Scruff’s Top 5 – Poppema Wedding/ Janssen Wedding

This past week was awesome, two more weddings in the books for the season. The 2019 season is almost over but that doesn’t mean the work stops. Over the weekend I had the chance to see the end of an era and the start of a new chapter. I Traveled to a new location and made some connections with new vendors, this journey never ceases to amaze me. 10 years down and years more to come, i’m still learning, growing, curating my craft as an entertainer.

Friday night I made my way to the Sheldon Crossroads Pavillion for the Hoekstra/Poppema wedding. Now, before I continue on the night’s activities I must bring up that I had already done a combined 5 weddings between the two families. For the Hoekstra’s I had celebrated all four of their boys tying the knot, and with the Poppema family I had did the groom’s dad’s wedding a few summers ago. So this night was truly a special one for me. I knew 90% of all the guests and after all this time it felt more like a family reunion instead of a wedding, and I was the distant cousin that came to bring the party to life. Kenli is Ken and Robbi Hoekstra’s final child, the baby of them all and the only girl. She wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, a 60 year old heirloom, brothers in her wedding party, parents married for over 20 years, her roots run deep of love. Dalton a man of ambition and strong parents for role models. A man that had to impress a father and four brothers to get to this point. Growing from just a childhood friend, to boyfriend, fiancé, and now a husband. You can tell he has the will to overcome any obstacle, these two were made to be together and it shows.

The host and hostess Steve and Vonda took the reigns for the evening: dismissing tables for the meal, playing the shoe game, scavenger hunt, and being the master of ceremonies. It was different for me to sit in the backseat and just wait for the dance to get started. I did take some notes and watch how they interacted with the guests, there is always room for improvement and if something worked I wanna incorporate it. After the games, speeches, and special dances it was time for me to go to work. I played everything from the 80’s to today’s hits, doing my best to reach each generation and genre in the process. We had a great dancing and singing, but the real honor was watch the final chapter unfold. This was my last Hoekstra/Poppema wedding, no more kids to watch do their first dances for at least another 20 years, no more daddy daughter, mother son, it was surreal. Joy fills my heart knowing that I had the chance to celebrate with the two families, this is something money could never buy, this is one of the reasons why I do what I do.

Saturday night I made my way to Gilmore City, IA. 20 miles south of Pocahontas to celebrate with Behrendsen and Janssen family on the union of Brittany and Colten. I was really worried about the settings of the reception, it had been raining off and on the whole day and the reception was to be held in a 100 by 40 ft. tent. Upon arrival I was put to ease when everything in the tent especially the ground was dry. The place was decorated quite nicely with white linens and candles, after setting up my equipment I helped light those candles and got ready for the guests to arrive. I was expecting a party with an open bar provided by the bride and groom, and the soft serve ice cream station for dessert. It seemed that these guys had all their bases covered for youthfulness and lots of folly. After a wholesome dinner, and heart filled speeches from the wedding party and the brides father it was time to get down. Brittany and Colten’s first dance was sung by the bride’s grandfather and brother, bringing this close to heart. After the rest of the special dances we continued the night with the bridal party dancing to The Git Up, and the groom doing the worm across the dance floor. We partied until around 1130 and I can say the floor was never empty. From the Shania Twain hits all the way to DaBaby and G-eazy, there was a group of people of the floor showing the world what they had. I had a few people inquire about some dates next year before packing up and making the 1.5 hour drive home. It was definitely a long weekend but one that was full of fun and laughter. I can’t wait for my next set of weddings and events, let’s keep em coming.

  1. Bongo Soul – Maximono, Josh Brown
  2. Every Morning – Chris Lorenzo
  3. Binding Problem – Jace Mek
  4. Birthright (Dosem Remix ) – Nora En Pure
  5. Mama (Just Kidding Remix) – Ella Eyre & Banx & Ranx ft Kiana Lede

Scruff’s Top 5 Labor Day Weekend – Eagles Club/Rudy Wedding/ Car Show/Firehouse/Family Time

It was a busy three day weekend for me in the music world. Not only did I have my day job, but every night I had a different event that kept me on my toes, with lots of loss sleep in the process. Though it was hectic I made it, another weekend in the books and more memories made. It doesn’t ever get old, well maybe the windshield time, but each time I plug in I still get shivers and butterflies. Confirmation of success comes in many ways; smiles and dancing is how I get mine. This weekend there was both smiles and a packed dance floor, a double double in my book.

Friday started off with me posting my weekly radio show on Soundcloud, sharing it on all my social media pages. I can’t expect people to hear my music unless I post it, this is a tedious task sometimes but in the long run its one of my most effective ways to share my passion with my friends and fans. That afternoon I had my weekly class, advancing my techniques and skills as a producer. I will say that this is one of my biggest challenges, I am learning sounds and feelings in music. narrating the emotions of a song, it’s to easy by any means. I know that things don’t come overnight so that’s why I’m working at it, but this it tough, it’s something new and it doesn’t just come easy to me. In time I will be proficient and I will be a master at my craft, this is just part of the process. That night I set up for an evening at the local Eagles Club. It’s the start of Labor Day Weekend and no better way to get things started than with some music and drinks. I played some old school rock and roll, 80’s and 70’s hits for the patrons at the club. The demographic is a little older so sticking around those specific eras was more of a common sense thing.

