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Thanks for listening

March 14th,2023 | Opinion

It takes a village to raise a DJ.

When I first moved from the West Coast to Wakefield nearly 13 years ago, I had with me my cat, my clothes and my Technic 12 turntables.

I was poised to become a DJ in the National Capital Region.

The first show I played in the Hills didn’t go so well. It was at the Rupert Community Centre and I was spinning tracks alongside Luigi Meliambro — talented funk spinner and even better pizza spinner as the former owner/creator of Cheesy Luigi’s. While the show attracted a decent crowd, most of the revelers stayed outside to drink and smoke out of the back of their pickup trucks. Nobody was interested in listening to loud dance music.

Fast forward a decade later and things have certainly changed. The DJ movement in the Hills caught fire with locals Luc Paquette, Stephanie-Ann Brisson, Kalina Ostrowska, and Amber Duncan, among others, taking up the 1s and 2s.

And just this week it was announced that DJ BeatScience (this writer) would be playing a three-night residency at Ottawa Bluesfest, the biggest gig of my side DJ career. I was pinching myself all day, wondering, “How the hell did I get here?” The answer is simple: because people believed in me.

I’m thinking of people like Christina Stobert, who gave me my first DJ residency in Ottawa at Restaurant 18. I was playing Friday nights at the bar and this was my first foray into DJing in Ottawa and the gig that would eventually get my name out there.

From there, doors began to open. Paul Symes basically gave me the keys to the Black Sheep Inn and told me that DJ nights were always on the table. I played some solid shows there — from heating up the dancefloor at Romprestomp, to keeping folks moving well after the ball dropped at midnight for New Year’s.

From there, more and more Hills business owners opened up their dance floors. Le Hibou was the spot for Halloween for several years, and owner Una McDonnell even gave DJ BeatScience a residency to play chill beats on the patio for one full summer. Her new Chelsea Motel is now the place to be for Halloween dance parties.

Kaffe 1870 has also gotten into electronic music, with several DJs taking over the tunes at the corner bar. Paquette has become a regular DJ there, playing his high-energy EDM for folks looking to get crazy. We have joined forces on many occasions, along with Brisson, to throw down epic Halloween and other dance parties at the bar. And people dig it.

It wasn’t that long ago that people scoffed a bit when I told them I was a DJ. But, thanks to so many resto and bar owners in the Hills who gave me the chance to show locals what I do, the conversation has changed from people asking what I do, to when I’m doing it next.

See you on the dance floor.

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