Big Man Entertainment, LLC
||High-End Mobile DJ Entertainment Solutions for Weddings & Private Events. Owned and operated by NY Knicks & NBA DJ, DJ M.I.L. @djmilnyc @bme4you
| Services Offered:
||DJs, Disc Jockeys
| Areas Served:
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Big Man Entertainment, LLC News & Information
National Entertainer News - N.A.M.E. Interview All Events News / Press Releases
Courtney W. Benjamin
Big Man Entertainment, LLC
National Entertainer News
Q: When did you start DJing?
A: I started DJing at an early age (age 10, or so). I was the kid that would spend hours at a time in my mother’s basement flipping records while my friends were playing video games. I believe Atari was to “big thing” then. I remember my father would bring me Reggae 45 records from Jamaica when he visited. I would pretend that I was a big time Reggae Selector.
Q: Why did you start DJing?
A: It’s funny, I don’t remember why. I just always remember Djing, or learning to DJ. I do remember however a childhood friend of mine Manny, his father always had DJ/sound equipment set up in the house. He would have to kick me out some nights. I always loved music and DJ/sound equipment.
Q: How did you get your start?
A: I remember I used to make flyers that I used to advertise my services to everyone in my neighborhood. I did all the school parties, family cookouts and social events all the way through college. It was tough getting the “word” out. Back then, the Internet, blogging or anything “virtual” for that matter wasn’t around. I’m glad I did it though.
Q: Where do you DJ now?
A: Currently I am the Arena DJ at Madison Square Garden - New York, NY. I do the music for all of the sports teams that play there (NY, Knicks, NY, Rangers, NY, Liberty, St. John’s University, NIT and NCAA. I’m also the Game Day DJ at Citi Field - Flushing, NY for the NY Mets. Lastly, I still do events for my mobile DJ Company Big Man Entertainment, LLC.
Q: Favorite place to play?
A: Though the spotlight is always bright and always on me at MSG, I think playing/doing mobile events are equally as exciting. No one place in particular, just different venues do it for me. One night I will be rockin’ an out of hand 80’s party, then, the next night, I could be in the middle of a Reggae Dancehall “Bashment.” I LOVE it.
Q: What does your set-up consist of?
A: When I play at MSG, they supply equipment. A Rane TTM 57SL mixer, two Pioneer CDJ 800s and a 360 Systems Instant Replay is what I play on there. Since I’m an independent Contractor at Citi Field, I bring my own gear. That gear consists of a Rane TTM 57SL mixer, two Denon DNS-3700s and a 360 Systems Instant Replay. My studio set up consists of a Rane MP 24 mixer (got to love the sound), two Technics 1210’s, and a Denon DN-HD2500 media player.
Q: Favorite song/artist to play
A: I don’t have a favorite song or artist, more like a favorite genre, which is reggae. I’m not sure if the fact that I was born in Jamaica had any influence on my favorite genre to play and listen to but I suspect it did.
Q: If you could go back in time, would you still be a DJ?
A: Without a doubt. Becoming a DJ was a career choice for me, so it made sense on two levels. I was able to make a living with something I would’ve done for free. How awesome is that?
Q: Best/Worst DJ experience
A: It would have to be a wedding I did a few years back. I did my usual (music) prep prior to the event, but the guests didn’t want to hear any of the music on the list. So, needless to say, it was a steep uphill climb shortly after the intros and first dance. I tried everything, but didn’t get anywhere until the last hour or so. It turned out that Hip Hop and R&B did the trick and who doesn’t love hip-hop?
Q: What kind of preparation do you do before a set?
A: Well, preparation for me for everything I do begins with growth and maintenance of my music library. It’s absolutely critical that I take the time to build and maintain my music library, as it’s probably my primary investment. With that said, I build sets/play lists prior to each event. I use a third party company that interfaces with my web site, which enables my clients to submit event info (including music requests).
Q: How/Where do you buy music?
A: I subscribe to a few online music companies. I also make my own mash-ups, edits and remixes.
Q: When is your next big gig?
A: My two biggest clients are the NY Mets and MSG. Hopefully the Mets make the post season, as that will extend my 2010 contract. As far as MSG, I remain optimistic for what the New Year will bring.
Q: How do you feel about the term “iPod DJ” and how do you feel about the digital revolution?
A: I’m split. On one hand, I try to acknowledge the diverse and sometimes unique transformations of this art form of ours. On the other hand, I’m ‘old school’. These days, anyone can call himself or herself a DJ if you have a solid music collection/library. I saw a piece of equipment the other day that actually mixes for you. Wow!! That’s not they way it’s supposed to be. With that said, I am absolutely a fan of certain components of the digital revolution, specifically, digital music and some digital DJ software (the ones in which you still have to do your own mixing).
Q: What is your take on the state of the Industry right now?
A: The Industry to me has become inundated with technology. Technology is great, but I think there’s too much of a dependence on it. A buddy of mine and I had a conversation about this recently. We both agreed on this very topic. He made a valid point, by saying technology is breaking down (destroying) the art form of Djing. He went on to substantiate his claim by describing how, back in the day, a DJ would have to mark his or her cue points with tape on the vinyl (which is now done digitally, and can be “cued” within seconds), and have to physically have to go back to the crate and pull out the next record, put it on the platter, put the needle on the record and race to his or hers pre-marked cue point. He added that this process is no longer required, and the result is a DJ playing a “record” for only seconds at a time. It’s too easy/easily accessible now. A (battle) DJ was once measured on how fast he or she could do this. I wonder what system of measurement is in place now or what will be?
Q: What are your thoughts about the “New” trend or term VDJ… Video Disc Jockey?
A: I’m kind of cool with it. It’s just another “new” and innovative way that our industry can be recognized. I do believe that the industry has to evolve, and change with not only the times, but the people as well. A VDJ is a good illustration of that evolution and change. Just think, a decade ago, people outside of the TV industry probably dismissed this concept. Now, its here and doing well.
Q: What products have you purchased in the last year?
A: In the last year, I upgraded my CD and Media Player inventory (DNS-3700s & DN-HD2500). I am a Denon guy to the core. I think they make a superior product at an ultra competitive price. I also purchased a 360 Systems Instant Replay along with a few internal and external hard drives that upgrade and support my Macs.
Q: Where do you see the industry in 5 years?
A: I see the industry finding a tender balance of new technology and old, core fundamentals of Djing. DJs will continue to be innovative and exciting by embracing new concepts and equipment. It’s a fact that I am the first “live DJ” to play in game at Citi Field for the NY Mets. With that said, I’m confident that large corporations like the NY Mets, will also be on the cutting edge of innovation and start to incorporate the “live DJ’ into their production.
Q: Where do you see your business in 5 Years?
A: As an experienced Event Presentation Professional, I look to use my company Big Man Entertainment, LLC as a vessel that ushers in a unique brand of corporate DJ Entertainment by offering a wide range of contractor based Event Presentation solutions to select Corporate, Sports & Entertainment clients. Solutions will include, but are not limited to: DJ Entertainment, Sound Design, Music Production & Editing, Music Composition, Event Music Treatment, Audio Engineer Services and Audio Equipment Consulting. This will of course be in addition to me continuing to nurture the mobile DJ Entertainment side of my company.
Q: Where do talented DJs fit it, in the future?
A: Talented DJs will always have a place. They will always “fit”. If, in fact, their talents are based on their DJ skills and ability to master technology and equipment, they will be able to write their own ticket. Who knows, you may tune into the next Olympics and see one of those talented DJs playing the opening ceremony. I believe the possibilities are that endless.
Written by Big Man Entertainment, LLC of Springfield, NJ
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