Saturday Morning Lee and I left Sheldon to head towards the Tiburon Golf Course in Omaha, Nebraska  for The Rudy/Han Wedding. This was our first time at this specific venue so we made sure to leave super early, especially since we knew that there was some construction on our only way into town. The venue was laid out pretty sweet, a long head table with family style seating for the rest of the guest; with a picture of the lovely couple on each table. Our set up was spread out with one speaker on each side of the head table along side a stand with lights. The photo booth was on the other side of the room, which played out quite well, Lee was able to send signals discretely indicating if sound needed to be adjusted. Dinner was plated so there was also a vendor’s table where we had the chance to sit and eat with the photographer and her team for the evening. It was great to meet other professionals in our field and actually get a chance to sit and chat with them over a meal. Speaking of the meal, we had a stuffed chicken breast with tomato basil filling, roasted potato cubes, dinner salad, roll, and an 8 oz steak. A ton of food but very delicious, the meal was catered in house, shout out to the chef on that team for making everything superb. After the meal and some beautiful speeches I kicked the dance off with some of the bride and groom’s favorite tracks. They sent us a list of tunes that included a lot of 90’s boy band hits, and early 2000’s dance floor bangers. I can say that I hit the jackpot, this was the era in which I was just starting college and becoming my own independent adult, so I was quite familiar and ready to jam. The dance floor was full all night, people rotated from the photo booth, to the bar, and back to the dance floor. We ended the night with Billy Joel’s Piano man and prepared ourselves for the long journey home.

Sunday/Monday we were in charge of the tunes for Sheldon’s Annual Car Show. Sunday was the car cruise and that took place on old Highway 18, the main road that goes through the town of Sheldon. Monday the festivities took place on the lawn of the high school. Since we in charge of both days Lee did the music spinning on Sunday, and I took over on Monday. This gave me the opportunity to head down to the Firehouse Sunday night for a little fun. Surprisingly there wasn’t as many people there as I had thought. I figured since Labor Day was the last official Holiday of the summer people would be out and about. Don’t get me wrong there were people out, I just envisioned a huge turnout. Nonetheless I had a great time down in Sioux City, the set I played was quite different than normal. Instead of hitting them with all the top 40’s on the radio, I played more of an open format set. I hit them with lots of remixes, twerk, moombahton, and even some trap styled tracks. There were many latino patrons out that asked for some spanish music, so I played more cumbias, merengue, and spanish influenced tracks as well. A very eclectic playlist and it was quite appreciated. At the end of the night I was complimented by the bartenders, they enjoyed the fact that I had played something out of the normal. In the future I think i’ll ask if I can turn the Sunday Nights into a more Sunday Funday open format kind of event. This will give me a chance to play some B-sides and more electronic tunes to the masses. Maybe open the minds and ears of Sioux City, giving me the opportunity to re-establish their house and electronic scene.

Monday I played for the car show at the high school, there was over a hundred cars and lots of people out to look at the classics. The playlist was geared towards the 50’s-60’s hot rod era (upon request of the coordinators).  This is what the original soundtrack for the scene so that was understandable. I knew it was going to be a long day so I invited my cousin from the twin cities to come down and join me. It had been a couple of months since I had seen him, and no better time than to check out some cars and catch up. After awards were given at the car show and I was all packed up, we went to a buddy’s house and grilled some food. This made for a full day and the close to a long weekend. Four days of music and memories, just how I like it.

  1. 7empest – Tool
  2. Loco Contigo (Cedric Gervais Remix) – DJ Snake ft J Balvin & Tyga
  3. Do Re Mi (Tarro Remix) – Blackbear
  4. Put Your Phone Down (Low) – Jack Back
  5. East – Teenage Mutants

Scruff’s Top 5 – Week in Canada/ McGrath Wedding

This week’s adventure has had me speechless, now that I have decompressed and caught a few z’s I can finally express how the trip to Canada really felt. I needed this trip for more than just a few reasons, I hadn’t seen the groom in 7 years and it was way past overdue, I’ve had a passport for a few years still hadn’t used it, and now I have a new found love for traveling and it’s expenses. This trip was more than eye opening, I reevaluated some goals that I didn’t think I was able to accomplish.

Tuesday Morning I flew into SeaTac (Seattle- Tacoma Airport) and was greeted by my long friend Richie. We both went to Northwestern College and ever since I had met him he’s been trying to get me to come visit him in Canada. I felt really bad that it took so long to get here but I was super glad that I made it. It was as if time stood still, it was like we were still in college worrying about classes, going to the next party, playing sports, etc… These are the type of friends you don’t meet often, it’s like we picked up where we left off. We took the 2 hour drive back to the border but first stopped off for some lunch at Dick’s Hamburger. This place was straight out of a 50’s/60’s movie, no indoor seating only drive up and great food. We crossed the border, and I finally made it to (The Promised Land) according to Richie. First on the agenda was a trip to Vancouver and dinner. We had pizza, beer, and a great view of the Pacific Ocean. The first thing I noticed after the view was the view, there were fancy cars and fancy prices. all around us were Tesla’s, Audi’s, BMW’s and the ticket for the meal was as if we were in NYC. Not gonna lie it threw me off guard a little but I did have some funds saved up so I wasn’t too worried. We made our way back to Richie’s house and I finally got the chance to meet the lovely Bride to be Megan. We had talked wedding and reception via video chat, but after chatting with her for a bit I knew that Richie had made the right decision.

