Dropping beats for Campus Music Lovers
It's difficult to catch the University DJs during their club hours. In fact, the organization barely has official meeting times. The club constantly networks outside of scheduled activities because their mission is to get student DJs "out of the bedroom and in front of a crowd."
The club's leadership decided to eschew conventional meetings and membership requirements, relying more on facebook, email, and cell phones to keep members in the loop. “The club isn’t built around scheduled meetings,” said Trevor Nordberg, founding president of the newly organized club. "Just by being in the club, you’re in the club.
Aspiring DJs, and those who would listen to their music, face a series of challenges in finding a venue to play and listen to music. The University DJs seek to alleviate these problems by informing members of local shows or other opportunities to show their stuff. “There are all kinds of places around town to enjoy the music," club Vice President Evian Rave explained. "People just don’t where they are.” Many of the University DJ's members seek to make music of their own, while other simply want to hear more electronic music.
One problem with Duluth’s DJ scene (and DJing in general) is that there are few venues available to those under 21. Nordberg hopes to ease that frustration by hosting more on-campus events. “We’re kicking around some ideas right now," said Nordberg. The group wants to try two things, open deck night (think ‘open mic night’ with turntables) and DJ Battles (two sets of turntables and competing disk jockeys each trying to win over the crowd). Nordberg's goal is clear, "We want to get more people involved.”
Dec 6th, the Snowboarding Club is hosting an event with Redbull, filming a music video for local artist Kevin Trinh and simultaneously launching a new clothing/lifestyle brand called Oscar Grizzi. The University DJs are helping the snowboard club promote the event, providing equipment, DJ'ing for the music video and providing music for the people attending the event. Nordberg is excited for the event. "I think it will be a lot of fun because we, DJ's, don't often get the opportunity to work with another artist while DJ'ing. It adds another aspect to DJing in front of people, I have to make sure that my mixes are perfect so that I don't confuse the other person performing."
Through holding more open to the public events, Nordberg hopes to improve the reputation of DJing as a hobby. "DJing has a kind of stigma or stereotype to it," Nordberg said. The DJ lifestyle is typically considered rowdy and prone to excessive partying. "We try to show another side to that. We're successful and like to get together and play music. We’re not here to be obnoxious.”
A complete list of UMD campus organizations can be found here.
Story by Zach Lunderberg, December 2013.