Guest Star: DJ John mixes it up

Stitely DJs are masters of music mixology. With years of classical training and professional spinning experience, these modern artists understand music inside and out. Their vast knowledge of different genres and HUGE music collection ensure an experience that satisfies both your taste as well as those of your guests.

Stitely’s newest addition, DJ John Norman is no exception. DJ John knows how to tastefully spin and emcee for your event (no cheese here.) His knowledge and experience really shine when he’s working on weddings, corporate events and fundraisers. He works intimately with clients, pinpointing their specific desires in order to match them with songs that are sure to keep the dance floor packed all night. DJ John is able to read the crowd and adjust his playlist accordingly, always choosing songs that fit the particular style and ambiance of the event.

Fun and spontaneous, DJ John is also a fantastic KJ (that’s karaoke DJ) with a list of over 8,000 songs to choose from! It’s a great, interactive option if you’re looking for a way to get your guests involved from the start. Have it all followed up by a dynamic dance party.

No matter what styles you want, DJ John has got you covered. Read on to get to know him better, including his mixing philosophy, how he works with clients and his own favorite melodies.

Also check out his mixes below, recorded May 2012. His wide-ranging mash-up “The Time Traveler’s Boogie,” features hits from the 40’s through the 2000’s. His most modern mixes are the “2012 Party Rock Mix,” ”Dance Floor Quick Cuts” and the “Indie-Electro Mix.” They really show his knowledge of the most popular music at the time, sure to make your event a huge success.

The Time Traveler’s Boogie

2012 Party Rock Mix

Dance Floor Quick Cuts

Indie-Electro Mix

Stitely Entertainment (SE): What are the five songs you’re listening to the most right now?
DJ John:
• Pále – Genghis Beat
• Brackles – Never Coming Down
• James Blake – I Only Know (What I Know Now)
• Blacksmif – Golden Horn
• Radiohead – There There

SE: How did you become involved with music?
DJ John: I became involved with music later than most, growing up I was set on being a cartoonist. I was always intrigued by music, like wanting to play saxophone in 4th grade or getting a pair of turntables the next year, but it didn’t work out until a few years later. At 13 I got bit by the drumming bug while randomly looking for drum sets on Ebay, and after finally saving up enough money and begging my parents I got my first set in early 2001.

SE: Who are your musical inspirations?

DJ John: My musical inspirations have grown pretty wide the last few years. In high school I was inspired by people like Mike Portnoy, Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Béla Bartók and Thom Yorke. Recently I’ve been inspired by a multitude of people producing music in the UK like James Blake and Mount Kimbie, as well as other artists like Ari Hoenig, Jean-Michel Pilc, Igor Stravinsky, Flying Lotus, Aluna George and Béyonce.

SE: How and when did you get started as a DJ? Why do you enjoy it?
DJ John: I started as a DJ in college after I was introduced to composition and production using MIDI and a DAW. I started writing music in high school and realized that I really enjoyed expressing my ideas through composing, and I was always looking for new ways to create music. Being introduced to electronic music and DJing opened up more doors than I knew what to do with. The aspect of taking every style of music that has inspired me throughout the years, or continues to inspire me, is what I love most about being a DJ. The art of mixing two completely different styles together to create a brand new sound is what makes DJing such an enjoyable experience for me.

SE: Tell us a little bit about your DJ style and mixing philosophy.
DJ John: My style is to try to be as creative as the situation allows. If I’m up to my own devices and people are coming to hear me, then I love to play music that (to me) is interesting from a composition perspective and is also dance-able. One of my favorite things to do is to combine an a capella version of an older favorite/hit with a groove from something brand new; live mash-ups (when done right) create a ton of energy. If I’m hired for an event that asks for a specific type of genre or style, then I’ll play songs that cater to what they ask for. If the night is going really well and I think that the crowd will like it, I’ll try to incorporate my own style within the popular songs.

SE: How do you choose music that appeals to crowds of all ages?

DJ John: Two ways: I gauge the crowd’s reactions and I do my homework. DJing isn’t just playing one song into another; it’s about having an encyclopedia’s worth of music history knowledge to draw from, while being flexible to whatever the crowd wants to hear. If someone asks for a song from the 60’s and the crowd loves it, I need to know what other songs from the 60’s not only sound similar to the one playing but were also popular at the same time and why. I also need to be aware of what songs will help transition from style to style or time period to time period; a quick transition to a radically different genre might deter people from dancing to what you’re playing.

SE: Do you play any instruments? Are you in any musical groups? Tell us about them.
DJ John: I do, currently I play drums, sing and play trumpet. I’ve been playing drums and singing in a local group called Dozens, and in a group called the Bethany Joy Quintet.

SE: What was your first concert?

DJ John: My first concert was playing trumpet in my high school band in the fall of 2001. I don’t remember anything about it except watching the top jazz band and thinking, “that’d be cool to play in.”

SE: You are stuck on a desert island forever. Which three albums do you want with you?

DJ John:
• James Blake – James Blake
• Radiohead – OK Computer
• Béla Bártók – Concert for Orchestra (Hungarian Orchestra conducted by Zoltán Kocsis)

SE: Beatles or Stones?

DJ John: Beatles!


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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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