National DJ Day


Tina Hollen

It all started with two turntables, two records and a microphone.

January 20 is National DJ Day, or National Disc Jockey Day, to celebrate those hard working mixers who bring you music to the dance floor.

You could probably expand the definition of “DJ” to someone who plugs their iPhone into a large range speaker and presses shuffle. But here at the BluePrint we are not about that; that is a so-called “DJ”.

There are two kinds of significant DJs: Hip Hop DJs and modern DJs.

Hip Hop DJs from the late 1970’s and 1980’s created an entirely new music form with only two turn tables, two records, and a microphone. They sampled beats and hooks, short riffs or phrases from classic albums to catch the ear of the listener and give us the foundation of Hip Hop as we know it.

Some of the greatest Hip Hop master mixers are:

  • Funkmaster Flex
  • Kid Karpi
  • Red Alert
  • Jam Master Jay (from RunDMC)
  • Jazzy Jeff
  • DJ Premier
  • Pete Rock
  • Terminator X

Many of the teachers here at Bellwood remember the era that changed music for the better.

“My favorite is DJ Premier because he was the DJ form hip hop duo Gang Starr, a group I loved as a kid. His beats always had the right mix of funky rhythm with smooth bass. I also like Ali Shaheed Muhammad form A Tribe Called Quest,” said Mr. Naylor.

“My favorite was DJ Kool, who produced ‘Let Me Clear My Throat’,” said Mr. Partner.

“Mine was DJ Wizard locally and Jam Master J,” said Mr. Burch.

DJ Kool/Let Me Clear My Throat/YouTube

Starting in the 1990s, pop culture entered remixers and DJs into the mix of regular pop music. Here are a few of the dominating forces among contemporary DJs:

David Guetta: his music started only being played on iTunes and never really on the radio, now his music is everywhere. Songs: Titanium, Hey Mama, Dangerous

Calvin Harris: Scottish DJ, singer, and song writer. Harris is the highest paid DJ in the world. Songs: Feel So Close, Summer, Blame

Skrillex: American electric music producer, DJ, singer, and songwriter. Songs: Bangarang, First of the Year, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

Zedd: Grammy Award winning musician, music producer, and DJ. Songs: Clarity, I Want You To Know, Stay the Night

Avicii: Swedish electronic musician, DJ, remixer, and record producer. Songs: Wake Me Up, Hey Brother, Levels

Although mainstream DJs hadn’t come into the spotlight by themselves until the 2010’s, they have always played a huge part in the music world, being the person who gets you pumped up by playing your favorite songs in a mix before the big act at a concert or mixing the music you dance to at a club.

But now the music that we dance to doesn’t need to be remixed since many of the artist such as David Guetta and Calvin Harris’ music is being played everywhere you see a dance floor.