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  • Writer's pictureDJ ARIA

2019: Year In Review

Wow! This year flew by so fast. My back hurts just thinking about how many dozens of times I hauled equipment in and out storage units, vehicles, and venues. Then I think about the memories I helped make for my clients and all the aches and pains subside. So, here is my year in review.

2019 by the numbers:

  • 1 New storage unit for equipment

  • 3 Reality TV Weddings

  • 4 Calls to the Fire Department

  • 5 Museums as venues

  • 6 Different States for gigs

  • 20 Corporate Events

  • 30 Wedding Receptions

  • 120 F45 Training Classes as the DJ

  • 999+ Awful song requests not played (pro tips here)

  • 3500 Miles on the road to and from gigs

2019 Highlights

While there were a lot of awesome events and experiences in 2019, these three items below take the cake 🎂.

Got Engaged!

My then girlfriend and I crossed the pond in September to visit France. We started our trip in Paris and then made our way to this small, fairytale of a town in the French Riviera called Eze. Long story short (to spare you from the gushy love story details) - she said yes and it was an unforgettable trip for both of us. While I have been to over 100 weddings as the DJ or a guest, only now as I plan my own wedding do I realize how many aspects are involved. I cannot wait to marry my fiancee and so naturally elopement has crossed our minds (more than once) as we weighed the many inputs of what we want to have at our wedding against the premium costs of anything related to a wedding. Now that we found our venue and secured the date, it has begun to feel very real and very exciting. Finally, since a lot of people have asked who will DJ our wedding. No one. We are going to have a live band.

Reality TV Debut on Married At First Sight

Earlier this year a friend of mine introduced me to the producer of a TV show called Married At First Sight (MAFS). The show was filming its 10th season in Washington, DC. The show, dubbed a social experiment, features five DC area couples as they walk down the aisle to marry a complete stranger. It then follows the newlyweds for eight weeks until the season finale where they decide if they want to stay together or file for divorce. The producer selected me to DJ three of the five weddings (the other two were in different ballrooms at the same time as others) and it was an experience unlike any other. The Season Premiere features all five weddings and airs on New Year's Day on Lifetime with yours truly as the featured DJ and MC. Since I cut the cord several years ago, I didn't realize that it is one of the Top 10 most viewed reality TV shows in the US with Season 9 bringing in over 1.7 million viewers in the last episode. While I cannot say much about the show until it airs next week, I will say that in my three days straight at the venue interacting with the couples, their friends and families, and the production crew - the show is VERY real. A separate post on the entire experience to DJ a reality TV wedding is forthcoming (pending producer review and approval).

Added a Digital Photobooth

In my interview earlier this year with DJ Chris Styles, he spoke about how he wants to see DJs offer more for their clients. His perspective resonated with me as I always strive to recapitalize equipment, regularly tune-up my music library, and provide new production options for my clients. So, I added a really cool, open air photobooth experience that has been a huge hit at client events. Learn more about it here:  Photobooth.

Polaroid style animation with branding.

2019 Frequently Asked Questions

So now, just for fun here is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) I get as a DJ with answers for the year 2019.

1. You must see some crazy stuff as a DJ! What is the craziest thing you have seen? Usually when someone says: "Go break a leg out there on the dance floor!" they do not mean it literally. The craziest thing I saw this year was a party-goer actually break his leg on the dance floor during the middle of a Ke$ha chorus. He landed on his leg wrong and snapped his tibia (shin bone).

Yes, he was yelling "Timber!" and down he went.

2. What was the most requested song? "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo

Behold. All 100% of Lizzo.

3. What are some trends you noticed at weddings this year? The majority of weddings had a friend or family member officiate the ceremony. I also noticed that most wedding receptions included experiences beyond the traditional dinner then dance format. For instance, there would be social, competitive games outside (or inside) for guests to play. Photo booths also became par for the course as something most guests look forward to having as their memento from the evening.  

4. What are some trends at private/corporate events this year? Many clients this year booked multiple acts for their entertainment needs; e.g. I am booked as the DJ and would perform as a duo with a violinist or I would perform before or after a live band.

Sound check with Matt Shredder, "That Violin Guy."

5. What were your favorite events this year?

This is a tough one though I will say anytime I get to DJ at The Anthem is sure to be a favorite event. Apart from that, I love how the Smithsonian Institute in DC has allowed more of their museums to host private events after-hours. For instance, the Air & Space Museum was somewhere I loved going growing up so to get to DJ there at one of their first large-scale private events was a nostalgic experience and tremendous honor.

This client later asked me to wear a spacesuit.

I was also back at the Natural History Museum for a private event. This is one of my favorite venues because I get to explore the museum's exhibits while they are empty as the production teams setup sound and lighting. Imagine privately viewing the Hope Diamond or getting up close and personal with a great white shark without any museum visitors around.


2020 Look Ahead

In the new year I am obviously most excited about my own wedding. I already have over a dozen events booked thanks to my team at Bialek's Music and my friends who refer me. I want to be more productive in 2020 and aim to achieve three things.

One new mix each month

Specifically though, I want to record, edit, and publish at least one mix each month. The funny thing is that I often record and save most of my live sets to review on my own later. I am so picky though with the music I put in my mixes that I end up not being proud enough to share it. I want this to change in 2020 and have already started curating sets for a few new mixes.

One new article each month

I want to publish at least new article per month. They will be new interviews as part of my INSIGHTS series or informative (and entertaining) content worth a read.

Offer Enhanced Production

With the addition of my Digital Photobooth along with enhanced PA capabilities, I want to offer more for my clients in 2020 beyond the standard performance contract. At a few massive parties this year, I proved that I am capable of adequate sound and lighting production using only my own equipment. The sights are on bigger and better events.

Thank you for your support this year. 2020, here we come!


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