in life, but because it allows me to gain some financial stability for the next few months. This is the time in which I pay off bills accrued over the winter months, I stack my savings account, invest in my own shows, and enjoy nature. Time to get out of the house and show the world what i’ve been up to while hibernating from the cold. Though my season never completely dies during the off season, I can say that this is where my health needs to be at 1000%  because it’s go go go time.

Friday I was invited to play at Bishop Heelan’s Dance Marathon in  Sioux City. Usually I come down and play this type of event for North High, well one of the students organizing the event at Heelan enjoyed what we (Lee and I ) played and the rest is history. I always enjoy playing for a good cause, giving back to the community not only builds your working relationship, but it also shows that you want to help build where you are, and not just as a business person. The Dance Marathon went from 5 – 10 and within that time they had some Zumba, family testimonies, Karaoke, and of course music playing out of the speakers. I was quite impressed with the level of organization the students had during the event. Things started on time and moved effortlessly. It was an honor to be a part of this, I can’t wait to do it again. 

After packing up at Bishop Heelan I made my way over to the Firehouse and finished my night off there. It’s has been nothing short of a blessing to be able to play out at the Firehouse whenever I am available. Lee and I had a nice beverage while I spun the hits from the early 2000’s to today. It was a really chill night at the bar, but the people that were there enjoyed the tunes, I took some requests and gained some insight on some newer artists that I hadn’t checked out yet. For me that was a successful night, I made it home around 3:30 and went right to bed knowing that I had a full day approaching. 

Saturday started bright and early for me, I had to go in to Langers and cook in the morning. I was extremely tired but I survived the 7 hour shift, I made it home afterwards and took a nap I had Sheldon’s Prom that night. Around 5:30 Lee and I set up for the dance and around 7 the kids came pouring in ready to eat. We played some dinner music while the attendees were served, throwing down tunes by Oasis, Imagine Dragons, The Weeknd, Toto, and Styx. After the meal was done we went in full force hitting them Cupid Shuffle, Old Town Road, Party In The U.S.A., and many others. To be honest after the first 2 hours I could see that the students were getting restless. They were asking for some fun songs, but at the same time they were asking for tracks that we couldn’t play. This fine line of what’s appropriate at a school function and what’s played on the radio is really wearing thin. We started to see the numbers dwindle towards the end of the night, we know that part of it was that the kids needed to get ready for after prom so we weren’t bummed. Personally I feel bad when I can’t play someones request, and whenever I see students leave the dance early or have a look of disappointment I can’t help but feel like it’s my fault. I remedy this by marking down the tracks that I couldn’t play and trying to find versions of the songs that might pass in the future. 

Sunday was my 32nd Birthday and I had another full day ahead of me. I woke up around 6 and by 8 I was in my car working my way down to Des Moines, IA. I had a show down there at Lime Lounge and I had to link up with DJ Ron Gotti to go over our B2B set. We both had some bangers in our crates and we wanted to make sure that they were compatible. After a nap, and a steak dinner Lee and I made our way over to Lime for the evening. The party was killer I must say that Mollie and Johnny put on one heck of a show. They are the local promoters and DJ’s of Lime and many other venues in the Des Moines area, Sunday’s at Lime are called the Git Down. This week the whole lineup was house based, which is perfect for me since I play and produce house music. We had a killer time throwing down tunes, I can say that I had an awesome time on my birthday. 

Monday I had the day off so the lady and I went to various malls in Des Moines and window shopped. It was a beautiful day out and staying in the house was not an option. After walking the Jordan Creek and Valley West Malls we headed downtown for some gaming at Up/Down. We ate lunch at Jethro’s BBQ before heading home and working on projects for the rest of the week. I made my way back to Sheldon Tuesday morning, 31 was a lot of fun but I can’t wait to see what year 32 has in store. My goal is to keep moving forward never backwards, This year I will have more music released, and more gigs to play at. 

  1. What You Think – Mr. Kavalicious 
  2. I’m The Snakkest – SnakDaddy 
  3. PsychoDrama – Todd Terry, Tuff London
  4. Bubble Up – Diplo 
  5. Body Shock – Shakecraft 

Scruff’s Top 5

It has been a busy week, a great start to the 2019 season. Proms, hip hop shows, and soon weddings will be taking over the  calendar. Production wise I’m about 75% done with my next track, which means its about time to think about the next one i’m going to start. My  mentor says that your best track is the one you haven’t started yet, so for me I need to keep on trucking, I want to see what my best track will look like. I have some ideas on what I want to start but nothing set in stone yet, I will keep everyone up to speed on the  process as time goes on.

Friday I started my weekend off in Rock Rapids for Central Lyon’s High School Prom. It amazes me how some music is still relevant after 10+ years, and some disappear after just a couple weeks. Overall, I got some pretty good song requests, which helps me out a lot, especially when it comes to school dances. It’s hard to keep up with student trends, the music scene changes rapidly and I have found that the popularity of the artists can definitely dictate what songs I spin. Deciphering what can be played on school grounds is another beast to tackle, I have a responsibility to two totally different demographics at the same time. I want to keep the students dancing, keep them engaged, and ultimately make their night memorable. At the same time though, administration pays me, so keeping them happy is also on the agenda. I have found the happy medium for this school, but each one is different, so the battle forever continues. I will call this prom a success, the students had fun,  no complaints from staff, and booked for next year already. If that’s not a successful evening, I don’t know what is. 