Wednesday Richie and I got up and went to Tsawwassen, Canada to meet up with his boss and go boating across the Pacific to Orcas Island for the day. This was my first time on the Pacific and I was glad that we had the chance to see some seals, porpoises, and just a nice still current on the open water. We hit up the local brewery while on the island and enjoyed beverages and a cornhole game by the locals. On the way back I had the idiotic idea of  jumping in the water, let’s just say I still think that was one of my less than sane propositions. We rounded off the night with a nice meal and early shut eye, tomorrow was the start of a long weekend.

Thursday morning travels were made to Chilliwack for the Frasier River Lodge where both the rehearsal and the wedding. Upon arrival I had the chance to meet up with the bridal party, and wedding coordinator.  I must say I was quite impressed with their support group, all the groomsmen had the qualities that Richie needed around him to help make conscience, mature decisions when it comes to not only life, but when it comes to being a husband. The bridesmaids were all very giving: giving their time, advice, and their hearts. You could see this whenever you saw them laughing and joking with Megan. The wedding coordinator was precise and def took the lead when it came to dealing with the order of events. It was the perfect first experience. This place was beautiful, I mean the facility and and it’s staff were quite accommodating, the rooms were quite comfy, but the real kicker was the view of the Frasier River and the mountains right behind it. When people usually think of dreamy weddings they usually have beaches and mojitos in mind, this place was on a whole different level. In my mind this is where you clear your head, reevaluate your priorities, make new goals and find out the path you need to achieve them. This place in my opinion is the perfect spot to start a new chapter with your wife. Thursday night was when things got interesting, both Lee and I went to school with Richie. Lee wasn’t supposed to be able to make the trip due to other situations, things changed and Lee came up. I knew about the plans but Richie didn’t. This was the best surprise for the groom, all three of us together, Heemstra brothers and friends for life.

Friday was the big day, Lee and I did what we do best and that’s taking the concern of the Newlyweds and putting on our shoulders. We had ceremony and reception duties, it was showtime and Canada was about to get a big dose of the midwest’ finest. Ceremony went off smooth and reception was to follow. We played the scavenger hunt with the guests worked with one of the brides’ cousins Ryan on MC duties and played I even got the chance to get the parents of the bride to kiss twice when the guests clanked on the glass (Brides’ parents are divorced but played along as if they were still married). After all the special dances and a few hours of tunes we shut down the reception and did an after party for the bridal party in one of the cabins. This was where everyone let loose, it felt like a high school reunion, a vacation, it felt like we were back in college.

Saturday we all packed up and left the Frasier Lodge partied out, ready for a recovery day.

Sunday morning the Newlyweds, Lee and I took a drive into the mountains to visit Squamish, a ski lodge town with some magnificent views. We  arrived took some photos and hit up a local brewery. Didn’t stay long because Lee had a flight later in the day and had to show him Vancouver. We made our way downtown and purchased the Canadian staple food poutine. I must say after eating some I wouldn’t be ordering anymore in the near future, this was def not my cup of tea. After viewing the Chinese embassy and high priced vehicles we got Lee back to the house so that way he could leave for his flight. For my final night in Canada we had pizza and wings for dinner.

My experience in Canada was one that I will never forget, this is just the beginning of my travels. Thanks to Megan, Richie, and both of their families for not only making us feel like we were part of the family, but also making my first international experience the first of many. I can’t help but feel like this wouldn’t be possible without the music. First going across state lines last year in Montana, now country borders. To be grateful mean to do the best that I can with my craft. I intend to do this and continue to cross the borders in genres, states and countries.

  1. Free – DJ Scruff
  2. Joanna (Drogba) – Afro B ft French Montana
  3. Let This Ride – Alex Preston
  4. Loca Loca – B & B
  5. Best Friend – Logic

Scruff’s Top 5

This weekend was one for the books! I organized a few dates and after linking up with my guys JFrank and EZB we had the weekend Bring The House Down mini tour. The goal was three dates, three different cities, three different venues. It’s easy to say that mission was accomplished and this was definitely just the beginning.

It’s not easy putting together a tour, or in my case a mini tour. I skipped some of the processes necessary for success and it showed. Now that i’ve gotten my first one out of the way I can start to properly start to prepare for the next one. I’m going to give detail into my shortcomings and how it all managed to work out in the end, but needless to say what i’ve learned will be incorporated in the future.

Planning: I started booking for these dates months ago, this is because you just can’t expect venues to have open dates. This is a business and in order to keep clients in the doors you always have to have content and entertainment. Most places book weeks, to months in advance. If you want a chance at playing you have book immediately. Now booking the dates isn’t the only thing that needs to be settled in advance. When planning a tour or a multiple dated schedule you have to know that all supporting and doing acts are available as well. I asked EZB and JFrank about their schedules before I even booked the venues. I wanted to perform with these guys so making sure that all of our calendars aligned was a key factor when booking. Having a back up plan is also necessary, when you are planning your dates you have to keep that star player (yourself) in mind with all decisions. If those guys wouldn’t have been available for all the dates I would have had to find someone else to fill a spot or two; being organized and prepared for anything is required when wanting to hit the road. Ultimately the show was going to continue and that meant doing whatever was needed to keep things moving.

