St. Louis, Mo. – For any veteran of the DJ game who’s serious about the industry, it’s always a relief to see young DJs, the new blood, enter the fray. It’s what will keep it going. So with that in mind… when we were talking to a veteran DJ recently, he made us aware of Dawson High, a 14-year-old DJ from St. Louis.
“He’s amazing,” said the longtime DJ. “If the future of our industry is in the hands of kids like him, we’re in good shape.”
So I reached out to High, who started DJing as a 10-year-old with his father Chris’ company, High Class DJs, and asked him about the challenges, rewards – and future employment prospects – in the DJ industry.
DJ Times: You’re one of the youngest DJs we’ve ever featured. How’d you get into DJing?
Dawson High: I got into DJing in 2015. My father is a professional DJ, so I’ve grown up being around music and learning the art of DJing by watching him. I started by going out with him to events like birthday parties, high-school dances, etc. As I began to learn the craft and, with lots of practice, I would soon take over the DJ responsibilities for all of our wedding clients. My dad is now the MC and I DJ the events.
What’s your role in your dad’s company?
I do run some of our day-to-day operations for the company, but I really focus on the music. I practice in my studio as often as I can to work on different genres and styles of music to incorporate into my sets. Eventually, I will get into the business side more, but my primary goal right now is keeping the music fresh and exciting for my clients.
Tell us about how you got your gear together for your DJ rig? How’d it come about?
My father has been a DJ for 24 years. So since I had a lot of gear at my fingertips, I started out using his equipment. As time has gone on, I’ve experimented with various, speakers, controllers, software, etc. My current setup consists of a Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 controller using rekordbox software in a Toadmatic booth and Electro-Voice Evolve 50 speakers. Our lighting packages will vary per each of our client’s needs.
Have you worked for any other DJ companies?
I have not. My father started our company in 1995 and he is very successful. I’ve never had a desire to switch to another company because I know that I wouldn’t have all the connections and dope opportunities that have come about by working with my dad. It’s a family business and we like it that way.
At kids’ parties, one of the challenges is keeping kids off their phones. Do you have that problem?
I really do not have that problem too often. However, I try to incorporate different fun things using their cellphones, just because I know some kids are going to be on them no matter what. I often set up a text messaging system for kids to use to text requests. I also do different games on their cell phones, almost like scavenger hunts.
DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2019 by DJ Publishing, Inc. www.djtimes.com