When they’re good, they’re really good. But when they’re bad, they are cringingly bad. DJing is a profession that requires more than just the ability to plug an auxiliary cord from a laptop to a speaker and press play. You’ve got to toe the line between infectious enthusiasm and borderline creepiness while taking (ignoring) a slew of requests. Some nights, the crowd is great - vibing to the beats you’ve mixed together - and others, you’re asked to play Buckcherry 12 times. But the good DJ takes it all in stride and mixes on.
Tyler Burns (DJ Tyler Swift) and John Nelson (DJ Obi One Two) started spinning tracks a few years ago, and their relationship - and skill set - has transformed into a powerhouse one-two (get it?) punch. Refusing to limit themselves to late night bar sets, Burns and Nelson created EVL Entertainment. They’re aiming to become the premier DJ name for weddings, parties, bars and events. We sat down with Burns and Nelson to give us the inside track (I am full of terrible puns) on the DJ lifestyle and EVL Entertainment.
SPENCE: How’d you get your start?
TYLER: Originally, I just started messing around at home with some basic DJ equipment. I met John randomly one night when I was filling in playing tunes at our local watering hole (Madigan’s.) After that, we hit it off and John has, in a way, become a mentor to me. He’s helped me a lot in how much knowledge I’ve gained.
SPENCE: Primarily, where are you DJing currently?
JOHN: Right now, we DJ every Friday and Saturday night at Madigan’s. But we’ve done events from weddings to dances and really everything in between. The goal is to become the leading DJ group for any event in the surrounding area.
SPENCE: Tell me about EVL Entertainment.
JOHN: EVL Entertainment is the name of our DJ group. Event DJs haven’t changed much in years - it always seems to be that iPod shuffle mentality, that 80s radio host vibe. We want to change the way people think about their entertainment. Things like personality, premium lighting/sound, and a fresh vibe are all a part of the package we offer.
SPENCE: What kind of equipment do you use?
TYLER: Like with anything, you’ve got to have the latest and greatest in software and hardware. It makes the experience for the clientele that much better, so we’re always bringing in new equipment to enhance the experience.
SPENCER: Where’s the best place you've ever DJ'd?
TYLER: For myself, it honestly is probably Madigan’s on Mardi Gras Weekend or Fall Festival Weekend. We pack the place full and just have a good time … those are the times we bring our A-Game, put together some awesome dance tracks and let it rip.
SPENCE: What’s your DJ personality? Are you low-key and let the music talk, or do you try and hype the crowd up?
TYLER: I’d say between John and myself we have a pretty great balance. We always try to let the music do the talking, because nobody wants to hear you blab on for hours. But John is a great hype man, and always strives to get the crowd motivated.
SPENCE: Speaking of music, where do you get your inspiration from?
JOHN: We spend a lot of time sifting through music to find the best combinations. We love listening to other Dj sets, whether they’re live or prerecorded.
SPENCE: Who’s your favorite DJ and why?
TYLER: My all-time favorite DJ is GirlTalk. He takes all sorts of music and mashes it into one song, a kind of music that can please everyone .. it’s super impressive what he can do. Going from 90s hip-hop to 2000s alternative and back in under a minute is so cool.
SPENCE: Anything else you’d like to add?
JOHN: EVL Entertainment is now booking for 2017. If you’ve got a need for music, lighting, DJs, etc., let us know! No event is too big or too small. Contact us at Ellicottvilledjs@gmail.com
or come see us in action Friday or Saturday nights upstairs at Madigan’s.