Promotion: Now, I should have been promoting the events and dates for about a month or two before the mini tour started. This is almost a non negotiable statement. There are many other things going on and keeping people aware of what you are doing is where you mind is at. This was one of my shortcomings. I didn’t get the promo that I wanted out there, and I can’t blame anyone but myself for that. Yes you want all members of your tour to promote but realistically you can’t just expect everyone to be on the same page financially. If you want something done to a certain standard you have to be willing to do it all yourself, not saying that the supporting acts won’t contribute, just saying that you should have it to where you can cover it all and anything added is just a bonus. This way at the very least you can say that YOU did everything you could to make sure people knew about your activities. Like I had stated before this was one of my shortcomings. Probably my biggest one to be honest. In the future I will just have to plan that aspect of things a little better. The future goal is to not only hit the two month promo plan but equally promote across multiple social media platforms according to the likeliness of observation.

Venues: I had discussed booking venues months in advance and yes that is a requirement in my opinion, but checking in with the venues after you have booked is also just as important. Keeping communication is one thing that will ensure a better turn out and more likely help you book that venue in the future. Owners love to see people that are on top of things, they have a lot on their plate and to see an act take their performance seriously is something that they will admire. Talking about things like payout and how much promo the venue will be contributing is just a small part of the communication process. Load up times, what kind of hook ups and outlet sources are available, what the security layout looks like, are there any drink specials that need to be advertised in accordance to the event that need to be pushed, etc… These things can contribute to a more successful event, and ultimately another chance to play at the establishment. In my opinion communicating with your venue should be right along side with complete communication with your supporting acts.

Set: Please prepare your sets! This is your time to advertise yourself as a brand not just a DJ, people want to see what you’ve got, what separates you from the average Joe. I understand that sometimes you have to switch things up and go with what the crowd is wanting to hear instead of what you have prepared. In situations like this go with your top tracks in that field, or if you are playing a different genre, what would provoke that reaction with what you’ve got. Being a DJ on tour isn’t just about playing your style and proving you are the best at what you do in your comfort zone, it’s about stepping out and showing the world that you belong in the class of the elite. You are prepared for whatever is thrown your way and you will excel regardless. This happened to me on the last day of the mini tour. I was prepared for play a tech house set that I had been prepping, all the other DJ’s played bass music, dubstep, and riddim. Those styles of music are completely left field from what I was hoping to play. I had to switch things up and keep the crowd engaged. Nothing feels the worse than when you have a packed room and by the end of your set it’s cleared out because you couldn’t keep the vibe going. I had to quickly grab all of my hardest hitting tracks, even though they were in a different genre I knew the bass lines would resonate like I needed them to. Was it what I wanted at the time, NO, but it was essential for the night. At the end I got compliments for my diversity in style and coming up with something that would keep the people dancing.

The first night of the mini tour started off in Sioux City, IA at Club Riviera. This was the first time I was performing here and I was quite excited about. One of the DJ’s that was on the bill to perform had thrown a few shows at the venue before and they had some great turnouts so this was encouraging. I was hoping that would bring the attendance up a little, or at least ensure that someone would show up. I had promoted the event for a couple of weeks and there was some buzz, but I know that if I would have started advertising sooner that buzz would have been greater. I felt bad for the first two acts because the establishment was empty, apparently the venue has more of a later night crowd, this is definitely good to know for the future, that means i’ll plan to start later so that everyone has a crowd to perform for. Other than the fact that the evening started a little light, after people started to show up around midnight we got the party started. The night ended well and I look forward to linking up with the owner for some future planning.

Night #2 was in Omaha at Bar 415, an establishment that I have played at numerous times. This time was different since I was headlining on a Saturday night. I know the crowd at the 415 and it was going to be a good night. I actually played two sets that night alongside EZB and JFrank. We decided to start the night off with 45 min sets so that each of us would have a peak our set time as well. this turned out great, I kicked the night off with some early house vibes, Jfrank followed with some big room tunes that kicked things up a notch, EZB hit it up with some bass and that got everything rolling in the right direction. My second set I played some tech bangers and bass driven tracks that would not only keep your feet moving but elevate the environment for more aggressive and peak hour tracks. Due to some unforeseen circumstances EZB had to leave early and so JFrank and I finished the nigh off with a little B2B action. We had the crowd really moving with our booty bouncing beats, and hip hop acapellas. This is what the 415 is known for during the last hour of business so we catered to it in our own fashion. Payout at the end of the night also reflected the success of our evening.

Night #3 was in Des Moines at Lime Lounge for The Sunday Git Down which was weekly event hosted by Mollie Downs. Now as I had stated before I was prepared to play some Tech house for my set, but the other DJ’s all played heavy bass and the crowd was now ready to party to that all night. I switched it up on them with some jersey club, twerk and house tracks to keep that bass driven theme going. Towards the end of my set I played some harder hitting tech tracks and that put things over the top. I had to adapt on the fly, and because I could I can say that I kept the crowd for the last hour of the night. This was an awesome experience and I couldn’t do it without the help of my fellow DJ’s and of course the venues. This is def not the last time I will be doing a mini tour. I will say that this is the last time it would be done like an amateur though. Now that i’ve seen the error of my ways I can correct and build the next tour the way it needs to be.

