Play and Destroy

January 13th, 2016

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A lot of people ask me how I became a DJ. I usually just tell them resident DJ Jami at M suggested I try a Thursday night there and offered to teach me how to spin back in 2012.

What they don’t know is what got me to the point where he was even suggesting that.

Earlier that year I had a good friend putting together what could really only be called “The Perfect Event for Christa.” It was a competition for music, which everyone knew I love, but not a DJ competition or competition where any sort of musical instruments had to be played at all.

It was the competition for the music nerds like me who were always sitting in the corner of the party with the aux cord or giving people CDs or tapes that they made of whatever they were super into at the moment. It was the competition for people who used Shazam or Soundhound when they were anywhere to remember to look up an artist they heard and liked and find out where they were from and who they are influenced by. It was the competition for people who had more than 50 playlists on Grooveshark, Soundcloud, and Spotify combined, and who basically have music playing in the background their entire life.

It’s called the Red Bull Play and Destroy.

Back in 2012, against every warning signal my body was trying to sound off I decided to go ahead and enter. Mostly because I didn’t want to let my friend down but there was definitely something deep down inside me that really wanted to give it a go. Something telling me that this was something I could possibly do and not make a complete fool of myself, even though I was a grown-up at a college-targeted event.

I surrendered and picked out tracks based on a few given themes: breakup songs, totally 80s, victory anthems, hair bands of the 90s, and so many more that I’ve forgotten by now.

RED BULL ALOHAHypemachine user chelsee.effX was a strong contender in the first Play and Destroy, but the author wound up advancing by a thread.


Hypemachine user chelsee.effX was a strong contender in the first Play and Destroy, but the author wound up advancing by a thread.

The trick was to write down the exact que point where the track was good because you only had a few seconds to try to win over the crowd. If you’re trying to do that with a long intro you would get destroyed. If you could understand not only what would make the crowd go wild but at exactly which point in the song, you would slay everyone.

Think about this for a minute, because I do talk to a lot of people and know there are many out there that have a dream inside to be the person in the room setting the mood. When you’re out at the bars or the clubs or parties you want to be driving that bus. You want to share your passion and you want to connect with people through that.

Just admit it. You want to be a DJ. It’s ok to admit it! Don’t be scared of what you really want, and don’t let anyone ever tell you what you can or can’t do. I’m living proof. After three extremely grueling rounds I won the 2012 Play and Destroy, and three years later I got to hug a whole front row of strangers after opening for Above & Beyond that told me they loved my set. If you’re even remotely interested, go for it.

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