DJ Diaries: Our Men, Their Music, and Memories of 2015

Just like the holidays come and go before we know it, so has the year flown by for our team at Snyder Entertainment. As 2015 comes to an end, its time to pay homage to two men on our team that are hard working, music maniacs also known as our DJ’s; Brian and Brad. They were able to rewind back to the beginning of the year to recall some of the best moments and music, and let me add a final chapter in our 2015 DJ Diaries series. When I began thinking about this entry, I quickly jotted down a list of pretty basic interview questions. Knowing that with the creative team we have here at Snyder, and the great time we all had in 2015, I knew this would be a fun post to work on. The collection of highlights from the individual interviews gives us a glimpse back to the year’s most memorable moments and music from some of our DJ’s perspective. Our guys offer insight on topics like their #1 requested songs, favorite events, spotlight on unique venues, and their favorite Snyder Entertainment add-ons. I mean who knew Brian enjoyed the Mowtown hit “Get Up Off Of That Thang” so much that he plays it at every event, or that Brad would be requested to play “Gangsta’s Paradise” every hour at a 4.5 hour event?! There are so many good memories these guys were able to recall, so here are some of Snyder Entertainments best highlights from 2015. Enjoy!

In 2015 Snyder Entertainment had the honor of being a part of 352 events, so for the guys to remember their favorite events is fairly difficult. Brad recalled having the honor of DJ’ing for the Rice family. Their oldest daughter Sydney got married out at Circle S farms and they had a fantastic evening. So Brad was honored when they called and requested that he DJ their middle daughter, Ivey’s, wedding for this year. Brad and his family were able to drive out to Asheville, North Carolina where they had a beautiful day at the Fields of Blackberry Cove. So much of what we do is pushed into a single day so when you do multiple events for a one family you really get to know them well. Brad also got to reprise a great Holiday Party for Comcast Spotlight as well as a great hangout event at Titan’s Stadium. Brad told me could go on and on as he had the opportunity to be the lead on over 80 events in 2015!

 Brad DJ'ing an event earlier this year!

Brad DJ'ing an event earlier this year!

 Brian posing at a national DJ Conference in Las Vegas 2015

Brian posing at a national DJ Conference in Las Vegas 2015

Brian’s favorite events were the Stars for Wishes events we DJ'd last January; Jonathan Cain from Journey was on the stage with us and we helped to auction off the chance to sing “Don't Stop Believin’” with the man who wrote the song. To quote Brian it was a “Pretty epic night.” Brian also added that his favorite wedding of 2015 was a destination wedding with a bride from Seattle and a groom for Chicago. We provided live music for cocktail hour, onto the first dance and then had one epic dance floor from the first song all the way to the last! Brian’s favorite corporate event to DJ was the Dell end of year party. “I spent so much personal time working for Dell, it was a cool moment to share my new passion with so many old friends. I was so proud of our team for the video work, the photography work, the lighting work and the music as well.” Over 1,000 people and it felt like a big party from start to finish! (You can read more about the Dell event here.)

 Photo Highlights from Events in 2015

Photo Highlights from Events in 2015

This past year was packed with good music and mash-ups, and both DJ’s agreed that “Uptown Funk” was the #1 most requested song at all events. Brad mentioned that there are songs he tries to play at every event, as long as it suites the occasion and what our clients want of course. Brad added, “We all make fun of each other quite a bit for our little guilty pleasures.” Practically though he usually always plays “Get Down on It” by Kool In the Gang early in the evening; it’s slow enough but funky enough to get most generations out on the dance floor. His go to transition song is from the classic Top 40 hit “Love Never Felt So Good” which was a old demo vocal from Michael Jackson, and Timbaland reproduced it into a duet with Justin Timberlake. It feels classic and new at the same time. Brad also always play “Fireball” by Pitbull; “I’m not sure if the song is really a world wide hit like some of his other songs but it NEVER fails on the dance floor and gets me away from that continuous four on the floor. I love to change tempos and styles up to either give guests a break or to keep them going.” Every year we get one client who is deeply entrenched into heavy metal music, and we always try to make their event exactly how they want it. Brian had one wedding this year where our client was pretty adamant about not having any music that had been commercially successful played at the event; our clients’ wish is our command. As for the mashup scene, DJ Earworm does a great job mixing up songs and I could go with several of those. Late in the year with the outbreak of Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performance, that seemed to become a must play dinner song for weddings or early on at corporate events. Their mash-up performance broke some boundaries for both artists; if you missed it, here is the link:  http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/see-chris-stapleton-and-justin-timberlakes-stunning-cma-awards-duet-20151104  In Brian’s personal opinion, he has really enjoyed mixing Shut Up and Dance with Me into the hit song Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) and he cannot stop himself from making that mix constantly!

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One of the biggest and most important factors in our event planning is to keep our clients and their guests happy, involved, and enjoying their evenings; in order to do that we have to focus on interaction. I don’t mean we go out there and teach them how to do the wobble. Nobody really wants that, they know it. Brads way of keeping everyone involved, he mentioned, “For weddings I usually get party starter names from the bride and groom. I know which of their friends will do almost anything. I’ll get some dirt on them and I’ll talk to them throughout the night, which makes everything feel like we are all friends. If people are laughing they will dance. I also take a go pro out to the dance floor.  When people see that camera something clicks and they start acting crazy! A lot of times I’ll give the camera to my party starter and the floor explodes.” Our DJ’s are also incorporate dedications by making them a big deal. Dedications help pack the dance floor a couple times a night with a story, song or some kind of fun that draws everyone in.

When you’re planning an event, there is so much that can go into it. Snyder Entertainment offers great packages and additional services that can really add to an event. Our DJ’s attend and help plan so many events that they can really give great insight into how our additional services can enhance any event. Lighting is so often forgot about and make such a huge impact! It really does set the stage; it creates the ambiance and really can change the overall feel of your event. If cost is a concern and you had to choose between a photo booth or lighting, the photo booth is a guarantee hit for all ages and events. Brian is a huge fan of our accent lighting, and he added that one of the oldest tricks he has used this past year is to be creative with lighting design to encourage the action of when and where he wants it to take place. For example, when guests come in we normally have the room well lit, as we progress through the evening we get a little dimmer to create a warmer atmosphere. As the dancing begins, we like to dim the outside portion and focus dance lighting on the floor area, it creates a safe area for guests to dance to, and encourages guests to get close to the dance floor. We have so many people tell us that they have never seen the dance floor so packed; no doubt we are creating a good vibe with music, but we are also being theatrical in our lighting approach. Brad mentioned the photo booth or a photography element of some kind is definitely at the top of his list. A great photographer is focusing on the Bride and Groom and other VIP’s, but they don’t always get a lot of the guests; a photo booth is a great way to capture most everyone who attends. Brad, agreeing with Brian, “I also think up lighting is the next best. So many old buildings with a lot of character exist in our town but with that come a lot of dark places. Up lighting can change an entire room with minimal work, time and money.”

 Lighting Before + After

Lighting Before + After

 Lighting Accents and Floor Monograms

Lighting Accents and Floor Monograms

There’s so much more that I could add, so much more that goes into every event we help plan for, set-up for, host, and more. Snyder Entertainment had a fantastic 2015, and we are looking forward to another great year in 2016. We’re already working on numerous events for the upcoming year, and we still have plenty of calendar dates open for your upcoming event. We can’t wait to be apart of your wedding day, corporate event, and/or party; just give us a call or email and we’ll get started today. Cheers to 2015 and here’s to more fun in 2016!

Written by: J McGee