  1. Mind Sensation – Dillon Nathaniel
  2. Deeper (Gorgon City Extended Mix) – Todd Edwards, Sinden
  3. Coco Mama – Piero Pirupa
  4. MayFeels – Danny Howells
  5. Gingoba – Sllash & Doppe

scruff’s top 5

It was a very busy weekend for me, I usually get one Sunday wedding a year and this week was that one wedding. Friday I was down at the Firehouse, Saturday a wedding in Brandon, SD, and Sunday a wedding in Arnold’s Park, IA. All three events were fun and I was extremely happy to be the chosen entertainment. It feel great to be needed, even though I probably needed a little more rest, it was good to see the smiles on faces throughout the night.

Friday after I had finished my production class I made my way down to Sioux City for a fun night at the Firehouse Bar. The weather was a lil cooler so I was expecting the crowd to come out and party. It’s been quite humid and a break in the weather always seems to bring out the crazy and fun; this was no exception. From the time I started playing music I could notice the level of intoxication in the crowd start to rise rapidly. I made sure to play the group dances that are usually requested once the booze is flowing : Wobble, The Git Up, Cupid shuffle etc. Afterwards I took them on a journey starting in the early 200’s then jumping from there to the 70’s-80’s then back to the present. I wanted to mix it up for everyone. The crowd wasn’t specifically young or old, but I could tell that everyone could relate to the music from each generation in their own right. I didn’t have a full dance floor like I wanted, but I did have a lot of dancing with friends or at there table. I had a lot of singing a long, snapping, and head bopping. Looking out into the crowd and seeing this eased my mind, as a DJ you want a packed floor, but once again i’m reminded that as long as there are no complaints you are doing a good job.

Saturday I had to wake up early and head into work for a few hours before traveling northwest to Brandon, SD. Cooking is definitely fun, but I hate having to rush in between jobs. In a perfect world I would like to have my weekends off, but I have a feeling that I don’t live in a perfect world. After my shift I traveled to the Brandon golf course where I would be celebrating with Marty and Katie Fiedler. My duties for the day included the reception of course but the ceremony as well. I set up a speaker outside on the deck of the clubhouse where the guest would be sitting. Their officiant Dan did an awesome job conducting the service,playing the music for the bridal party as they entered and exited the ceremony, and keeping it nice and short on the hot summer day. I was also glad he kept it short because it looked like it could pour at any moment. After the ceremony I started the music for the social hour and reception. The guests were quite fun to interact with, picking on couples to kiss during dinner, singing happy birthday to the grooms grandfather, and having conversations with the different tables while the newlyweds took photos. By the time the dance started I had an idea of what everyone wanted to hear and it was go time. We danced hard for the next few hours, the bride and groom wanted to hear lots of 80’s music their introduction song and first dance were both by Prince so I knew exactly what I needed to play to keep the party rocking. It was an awesome wedding and I was glad to be there to make their day that much more special.

Sunday is usually my day of rest, my day to write my blog and get ready for the upcoming week. This past Sunday was different though, I had a wedding in Arnold’s Park at the newly renovated Rooftop venue on the main strip. Those guys did an amazing job on that building, everything was spacious and accessible for vendors and of course the DJ. Lee and I made our way up to Arnold’s park mid afternoon for the Groeneweg wedding. The time frame was not as long due to the fact that people had to work on Monday, so that meant that when the dance started we had to hit them hard with all the party tracks. We had a great time with the the family and guests, not to mention it was nice to get off early. I’m not saying that we couldn’t go longer but it was nice to be home by midnight, especially since I had to work on Monday morning as well.

  1. Polarize – Bart Skils & Weska
  2. La Farsa – Londonground
  3. What You Doin’ – Arun Verone
  4. Ratchet – Tommy Capretto
  5. BS48 – Eli Brown

Scruff’s Top 5

It was an exciting weekend of music, I was somewhere keeping the dance floor alive on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This was the first a of a few weekends in which all three days have events. Friday I was in Sanborn for their Railroad Days celebration, I was the entertainment for the Street Dance. Saturday I traveled to Storm Lake for a wedding, and Sunday I was down in Sioux City for The Firehouse’s annual luau party. Though I didn’t get a full day off this weekend I was glad to be a part of all the smiles, laughs, and fun.

Friday night I had the privilege of joining KIWA’s mid year Christmas party for dinner. It’s the only time of the year that all the employees and on air staff can get the chance to be in the same room, we had a lovely meal and great conversation discussing everything from sports to old DJ gigs. After enjoying the dinner I had to take leave and head towards Sanborn for their Railroad Celebration Days street dance.  I met our latest team member onsite for some training and fun. She had done a plenty of events with Lee but this was only our second time working together. It’s great for her to see our different styles of play and make her own style out of the two. We had a great time playing hits from the 80’s all the way to the present top 100. The dance went from 9-1 and afterwards I was ready to get home and go to bed. I had to working in the early am, plus a wedding afterwards, I needed as much sleep as possible.

