beats. Vibrating bodies. Continuous movement. Endless energy.
The desire for this dynamic and vibrant environment gave rise to the now popular genre, electronic dance music. In the late 1980s “house” music, a style of electronic dance music began flourishing throughout the United States, especially in Chicago. Now roughly 25 years later the craving for this genre has infiltrated the minds and souls of a number of individuals including the aspiring DJ Charlie F. Meyer III, aka Crunch Theory, who has agreed to share his take on this growing culture.
Charlie grew up in Los Angeles, CA where he experienced diverse lifestyles, music, and cultures. Yet it was not until he entered the college scene that he truly became mesmerized by the art of djiing. As he admits, at first developing songs was very technical and a very intense process, but with time and experience he explains, “ I realized, this is up to me I need to stop looking at the BPM and start using my ear and that’s when I started fully falling in love with djing because just actually closing your eyes and being able to do whatever you want with putting two or three songs together and discipline yourself and training your ear to actually being able to beat match accurately without any visual aids is something that I value a lot”. In essence, djing takes a good ear and trusting your instincts to successfully blending songs in a seamless fashion.
However, Charlie as well as other djs face many issues, one of which are the controversial questions that linger in the minds of those skeptical people: Is djing really that difficult? Should it really be praised and recognized as highly as it is today? Charlie expresses that the art of djing is much more complex then it appears. For example, those who do utilize digital mixers are expected to use much more technical methods. Yet others, like himself, prefer to create their own beats and songs in order to better express the “feel” and energy they wish to convey. As Charlie states “When I create my own songs my own tracks its truly expressing myself. It’s like a little piece of my brain is spit out into a beat or into like a drop or a track”. Like any other art forms, djing is a means of self-expression.
Yet there is much more to djing then just expression. Thus the next questions of those who remain skeptics would most likely entail: What is djing about? Why has it become such an acclaimed culture and genre that seems to be taking over the music world? It’s all about the energy, the spirit, the power. “The ultimate goal is that they feel good and they feel happy but for others who are listening carefully to what you are putting down its kind of a more intellectualized thing, it’s like your passing on a message and it’s a positive message and not everyone will hear it but it’s there and it’s for people who are listening hard enough”. In essence it is a global phenomenon that is injecting energy into our very world, free for interpretation for all those who are willing to listen and participate. It is something that is happening here and now calling for all to come and enjoy.
But as for now, dedication and perseverance are highly required characteristics to keep this electronic culture expanding. As Charlie advices to other aspiring djs and “house” listeners in his last remarks, “Never stop not even for a moment, invest yourself every day there is always a question of how much you’re willing to sacrifice your personal style, sometimes you have to compromise your style to survive and you just have to keep your head up”.
By Marcela Villegas Castañón