Saturday Lee and I made our way up to Worthington, Minnesota to perform/host a fundraiser for the Suicide Prevention Crisis Center/Hotline of Worthington. There were 10 artists on the bill and I can say that I was quite surprised with the level of talent that the performers gave. I can personally say that there was at least 1-2 tracks from each set that I would play out for a crowd at a club or show. For me, that says a lot because usually when dealing with local artists I have learned to accept what they do is a passion for them, but not necessarily marketable at that time. These guys came to bring the house down and they all played their parts in doing such. For me, it was great to be able to provide all the sound equipment needed for the show including mics. Just goes to show that there is potentially another avenue of revenue that can be invested in when the equipment isn’t being used for another gig. It’s not a perfect set up just yet but I can see the possibilities. Overall it was a successful event, and though it was a long weekend, I’d say it was a great start to the 2019 busy season. 

  1. Thru Your Phone – Cardi B
  2. Like A Lion – Davina Moss
  3. Down The House – DiMO
  4. Joke – eCost, Barbex 
  5. Psychodrama – Todd Terry, Tuff London ft. Jasmien Nanhekhan

Scruff’s Top 5

This past week was awesome, I finished up my latest track, played a few live shows and I successfully started my day at 5am for a full week. Now, rejoicing over one week seems rather silly, but i’ve learned that you must rejoice whenever accomplishing anything. I don’t rejoice for the attention, i’m merely sharing with you all my journey; my growth. I rejoice for me, last week I talked about self esteem, this is a part of building that self esteem, that confidence. One small step for some may be a huge accomplishment for others, i’m just taking my journey in strides and thinking about the good along the way. 

I finished my track with my mentor this past week, and I must say that i’m very happy with how far i’ve come in such a short amount of time. This doesn’t mean that i’m super fly and I should get paid as much as Calvin Harris, but it does mean that i’ve got more opportunity to build my audience with some originals for my sets. I now have 4-5 tracks that I consistently play out, and I can’t wait to have a full hour worth of original material. I had a few live shows this week and I was able to get feedback from a live audience, from people that I don’t know, but I want them to rock out to my stuff. I felt very encouraged when I had people say that my style reminded them of more popular producers, for me this just meant that i’m heading in the right direction. I don’t want to sound like anyone else per say, but to compare my current works to bigger artists I feel quite flattered. 

This week I played at the 415 in Omaha and Icon Lounge in Sioux Falls. Both gigs were exciting, I can say that i’m returning to a place in which I can’t wait to hit the stage, butterflies hit my stomach, and the rush pulsates through my veins. The 415 is like coming home and the crowd is always very receptive to the music regardless of the genre. Icon is a whole new animal, the last time I played here was for Manic Focus, and that was a few years ago; I was happy to return. The Icon set was super special because it was in the style of boiler room. No stage, the DJ is set up on the dance floor with the crowd around just enjoying the vibes. As a DJ I know that I have a skill, but I don’t see myself as better than, or higher than anyone. With that said being on the dance floor with everyone else is my kind of show. 

Next week I plan on having another track completed, another step towards my goals

  1. Back On The Bouley – AJ Funk 
  2. The Mystery Of Old Ma Clifton – Mark Knight 
  3. Boundaries – Mason Maynard 
  4. Up Up – Benny Bridges 
  5. Shake Dat – Wade

Scruff’s Top 5

This past week has been one that has taught me about time management, preparation, and opportunity. Not only are these things the basis of success, but they actually work together, and if you can appropriately handle the first two the last is your reward. It has taken me a while to figure that out, but now that i’m aware of this (secret not so secret phenom) diligence to get the most out of life is my main priority. This just doesn’t involve the music, but all aspects of life. My relationships with people, my responsibilities to S&E, and overall becoming who I am really intended to be. 

Over the course of the week my responsibilities were as follows: Radio show for both here in Sheldon and in Cork county, finish up a track that I wanted to have finished by now, prep for a wedding, and get ready for two shows that are coming  up. By the end of the week I can say that I made an artsy radio episode, 99% of that track is done, and I have some tracks in mind for my live sets. Now comes the point where I start this week trying to keep that momentum going. I know in the past few weeks I have been very repetitive when it comes to momentum and being diligent, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but for once I get it. Time waits for nobody, and now is the time to take the initiative and become the best you that you can be. Hopefully, I can continue to share my journey and encourage others who are on theirs and we can all grow together. 

  1. Break – Tough Love & Trutopia
  2. Piknik – Riva Starr
  3. Smash The Disco – Gemellini
  4. Not A Mystery – A – Trak
  5. Reality – Chocolate Puma