Saturday afternoon after finishing up my shift at the restaurant I made my way back to Buena Vista University in Storm Lake for the Radke/Sexton Wedding. This was my second wedding at BVU within the last month. The venue is beautiful, large windows and quite open, I was looking forward to celebrating with the bride and groom. We had fun with the wedding party and guests with song Jeopardy for dinner dismissal and the scavenger hunt that was made to replace the dollar dance. I played lots of country which is not my favorite genre of music, but as long as the guests enjoyed themselves I was happy. We partied into the wee hours of the night with guest Karaoke from one of the groomsmen, and line dancing. I can’t begin to express how much of an honor it is to celebrate with the different newlyweds and their families, its very joyous to be a part of the festivities.

Sunday I went down to Sioux City for the annual Luau that The Firehouse throws once a year to celebrate and thank the staff. Being that I have been DJing at the venue for almost a year now I was invited to come out and enjoy myself. There was a cover band playing hits, a pig being roasted, and bar patrons enjoying the music, drinking, dancing, and jumping in the swimming pool filled in the middle of the outdoor space. It was my first time experiencing this Hawaiian themed madness but I was surely glad to be there. This was one of the few times in which I was able to hang with the staff and not have to work. I made connections with various security members, bar tenders and locals. People that had heard me play and hadn’t had the chance to talk or take pictures, the social media workers, and the guys roasting the pigs. It was like one big picnic, or family reunion. To add me to the mix was humbling, it made me realize that they didn’t just think of me as entertainment, but a member of the team. This gives me more ambition to be a better DJ, a better entertainer. It’s also exciting to think about my journey in music, how long it’s taken me to be at this point, and what lies ahead in the future; working harder will definitely build more opportunities like this. Around 9 I was asked to start playing some music, the cover band had been getting a lil merry, and after 8 hours of playing, drinking, and dancing they were ready to call it quits. I was glad to help out and play for the rest of the night, the weather took a turn and it poured about an hour into my set. I thought that would end things early, but the people that were there just kept on dancing. I guess since they were jumping in the pool and were sweaty a little rain prob felt great. The rain stopped after sometime and I kept going until 130 when the noise ordinance started. I can’t wait till next year, this was really fun and I hope to return either behind the decks or just to party it up.

  1. The General – Mark Knight
  2. Careless – Luigi Rocca Feat. Materianera
  3. XTC – Solardo & Eli Brown
  4. What You Got – Alexander Orue
  5. JustYourSoul – Valentino Khan & Diplo

 

Scruff’s Top 5

It was another great weekend of music and fun, the weather was scorching so I can definitely tell that we are in the heart of summer. I had the opportunity to play at this year’s Basswoods Music Festival down in Bevingon, IA on Friday; as well as the Firehouse in Sioux City on Saturday. So a lot of windshield time over the weekend, but well worth it for the experiences.

Friday started off with my weekly production class with DJ Cova via Zoom. I got the final touches of my remix to Khalid’s hit “Talk” finished and mastered. This meant I was ready to play it out for Basswoods that evening. After my class I made my way to DJ Ron Gotti’s house the other half of Prjkt Blkout, to practice for our set and make sure that we brought the heat. Our set time wasn’t until 6pm and we had a half hour drive from West Des Moines to Bevington, so we left around 4 to get to the festival grounds. It was a scorcher out and I made sure to stop by a convenience store for some Gatorade, and lots of protein snacks to help cope with the energy being drained from our body’s due to the extreme conditions. Our set was awesome we played an openers type of set which included some of our favorite artists and some of my originals as well. There’s no point in me taking production classes if i’m not going to play out my music. After our set was finished we explored the different stages and campsites around the grounds. It was awesome being at a festival that allowed you to be as close to the performers as possible. No gates or barriers, it felt like three stages of boiler room styled parties. I had the chance to meet up with loads of different artists and fans, connecting and sharing different experiences. I know that once I move down to the Des Moines area I’ll have more opportunities like this, it’s honestly one of my favorite parts of being a DJ.

Saturday I made my way from Des Moines to Sioux City for a night at The Firehouse, it’s always a blast coming here to entertain. The weather wasn’t quite as hot as the night before and people were ready to get their groove on. I had done some researching for some new music and I was ready to throw down. Throughout the night I played a mixture of old school and new, bouncing between some remixes and hits, all while sweating my buns off. By the end of the night I was ready to call it done and take a nice cool shower. It was a great night and I was glad to be a part of it.

Sunday I was a total mess, exhausted from the weekend’s activities. I made my way home after stopping by La Juanitas for a burrito, and took a nap. After my nap I sat in front of my computer screen getting ready for my next track. I’m trying to take all my momentum and keep it going by working harder. Even though I didn’t do much I needed to get started on the track. Finding the bare essentials and at least having an outline. Now it’s time for another week of work and preparations. I have a street dance and wedding coming up next weekend, should be a blast.

  1. 25 Cents – Tuff London
  2. Talk (Scruff Remix) – Khalid
  3. SA – MY – D (Matroda Remix) – Hedegaard
  4. Keep Off The Grass – Tomix
  5. Rave Lab – Bart B More

Scruff’s Top 5

This week was one in which I decided to start working out again, I purchased my studio monitors, I had one event and I relaxed. I’m in the process of trying to balance a hard work ethic and not burning out, this is very difficult but with weekends like the one I just had, balance is a little easier. On top of the much needed rest i’m working on my basswood set, the festival is coming up and I want to kill it.

This week I decided I needed to get back into the gym. It has beed almost a decade since i’ve worked out, and with my busy schedule most of the year taking time to keep up with your body is a must. I lift a hundred pound subwoofer every weekend along with bending over and pulling/reaching for things at work. I don’t want to bulk up, but I do want to stay flexible and maintain a toned body. My schedule will allow me to go to the gym three times a week and I think that should be good enough to accomplish what I need. I will say that I can feel the effects of not maintaining my physic all this time. My body is super sore after just two days of working out. I know that will subside in the future as long as I continue to stay active, it just amazes me that even without the heavy lifting, just moving the muscles, I can see how lazy I had become. I plan on DJing for a long time, I’m only in my 30’s and if some of my heroes in the game can do this well past 50 I know I can too. It all just depends on how much I take care of myself. I plan on rotating from upper to lower body conditioning routines with some lifting in the middle of the week. Besides working my way into a gym routine, I have to eat better. This means more veggies and meats at home and not eating out. Not only is it cheaper to eat at home, but at least I can for sure say I know what i’m putting into my body. It will be a constant struggle to eat healthy and take care of myself. Change will come over time, but even then I’ll have to be mindful not to fall back into bad habits. This is just step one of ensuring a long lasting DJ career.

I finally got the last piece to my studio puzzle, I purchased my studio monitors and according to my teacher and mentor, this is just what I needed to take my music to the next level. Now when i’m producing i’ll be able to hear everything with clarity, the proper frequencies and will actually be able to adjust my volumes the way they need to be adjusted. Its been a long road thus far, and i’ve come off of the starting line, i’m not where I want to be but i’m working towards it. I’m glad I made this purchase, I want to excel, I want to grow and though purchasing new equipment isn’t the most reasonable in price, you have to invest in yourself and your craft. The more I put into this the more I want it, i’m not rich by any means and I can’t afford to have my money go to waste. That alone makes me want this even more, but investing in myself and watching the growth, as little as it may seem, is the real joy. I’m not saying that I enjoy every minute of producing, I can’t lie to anyone, sometimes it’s a pain in the butt, sometimes I get very frustrated, but I know this is what I want to do, so when I see any advancements I get a renewed sense of motivation. I’m ready for all the pieces that I have to start working together and making things a lil easier for me. This is the next step in mastering my craft, a new level of frustrations and tasks, bring it on i’m ready.

Friday was my only event for the weekend, and I will say that was a pretty weird feeling. I’m used to having a super packed weekend full of events long nights and lil rest, this was quite refreshing. I tried everything I could to grab another event for Saturday but everything fell through. I guess this was the universe’s way of telling me to enjoy my rest and reflect, so that’s exactly what I did. Friday I made my way to Sioux Center for the 4-H Sioux County fair Dance, I set up in the sheep barn and got ready to party. It was a three hour event and I knew the kids wanted to hear all the hottest tracks of the summer, I gave them exactly what they wished for. I was glad that I had a hotspot on my phone because there were a few songs requested that I didn’t have, but after purchasing the tracks and putting them in the mix accordingly I was able to keep the party heated up. The time flew by and before I knew it the dance was over. I’m glad I was invited to play this event, it was cool seeing some of the students from prom there, this means that we are doing something right as a company. These kids requested that we play their fair dance and I want that to continue so that means updating my library and keeping things fresh.

This coming Friday is Basswoods Music Festival, and i’m happy to have been invited back to perform a back to back session with DJ Ron Gotti as Project Blkout. We have been collecting tracks and now it’s time to play them out. We don’t get the chance to practice together often so this Friday before the festival begins we will do a run through just so that we give the people the best show that we can bring. We will be playing some of my originals including Bring That Bass which is out on Double Drop Records. I can’t disclose too much but we will be recording our set so look out for that in the near future.

  1. SA-MY-D (Matroda Remix) – Hedegaard
  2. Rave Lab – Bart B More
  3. Gaudy – Track & Field
  4. Choo Choo – Mike Mcfly feat. Matt Fox
  5. The Way – Dustycloud

Scruff’s top 5

It was a very exciting and interesting weekend in the world of music. I played a few shows and have come into the new week with ideas and a better understanding of how we can connect regardless of situation and circumstance. It’s always fun to be put in difficult situations just to see how you will come out, how resourceful and adaptive you can be. This was probably the theme of my weekend, I survived but now i’m prepared for any future endeavors as well.

Friday Night I mad my way to the firehouse for a night of fun and dancing. The weather actually cooperated with me and held off on the rain so I was able to set up outside on the patio and enjoy the summer night. I was hoping that the place would be packed with it being a holiday weekend, but it was not. The fourth was the night before and on Saturday was the big Saturday Night In The Park celebration. This is a free all day concert that combined local, regional, and international acts and put them all on the same stage. So with all the activities surrounding the weekend, the atmosphere was very chill. Instead of complaining about the situation, I made the most of it. This was the perfect opportunity to see if I could get the party going even though the crowd wasn’t in the party mood. I wanted to see if I could get a nice groove going, keeping drinks pouring, and ultimately get the crowd dancing even if it wasn’t on the dance floor. The crowd was younger so I knew I was going to have to hit them with more hits from the last few months and not from the early 2000’s. to get everything started I played some instructional tracks such as: Cupid Shuffle, The Git Down, and wobble. These got the crowd moving a little, it was humid out so it didn’t keep them very long but it did encourage them to hit the bar for some more beverages. This was the motion of the evening, dance floor and bar. I didn’t have a full dance floor but I did keep the customers happy. They sang, drank, and enjoyed their beverages. All I could do is take requests and keep them at their current location, with the heat and humidity I can say I accomplished that. The bartenders were happy with the amount of tips they were making so I was happy.

Saturday I had a wedding at the Crossroad Pavilion here in Sheldon, it’s always great to have an event in town. Not only because it’s less travel time, but because I like to support the local market. Having a local business and supporting other local businesses ensures that money stays in town. The wedding was for a dear friend of mine from my college years, it was great to see the smile on her and her husband’s face. There is something to be said about having that glow of joy whenever you look at your significant other. I was ready to rock and roll for the night, but I knew I had a task on my hands. The groom was from the NW Iowa area, but his bride was from Honduras. With that being said half of the guests spoke two different languages. Music is universal and thats keeps us all connected, but when you aren’t familiar with certain styles of music, it can create some difficulty. I wanted cater to both sides of the family to make everyone feel comfortable, I just wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. I started the dance with what I thought would be some crowd favorites the cha cha slide, cupid shuffle, cotton eye joe, and the wobble. After that I had the bride come up and tell me that her side of the family wanted to dance and I needed to switch it up some. I had no problem doing that, I just didn’t know what to play, so I made the executive decision to ask for requests. Now usually as a DJ I want to rock the crowd and take you on a journey, but at the same time I know that asking for help when needed is not only smart, but it allows me to grow. Within a few moments I got exactly what I asked for, the requests started to pile up and I was on my way. By the end of the night I can say that there were maybe 10 english speaking tracks played during the duration of the dance. I tried going back and forth but every time I played an english track my dance floor cleared, and as a DJ I want to have a packed dance floor. I feel bad for the groom’s side because most of them didn’t dance, they had some celebratory drinks and I think they had fun, but no one hit the dance floor. I was told that I did a great job at the end of the night, but in my mind I felt like I could have done more. This has put me in a newfound position to where I never want to feel like this again. I’m going to study music from all languages, I want to be more than prepared and capable of rocking the dance floor for all people and cultures. if i’m ever in this situation ever again I want to feel like I did the best that I could.

  1. Another Brick In The Wall (Saffa 135 extended mix) – Hot Coffee Pres. Pink Coffee
  2. Run It By Me – Human Movement, Eliot Porter
  3. The Sound Of Violence ( Dancefloor Killa Remix) – Cassius
  4. Preach – Watermat
  5. Hurricane (OFFAIH Remix) – deadmau5 & Shotty Horroh

Scruff’s Top 5

It was a busy weekend for me with events on both Friday night and Saturday. Not only did I have events both nights but the heat and humidity were also on max making things quite uncomfortable. This has the potential of effecting how many people come out to dance, regardless the music kept playing and that’s the most important thing. When the weather is that warm you have to take care of yourself, drinking lots of fluids is highly recommended. Also wearing light clothes can keep the little bit of circulation flowing while you are performing.

Friday night I made my way down to the Firehouse in Sioux City, the temp on the car said 92 but i’m sure the real feel was at least 100. The air was super thick and before you could walk two steps you had sweat dripping off your body. I know this was going to have a huge impact on attendance for the evening. The AC was on inside the bar, but during the summer I set up outside on the patio so I had to battle the elements while keeping the party rocking. Throughout the night there were waves of people that came out and due to the conditions you could tell that they were there to enjoy the music but not get crazy. This was a chill kind of night. I kept the crowd toe tapping and singing along to the hits of the late 90’s and early 2000’s most of the night, the main thing people wanted was hydration. Now maybe not in the form of H20 but they most definitely wanted to keep their palates moist, while trying to keep as cool as possible. Overall the night was alright, it wasn’t comfortable but I do believe everyone had a good time.

Saturday Night Luke and I made our way to Marcus for The Erdman/McDaniel wedding. The couple had both the DJ and photo booth services in order so we were ready to bring the party in full effect. WE arrived to the venue and realized not only was there no space for the booth but no space for myself as well. In this industry you learn how to adapt and conquer real quick. We took the most miniscule amounts of space and made it happen, by the time the guest arrived we were ready to rock and roll. As guest filled in the Ac unit kicked on and it was time to proceed with the night’s activities. We had a fun time with the introductions, scavenger hunt and of course the dance. The photo booth was a hit with loads of pictures, memories that the newlyweds will enjoy for years to come. Time flew by before we knew it the reception was over. It was an honor being a part of their special day.

I have a release coming out on Double Drop Records out of the UK. The pre order is now available, this is an exciting time. Never would I have ever thought that I would be releasing any music anywhere. All I can do now is keep working to make sure that these opportunities come around more often.

 

  1. The Sonic Busters – George Privatti & Guille Placencia
  2. AI AI AI – Qubiko
  3. Nama – DJ Dove
  4. Brooklyn Wheel – Supernova
  5. Banging – ItaloBros